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
Stretching is an important part of healthy living: benefits range from increased flexibility and mobility to better athletic performance and decreased risk of injury. A regular stretching program has been part of my daily routine for more than 30 years. I’ve had minor back problems ever since I was a young adult, and twice daily stretching exercises have most likely helped save my back again and again.
And who better to teach us the importance of stretching than our cats? Have you ever seen a cat get up from a nap without thoroughly stretching first?
Stretching is actually an instinctive activity: most people stretch without having to be reminded before they get out of bed. It appears that our bodies naturally protect us from injuring ourselves by moving too fast after a period of inactivity. Depending on your age, and what kind of physical condition you’re in, you may find that even getting up from being seated at your desk for a long period of time will result in aches and pains unless you stretch first.Continue Reading
Have you ever met someone who veers toward the verbose side when a few words — or even silence — will do the trick? If you’ve met me, then you certainly have. I think my loquacious leanings are partly because I’m an extrovert, but also because I sometimes feel nervous and need to stuff empty space with words, no matter how trivial. When I find myself jabbering in circles, I’m typically met with either blank stares or polite smiles. And then I continue jabbering, because it feels safe to fill the gaps.
Cats are completely comfortable with silence; they even walk silently. What’s more peaceful than the calm quiet of a cat? Their eye and tail movements speak volumes without even once muttering a meow. I’ve certainly met some chatty cats; in fact, my Phoebe is one who isn’t afraid to speak. The difference is that when she speaks, it’s purposeful: she has a message to convey. I also have messages, but sometimes they could be communicated in fewer, more thoughtful, wordsContinue Reading
There’s a lot of excitement that comes with getting close to a book’s publication date: working with editors, cover designer, book designer, and publisher. Final revisions. Spreading the word about the book. Lining up reviews and local events.
One of the most exciting parts about this stage is getting endorsements, also known as “blurbs,” for the book. What’s even more exciting is that this early praise comes from writers and editors who I greatly admire.
The compassion of true forgiveness is the state of grace necessary to move forward with peace in our lives. Whether it’s forgiveness for others who we feel have wronged us or toward ourselves for self-directed resentments, nothing physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually positive can arise from grudge-holding.
Cats have taught me a lot about forgiveness and unconditional love. Some mornings I’ve watched myself racing around, running late for work, completely ignoring my cat’s obvious affection-sharing efforts. When I arrive home later in the day, he’s completely forgotten the previous morning as we settle in for a sweet snuggle. In these types of situations, I’m much harder on myself than he is on me. I feel badly for not giving him the attention he wants and think about it during the day, sometimes telling myself I can be a better cat-mom. Does this persistent negative thinking serve anything? No. Certainly we can learn from our actions, but we absolutely don’t need to belabor scenarios for which we cannot go back and re-live.Continue Reading
Surrender is faith that the power of love can accomplish anything…
even when you cannot foresee the outcome. – Deepak Chopra
I admit it: I’m a control freak. I like predictability, consistency, and routine. Maybe that’s one of the many reasons why I love cats so much. They tend to thrive on those things, too. I often waste time trying to control, plan and prevent things that I can’t possibly control, plan and prevent. My cats don’t do this. Despite the fact that they’re creatures of habit, they seem to be much better at going with the flow.
This was really brought home to me during our recent two-day power outage. While I was stressed about not having air conditioning, internet access and refrigerated or cooked food, Allegra and Ruby simply went about their usual business. They trusted that they would be fed, loved and cared for, whether the power was on or not.
Given that we live in a world that’s anything but predictable, wanting to be in control of the universe can be frustrating, not to mention futile. Continue Reading
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!
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
A couple of months ago, our cat, Little, became voraciously hungry.
Little is my son’s cat, and having been raised by a young boy, he’s never wanted anything other than food and my son’s love. Little comes running when my son whistles for him, and like many cats he’s always been independent.
Then something changed. Little began crying for food all day long, looking up at whomever was in the kitchen at the time, insisting loudly on being fed. “Did you feed Little?” Became the question of the day, and I began to give him little spoonfuls just to keep him quiet.Continue Reading