Purrs of Wisdom

Conscious Cat Sunday: Be Kind to Yourself

cats_and_kindness

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~The Dalai Lama

Kindness is defined as “the quality of being friendly, generous and compassionate.” It’s a quality that I look for in almost every person I form any kind of relationship with – it matters that much to me. Kindness to cats, and all animals, is the most important to me, but kindness to other human beings is a close second. One of my pet peeves: people who are unkind to waiters or other service personnel.

Research suggests that positive emotions help contribute to better physical and emotional health. And kindness shouldn’t just extend to others, it should also be directed at yourself. Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Stop Making Yourself Miserable

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Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same. – Francesca Reigler

I usually offer tips and suggestions on how to live a happier life in this column, but sometimes, there is value in identifying what makes us miserable. Awareness is the first important step toward making lasting change, and becoming aware of self-sabotaging habits that get in the way of living our best life can help clear out negative mindsets.

It helps to understand that unhappiness is never the result of external circumstances, but rather, the way we react to those circumstances. Wayne Dyer had it right Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: The Value of Doing Nothing

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How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterwards. – Spanish Proverb

Sundays are for resting, and taking a break. And sometimes, the best way to spend a Sunday is to do absolutely nothing.

We live in such crazy busy times that stress has become the norm for most people, and because of that, most of us don’t even realize how stressed we are until we allow ourselves to slow down. It’s well known that the more stressed we are, the more damage we do not just to our mental health, but also to our bodies. Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Small Changes

Amber and Allegra

And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time. – Libba Bray

I love my life. I’m blessed with my two beautiful girls, Allegra and Ruby. I get to do work I love every single day. I have wonderful friends. I have a safe, warm home. And yet, as we got another foot of snow on Monday, I started to think about making some big changes. Namely, moving to a warmer climate where I will never have to shovel snow again.

I’ve lived in the same house for the last 30 years, so for me to even start to think about moving is a big deal. I have a love/hate relationship with change.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: The “Waiting for Spring” Edition

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In much of the United States, today marks the arrival of Daylight Savings Time. I’m not a huge fan of the time change. I’m an early bird, and I prefer it to be light when I get up in the morning. Mostly, I just wish they’d stop switching back and forth, which makes absolutely no sense to me. And I can guarantee you it doesn’t make sense to cats. They may like the “spring forward” change – breakfast an hour early! – but I’m pretty sure they’re not crazy about delayed meal times when we fall back in November.

But the one really great thing about Daylight Savings Time is that it means spring must be right around the corner. And after this seemingly never ending winter, it can’t come soon enough.Continue Reading

Taxes, Gratitude and Cats

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‘Tis the season. Many of us are working on our taxes, which, depending on your record keeping system, can be a delight for your feline assistants. After all, what’s more fun than diving into a shoebox full of receipts and watching them fly all over the place?

I spoil the fun for Allegra and Ruby by not using a shoebox system. My bookkeeping software, along with a pretty well organized file system, makes tax time about as painless as it can get, but every year, there’s still that moment, when I see my CPA’s number on the caller id, when I have to take a deep breath and brace myself for the bottom line. I have been blessed with a steadily growing business, which, of course, means that every year, I pay a little bit more in taxes.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Weather Mewsings

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Weather seems to be the dominant topic of many conversations these days, especially during this seemingly never-ending winter. I think it’s because weather is a unifying force. Love or hate the weather of the day, we all have to deal with it. Sharing weather stories is a great ice breaker (I know, bad pun.) And while different folks have different weather preferences, weather isn’t nearly as polarizing a topic as so many others, although I will admit to being tempted to hide some of my snow loving friends’ status updates from my Facebook newsfeed in recent days….

Weather, especially the recent stretch of severe winter weather in so many parts of the US, also teaches us a few things about lifeContinue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Meditating With Cats

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There is no question that meditation is good for us: it helps us handle the stress of daily life, it has numerous health benefits, and it is a wonderful way to get in touch with our true spiritual nature. In fact, there is so much evidence that meditation is good for you that it seems like meditation should be as much a part of our daily lives as breathing.

Once you’ve established a daily meditation practice, you can’t imagine not having it in your life, but until you get there, the thought of daily mediation seems to bring out a long list of excuses for most people. “I don’t have the time.” “I don’t know how.” “I can’t sit still.” You don’t have to meditate for hours to gain benefits from mediation. Even a 5 minute mini meditation can make a difference. Gradually increase the time. Ideally you want to meditate at least 20 minutes a day.

If you need inspiration to get started with a meditation practice, look to your cats! Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: The Gift of Jealousy

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To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is: a dissatisfaction with self. – Joan Didion

Jealousy is a complex emotion that everyone experiences at one time or another. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. And yes, cats get jealous, too.

Jealousy can be toxic. It makes you feel small and petty. On the face of it, jealousy seems to be directed at the other person, but ultimately, the only one suffering is you. It’s not easy to admit to being jealous, because it means facing your own insecurities and fears. Jealousy feels awful, and allowing yourself to indulge in it will almost always damage your soul.Continue Reading

Anya the Snowshoe Cat Teaches Lessons in Love

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Guest post by Will Hodges

After reading Buckley’s Story and having a chance to visit The Conscious Cat website, I wrote Ingrid to thank her for her wonderful ability to put into words the love she has shared with the cats in her life. I also wanted to share my story with her. I am honored that Ingrid decided to share my story with all of you.

I’m new to the world of cats. I was a dog person, having received my first dachshund when I was five. When I was young, none of my close friends owned a cat, and my first experience with one was when I was 20 years old and visiting a friend in Los Angeles. Their young kitty thought my suitcase was the litter box. That didn’t get me off to a good start when it came to having feline friends.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: A Personal Retreat

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Sometimes, no matter how much you love your life, it’s good to get away from it all. And one of the best ways to really get away from everything is a personal retreat. When you work from home the way I do, it’s challenging to unplug completely. There’s always one more email to check, one more comment to moderate, and one more cute photo of Allegra and Ruby to share.

The idea of a personal retreat is to disconnect from the business and distractions of every day life, and to have a chance to regroup on a mental, emotional and spiritual level. Continue Reading