kindness

5 surprising reasons you should meditate with your animals

So you’ve bought your meditation cushion and chosen your favorite meditation position. You’ve contemplated and picked your mantra or visualization. You’ve found a quiet time of day to practice. You’re ready to start meditating, right? Maybe not. What if you were missing the most important thing that could improve your practice quickly and easily? …

World Animal Reiki Day: Join the movement!

Mark your calendars: World Animal Reiki Day is February 5, 2016! This special day, organized by me and the volunteer members of my Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA), is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to help make a better future for the animals in our world. And what better way to bring people together to honor animals than through peace, healing and compassion?

There are so many ways to celebrate! Here are just a few ideas …

5 easy ways kids can help animals this holiday season

What could be more merry than shopping for holiday presents for the kids in our lives? While it’s super fun to make their holidays magical, don’t forget to balance out all that consumerism with some charitable giving—specifically, teaching children about the spirit of giving and helping those less fortunate during the holidays. With that in mind, here are five easy ways kids can help animals this holiday season …

3 lessons in inspiration from the Celebration for the Turkeys

In the middle of a crowded Saturday afternoon in San Francisco’s Mission district, I found the wisdom of the farm: peace, compassion, presence.

I decided to participate in Farm Sanctuary’s Celebration for the Turkeys—a beautiful gathering of animal lovers, a delicious vegan feast and a live video feed of the sanctuary’s turkeys eating delicious platters of lovingly prepared food. Thanksgiving feasts “for” turkeys, instead of “of” turkeys—what a concept!

I was deeply touched and honored to meet two of my personal heroes: Gene Baur and Susie Coston of Farm Sanctuary. Gene gave an amazing speech about compassion, and Susie shared photos and stories of some of the many turkeys she cares for at Farm Sanctuary in New York.

The gathering was given at Citizen Fox, a new vegan restaurant in San Francisco …

These spiritual lessons from animals make every day better

I’ve said before that animals are our greatest teachers. My beloved dog Dakota was my first animal Reiki teacher. And the animals I’ve worked with over the years have taught me so much about compassion and even guidance on meditation. But the other day, as I caught sight of my dog Mystic napping contentedly in her little dog bed, I realized the animals teach us other important lessons, too. Do any of these spiritual lessons from animals sound familiar to you? …

My 5-3-1 Happiness Challenge: Will you join me?

When I was at Pilates the other day, my trainer told me about 5-3-1, a simple (and genius!) way we can all be happier. Specifically: Spend 5 minutes a day in meditation; write down three things that you are grateful for; and lastly, do one random act of kindness. Each day.

Though I do meditate every day, sometimes I’m too busy to think about focusing my thoughts on gratitude, or going out of my way intentionally to do a random act of kindness seven times a week. So I’m going to give 5-3-1 a try this week starting today, and I’ll report back next week with my results. I’m pretty excited, and I hope you’ll join me!

Before I begin, here are some thoughts about making the 5-3-1 Happiness Challenge really work for me (and hopefully you, too) …

8 easy activities that are good for the soul

Living with intention. Living joyfully. I try to connect with these ideals every day, though some days I’m more successful than others. The thing is, when I take the time to really nourish my inner self, I feel stronger, more balanced and, well, happier. So no matter how busy my schedule gets, I always try to make space for simple, soul-nourishing activities such as these …