In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how
gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. – Buddha

Last week, we talked about why conscious living is good for us and for our cats. The quote above suggests another component to conscious living that’s also very important: gracious living.

The definition of “gracious” is “characterized by kindness and warm courtesy, “of a merciful and compassionate nature” and “characterized by charm, beauty and elegance.” I think these are all things worth striving for, and I also think that our cats already have all of these qualities.

How can we allow more grace into our lives?

  • Remember that noone is in charge of your happiness except you. Cats most definitely have that one down pat.
  • Make at least three people smile every day. Cats do this for us without effort. I can’t count the number of times each day that I smile because of something Allegra and Ruby are doing, or simply because of how cute they are!
  • Practice letting go. Don’t hold grudges. Practice forgiveness. Cats are good at this. Have you ever accidentally stepped on a cat’s toe? Most likely, you heard a little scream of protest, and you probably felt absolutely horrible for being so careless. But notice how a few minutes later, while you’re still feeling like the worst cat mom on the planet, your cat has already moved on and completely forgotten about the incident?
  • Meditate. Even five minutes a day can make a difference. Cats are masters at meditating. What else do you think they’re doing when their sitting sphynx-like with their eyes half closed?
  • Don’t worry about what other people think of you. Have you ever seen a cat give even one second’s thought about whether other cats like her?

Let your cats be your guide when it comes to gracious living. I promise you, your life will be better for it.

25 Comments on Sunday Purrs: Gracious Living

  1. Beautiful post! I enjoyed it all and shared to my facebook page… and stole the Buddha quote 🙂 Thank you very much!

  2. I really feel our pets pick us for a reason. When I look back at all the furry friends in my life, I can really see they each had a specific lesson for me. I guess I am a slow learner because so many stayed so long. I am not going to change that!

  3. Why is it that humans have the hardest time with the “letting go” part and the “not caring how people think of you” part? They could learn so much from us if they set their minds to it, don’t you think?
    ~ Maxwell

  4. I love this! We can learn quite a few lessons from our cats. Mine have taught me all the things you have listed at one time or another. I have very few friends like that. My cats have got me out of depression several times. When i am really down they help me. They seem to know when things are not right. I try to make people laugh all the time. However, let’s face it. I am not near as good as a cat!

  5. You do speak to me Ingrid. Wonderfully inspiring post.
    Letting go has been the hard one for me…BUT, I’m finally getting there and it is truly FREEING, and that’s the best feeling in the world.

  6. Much needed reminder for me. It’s so easy to get off track, whether by a stumble or a shove. Keeping this in mind sure is key to keeping sane.

  7. I read this one twice. Thinking as I read it, how my precious Steeler came into my life and how I could not make her well no matter how much I and her vets did for her. She was the essence of so many of the traits, as you have written. Through her, I did learn a lot and while my world exploded as it did, the new furbabies came into my life. You know that one. So did I learn anything from my beautiful Steeler, besides how she could put fear in a person in the blink of an eye. Yes almost everyone of the suggestions. Letting go of some of the suggestions, but there is no real way to let go of every emotion that lies beneath the surface of life.

    • Of course there is no way to let go of every emotion, Bernie – the goal is to try and let go of the ones that weigh us down. There can be beauty even in sadness and grief, but holding on to emotions like hate and anger only hurts the person holding on to them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *