Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shanghai's Art of Focus

Sometimes when we try to protect ourselves, we can inadvertently keep out the good that is coming our way. Shanghai, a gorgeous Asian Leopard Cat, is shy and would rather not have to protect himself physically in daily life. All of his senses are tools that he uses to keep engaged in the world, yet has physical scars as evidence of allowing the universe to work magic on his behalf. How can that be?

Learning the art of focus is practicing energy protection. Shanghai can help you learn to filter distractions as he asks you to go into hiding for just a short time. As you close your eyes and exhale, feel Shanghai and his ancestors surround you. As Shanghai creates the vision of himself in the wild, feel what he is feeling. Every blade of grass beckons investigation. Every sound requires stillness to discern the message. The weather communicates his time spent for daily activities. Rather than focusing on what he doesn't want to happen today, he leaves himself open to new experiences. He is making room for something better in his life.

Shanghai was having difficulty protecting himself. He didn't know he would find the perfect home at the sanctuary where he would never have to protect himself again. He trusted. By practicing the art of focus, he was investing his attention into making his life a positive experience. Sometimes what appears to be a negative experience that leave us with physical scars can often guide us on an accelerated path of spiritual growth. We trust even though at the time, it doesn't look good on the surface. Focus on what you want, and the distractions will fall away. You will always be protected. Send Shanghai and the animal spirits gratitude as they have cleared the way for a positive experience in your life.

Monday, June 25, 2007

WHO AM I?

Look close as I sit and watch you walk by. It is easy to hide because I am so small. I am shy by nature, but I don't like attention because I can't move as quickly as I might need to if I was in danger. I have scars on my body from trying to protect myself before coming to the sanctuary. Sometimes, I am not sure what to do, so I can get into trouble. I like a quiet, peaceful home. Peek into my home and see Who I Am.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sassy's Channels of Emotion

Do you ever feel irritable and impatient with everyone around you? Sassy, a little Caracal full of fire and hiss, knows how it feels to be calmly laying and minding her own business when Rusty, her mate, walks by when least expected and interrupts her peace. If you feel the same way, Sassy has a couple of ideas to share with you that help her regain her internal equilibrium so she can re-attune herself to her responses to Rusty and her environment.

Though the feelings that certain people, events and situations awaken within us may be quite strong, we can channel them into a variety of activities. Choosing this new way of BEING begins with closing your eyes and relaxing. Ask Sassy to lay down beside you as take a deep breath and think about how you react with your intense emotions. Sassy reminds us our reactions are ours to control when we accept that the emotional responses we have to the world around us need not dictate how we choose to BEhave. For example, instead of lashing out, we can take up creative pursuits by our joy, pain, sorrow or passion, and discovering we are in possession of a deep reservoir of imagination we can draw upon when in need of inspiration.

When we choose to respond this way, we are empowered to make constructive use of our feelings regardless of the nature of the circumstances unfolding around us. We will see and acknowledge that the path we choose to take is ours to determine. We will feel less irritable and calmer once we recognize that we do not have to react peevishly to the tumultuous feelings coursing through us. We can maximize our experience by creating new channels of emotions. To BE or not to BE empowered is the question Sassy leaves us with as we send her heartfelt thanks.

Monday, June 18, 2007

WHO AM I?

I am a small ball of fire. I don't have much patience especially for my mate. I will wait under the bushes and then swat him as he walks by or hiss at him as he quickly runs passed me. I do love him and will let him groom me until my hair disappears. I sometimes cuddle up next to him. I am not as friendly as he is, but I enjoy watching all the activity around my home. Don't take too long to guess Who I Am.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

WHAT IF?

The cats ask, "WHAT IF........You were aware and remembered you can take the cat out of the wild, but you can't take the wild out of the cat. How do you think captivity affects us?"

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Pawsitive Positionality

Everyone knows we can't live without water. We are going to have plenty of experiences that will help us remember this vital fact, but maybe not for the physical reasons we think. One aspect of animal communication is that the language is subtle because it is from the heart. The heart does not need to yell to communicate as does our mind. The cats were up to their clever "training" techniques on me yesterday as I was pouring the water into me as quickly as it was being sweated out as I cleaned their Cat-A-Tats.

I noticed Pharaoh's water bowl being half-full. As I went to empty, clean and refill it, he hissed at me (his term of endearment.) I stopped and got very quiet. He was providing an exercise that gave me the opportunity to observe if my mind was engaged in half-full or half-empty thinking. Although he loves to play in the water and it is a requirement for life, the water also provides healing, not only for our physical bodies, but our mental bodies.

For example, if I look at my life from a half-empty consciousness, I come from a position of lack and entitlement, in other words, a victim. My position is not recognizing the power within me to change the half-empty situation. On the other hand, if I see my life as half-full, I am very great-full for what I have, and I come from a position of infinite resources. This fullness will attract pawsitive energy and attract more abundance until my life is completely full of whatever it is I desire. The cats have always known the SECRET is to have a pawsitive positionality no matter what the circumstances .

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Lure of a Cat

The last several days have been extremely warm with high humidity. Summer has finally made its presence known, and it will be a few months before we feel some relief from the heat. It would be tempting to hurry and clean the Cat-A-Tats with the increasing heat; however, the volunteers have an obligation and responsibility to the cats to make sure they give them the best service they can.

I have recently been at the sanctuary more than usual and have noticed a change going on with the cats. As you know, the cats have a different perspective than we do about life and want to offer us an expanded view of the summer heat. Instead of doing things in a hurry, the cats suggest we slow down and take the opportunity to see things we would not normally see if we were scurrying around. To help the volunteers understand this concept, several of the cats have changed their usual "pooh" place. At first, it doesn't seem as though this is any big deal until you are ready to pick up the pace of cleaning because you are hot, sweaty and tired.

As you are confidently attracted to their usual area of deposit, you suddenly realize it is not there. Questions rush through your mind until you realize, it has to be there, but where? You look and look, but find nothing. You may even find yourself standing and looking at the cat asking, where is it? The cat has successfully lured you into slowing down and carefully examining the bigger picture. You sift through leaves and uncover mounds of dirts. You start to see details and how things blend together to make a beautiful landscape. Finally, a smile forms as you find what you were looking for as the cat drifts to sleep planning your next lesson.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Shadow Knows

"Shooooh. Shooooh." My legs were getting sore as I had been swatting myself all morning cleaning some of the Cat-A-Tat's. I know it isn't summer yet; however, the humidity has gotten worse, and the usual overgrowth of foliage is starting to creep up everywhere giving shelter to a variety of insects. As I continued to swat myself, I saw several of the cats looking at me as though I were doing some kind of strange dance they didn't want anything to do with except one. I could hear him laughing and it was "bugging" me, so I decided before I put on the bug spray, I would check out what The Shadow Knows.

"Being bugged?" Shadow asked. A vision of a fly swatter I saw recently at a store flashed across my mind as I replied, "I fail to see the humor in things crawling up my legs, dashing across my arms, and stinging me in all the wrong places." "Maybe they have a message for you," Shadow said. I knew I had a message for them, but I had forgotten that insects often "bug" us until we get the message and then will disappear.

Just then, a bumble bee buzzed around the top of my head. "Are you stopping to smell the flowers?" asked Shadow. I let out a deep sigh as the bee flew away without any encouragement from me. "The bee was buzzing around to remind you to slow down and connect with nature. We all share this earth and need each other for our survival," said Shadow. I knew Shadow was right. Working with the insect kingdom instead of fighting it allows us the opportunity to learn to live in harmony with all living beings as The Shadow Knows.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hope in Hardship

When we encounter adversity, the stress we feel can erode our optimism, eventually convincing us that the issues we face cannot be overcome. In truth, there is no situation so dire, no challenge so great, and no choice so bewildering that it cannot be overcome, just ask Modnic, one of Big Cat Rescue's new tigers. Though we may believe that all avenues have been closed to us or that our most conscientious efforts will come to naught, we are never without feasible options, and Modnic shares with us her hope she found in hardship.

Modnic was rescued at the last minute as she watched the only home she had ever known be torn down around her. Everything was collapsing, and she knew at the end of the day, her life would end if something did not happen to turn this situation around. Modnic was in a cage she had called home since she was born, and even when it seemed she had nowhere left to turn, there was a solution waiting for her. Modnic discovered as difficult as the obstacle plaguing you seems, it is no match for the love of a supportive universe that has been a part of your life since the day of your birth and will be with you forevermore. Modnic had surrendered to a higher power and was not misguided by her fear as this would have given rise to the notion that there are problems without solutions.

Modnic knows even if all you can do is change your perspective to turn an impediment into an opportunity to grow, you will have found the hope that is an inherent element of all hardship.
The only insurmountable obstacles are the ones you create in your own mind—and these can only exert power over you if you let them. Uncertainty will always be a part of your existence, but perseverance and mindfulness will never fail to see you through to the other side of hardship where joy can thrive. Try and remember that no matter what life places at your feet, there is absolutely no situation that cannot be resolved with time, love, and friendship. It won't be long before you can come and see Modnic starting to thrive with joy in her heart as her hardships are over and she has found love.

Monday, June 04, 2007

WHAT IF?

The cats ask, "WHAT IF........You were aware and remembered what you do to us, you do to yourselves. What difference would this make in your behavior towards us?"

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sweet as Sugar

When you think of something sweet, most people think of sugar. At Big Cat Rescue, we have our own sweet sugar. She is a beautiful cougar, and she lives with Shadow. Sugar has learned to be calm and relaxed, which is quite an accomplishment since Shadow continually talks. It's not always easy or feasible to walk away from a chaotic environment or situation, but Sugar knows the benefits of relaxing and has a couple of ideas that you can practice anytime and anywhere.

Sugar wants to teach you about mudras. Mudras are simple healing hand movements that connect us to our organs through the nerve endings in our fingers and help us relax and calm down. Mudras are the finger gestures that are used in Yoga. Ask Sugar to help guide you as you press your thumb and index finger of each hand slightly together and hold for 1 minute. Slow your breath and feel your body relax. If you want to calm your mind, sit with a straight back and cross your arms in front of your chest, elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. Your arms should be parallel to the ground. Place your right palm on top of the left arm and the top of the left hand under the right arm. Your fingers are together and straight. Breathe deeply.

Sugar has shown you a way in which you can increase your energy without the let down associated with the sweetness. BEING calm is always at your fingertips. To thank Sugar, place your hands together as you would if you were saying a prayer. This is a whole body healing as Sugar leaves you a sweetness that is good for your heart.

Friday, June 01, 2007

WHO AM I?

I am as sweet as I can be. Everyone is my friend. I have a dainty face you will fall in love with and like to lay around on my dirt mountain. There is no reason to get excited. Calm and relaxed is my mantra. I am often quiet and happy to watch all the activity going on around me. Have you fallen in love with Who I Am?