Monday, 16 July 2012

If only we could purr, or hiss, or growl....

After a few nights away I got home last night to find that during my absence my lovely cat sitter had done a great job of keeping my 2 cats happily fed, watered and cuddled.  Last night one of my two cats jumped onto my tummy as I lay in bed reading, making himself a comfy bed he proceeded to purr louder..and LOUDER..AND LOUDER!  I put my book down, and stroking him I thought, "Well Bertie there's no mistaking how you feel about me being back home again."  Looking across the room I noticed his brother Basil had made himself comfy on the floor, and he appeared to be choosing the moodier, "I'll let her suffer a bit longer for being away"  approach.  His grumpiness didn't last too long as I woke up in the wee small hours with him curled up at my feet purring contentedly.
Sometimes when we meet up with someone we can miss obvious clues to how they're really feeling, and this can make effective communication a lot less than effective. At the risk of sounding completely nuts, wouldn't it be so much easier if we could hear a muffled purr if the person was in a good mood expressing contentment or a disapproving hiss when their mood was less favourable?  Alas, maybe we're just not as evolved as cats!
So until that day comes keep practising listening with your eyes and ears, and notice how you feel as you engage with the other person, because by paying attention to your own feelings you are more likely to be able to pick up on their emotional state.
"If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favourite cat, they, too, would purr." - Martin Buxbaum
"There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person." - Dan Greenberg

Saturday, 14 July 2012

When staying grounded in NOW helps us move on.

This comes with thanks to Paul Schubert  author of the blog "Working with insight".  
I just had to share this well known Zen story of 2 monks and a young woman as it highlights perfectly what I bang on and on about in my work as a reverse therapist.  Holding on to "old" stuff means you may miss good opportunities to heal and move on.  No-one suffers more than the person who cannot see past their own rigid beliefs and attachments. Enjoy practising being grounded in NOW!  Love,  Kathleen x

A senior monk and a junior monk were travelling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her.
The senior monk carried this woman on his shoulder, forded the river and let her down on the other bank. The junior monk was very upset, but said nothing.
They both were walking and the senior monk noticed that his junior was suddenly silent and enquired “Is something the matter, you seem very upset?”
The junior monk replied, “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”
The senior monk replied, “I left the woman a long time ago at the bank, however, you seem to be carrying her still.”

The older monk, his mind free, saw the situation, responded to it, and continued to be present to the next step after letting the woman down.
The younger monk was bound by ideas, held on to them for hours, and, in doing so, missed the experiences of the next part of the journey.

Mental attachment to an idea or earlier experience blocks the full experience of the present here and now. Attachments slow the mind, interfering with appropriate responses to the immediate situation.
In order to evaluate a situation requiring a decision, the mind must be open to the possibilities. Being anchored in the past restricts the choices. Examples of holding on are favouring current conditions and giving disproportionate weight to old information.
The mind cannot will itself to be free. There are methods to calm the activity of the mind in order to be more open. The first step is to develop awareness.  So stay grounded in NOW! K x