In the wake of the Boston bombings, many of us are still struggling with processing the horror of what happened, sharing the collective grief of a nation whose peace was once again disrupted by an act of terrorism, and trying to make sense of something that is completely senseless. Even people who were thousands of miles away from Boston, and who weren’t worried about family or friends, found themselves filled with sorrow and hopelessness about a world where these tragedies can happen.
How do you find your center in the middle of so much darkness and turmoil? Is it even possible?
On Monday evening, I posted this on The Conscious Cat Facebook page: “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the senseless attacks in Boston. Please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers, and hug your kitties for some comfort!” At times like this, we all hold our family and friends a little tighter, and for most of us, our cats are family. And spending time with cats is certainly one of the best ways I know to help us pull out of sadness and despairContinue Reading
Life’s disappointments can knock the wind out of the best of us, and sometimes, it seems like we’ll never get over some of the bad things that happen. As humans, our tendency can be to continue to bring up our painful past, rather than working on healing the pain and moving on with our lives.
Cats don’t do this. They live in the moment. They don’t dwell in the past and constantly revisit it, nor do they use the past as an excuse for not being happy in the present. This is particularly evident with cats who were rescued from marginal or abusive circumstances. It is humbling to be loved unconditionally by an animal coming from a rough beginning. While some of these cats may initially be cautious around humans, most of them adjust quickly once they find their forever home and a person who is willing to be patient and allow the bond between cat and human to develop slowly so that it can turn into trust and eventually love. Cats do not allow their early life experiences to define them the way so many humans do.
We’ve all heard of The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Many of us strive to live by this rule. It implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated in exactly the same way you would like to be treated.
Then there’s The Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”
Think about it for a moment. The Golden Rule is all about you: you simply assume that everyone should want what you want, and you’re going to treat them accordingly. It’s all about control. This was brought home to me the other day, when Allegra gave me one of her rare lap times. Allegra is a supersweet, affectionate cat, but she does not like to sit in my lap, nor does she like to be held. As a result, the times when she does make one of her rare lap appearances are extra special. Continue Reading
I don’t understand why humans have such a hard time with what they call “living in the moment.” To us cats, it’s just living. Where else would you be, if not in this present moment? That’s where all the good stuff happens: it’s where the sunbeams are, it’s where the birds outside the window are, it’s where breakfast and dinner are. Why would you ever want to worry about what’s going to come next, or think about what already happened?
When we want to play, we play. When we want to nap, we nap. When we want to cuddle, we cuddle. I know humans have what they call “responsibilities,” the most important one, of course, being that they make sure we never run out of cat food, and I’ll concede that that requires some planning, but I thought I’d give you some pointers on how you can be more like a cat and enjoy the moment.
Have you ever had that “stuck” feeling? Like you’re just not quite sure how to move forward and you’re a little afraid to move at all, for fear you’ll make the “wrong” choice? I know there have been times when I’ve found myself in that position and, honestly, at those times I felt paralyzed. Sometimes I moved ahead and sometimes — again, because of fear — I did not and I occasionally wonder what would have happened if I’d just taken a chance.
Part of the reason I felt paralyzed is because I didn’t feel like I had the resources to advance in my preferred direction. And by resources, I mean money, time, connections, equipment…all types of resources. What I’ve found is that the resources I picture in my head aren’t necessarily the resources I really have to have to move forward.
Hi everyone, it’s Allegra! It’s been a while since I got to write something here. I’ve been too busy keeping my sister Ruby in line, and making sure Mom takes breaks from work. Let me tell you, between the two of them – it can get exhausting.
If you’re wondering what’s harder – keeping an eye on Ruby, or making sure that Mom relaxes enough – well, I’d have to say it’s getting Mom to relax. I will never understand why humans have such a hard time with this concept of just hanging out, just being. I can sit for hours, either staring into space, or sleeping, and let me tell you, it feels really really wonderful!
Sometimes, I even resort to sitting in Mom’s lap to get her to relax. It seems to be the most effective wayContinue Reading
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize
there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu
When I think about what contentment looks like, I think of a purring cat. If there’s anything that illustrates happiness better, I don’t know what that would be. And it doesn’t take much for cats to be content: a sunny spot on the floor, a full tummy, a lap to curl up on – those are the ingredients for contentment when you’re a cat.
Why is it so hard for humans to reach that same state of contentment? Why do so many of us always look for the next best thing? For some people, the mindset for happiness is a never-ending cycle of always wanting more. Perhaps we’d do well to learn from our cats when it comes to mastering contentment.
Achieving a state of contentment is a mindset change and has nothing to do with making external changes to your life. Try the following:Continue Reading
Our cats do have the best lives, don’t they? I often say that in my next life, I’m going to come back as one of my cats. If I did, here’s what a typical day would look like:
I wake up when I’m good and ready. I stretch, and then I slowly get up. When I walk into the kitchen, breakfast is being prepared for me, and served on my favorite blue dish. After breakfast, I make the rounds of the house, and take a look out the windows to make sure nothing has changed while I was sleeping. After all that activity, it’s time for a nice long nap. The biggest decision: where to take that nap? It may be a bit of a toss up between a sunny spot on the rug, and the lap of the human I love most in this world. Most days, the lap will win.
After my nap, I wake up to find that the human is in the kitchen. Excellent! This must mean more food. Treats are immediately forthcoming. Then I get a nice massage, and my fur is being brushed until it shines. Now it’s decision time again: birdwatching? Playing? Another nap? Continue Reading
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few decades you’ve no doubt heard about the benefits of yoga. Our overall health and well being can thrive with a regular yoga practice, but did you ever stop and ponder how your feline friends can reap the rewards as well? Just the mere possibility is enough to make one roll out the yoga mat and start practicing some serious downward facing cat poses!
Cats are the ultimate yogis and they certainly don’t need us to mentor them in the art of relaxation, meditation, or how to stretch their bodies. They do, however, need us to create the ideal home environment so we can support them in being the little yogis they were meant to be.
Yoga is the purr-fect practice for investing in you while also benefitting Kitty at the same time. Continue Reading