This Valentine’s Day my cat Jackie reminds me what unconditional love is and the importance of having an open heart.
As I woke up and reached over to stroke my cat Jackie’s furry coat and gently kiss his head while he purred softly, a feeling of unconditional love washed over me. I wondered aloud, how do I love this creature so much? Considering I was a “non-cat” person as I share in an earlier blog, and that Jackie has ruined two designer chairs in my family room, curtains, an area rug, along with other sundry items. To be sure, cleaning up his business is no fun matter, especially when he occasionally misses his litter box. So what’s his appeal and where does this love come from? He doesn’t actually DO much for us, other than meow for attention when he wants something. And while his purring indicates some happiness on his side, I don’t know if he loves me.
Continue reading “Love like you love your cat”
Every day provides an opportunity to practice mindfulness. As we welcomed a kitten to our family and introduced him to his new home this week, he reminded me of lessons in change management and gave us an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Here’s our story. . .
How did a “non-cat” person end up with a kitten??
First of all, for those who have known me since my teenage years know that I have never been known as a “cat person”. I lived with cats growing up, thanks to my sister Heather, who brought home any animal she could get her hands on, and my post-university roommates, Janis and Kate. Mainly though, I accepted the cat’s presence in my house but kept them at an emotional distance. We co-existed. I saw myself more as a “dog person” but mostly as a “people person”.
As I’ve learned and I’ll talk about more in an upcoming blog, judging and labeling ourselves can be extremely limiting in our lives. With this in mind, I’ve dropped the idea of being a “non-cat person” or a “dog person”. Now, I’m simply a lover of all creatures. This includes cats, especially cuddly, kind and affectionate ones!
So when my good friends, Janis and Kate, recently brought home Ragdoll kittens that were extremely affectionate and cuddly, I couldn’t help but adore them. At the same time my thirteen-year-old son, Carter, struggling with finding joy in online school during the pandemic, started asking for a pet. That is when the stars aligned as we learned Janis’ new kitten had a brother looking to be adopted. Our family has not had any pets yet, and now, within a week of starting a discussion about adopting a kitten, we brought home little Jackie.
Continue reading “Change and mindfulness lessons from a kitten”
The moment when I truly realized that I am just as important as anyone else was one of those life-changing perspective shifts for me. The lesson started for me one wintery Sunday morning.
We were gathered in the large gym at our church for Sunday School. My boys were quite young at this point and I volunteered at the Sunday School, along with other parents. This week I was working with Nancy, a teacher, and she shared a great exercise that I helped prepare. We had cue cards with a different title or role on each one (e.g. doctor, lawyer, mom, grandpa, teacher, 5 year-old, 18 year-old, movie star, etc.). We put the kids into groups and they had to organize the cue cards in order of the importance of the imaginary person on the card.
Continue reading “Who’s More Important, a Doctor or a Priest?”
Do you ever feel like you have little control over things in your life?
In a previous blog post, I share how the current pandemic has taught me that I don’t have control over many things in life outside of myself. Happily, I’ve realized that there’s something I control. In fact, I have a very important role. I’m the CEO of my life! I control my actions, set intentions, express my values, needs and talents and set boundaries. It doesn’t matter if I’m working for a company, looking for a job, homeschooling my kids – whatever my situation, I’m the CEO of my life. I gained this impactful perspective about two years ago as a result of a talent management exercise at work.
Continue reading “You are the CEO of Your Life: Perspective is everything”