Posts Tagged ‘heart’

5 Ways Animal Reiki is Love

Happy Valentine’s Day, animal lovers! While this holiday is often thought of in terms of romantic love, I’d like to celebrate it this year by reflecting on the ways our practice with animals and Reiki helps us experience the truest and most beautiful kind of love each and every day! Here are five of my favorite quotes that help illustrate how Animal Reiki is love!

What happens when you pair mindfulness with heartfulness?

The concept of “mindfulness” has been on my mind a lot lately. Not just because it’s splashed across headlines and gaining wider acceptance in the U.S. (even corporate America is embracing “mindfulness”)—but also because I spend so much time with animals in my work. And as I’ve written about before, animals are mindfulness masters who teach us important lessons about living mindfully every single day.

But with so much out there in the world about mindfulness these days, I’ve noticed absolutely no one is talking about a vital ingredient to living a truly mindful life: the heart. In other words, I believe you cannot be mindful without also being heartful—feeling and embracing the abundance of emotions and feelings in one’s heart. Without the heart component, mindfulness leads to a calm and aware state of being, yes, but also a state of indifference or detachment.

You cannot be mindful without also being heartful.

In Japanese, the character “kokoro” means mind and heart (the same). So in Japanese tradition, your mind has to unify with your heart for you to be in the “right” space for healing. This idea—a fusing of heart and mind—fits well with my Reiki work with animals. When we sit or walk mindfully with our animals, our hearts open so we can radiate our inner compassion. And with our furry friends by our side, offering their unconditional love and acceptance of us, we are able to access our inner peace more easily. The heartful thinking that follows promotes generosity, openness to others, healing and more.

So next time you think of living mindfully, remember the importance of living heartfully, too. Instead of falling into old patterns of thinking—that the mind and the heart (thinking vs. feeling) merely battle one another—embrace the possibility of heart and mind existing as one and in partnership.

5 reasons my cat wins my heart every time

My sister Kathleen and I were talking the other day about all of our cats over the years—and their very unique personalities. Her first cat, a spunky tortie, ultimately gave birth in our garage to my first cat, a tender-hearted orange-and-white tabby. Oh how we miss them! There have been other special kitties over the years, too—each one unique in his or her own way.

Like my own cat right now, a big ball of fluff tabby Persian named Paddington. No matter what else is happening in my life, no matter how busy I am, he always manages to win my heart! Here are five of his heart-winning habits. Any of them familiar? I’d love to know how your cat wins your heart!

1. Chill factor: Paddington is always super chilled out and relaxed. Nothing seems to make this cat nervous. Whether I’m walking him around the yard on a leash, putting his carrier in a wagon and taking him on long walks around the neighborhood, letting toddlers loose to poke and play with him, having large groups to dinner or even flying him under my seat on an airplane, nothing ruffles Paddy’s stripey fur. He’s always open to new experiences and people, and I just love that about him!

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2. Hunter extraordinaire: Even at age 6, Paddington still loves to play. He loves to chase me, my hubby and son around the house and will always follow a piece of string if I drag it behind me. To Paddy, everything is a toy to be explored—including snowflakes falling from the sky, which he tries to attack from the closed window.

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3. Sweetness overload: Without a doubt, Paddington is the sweetest cat I have ever known. He’s never in a bad mood. He loves making biscuits, is a complete purr-monster and is always up for cuddles. He gives lots of “head butts” (kisses) to everyone in our family, follows me around the house all the time, and keeps our bed warm at night, too. He is happiest when snuggled up on my lap.

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4. Athletic like a pro: If Paddington were human, he would be the star goalie for any soccer team. He will catch any and every ball thrown his way, no matter how fast or high. Nothing gets by this cat. In our last house, when we used to let him loose in the yard for some supervised sunshine time, he pretty much every time ended up jogging by with a huge lizard in his mouth. (And lizards are difficult to catch!) He looks like a calendar kitty, but Paddington definitely has that tough hunter cat DNA.

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Photo copyright Jenner Rose Photography

5. Watchful guardian: Paddington keeps tabs on everything in this house. He knows whenever any of us is sad and immediately pads over to offer emotional support. This was especially sweet to witness as my baby grew up into a toddler; anytime he fell or bumped his head, Paddington was always there to make sure everyone was OK. He also has an internal clock and knows exactly the moment the clock turns to 7:30 for dinnertime. Even when the clocks change for daylight savings, it just takes him a day or two to adjust. If you’re even one minute late, he’ll jump onto the counter (in your face) and meow like a starving kitten!

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{Photos © Charlotte Jensen unless otherwise noted}