3 Words to Change Your Neural Pathway: I love You.

If we understood the power of our thoughts,

we would guard them more closely.

If we understood the awesome power of our words,

we would prefer silence to almost anything negative.

In our thoughts and words, we create

our own weaknesses and our own strengths.

Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts.

We can always replace negative with positive.

– Bettie Eadie

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Hello Bright Light!

How the heck are we nearly halfway through February?  Lawdy.  Well, since many consider this the month of Love, I thought it would be fun to talk about the Circle of Love and the Lenses of Love. 

If you have been flowing with this blog from the get-go, then you know I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day due to multiple deaths around that date.  Plus, now I know that our animal companions offer A Love Not of This World everyday.  Now I see Every Day is the 14th!  And … Feb 20th is not only national cherry pie day, it’s Love Your Pet Day!

So, this will be a new take on Love with a cool twist.  This post is something I Am really passionate about.  It’s empowering.  And I promise, if you let it in, it will change your lives. 

So grab your tea, water, or wine, invite your best fur friend for a cuddle sesh, and get comfy.  It’s about to get Real. 

🎙(Oh, if you are not a big reader, and if you’d prefer to listen to the written portion of this post as a podcast, you can listen here.)🎙


As an avid student of both philosophy and positive behavior modification, I understand and appreciate how challenging it can be to change the way we believe and think.  As Empath and Intuitive, I also appreciate that how we feel is directly linked to what we are thinking and believing.  It’s all connected.  But sometimes, it’s a big annoying wheel of feels.

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All the Feelz

If you want to change your life, you must change your mind and change your brain … on purpose. -Bill Crawford


Change and the Three Brains

There is much more at play, beyond our emotions, when it comes to change. Neuroscience research has shown that we have three fully functioning “brains”.  Check out this quote below:

 Our head (cephalic) brain is best suited for creativity, logic, and problem solving. Our heart (cardiac) brain serves us best when accessed for passion and compassion. And our gut (enteric) brain is the source of courage and self-protection. The vagus nerve is the communication channel between the three brains. 90% of the brain signals traveling through the vagus nerve are traveling up; only 10% travel down!

How our thoughts and brain influence our lives is overlooked and greatly underappreciated.  More importantly, how we can become more aware and influential of this process is essential if we want anything to be different. 

It begins within.

The quote above sums up where we can start.  All we need is a little willingness to change our mind about things.  Regardless of the form: a reactive rover, a frustrating feline, a careless coworker, a nosy neighbor, a sassy sister, or bothersome brother – we can change how we perceive their behavior, and how we respond to them in every circumstance.

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“For what you see, feel, hear and experience depends a good deal on where you are standing and also where your mind is.”

-C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew, Chronicles of Narnia


Years ago, I discovered both people and pets fall into one or two elemental groups: Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Metal.  Holistic health practitioners (for both people and pets) classify patients according to the five-element theory.  This includes:

  • body structure
  • tendencies
  • temperaments
  • emotions
  • positive and negative behaviors
  • moods
  • illnesses

These can all be viewed in relation to the five elements.  Usually there are one or two elements that are predominant in a pet or person. (There are links at the end of this post that go into this in detail.)

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Our big grey bear of a cat was a Wood personality.  Our dog is a combo of Earth and Wood, and I can be a combo of both wood and Fire.  The emotion associated with the Wood element is anger.  When anger predominates, one becomes easily upset and is unable to appropriately restrain their feelings. “Wood” get angry easily and are prone to physical reactions and shouting. These unstable emotions result in the uneven circulation of Qi (energy) and Blood, creating a generalized state of tension and stress.

The combination of combustible cats and canines created very heated moments in our house.

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Mrs. White, from the cult classic movie “Clue” sums up the combustion.

Compassion is a choice.

Some days I was less than unhelpful when it got heated.  Being both a triple Sagittarius and a Fire Personality within the 5 Chinese elements, I tend to get “heated” quickly.   When I am stressed, I can become overwhelmed wicked fast.  When I am on my last nerve I can get triggered quickly.   When I am at my worst, my temper could rival a volcano.   

But on my best days, I am calm, collected, and can cruise through any crisis.

Thankfully, my best days are the majority these days.  But I wasn’t always at my best.  Before I began practicing what I call mind training, and keeping an open heart, I was reactive.  My world was often overwhelming.  My default was reacting.

Fear ran the show.

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But as I promised in an earlier post, I have to be honest.  Here’s the truth: My pendulum can swing wildly from unconditional love to oh-hell-no.  On the days when I am maxed out emotionally and physically, I need my space.   And I need peace and quiet.  Period. 

But I also need love.

Just like our animal companions, when we are at our worst, this is when we need kindness, unconditional love, self-care, and compassion.  But in the moment – when we are feeling drained, pulled at, and impinged upon — we can become reactive to the ones we love most.

That’s when WE need LOVE the most.

When I say “we need love”, I am referring to bringing love into our awareness, and letting the Voice for Love run the show. – not the fearful ego.  I call the ego “Drop Dead Fred”.  Do you remember that character from the movie?  He’s beyond obnoxious.  And so is the monkey mind that tries to take over when we are tired. 

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Drop Dead Fred doing his damnedest to influence his person, as she begins to no longer listen to him

Regardless of how much we are struggling in the moment, however fearful, frustrated, drained, strained, or upset we are, we have a choice. We don’t have to allow the ego to take the wheel and drive.  We don’t have to become overwhelmed, upset, angry, irritated, or reactive to anyone or anything, including inanimate objects, strangers, or the ones we truly love.

We Can Choose Love.

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Being An Extension of Love

There’s an empowering saying that I live by these days:  We are either extending love or we are calling for love.  

This is not limited to people.  This goes for every living being and their behavior.  I will talk more about this in the book, but for now, think of extending love as BEING an extension of what you consider LOVE to be.  For me, it’s as simple as being kind and compassionate.  Think of “calling for love” as anything other than that.  A “Call for Love” can come in a myriad of forms; some of which are downright ugly and scary.

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This combustible convo might have occurred in our home when I was at my worst.

But here’s the kicker that’s easier said than done:  Regardless of either form (calling for love, or extending love) the response should be love. 

Now, clearly, I do not always remember this.  And even sometimes when I do remember this, I still react.  BADLY.   In fact, there is one particular family member who I have the toughest time NOT reacting to … on. the. reg.

He is what I would call my greatest lesson in love.  I call him that because he is teaching me, through all the ways I am triggered, that regardless of the form of his behavior, my response can be love.

When I choose to respond with love, it changes everything. 



As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.

– ACIM, Chapter 8: The Journey Back

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Remembering this powerful Truth brings me into a state of higher awareness, compassion, and kindness.  Remembering this allows me to step back and become the observer of what is occurring within my environment, rather than reacting.  Remembering this brings me peace.  When I am at peace, I can be peaceful and extend this peace outward. When I am at peace, I am kind with myself and others.  The videos below describes what I am talking about. 

3 Words to Change Your Neural Pathway:


Part 1

Part 2


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Kindness reflects our inherent oneness with each other, while attack drives us still further apart in our awareness. – Ken Wapnick, The Healing Power of Kindness, Vol. 1: Releasing Judgment


When we really understand and appreciate the power of neural pathways and how they are created in the brain, we take our power back.  We learn how to truly let go of unhelpful habitual behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs.  When we appreciate the power of perception, we empower ourselves.

Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ever-changing potentials, anything is possible.

We can become conscious of what we focus on.  We can become mindful of what we are mindful of.  We can replace the negative with something positive. We can choose to re-frame it in our Mind.

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When we are faced with everyday life situations, we have an opportunity to notice.  There is always a very revealing way that we can begin to monitor our minds.  We can do this with practical matters we find difficult or challenging. 

Imagine.

What would happen if you could say, “I love you.” when someone is behaving completely bonkers.  What if they were out of their mind and you could still think it silently.   Imagine if, while your dog was reacting to something in his/her environment, you didn’t react, too.  Imagine calmly saying to your canine companion, “I love you.”

Imagine the possibilities. 

Imagine the miracles.

We can begin to watch how we respond when our family, ourselves, partner, friends, strangers, coworkers, or animal companions are stressed, stressing us out, or going through a crisis.  During these trying times, our unconscious feelings will surface.  When they do, we often project those fears out, unfortunately, onto everyone from strangers to the ones who love us with all that they are. 

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It’s important to never underestimate the depth of our unconscious fear of returning to the mind.  It’s also important to become aware of our attraction to blaming outside circumstances (in whatever form they may be) for our inner condition.  Regardless of their reactivity, or their behavior, we get to choose. 

We always have the power to choose how we respond.

We can choose to react, or to observe.  We can choose to listen to the voice for love, or the voice for fear.  We can choose kindness and compassion, or we can choose to be critical. We can choose to extend love, or call for love.  

Let’s consider choosing Love.

“The only path wide enough for us all is love.” ― Kamand Kojouri

But first, let’s begin by being loving and kind to ourselves; we cannot give to others what we do not have.  It begins within.  Our hearts and minds are One. If we want to give to others, in challenging times, we have to start with kindness and compassion with ourselves.

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Over the decades, I have been down, broken, and fragmented by every pain imaginable.  I have been at my lowest of lows and at my worst.  But eventually I left the storm and shadows and returned to the light.  I remembered that We Are One, and that at our core, we are Love.  

Then the rainstorm came over me
And I felt my spirit break
I had lost all of my belief, you see
And realized my mistake
But time threw a prayer to me
And all around me became still

I need love, love’s divine
Please forgive me, now I see that I’ve been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name

Oh I, don’t bend, don’t break
Show me how to live and promise me you won’t forsake
‘Cause love can help me know my name

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💜Finding Peace Together, Near The End💜

Note:  These videos were created during a very challenging time in our lives.  Not only was a family member going through constant chemo, but in addition to my career, I was the primary caretaker for a geriatric feline family member who was struggling physically.  He was a wood personality, and was on hospice care at home.  All of these circumstances were emotionally and physically challenging for everyone in our family.      

Choosing Love, kindness, and compassion was essential.

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When it comes to being the guardian of an aging animal companion or family member with health complications, even the most loving people have their limits.  The daily stresses and struggles our beloveds go through as they are aging can weigh on their caretakers, too.  Acknowledging this is essential.   

Have compassion for yourself.  Practice Self Care while you are caring. 

But Never forget this:  No matter the challenge you are facing, there is always another way of seeing your circumstances.  We are never a victim of circumstances.  Life is flowing through us.  We are One.


So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself. ― Alan Wilson Watts


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Oh, and before you go, take a listen to this oldie but goodie… “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel .  It’s a beautiful reminder that we don’t need the ones we love to be anything but just the way they are.  We shouldn’t need conditions to change to love them better.  Loving them for all that they are is True Love.  This is a love that is unconditional.  

I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble

We never could have come this far

I took the good times; I’ll take the bad times

I’ll take you just the way you are

 I said I love you and that’s forever

And this I promise from the heart

I could not love you any better

I love you just the way you are

 Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel


Related Reading / Recommended Links & Videos:


If you would like support with your aging animal companion you are welcome to contact me.  

If you are also an Empath, HSP, Starseed, or Intuitive, you are invited to join our loving commUNITY!

You can learn more about caring for aging animals here, and force-free behavior modification here.

Be well. Be kind. We are all in this together! 

Every Day Is the 14th!

“It seems to me that love is everywhere. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” -Love Actually

Valentine’s Day is one of those days that people seem to either love or loathe.  But here’s the deal: Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be something we dread.  February 14th doesn’t have to be limited to cards and candy.  And it certainly shouldn’t be limited to the human loves in our lives.  Animals can be our Valentines, too!

Check out how you can make every day of the year, February 14th:

Conscious Companion

 This fire that we call Loving is too strong for human minds, but just right for souls.  ― Aberjhani, Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love

One of my animal soulmates, Magma, a wise and gentle Aldabra Tortoise who is nearly 100 years of age


Are You All About The Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is one of those days that people seem to either love or loathe.  Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of Love and St. Valentine.  The history of this centuries-old holiday stems from ancient Roman rituals, but today February the 14th  has been taken over by the chocolate, flower, lingerie,  and greeting card companies.

Valentine’s Day has morphed into a world wide day of obligatory gift giving.   Men and women usually forget that the day is coming, then at the last…

View original post 1,758 more words

Every Day Is the 14th!

 
This fire that we call loving is too strong for human minds, but just right for souls.  ― Aberjhani, Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love 

One of my soulmates, Magma, a wise and gentle Aldabra Tortoise who is nearly 100 years of age

 


 

Are You All About The Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is one of those days that people seem to either love or loathe.  Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of Love and St. Valentine.  The history of this centuries-old holiday stems from ancient Roman rituals, but today February the 14th  has been taken over by the chocolate, flower, lingerie, and greeting card companies.

Valentine’s Day has morphed into a world wide day of obligatory gift giving.  Many of us forget that the day is coming, then at the last minute we scramble to find something love-worthy for our new lover or life partner.  After the last minute shopping is done, we often realize that our V-day gift for our Valentine is awkwardly over-the-top or given with very little thought.   I have been (and have had) both of those types of Valentine’s over the years.   And considering the true history of the date, I don’t really honor the whole gig.

Personally, I could honestly care less about the day itself.  Years ago it took on a whole new meaning for me when I had to suddenly say goodbye to three of my furry valentines on Valentine’s weekend (on three separate occasions!).  I was single each time, so each of their deaths were a whopper of a heartbreak.  After several life changing losses around Valentine’s Day, I started to look at February 14th  very differently.


 A Day of Despondence?

If you are one of the fortunate few who are cerebrating with someone who plans ahead and gives with their whole heart, you are blessed indeed.   But not everyone is so fortunate.  Valentine’s Day can be a depressing day for many.  Some are sad to be single.  Some are miserable in a relationship.  Some have tragically lost their life partner.  Valentine’s Day can be a brutal reminder of circumstances in life that some would rather not admit.

But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a day of despondence.

This post is my way of suggesting another way of looking at Valentine’s Day.  And if you are able to see February 14th in a new light, you might look at the other 364 days differently, too!


 If I know what love is, it is because of you. – Hermann Hesse

Great Loves

I would like to ask you a few questions, and I hope that you will at least consider answering them.  Here goes:

Have you loved before?

Have you been loved by another?

What did each of those loves feel like?

How often do you say I love you?

Who do you say it to?

Have you experienced unconditional love?

How many souls have you loved in this life?

Who has been/is your true love in this life?

When I asked myself those questions and answered  honestly I laughed and smiled at the highly varied memories and images that come to my mind.  Some are painful.  Some are hilarious.  Some are breathtakingly beautiful.  But they all have one thing in common:   Love was at the center of it all.

Reflecting on those questions above helped me to really see the truth about Love in my life.  I have to admit: I have been blessed.  If I had experienced just one great love in this life, I could gladly pass in peace.

But I didn’t have just one great love.

I have had countless great loves in this lifetime.  Some were my family, my friends, my romantic partners, my husband, and my soul sisters.  But since childhood, most of my Great Loves were not human; they were from the animal kingdom.

“You don’t need to justify your love. You don’t need to explain your love. You just need to practice your love.  Practice creates the master.” – Miguel Ruiz

Last Day At Zoo cockatoos
Great loves aren’t limited to people.

What’s Love Anyway?

At some point in our lives we will have a quick crush, a fleeting fling, a rocky romance, or a soulful, fiery, and passionate love affair.  But not everyone has known true love.   True love is life-changing.  It’s Real.  It breaks your heart wide open.  It allows you to feel peace, clarity, and compassion far beyond what you have known before.  It can cut through to your deepest core.  It allows you to experience what it means to be whole, healed, and who you really are.  It is all encompassing.  It is unconditional.

This is love.

Love is intended to be a circle.   Love is intended to be endless. Infinite.  Unconditional.  Love is not a one way flow.  Love gives, and love receives.   Love allows us to be raw and open.  Love allows us to be exactly who we are, flaws and all.  Love heals the broken. Love heals the heart.  Love allows us to grow and heal each other.  Love Gives Unconditionally.

This is love.

True Love dives deep.  It’s never ending.  It’s the kind of love that makes your heart feel at peace, but also race with joy when you think about your beloved.  It’s the kind of love that you would do anything for.  It’s selfless love.  It’s the kind of love that reminds you what it’s like to really feel alive.  It’s the kind of love that we all desperately hope never ends.  And it’s also the kind of love that breaks your heart in half when it ends abruptly.  But true Love will also immediately enter into any mind and heart  that truly wants it.  Real love is incapable of asking for anything.

This is true, real love.

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“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,  And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”  ― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Looking Through Love Lenses

When we talk about “love” and the idea of what Valentine’s Day represents, we usually think about a lover, a spouse, our mother, father, sibling, or maybe a soul sister.  But what about the other soul family in our lives?

I’d like to ask you another question:  How many of your romantic, family,  or friend relationships included all of those traits listed above?   Which of the love relationships in your life have never failed to give you those kind of experiences?   Who has given you an endless, unconditional love?   Who has loved you ceaselessly?   Who has loved you without conditions or judgement?

I will honestly admit that only one of my romantic relationships has given me those true love LOVE Soul matesexperiences, and only a small handful of friendships have. (Thank you to my husband and to my soul sisters!!)

Although only a few of my personal relationships have been based on selfless, unconditional love, there have been countless others who gave me every one of those “true love” experiences that I had always yearned for.   These souls knew what unconditional love was.  They had a endless supply.  And they gave it freely, without conditions or judgement. 

All of these souls were animals.

Their love was there when I least expected it.   But their love was also there when I needed it most.  They were the ones who taught me how to truly love.  They taught me how to let someone love me.  They taught me that it was safe to be myself.  They taught me that only the courageous ones will love you for all that you are.  They showed me what it means to love unconditionally and without judgement.  Their love healed me.  They have been some of my truest and deepest loves in this life.  They were (and are) my soul mates.



People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, someone who shows you everything that is holding you back. This is someone who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important soul you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.  Soul mates come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. 

A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master.  ― E. Gilbert


 Great Love Brings Great Gifts.

Loving another and having them love you back is an obvious gift. But opening your heart only to later have it aching in pain can be another gift in strange wrapping paper.  The downside to loving fiercely can be painful, but it does have its gifts.   My animal soulmates have taught me this lesson many times.

During heartache and loss we can receive gifts.  These gifts are immeasurable and life changing if we are willing to see these gifts.  With every one of them that passed, my heart broke, but it healed and grew stronger.  It allowed me to love others more, and to be prepared for their inevitable passing or departure out of my life.

Here are a few other life lessons that my Great Loves have taught me over the years:

  • Soul mates can come in all shapes, sizes, and species.
  • Our love for them never dies, even when their bodies do.
  • Their love for us never fades, even when they leave this earth.
  • The love that you shared never ends; it remains with you forever.
  • The unconditional love they offer us is a gift.
  • We often take this gift for granted.
  • These gifts teaches us how to love ourselves unconditionally.
  • Great loves teach us what it really means to love others unconditionally
  • They teach us how to love and appreciate ourselves every day.
  • Love is right there, waiting for us to see it.

 

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.  I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you.  ― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets


These souls are just a few of my Great Loves:

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Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. -Franklin P. Jones

 


Make Every Day the 14th!

Whether you are sexy and single, miserably married, happily hitched, blissfully bonded, proud and poly, or silently separated, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be something we dread.  February 14th doesn’t have to be limited to cards and candy.  And it certainly shouldn’t be limited to the human loves in our lives.

Just think about all of the love we are missing out on if we only include the people!  Your Valentine could be sitting right next to you now, purring in your lap, or wagging a happy tail as you enter the room.  Your soul mate could be covered in scales, or brightly colored feathers.  He could run like the wind, or she could soar like an eagle.  True Love is not limited to human form.

Expand your horizon.  Look for love in all of the animal relationships in your life.  Your cat is not just a cat.  Your dog is not just a dog.  Your horse, rat, parrot, pig and lizard aren’t just pets.  All of them could be some of your greatest loves.   They can be your Valentine, too!

Learn to see love everywhere.  Look into their eyes and let them reflect love back to you.  Animals can be the bridge to the kind of love we are looking for … if we allow them to be.  Their love is the kind of love that is everlasting.  And it’s right there in front of us.  We just have to recognize it and accept it. Let that love in.  If we learn to shift our perspective to recognize all of the loves in our life, we may learn to look forward to February 14th!

Let’s make every Valentine’s Day about the great loves in our life.  Years ago I adopted the famous phrase in Outkast’s song, “Every day’s the 14th!” , to remind myself to give my love to them every day, to accept their love every day, and to remember the love we shared every day. – Not just on Valentine’s Day.

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 It seems to me that love is everywhere.  If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around. -Love Actually