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

 

Read My Thoughts, Human.

Do you ramble on about your daily troubles to your pets?  Do you pour out your heart to your animal companions, only to watch them stare blankly back at you?  Have you ever looked at your devoted canine companion and wondered ‘What is she thinking?’.

I do. – a lot.

Well, thanks to a brand new device, we can all eliminate that mystery now!  The Speech Articulating Device (S.A.D) is an innovative device that reads your dog’s (or cat’s) mind, and then translates his/her thoughts to you!

Check it out:

Be sure to watch the B.T.S. outtakes, because they are just as hilarious.


“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho

Source

Didga, the Cat with Mad Skateboarding Skills!

A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime. -Mark Twain, Notebook, 1895

Didga the Skateboarding Cat _cat _skate board_Clicker training for cats

Behold the cat that loves to skateboard … and who does it well, I might add.  Meet Didga, a two and a half year young clicker trained rescue cat who shows us that cats are not only clever, but they can “Drop In” with the best of them!

Check out this video of Didga showing off her Mad Skateboarding Skills for local kids at a skate park:

Didga’s Story

Didga was rescued from a shelter at 13 weeks. At 2 and a half years young, Didga is teaching people everywhere what cats are capable of!  She and her human, Robert Dollwet, want cat guardians to understand the value of responsible cat ownership by keeping their cats indoors, while showing people that they can teach their feline friends to walk on a leash, and other fun activities. This kind of positive, force-free training gives “the indoor cat experiences like those of an outdoor cat BUT without the dangers”.

Check out Didga in her first Skateboarding video here!

You can see more videos of Didga in action at her YouTube channel.

The next time you think your cat can’t learn, come back and watch these videos of Didga in action.

Dogs have owners, cats have staff.  

images via catmantoo

Robert Dollwet operates Malbu Dog Training in Australia.

Dog Park Crazies

dog-park

If you have ever been to a dog park, chances are you have met one … weirdos at the dog park.

Well the folks at Portlandia on the IFC made a hilarious spoof about them.

Watch their comedic interpretation of them here:

 

There are no crazy dogs; Just crazy dog people. 

Even CEO Cats Can’t Resist the Urge

Even Business Cats Act Like Normal Cats

Boxing Day is Everyday for Cats After Christmas!

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Mr. Beaux (19 years of age) and his buddy Knox (9) enjoying some Box Time under our Christmas Tree



Many people around the world are celebrating Boxing Day today! Different countries celebrate this annual event with their personal heritage and traditions.

But here in our home, this is how our feline family members celebrate Boxing Day …

cat in a box boxing day

No matter the stage, size or species, all cats love boxes. Whether they are a tiger or tabby, a kitten or senior, a Good Box Makes Life Better.

Cats actually need boxes!

📦 Not only are boxes perfect for cats, who are both Predator AND Prey, but experts believe a cardboard box is just as important as food, water, and a litter box!

📦 Cardboard is insulating! It helps to maintain their body temperature in both hot and cold environments.

📦 Boxes offer much needed mental and physical stimulation for cats, while providing safe places of refuge and security.

Albert_Low sided box for senior cats.jpg
Senior & Geriatric Cats need low-sided boxes.

Did you know …?

Cardboard is insulating for cats!

When a cat burrows down into a box, the cardboard assists in maintaining the cat’s body temperature.  This is how cats maintain their “thermal neutral zone”; cats can more easily maintain their body temperature without having to expend a lot of precious energy.

Conscious Companion_cats_hiding_dezi and roo tunnel _cat tunnel_why does my cat_why cats love boxes_house panther_coyright Amy martin


Boxes can also be used for Stationing! 

Check out how, in the short video below:

Using a Box 📦 for Stationing 📍

https://youtu.be/8Q6eFLDzAmo




These are a couple of recent pics of our sweet Knox appreciating the gifts of tissue paper & Christmas boxes. 🐱


Discover all the fun facts in my article,

➡ “Why Cats Like Boxes”!


knox-in-his-box

Rather than tossing out all of the tissue paper and boxes after the Christmas commotion, consider offering your feline family member a great box! Giving your cat a box not only helps him/her, but is also a cool way to recycle.


Learn more at our Website!


Related Reading:

“Why Cats Like Boxes”!

It’s More Than Just A Box!

Lions! Tigers! Leopards and Boxes! Oh My!

Covert Cougars!

Rocky, my brother’s adolescent cat enjoying a deep, high-sided box after playtime.
Boxes should be sized appropriately for each cat’s age and stage in life.

M.I.A. Shoes

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Now we know the truth behind those missing shoes in our homes.

Animal Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving TIme In Our Home

Daylight Savings Time never ends, or begins in the world of a hungry animal.