I have always believed that cats come into our lives to teach us. First and foremost, they teach us about unconditional love. But they also teach us to stretch and grow, to reach beyond our self-imposed limits, and to expand our consciousness.
I’ve been blessed that I got to share my life with the original feline master teacher, Buckley, and the original conscious cat, Amber. Both of these cats changed my life in ways I never could have imagined.
And both inspired books. Many of you have already read Buckley’s Story. I’m currently working on a new book which will feature Amber, and will be both a prequel and sequel to Buckley’s Story. You’ll be hearing more about it very soon!
Reiki is an energy therapy that originated in Japan. The word Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is a Japanese composite word usually translated as “universal life energy”. It is based on the idea that all living beings have life energy flowing through them. When life energy is high, you, or your cats, are healthy and balanced, more relaxed and less likely to get sick. When it is low, cats and humans alike will be more easily affected by stress and less resistant to illness. Reiki helps return the body to its natural state of balance and well-being.
One of the tenets of Reiki are the five principles, sometimes also known as the five precepts. These “rules to live by” are based on the teachings of Mikao Usui, who developed the practice in the 1920’s. And you don’t have to be a Reiki practitioner to find these principles helpful Continue Reading
Don’t postpone joy until you have learned all of your lessons. Joy is your lesson. – Alan Cohen
Are you a procrastinator? Do you habitually put off doing things you know you should be doing now?
According to Wikipedia, procrastination is defined as the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time.
But there’s more to procrastination than just not getting things done. Contrary to what many people believe, procrastination is not a time management problem. Procrastination is about postponing the life you were meant to live. It keeps us from living in the moment, from living a life filled with joy.
Procrastination is about fear, and living your life from a place of fear leads to living a very small life. Continue Reading
I knew it wasn’t a cat book, but I asked for a review copy anyway. I usually run book reviews on Fridays, but this book is such a perfect fit for our Conscious Cat Sunday feature, I decided to share it today.
The book claims to be (tongue in cheek) the self-help book to end all self-help books,Continue Reading
Memorial Day 2001, 11 years ago, I adopted a cat from a local humane society who has transformed our little family with her larger than life personality. To celebrate her adoptiversary, I wanted share some of the things Coco Bear has shown me.
Each day is a wondrous gift, with the potential to be amazing: When the alarm goes off in the morning and my eyes aren’t even open, Coco leaps out of bed and starts rolling around on the floor kicking up her legs, just delighted to have a new day dawning. She makes me smile and share her optimism about a new day to live.
Throw yourself 100% into everything you do: Nothing is done halfway with Coco Bear. Playing, eating, kneading, showing love, sleeping – all done with nothing held back, and no apologies.
If you mess up, charm can help you make amends: Particularly as a young cat Coco was always doing something to make me tear my hair. Continue Reading
How much of your day is spent “playing?” Really — think about it. In a world where working overtime is applauded and rushing our kids from activity to activity has become the norm, who’s got time to relax, laugh, and truly enjoy life?
One of the reasons I am writing about this subject is to remind myself of this very thing. I spend much of my day working from home. I love what I do, but I sometimes become driven and look past a game with my kids or a walk in the woods because there’s always “something I have to do.” Some days I even eat while I’m working. I have to remind myself to take breaks, read a book, play with the cats, or enjoy some music with my husband. It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing those things, I just desire more balance in my life where play comes more naturally.
Honestly, sometimes when I’m working at the computer and my cats are playing with a catnip toy, I feel inspired. Continue Reading
After having just celebrated a birthday, the subject of aging was on my mind this past week. Even though this birthday wasn’t one of the “traumatic” ones – you know, the ones that have a zero at the end – I like to take time each year on my birthday not just for celebration, but also for reflection.
I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my age. Most of the time, it really is just a number to me. I haven’t felt my age for a long time, and I’m frequently caught by surprise when I look in the mirror. How is it possible that someone with grey hair and a few wrinkles is looking back at me, when, at heart, I still feel like a much younger version of me?
I won’t claim that I have the answers to aging gracefully, but I think maybe our cats do. When I worked at veterinary clinics, I was always drawn to the senior cats, especially the really old, grizzled ones. There was just something so beautiful about these cats who were clearly on a path of physical decline, yet their spirits were as full of life as that of a newborn kitten. Cats don’t care about getting white muzzles,Continue Reading
It is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom. – William Dean Howells
“Learn to Be Still” is the fourth track on When Hell Freezes Over, the first album released by the Eagles in 1994 after a fourteen year silence. The album title is a reference to Don Henley’s comment after the 1980 breakup that the band would play together again “when hell freezes over.”
The song became my anthem that year.
1994 was an extremely challenging year for me: within a four-month period, my marriage of thirteen years ended and my mother died. After emerging from the initial shock and grief, I went through a period of re-examining my life and beginning my journey of finding my bliss. Those of you who’ve read me for a while already know that cats have been the catalyst (pun intended) for some very major life changes for me. What you may not know is that music is also very important to me. Continue Reading
I was recently interviewed by Julie Shubin, a labor law attorney and adjunct professor at George Mason University, for her labor blog Helitzer Blouse Girl: A Modern American Labor Journal, where she features a “day in the life” series of people from all walks of life. In her profile, Julie called me “a modern day renaissance woman, finding a way to fit all her passions into a small business.”
I was incredibly flattered by this description, because I don’t really think of myself that way. But as I thought about it a little more, I realized that I’ve been on a journey of following my bliss for more than two decades now. Since my current bliss involves writing about and working with cats, and since cats played a significant role in finding that bliss, I thought I’d share a little more about my journey today.Continue Reading
Spring is a time of new beginning. Nature renews itself, at first slowly, like those first spring flowers peeking out from underneath the dull winter grass, and eventually bursting into full bloom as the days become longer and warmer.
Spring can also be a time for mental and spiritual renewal, and for this, we can take our clues from nature. It’s time to emerge from the darkness of winter, time to open windows and doors to let the spring breezes in, both physically and in a larger sense.
For many people, this is also traditionally a time for spring cleaning – there is something very satisfying about airing out rooms that were closed up for most of the winter months, clearing cobwebs out of forgotten corners, and getting the dust bunnies out from under the bed. Clearing the clutter and getting organized for the new season on a physical level can also help clear your mental and psychic energy. Cluttered environments drain our energy. Continue Reading
Let go of fear, embrace change, and move toward joy. – Buckley
This was one of Buckley’s most profound lessons for me. I had grown up being a worrier. I could easily come up with the worst possible scenario for any given situation and turn it over in my mind endlessly, to the point where I often ended up paralyzed with fear. I knew that this propensity to worry was holding me back from really letting myself live my life to its fullest potential.
When I began to understand and really believe that we have the power to control our thoughts and that our thoughts are vibrations that affect what we experience in our reality, I was able to short-circuit the fear and worry cycle more easily. It became clear to me that wasting time being afraid of something that might never happen would only attract the very thing I did not want into my experience. Worrying also made a statement that I did not trust in the wisdom of the universe. I knew on a deep level that things would always work out. With time, it became easier to redirect my thoughts away from fears about the future and focus on the present moment instead.