Making Room for Gratitude

ocean waves
Carlsbad, California

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward

Happy Tuesday!  Hello Summer!  And how the heck are we in August already?!? Gah!

I have not had the opportunity to sit down and write to you about the tools, tips, and transformation from before, during, and after our Big Move out West because we have been going nonstop since I last wrote you.  And we have had some major life challenges as well.  But I promise, those posts will come.  It takes a lot of time and effort to share in detail with you when it comes to behavior modification, energy work, and inter-species communication.  When I have the time, you will hear all about it!

But when it comes to quickly sharing good news with the world, I cannot contain myself!  Which brings me to the point of this post: Gratitude.

(I will give myself 20 min to write this … And the clock starts NOW!)


Growing Gratitude

Last week on Conscious Companion’s Facebook page I was inspired to start a practice of recognizing all of the Good Things happening in life, specifically in regards to our animal companions, and how we are managing life with them.  The world has conditioned us to live in fear. And this carries over into our homes with our animal companions. 

We can get so wrapped up in our daily lives that we forget to see the good.  When we encounter minor and major frustrations we can easily overlook the miracles and magic, and small successes that are happening right in front of us.

It’s easy to overlook the positive side of every challenge and frustration.  It’s easy to focus on the negative.  So much crud and crap is being shared, talked about, and focused on. There is so much negativity in the news. And too many crazy people are receiving the spotlight.  Focus around the world is focused on fear and negativity. 

Where’s the Good Stuff?

There are GREAT things happening everywhere!  There are amazing things happening in our homes!  But we often don’t see them. We are focusing on the fearful, scary, or frustrating parts.

Where are we focused when things get a bit challenging in our homes?  Where does our mind wander when we (or our animal companions) are having a hard time? Are we exploring all of the options available?  Are we practicing patience? Are we staying in gratitude?  Are we anticipating a positive outcome? Are we recognizing small successes?

Most of the time we are not.

But we can change that!  We can condition ourselves to see small successes. We can learn to look at the highlights, instead of the low points. It takes practice and a little willingness to see things from a higher perspective, and to view the Big Picture. Once we start this practice, our lives with our animal companions will change dramatically, for the better. 


“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Be In Gratitude

Even in the lowest moments in life I can find something to be grateful for.  I can even find a way to laugh.  I have learned to do this through practice.

This tool has changed my life in more ways than I can explain. I am now keenly aware of how deeply my moods and attitude directly affect everyone around me, especially my animal companions.  Whether it’s during a training session, grooming them, cleaning around them, or hanging out as a family, they are very in tune with what I am going through.

We may not see it on the surface, but our animal companions are sponges for our emotions and moods.  They are literally soaking up all that we are sending out.  And many animals will reflect back whatever we are sending out. It’s taken me many years to recognize this.

These days I am very aware of what I am transmitting.

Now I catch myself when I start to fall into a downward spiral of frustration or fear.  If I am feeling angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, sad, or afraid, I will find one thing that I am grateful for.  I say it out loud.  When I do this I can literally feel a shift.  I can feel myself lighten up and feel better.  Then I am able to focus on more things that I am grateful for.

Once I am in gratitude I am able to look for solutions.  I am more willing to look at the circumstance from another perspective.  I am able to stay grounded. This helps me to steer clear of fear, frustration, or even reactivity.  Sometimes I am able to even laugh!

Once I do this, whatever I was so upset about starts to fade from fear or frustration and transform into trust and clarity.  Gratitude overtakes the monster mental scene I have created.  I can see more clearly.  Then I am ready to move forward and face the challenge with (a little more) grace and ease.  

gratitude_move energy into heart


 Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you’d see. ― Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal


 

There have been a lot of challenges recently for our family, and for our animal companions, but there were so many Good Things that have come out of every challenge. For example, Hocus’s reactivity issues seem to be fading fast.  Mr. Beaux, our 17 year young feline, continues to amaze me in every way.  We are all embracing health and happiness, and setting aside all kinds of fears.

Life is Good (because we continue to see it that way.)

If you are interested, here are a few other tidbits and challenges that I am grateful for this week:

  • We found an incredible all feline (cats only) veterinary specialist near our new home.
  • After Mr. Beaux had 3 teeth removed and jaw surgery, I became wholly aware of how much pain he had been in (and hiding) for a long time. This pain contributed to his lack of interest in food, and subsequent weight loss. (And NOT because “he is a picky eater!”) He is eating like a champ now! … More to come on this important cat misconception later.
  • Someone near and dear to me was diagnosed with Cancer, but all we are focusing on is perfect health and a complete healing. All we can see is someone who is free of cancer.
  • I was reminded how important and healing laughter is when I found this Instagram account and couldn’t stop laughing at the pet & wildlife ones.
  • Mr. Beaux reminded us all, once again, of two things: 1.Animals are never doing things out of spite; all behavior serves a purpose. It’s our job as their guardian to help them by becoming a “pet detective”. 2.  Litter boxes must be adjusted carefully for cats, post surgery.
  • Hocus did not react to Knox when he entered her sleepy space (multiple times this week).  They are now sleeping together in our bed, with zero sass.
  • I got back into meditation AND stopped feeling guilty about how much I procrastinate after I discovered this amazing video.

gratitude_conscious Companion


What are you grateful for this week?? I would truly love to hear!

What will you focus on this coming week? Will you stay in Gratitude?


“Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past; Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You… Be Free … Share.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

 

9 thoughts on “Making Room for Gratitude

  1. Jacqueline, Thank YOU! You have no idea how much that means to me. Truly. I adore you, so hearing such kind and loving feedback really makes me feel so GOOD!
    I all too often doubt that what I write/ share is really helping or inspiring others. But what you said has given me that boost to keep going! THANK YOU!
    I am so grateful our paths have crossed. You continue to inspire me, too!!
    Happy trills!

    Like

  2. Deana

    Amy, I so needed to read this. I have a lump in my throat because I’m trying not to cry. My poor dog Jack is my everything, I mean EVERYTHING. He was my child, so to speak….until I gave birth to a human baby last year. Despite my best efforts, he gets the shaft so many times and he can definitely tell when I am feeling anxious, because his mood changes. He is almost 13 and now has so many ailments – I don’t know if it’s truly his age causing it or if he is finally “giving up”. We have been very cognizant about giving him as many walks as possible, extra kisses and treats, and overall attention. It’s definitely been working but my type-A personality gets me so much of the time. Each day I try to live a more relaxed, simple life but the more I try it seems the more anxious I get about everything, because I am a control freak. My dog will always be my first born and this post was just what I needed to see. Not sure how I gravitated over here to find it, but I’m glad I did. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deana,
      Hey! First, thank you for sharing. It takes a LOT of courage (and relinquishing control) to share what you did here, and to be so trusting with a stranger. Second, I truly feel for where you are, and what you and Jack must be experiencing together.
      I have worked with many families who struggle with juggling life with a baby AND life with animal companions. It’s not easy with a baby and pets! Dedicate people parents and pet parents deserve medals of honor for both of those jobs when they are combined into one! Go YOU! You haven’t given up like so many parents do. You have done the best you can. There is nothing to feel guilty about. Stay in gratitude and joy for all that you have been through, and for all you are willing to learn. That is a beautiful place to be.
      Something else came to mind while I was reading your story. Has Jack had a full checkup recently? (blood, urine, etc?) That might shed some light into what is going on with him physically. Also there are a lot of energetic options that you can explore as well. It’s amazing what is available these days. In the meantime, feel free to reach out again to me. I am glad you did.
      Much love to you and your beloved Jack.

      Like

      1. Deana

        Yes, he has had bloodwork done and it appears that he has Cushing’s Disease. He’s on medication for it now and needs to be retested, plus he is on Rimadyl for arthritis in his legs. Plus he has 2 vertebrae in his spine that are rubbing together. He’s such a good boy, and I want to do the best for him. Reading your post just enlightened me in a way that other articles/blogs couldn’t. So thank you for that.
        I also forgot to tell you that we worked at Audubon around the same time. I worked in Finance and used to visit Miguel often during my lunch hour. I know he passed on but I still miss him.

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      2. Deana! Of course I remember you! We met after Katrina, correct? How amazing to reconnect with you here!! I miss Miguel too. I miss all of our zoo friends.
        And I remember seeing pics of Jack in the past. He’s black and white, correct?

        Like

  3. Pingback: Their World of Gratitude – Conscious Companion

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