energy

Conscious Cat Sunday: I Create My World: The Power of Thoughts to Shape Our Lives

 I_Create_My_World_Connie_Bowen

Much has been written about the power of positive thinking and affirmations as tools to a better life. We may not be able to control the world around us, but we can control our thoughts, so why not choose positive ones? Another argument for positive thinking is that it sends out a happier vibration, and since most cats tend to pick up their humans’ energy, cleaning up your thoughts doesn’t just benefit you, it will also make your cats happy.

With I Create My World: The Power of Thoughts to Shape Our Lives, artist Connie Bowen has created a wonderful little book filled with affirmations and colorful, whimsical paintings. Even though the book is not a cat book, there are a couple of adorable cat paintings featured, which is why I decided to share this little gem of a book with you.

The book is aimed at children, and it’s a great way to introduce young children to the concept of positive thinking and affirmations, but I think adults will be equally delighted by this lighthearted approach to the topic. Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Energy Vampires

vampire cat teeth yawn

Cats are extremely sensitive to the energy around them, and, because of the deep bond between cat and human, they sometimes even take on their person’s problems. Due to the shared energy in such a close relationship, energetic imbalances are shared as well. Sensitivity to energy varies among people, but we’re all affected by it, whether we’re aware of it or not.

Have you ever felt completely drained after spending time with someone? Have you ever had an unpleasant exchange with someone, and just couldn’t seem to let go of the residual bad feelings? You’ve just encountered an energy vampire. They’re the complainers, nay-sayers, passive-aggressives, and doomsday predicters in your life. Like vampires, they feed off the life force of others around them, and they would love nothing better than to turn you into one of them. Misery loves company.Continue Reading

Flower power for your cat: gentle healing from flower essences

flower essences for cats

Flower essences have been used since ancient times to provide vibrational healing for mind, body and spirit for people. Hildegard von Bingen (12th century) and Paracelsus (15th century) both wrote about the use of flowering plants to treat health imbalances. The healing method became better know in the 1930’s when Dr. Edward Bach, a British practitioner of homeopathy and bacteriology, developed his range of 38 essences known as the Bach Flower Remedies. The most well-known of his remedies is probably Rescue Remedy®.

As interest in holistic modalities for animals increases, flower essences are being used as a gentle, yet effective tool to enhance and improve their overall well-being.

Cats seem to be particularly responsive to these essences. They can help with a wide range of feline problems, from stress to litter box aversion to territorial issues.

What are flower essences?

Flower essences are obtained by extracting the vibrational healing properties of the blossoms after leaving them in sunlight and pure water for several hours. The resulting essence is then diluted out even more, and preserved with alcohol, usually brandy. Some flower essence manufacturers use alternate preservatives such as vinegar. The preservatives do not alter the vibrational quality of the essence.*

How do flower essences work?

Emotional and mental imbalances, if left untreated, will eventually manifest as physical illness. This is no different for cats than it is for people. Flower essences are vibrational medicine. They work in the energy field, similar to homeopathic remedies. They are safe to use, and, unlike some herbal treatments, do not interfere with allopathic drug treatments.

What types of problems can flower essences help with?

Flower essences are particularly effective for behavioral problems and stressful situations, whether it’s a move, trip to the vet, or a new cat in the household. I’ve used Rescue Remedy® for may years for my cats prior to visits to the vet, or during thunderstorms. (I also use it for myself during stressful situations.) I’ve been using flower essences to help with some of the behavior challenges Allegra was dealing with when I first adopted her, and I credit the progress we’ve made in no small amount to the essences.

How are flower essences administered?

Flower essences can be given orally, mixed with food or water, rubbed on the inside of the ear, or rubbed into the fur at the top of the head or base of the tail. Since they’re energy medicine, the only thing that matters is that they get into the cat’s energy field – how that is achieved is of secondary importance.

The Bach Flower Essences are widely available in health food stores, including national chains like Whole Foods. There are many other lines of essences available. I use the Green Hope Farm essences for Allegra.

I’ve recently become interested in Spirit Essences, the only line of flower essences developed by a holistic veterinarian, Dr. Jean Hofve. Spirit Essences is owned by nationally known feline behaviorist and star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” Jackson Galaxy. During my interview with Jackson for The Conscious Cat, he graciously offered to send me a couple of his essences for Allegra. I’ll let you know how she does with them.

If you haven’t used flower essences for your cat, I’d encourage you to give them a try. If you have used them, I’d love to hear your experience with them.

*Please note that flower essences are not to be confused with aromatherapy or essential oils. Essential oils are generally not safe to use around cats. This has become a hotly debated topic in holistic circles. Even though some practitioners or suppliers of essential oils will claim that their products or techniques are completely safe for cats, the fact remains that cats have a unique physiology and process these oils differently from other species. Some oils can even be deadly to cats. I do not recommend the use of any essential oils around cats.

Photo: morguefile.com

Holding the Space

Aliza and Matisse – photo courtesy of Laura Kuhlmann

Guest Post by Laura Kuhlmann

Last night, I finished reading Buckley’s Story, Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher by Ingrid King. Although I had purchased this book last fall, it was too difficult for me to read, having said goodbye in November to our beloved boy cat Matisse, aka Mr. Boober, after his brave battle with lymphoma.

Ingrid’s book is more than just a story about a special cat named Buckley, for Ingrid touches upon many aspects of the human-animal bond, as well as the animal-animal bond, including intuition and communication, that really make one stop and think. This is a book that sticks with you after you finish it, and no doubt I will be reading sections over again.

Ingrid talks about her cat Amber “holding the space” which really intrigued me. Here’s a short excerpt, from page 86:

“…..I made sure that I paid enough attention to Amber during this time … She quietly held the space for both Buckley and me. Some people, as well as some animals, are masters at holding the space. It means creating a quiet, safe, and peaceful environment. By being completely centered and secure in herself, Amber focused her gentle energy on allowing Buckley and me to relax into whatever was happening and to find our own way through it with as little worry and fear as possible.”

This concept – holding the space – is what our cat Mr. Boober did in our home, especially with our two girl kitties Lulu (his little sister) and Aliza (for better or for worse, his constant companion.) But we didn’t realize this until he had passed away. The attitudes of the girls, and the dynamics between them, were suddenly all messed up. The girls didn’t know quite how to cope, because the one who had held the space for them was Boober, and now he was gone. My husband and I described Boober as the glue that kept the three cats together and content. Holding the space.

I am fortunate to have met Ingrid via Twitter (gotta love social media!) and we’ve become friends. Ingrid thinks that perhaps Aliza or Lulu might eventually step up to fill the void (and hold the space) but of course it won’t be exactly the same.

It immediately made me think of a series of pictures that I took last fall. Both girls were extremely attentive to Boober toward the end of his life when he went blind. Aliza and Lulu would stick close by him…taking turns cleaning him…just being with him. Aliza especially, who was literally hopelessly in love with Boober, rarely left his side. I wanted to take some pictures of the two of them together, although our digital camera wasn’t cooperating. When I came around the bed, I saw Aliza’s paw and arm on top of Boober’s. My heart melted, and I’m so glad I captured this moment. I think Aliza’s only concern was to provide comfort and serenity in the midst of some scary changes. I think during those moments, she was holding the space.

Laura Kuhlmann is the owner and designer of Petscribbles, a unique line of hand-crafted greeting cards for, from, and about pets.   Laura designs and makes the  artistic and upscale, yet fun, personal, and whimsical cards herself.   The cards are made to order in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, USA, and only the best cardstocks, decorative papers and embellishments are used.  Laura and her Chief Feline Officer Lulu pride themselves on using recycled materials whenever possible. Laura and her husband are owned by two cats: a 9-year old Ragdoll girl named Lulu (the CFO mentioned above); and a 15-ish years young formerly feral kitty named Aliza-Loo Doolittle. Aliza enjoys a fulfilling retirement doing very little work (aka Doolittle).

The Healing Power of Cats

There are many stories of animals as healers. Research shows that simply petting a cat or dog can lower your blood pressure. Therapy animals who visit nursing homes and hospices bring peace and joy to patients who may not have smiled in months. There are stories of horses who help people heal emotional and psychological issues, stories about dogs who can somehow sense cancer in people, even before doctors can find it, and dogs who can tell when a person is about to have a seizure. At one time or another, all pet owners have experienced the comfort of having our pets close by when we are sick even with something minor like a cold or the flu. Research has even shown that the frequency of a cat’s purr can aid with healing of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles as well as provide pain relief. 

I’ve met a number of these healer kitties during my years of working at veterinary clinics.  They would work their magic in various ways – by curling up next to a recovering cat or dog, by cuddling up to a worried client in the waiting room, or by comforting a staff member who had just assisted with a difficult case or a euthanasia. But none of these cats was more of a healer than Buckley, the subject of my book Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. 

Buckley would do all of the things mentioned above while she lived at the animal hospital.  After she came home with me, she became my assistant Reiki practitioner.  Reiki is an energy therapy that originated in Japan.  As a Reiki Master Practitioner, I transfer energy to my client by placing my hands either directly on or slightly off the body.  I work with pets and with people, and I’ve found that animals, especially cats, are incredibly receptive to the Reiki energy.  Some even say cats invented Reiki.  While that may be a little far fetched, cats seem to intuitively how to utilize the energy for their greatest good. 

Buckley loved being in the Reiki room while I was giving treatments, and as long as the person receiving a treatment liked cats and did not mind Buckley’s presence, she was allowed to stay. But just being in the room was usually not enough for her—she became an active participant in the healing session. She would get up on the Reiki table and often curl up next to or on top of the client. I realized after a few sessions like this that she intuitively knew where extra energy was needed, and the client would often report an added feeling of heat or pulsing in the areas where Buckley had been situated during the session. I often skipped the areas Buckley laid on during a session and concentrated on others instead. I knew my little healer kitty had it covered. 

I think she also transmuted the energy in the house in general. All cats do this to some degree. Cats are sensitive to energies and have the ability to change negative energies into something peaceful and calming. Buckley seemed to be a master at this. More people commented on the peaceful energy in my house after she came to live with us than ever before. 

Animals bring a spiritual component to healing as well. Buckley’s intuitive knowing during a Reiki session about where the energy was needed came from a spiritual dimension. It takes many human Reiki practitioners years of practice to achieve that level of intuitiveness.

How have the animals in your life helped you heal?  I’d love to hear your stories.

How to Shift Your Mood in an Instant

 smilingcat

About a month ago, I talked about how making a conscious decision to get happy can really make a difference in how we feel and how we approach our life.   But some days, our mood and energetic vibration just seem to be such that even getting to the place where we can make that decision can be a bit of a stretch.

For those days, it helps to have a ready list of thoughts, images and actions that can help to shift your mood and vibration almost instantly.  You can’t think of something beautiful or someone you really love and not feel better.  Picture a place where you’ve always felt good in the past, and just thinking about that place will change your mood.  Put on a beautiful piece of music and your vibration will change.

Here are some of my “vibration shifters:”

  • Watching Amber sleep in her sunny spot.
  • Amber’s purr.
  • Listening to music – depending on what mood I’m trying to change, it can be anything from symphonic power metal to Jimmy Buffett. 
  • Imagining myself walking along the beach at sunrise.
  • Reading a favorite passage in a favorite book.
  • Ice cream – preferably Ben and Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough or Cherry Garcia.

Just writing these down shifted my energy into a better feeling place.  What are your mood shifters?

 

Shift your vibration – smile!

We are not just physical beings in a physical universe, we are vibrational beings in a universe made up of energy. We naturally attract what is in harmony with our state of being. Vibrations are the signal that we send out to the universe, and the universe responds with manifestations that match that signal. So it makes sense that we want to try and maintain our vibration at a level that allows us to receive the joy, abundance and happiness we want to attract into our lives.

However, we all have those days when joy seems like it’s not even in the same solar system as we are. When we feel frustrated, angry or depressed, changing our vibration can seem like an impossible task. When we’re in that kind of a vibrational state, even a minor shift in vibration can make a difference.  One way to do that is with a smile.  Even if you really don’t feel like smiling, the mere physical act of smiling will shift your vibration gently into a better feeling direction.

And if you need a little bit of help to find that smile, check out the kitten photos on cuteoverload.com – I dare you to look at some of the photos on the site and not at least crack the beginnings of a smile!