You get peace of mind not by thinking about it or imagining it,
but by quietening and relaxing the restless mind. – Unknown
Have you ever met a restless cat? I didn’t think so. Cats do everything they do mindfully. Whether they’re eating, grooming or sleeping, they’re fully present. We could learn a lot from them.
Even though a certain amount of restlessness can propel you out of a rut and toward personal growth, constantly feeling anxious, nervous, agitated or on edge is not good for your mental, spiritual and physical health. I know that whenever I feel restless, it’s usually either because I’m trying to do too much, or because there’s something going on in my life that I’m not willing to deal with.
Regardless of what causes restlessness, the only way to deal with it is to calm your mind. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Spend quiet time alone. You can’t be everything to everybody. Carve out some time for yourself every day, even if it’s only a few minutes.
Hi everyone, it’s Ruby! Mom is taking a blogging break today, and she said Allegra or I could write something instead. Well, I beat Allegra to the computer, so it’s my turn!
Mom has been busy putting the finishing touches on her new book Purrs of Wisdom, which is going to come out very soon. It’s going to be the best book ever – because I’m on the cover!
Mom says it’s going to be published on something called a Kindle. What the heck is a kindle? Is it a kind of small cat? Mom says it’s the thing she’s been reading books on lately. It doesn’t even look like a book, it’s just a flat tablet in a cool pink case. Mom says not all Kindles have that cool pink case, though. But then, it’s no secret that Mom loves the color pink, so I suppose it was inevitable that she would get a cover like that.
I have always believed that animals 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 fortunate to have had a number of these animals in my life, and not surprisingly, most of my animal teachers have been cats.
I feel blessed that I’ve learned to open my heart to the lessons cats have taught me in my life. It all started with Feebee, my first cat, who was not only my primary support during some very dark days, but was also instrumental in guiding me toward a new career in veterinary medicine. He was followed by Amber, the original conscious cat, who is the subject of an upcoming book, and Buckley, the feline master teacher who changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. Allegra and Ruby are carrying on the tradition of teaching cats in my life.
About a year ago, I began sharing some of these feline lessons in conscious living in my Sunday Purrs column every week. The column became extremely popular Continue Reading
Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back
into the slow circles of nature, is a help. – May Sarton
Patience has never been my strong suit. My mother used to tease me about being impatient when I was little, and apparently, I haven’t changed much since then, because being patient is still a challenge for me. Oddly enough, I became a writer. If there’s anything that requires more patience than sitting in front of a blank screen, waiting to turn it into a book, I don’t know what is. For some reason, I can be patient with the writing process, but in other situations, I find it challenging.
Patience comes with wisdom, and you can learn to be more patient. Ironically, it takes patience to learn to be patient. The following tips can help:
Identify your triggers. Figure out what sets you off. Is it something a family member or co-worker does? Do you become impatient in certain situations, such as being on hold? For some people, physical triggers such as hunger, fatigue or thirst can trigger impatience. Continue Reading
My office is my favorite room in my house – which is a good thing, since I spend so much time in it! I have a big, white corner desk, a window with a beautiful view of the trees in my backyard, book shelves filled with treasured books and mementoes ,and a comfortable chair in one corner, which serves as meditation chair, editing chair, proofreading chair, and, of course, kitty cuddling chair.
Since I spend most of my day in my office, it’s not surprising that Allegra and Ruby do, too. They both like to hang out on the window perch next to my desk. They also like to help me work. You didn’t think I get all this writing done all by myself, did you?
As you can see in the photo at the very top, Allegra likes to sit right in front of my monitor. Continue Reading
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!
Their mom, not so much. Actually, I do like hot weather and don’t mind temps in the 90’s – but not when those 90’s are inside my house.
We were affected by the massive power outage that hit the Mid Atlantic after a severe storm known as a “derecho,” a term I don’t ever want to see in a weather report again, came through here this past Friday night. But why don’t I let the girls tell you what happened.
Allegra: Friday night, we were all snuggled up in bed with Mom, and I had just started to drift off to sleep when out of nowhere, this rush of wind hit the side of the house. It felt like the whole house was shaking!
Ruby: Wha? What’s happening? I was sleeping!
Allegra: I jumped off the bed and ran to my safe place.
Happy Independence Day from Allegra, Ruby and Ingrid
Please keep your cats safe during the festivities. A cat’s sense of hearing is much more acute than ours, and so the noises are much more intent for them. Add to that the lack of understanding of what is going on and you can have a very scared cat on your hands. Here are some tips for helping your cat cope with fireworks, thunderstorms, and other loud noises:
Create a safe space for your cat. If you’re having a party, unless your cat is very social and doesn’t mind a lot of commotion, keep her confined to a quiet bedroom. Put her favorite blanket, bed or toys in with her, along with a litter box and fresh water. Shut the curtains and drapes and turn on lights to lessen the flash of the fireworks.Continue Reading
Reiki is an energy therapy that originated in Japan. The word Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is a Japanese composite word usually translated as “universal life energy”. It is based on the idea that all living beings have life energy flowing through them. When life energy is high, you, or your cats, are healthy and balanced, more relaxed and less likely to get sick. When it is low, cats and humans alike will be more easily affected by stress and less resistant to illness. Reiki helps return the body to its natural state of balance and well-being.
One of the tenets of Reiki are the five principles, sometimes also known as the five precepts. These “rules to live by” are based on the teachings of Mikao Usui, who developed the practice in the 1920’s. And you don’t have to be a Reiki practitioner to find these principles helpful Continue Reading