meditation

Conscious Cat Sunday: learn to be still

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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

Conscious Cat Sunday: Routine as the key to happiness

Routine as the Key to Happiness

Routines are human nature. Why not create some that will mint gold? – Hafiz

Last Sunday, I wrote about the value of embracing change, rather than resisting it. This may lead you to wonder why on earth I would now tell you that routines are the key to a happy life. No, I’m not contradicting myself. I’m not talking about the kinds of routines that keep us stuck in a rut. I’m talking about positive routines.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Stop rushing

Stop Rushing

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 25% of Americans feel rushed all the time, and 50% do some of the time. What category do you fall in?

The times when we need to rush are actually a lot less frequent than we think. Rushing has simply become a habit for many of us, and many people even derive a (somewhat warped, in my opinion) sense of accomplishment from being able to say “I’m just so busy all the time!” When you are always rushing, your body is in a constant state of panic, which, in turn, has a detrimental effect on your mental, physical and spiritual health.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Gratitude

Gratitude

 We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. – Cynthia Ozick

Gratitude makes you happy. Research by Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis into the psychology of gratitude has shown that people who practice gratitude are 25% happier.  They are more optimistic about the future and feel better about their lives.

The energy of gratitude is a powerful force.  It can shift your mood and your thoughts from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance and joy. Gratitude is about being in the present moment, and appreciating what’s around you. Gratitude is about choice: you have the power to choose how you view any given situation in your life.

Gratitude is also a practice. Practicing gratitude is a great way to start and end each day.  Think about five things you’re grateful for before you get out of bed each morning, and again before you go to sleep each night.  Do this for a few days and you will notice how the shift in your energy will transform your life.

My five for today are:

1. Allegra

2. Ruby

3. A lovely breeze coming in through the open window.

4. That first cup of fresh brewed coffee in the morning.

5. Good health – my own, as well as Allegra’s and Ruby’s.

What five things are you grateful for today?

You may also enjoy reading:

Conscious Cat Sunday: Creating Balance

Five habits to expand your thinking

7 Tips for a Healthy, Happy New Year for Cats and Their Humans

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Happy New Year to all of you!  Thanks to your support, The Conscious Cat is growing rapidly. We have some exciting new things in mind for the new year, and we’re looking forward to continue to bring you all the information you need to keep your cats (and yourself) happy and healthy.

The seven tips listed below will get your year off to a good start and help make this your best year yet, for you and your cats!

1.  Feed a species appropriate diet

Nutrition is the foundation for good health. Cats are obligate carnivores and they need meat to thrive.  If you’re not already feeding a raw or grain-free canned diet, consider making this the year you make the switch. Your cats will thank you for it. You’ll find a wealth of information on feline nutrition, and on how to switch your cat to a healthier diet, right here on The Conscious Cat.

2.  Regular veterinary check ups

The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends a minimum of annual wellness examinations for all cats in its Feline Life Stage Guidelines. According to the guidelines, “semi-annual wellness exams are often recommended for all feline life stages by veterinarians and veterinary organizations.Their reasoning includes the fact that changes in health status may occur in a short period of time; that ill cats often show no signs of disease; and that earlier detection of ill health, body weight changes, dental disease, and so on, allows for earlier intervention.”

3.  Keep your cat’s teeth healthy

Dental disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for cats, and, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems including heart, kidney and liver disease. For more on why good dental health is so important for your cat, click here.

4.  Regular playtime

Make time to play with your cats. Regular playtime will not only keep your cat happy, it’s also a wonderful time for you to bond with your cat, and it helps you relieve your stress. Additionally, it provides exercise for kitty. Interactive toys make playtime fun for both of you. Consider puzzle toys for the times when you can’t play with your cats.

5.  Meditate with your cat

The benefits of meditation for humans have been scientifically proven. It just so happens that cats make the ideal meditation companion. For more on how to meditate with your cat, click here.

6.  Educate yourself about cat health

You are your cat’s guardian when it comes to health issues, and the more you know, the better off your cat will be.  You can count on us to bring you the latest information on everything you need to know to keep your cats happy and healthy.

7.  Do something for less fortunate cats

Helping others is an integral part of a life well lived, and it’s good for your health.  Even though we’d like to be able to, we can’t save every cat in need of a home, but there are things you can do to help, from donating money to your favorite shelter, to fostering cats for a local rescue, to volunteering time at a shelter to give the cats some love and attention.

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Meditating with Your Cat

Guest post by Stacia D. Kelly, PhD, MHt

My husband thinks it makes for a funny picture whenever I sit down to meditate. In our house, I usually have a cat or two as I sit cross-legged on the couch in my lap or somewhere nearby purring happily and meditating right along with me. Of course, said husband also freely admitted a week or so back that our girl Bella laid right down on his chest while he was listening to a Nancy Georges hypnosis session – shame on him for not listening to one of mine! 😉

Bastien, our youngest rescue, is learning to be a great hypnosis assistant. He’ll either curl up in my lap or next to my clients during a hypnotherapy session to settle right down for the 40 minutes or so, purring the entire time. And while he irritates his sister felines, Bella and Bijoux, since he’s so young, he is such a momma’s boy that he tries to do whatever I’m doing. If that means meditating, he’s right there with me. And, thankfully, my clients love him.

I wish I knew what’s going thru their minds when they curl up with me, but I know the soft purr and warm body only help to enhance my focus. Somehow, they just know the right spot and the right level to help you achieve that perfect moment of Zen.

Mine never interrupt; none of them ever have.

I’m not sure what the trigger is…the breathing, the music, the sudden calmness? Sagesse, an angel kitty now, was the only one who helped me through those late nights as a first time mom. She’d learned how to calm and meditate with me when she was a kitten, so, when I needed it most, she was right there next to me vibrating that same purr, in the same spot. She helped me make it through those first weeks. Gabe, our hunter, hit the same note when it was time for me to let him cross over. I wasn’t ready, but he was, and he let me know with that soft purr on just the right note.

So, how do you meditate with your cat? (I haven’t tried this with dogs, but please do and let us know the results!) Some are naturals…some require some guidance. Thankfully, mine have all gravitated right to it, but that may be because we make it such an intrinsic part of our household or it’s such a part of my nature, I only attract those who are inclined to be good about it too.

First, create a space for yourself that you are going to use consistently to meditate. This is a must, whether you’re trying to get your 4-legged to cooperate or not. It helps to set your subconscious up for success when you’re ready to sit down to focus. I use my couch and a cross-legged position. My body naturally falls into a receptive mode and starts to relax. My husband will meditate in bed and the cats are fine with it. (They refuse to participate if I’m in bed and meditating…instead I get the meows and the growls.) Wherever it is, make it consistent.

Next, start to introduce soft music when you’re out of the house, and they are more naturally at rest. Use harps, strings, nature sounds. Note: DO NOT USE music with BIRDS! They start stalking the CD player or the TV. I’ve watched it happen!

Next, use that same music they’ve been listening to during day for your relaxation/meditation sessions. You will see they start to quietly unwind and come to curl up next to you as your breathing evens out. Most will want to touch you in some way, so they may lie in your lap or next to you. Do NOT give in to to the need to acknowledge their presence. NO petting. If you must, lay a hand on them and keep it still. Remain focused on your meditation.

And, just breathe.

Open your eyes whenever you’re ready.

You can see our cat family at http://catklaw.com/kittens/ – this is our hidden yet dedicated site to all those who are familiar in our lives. I don’t post up often, but they are integral to our family.

For those interested in a Guided Meditation with their feline family members, please, post up! I’ll create one to share!

Stacia D. Kelly, PhD, MHt takes a whole mind-body-spirit approach to health and well-being and teaches her clients to do the same. She is the Mind-Body-Fusion Specialist. Breathe. Focus. Achieve. She is a Master Certified clinical hypnotherapist, a 1st degree black belt, and spends way too much time with her nose in a book. She writes paranormal romances with a very hypnotic style and tries to inject humor in all her non-fiction writing. She plays doorman (woman) to three cats while the young one is off to school and the husband is all over the state for either the day job or a band. Stacia is also the founder of CatKlaw, Inc., a Creative Solutions Company, and Mind-Body-Spirit Works, a Holistic Health Practice.

Stacia is offering one of her guided relaxations titled Relax Into Being as a free download.