I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions—but a new year does always feel like a fresh start in some ways and an opportunity to check in with my big-picture goals: What do I want to achieve this year? Is there anything in my life I want to do differently? Am I as happy as I can be?
For me, happiness is intrinsically connected to living with purpose and meaning. I work with animals every single day because that adds value to my life. My dog, horses and even the shelter and sanctuary animals I encounter remind me the importance of kindness, of mindfulness, of compassion. And of the goodness in this world (which sometimes feels very hard to find). So with the animals as my guide, here are my five goals for a happier 2017:
I am a Reiki teacher who works with animals. Some might ask me if I’m an “animal healer,” but I don’t like that term: Partly because I respect the wisdom and power of animals too much to claim that I’m the one doing the helping, and partly because of what some amazing cats in my Reiki journey have revealed to me.
For those of you new to Reiki, the word itself literally translates as “spiritual energy,” which points toward our inner self. I see Reiki as our beautiful light of compassion, or our “heart.” Reiki meditation helps us remember that we are all connected, and in that place of Oneness, all healing possibility exists.
There’s nothing like the power of joy that animals bring to our lives. And when we strive to live a sacred and mindful life, it’s often the animals that serve as powerful reminders of how to live a life filled with compassion, gratitude, kindness, joy, patience and connectedness. Whenever I start to feel disconnected and distracted, the following quotes help me to get back on track. They remind me never to lose sight of the endless grace and wisdom of animals:
“Lots of people talk to animals. … Not very many listen, though. … That’s the problem.”
—Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
Do you love animals? Are you interested in holistic modalities? Have you ever tried meditation? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are a perfect candidate for learning animal Reiki.
What? Animal Reiki is not for you, you say? Well, hear me out for a few seconds. Having spent so many years in this field, I’ve encountered every reason or excuse you can think of. But I’m here to let you know it’s worth another few moments of consideration because—and I truly believe this—animal Reiki might not actually be what you think it is.
“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” –Aristotle
We all have bad days—those days when everything seems to go wrong. Even when we strive to live mindfully and cherish the gift that is today, sometimes life has other ideas, and everything turns upside down and sideways.
It’s easy to give in to the negativity. But when we do, our bad day often becomes worse. It doesn’t have to be that way. What if we could turn our bad day good again?
Here are 10 simple ways to cheer up next time you find yourself stuck in a bad day: