How Pets Can Heal You

tabby cat

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My Fellow Students of Life,

I love animals! I grew up with dogs, rabbits, fish, and birds. I never had cats until my adult life. I adopted my black and white cat Benny from Mixed Up Mutts who partners with PetSmart. I adopted my tabby cat CeCe from The Arizona Humane Society. They are a joy to have in my life. More importantly, they’re a good way for me to get and stay grounded. If I’m having an ‘off’ day, I’ll pet one of my cats and immediately shift my energy. The focus is off of me and my issues and onto my cats. Before you know it, my troubles melt away and they aren’t important anymore.

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. ~George Eliot

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills. ~Voltaire, letter to Count Schomberg, 31 August 1769

It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being. ~Henry David Thoreau

If you’d like to get a pet, consider adopting an animal from your local animal shelter. They usually hold special events to promote the adoption of animals from shelters — some accept donations in lieu of an adoption fee. It’s a win-win situation! All shelter animals deserve loving, forever homes. Adopt one today and watch how your new friend will add joy to your life. Adopting a pet can be a life saver in more ways than one.

Rebecca

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Boo! How to Scare Your Problems Away

scared

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My Fellow Students of Life,

I watched Meet the Parents a few days ago because I needed to laugh. There was one scene that caught my attention. Teri Polo‘s character, Pam Burns, is a school teacher. Unbeknownst to her, Ben Stiller‘s character, Greg (Gaylord) Focker, is on his way to propose to her. Anyway, Pam was teaching her class how to scare their problems away. She had the kids close their eyes and visualize their problem. Once they had their problem in their ‘mind’s’ eye, she told to say “Boo!” to their problem — scare it away. I’ve watched Meet the Parents many time but never picked up on the significance of that scene. I too will scare my problems away by saying “Boo!”

How to scare your problems away

1. Visualize your problem in your mind’s eye and say “Boo!” to it.

2. Rise above it. Be courageous to face and scare your problems away. Look them in the eye and say, “You have no power over me, be gone!”

3. Stop focusing on your problems. For example, if you’re having issues with family drama-rama, even after you’ve said what you had to say, redirect your focus to something and or someone else. Read a book, volunteer, go to the movies, attend a festival, spend the day at the park, etc. Do something other than focus on your problem.

4. Let go and let God. You’ve probably heard this saying before but it begs repeating. After you’ve faced your problem, let it go. As Esther Hicks/Abraham said during a Teaching with Abraham, “If you want to let go of something, let it die of its own admission.” Let it go!

5. Don’t get caught up in unnecessary drama. This one is easier said than done for some to do. However, everyone has a choice. You can only control your actions and reactions to the people and situations around you. Consider thinking before you speak; before you react to an email, a Facebook status update, a ‘tweet’ on Twitter, etc. You can control your emotions and reactions. You don’t have to get ‘sucked into’ family, friends, and societal drama-rama. Think about it.

Rebecca

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How to Avoid Family Catastrophe on Facebook

Question: I’m not sure if I’m the only with this problem, but I’m finding Facebook to be a place for unnecessary drama. It’s my belief that social media can actually tear people apart instead of bring them together, especially family. I posted a status update and there was much ‘venom’ spilled over it. The people that ‘went off’ on me don’t even associate with me. I believe that if something ‘strikes a nerve within someone’ there’s something inside that person that could use healing; introspection is a good thing. The only reason I joined Facebook was to create fan pages for my websites and to converse with like-minded people. It wasn’t to connect with family members. I never felt connected to my family, even when I was a child. I always had a ‘feeling’ I belonged somewhere else and within another family. Help!

Answer: As far as I know, there isn’t a BIG BOOK that says, “Thou shall associate with family members, even though you have nothing in common or they’re toxic to you.” Sometimes, it’s in your best interest to cut ties with people. This includes family members. It’s your call. Always do what is best for you.

How to Avoid Family Catastrophe on Facebook

1. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” ~Oprah Unfortunately, some of these people may not be related to you. Accept this and move on. Don’t explain yourself — don’t drag others into the drama. Your mental health and overall well being are more important.

2. Don’t accept friend requests from family members who are more than likely to be frenemies. It’s not worth it. Stay away from energy vampires.

3. Set your privacy to the highest level possible. Sign into your account and do the following:

  • Create a ‘chat’ list and choose friends you want to chat with.
  • Block people from seeing your status updates and other information, by going into Privacy Settings and selecting Customize. This is where you can remove people from seeing your status updates and other information.
  • Go into Account Settings and adjust your email options.

4. Limit the amount of time you spend on Facebook.

It’s sad that it comes to this, but I’m speaking from personal experience. I recently posted a status update and WWIII broke out on my Personal Facebook Page. This is why I favor Twitter. You don’t have to have a personal account like you do with Facebook. You create a Twitter account with a whatever name you want — it could be a business name. There’s no going back and forth like there is on Facebook. Sure, you can follow ‘tweets’ or join a Twitter chat, but chances are your family members won’t be following you on Twitter. It’s something to think about. Sad, but true.

Rebecca
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Who Are You in Your Relationships?

“The heaviest lifting builds the strongest muscles.” ~ Robert Ohotto, from the Self-abandonment in Relationships Soul Connexions radio show

My Fellow Students of Life,

Who are you in relationships? Are you a child? Are you a teenager? Are you a victim? What about a martyr? If you’re dating and looking for a ‘sugar daddy or mommy,’ you’re approaching dating from a ‘child’s’ point-of-view. You’re looking for someone to take care of you instead of you taking care of you. This may be a shock to some of you but identifying who you are in your relationships explains a lot about them.

If you’re constantly fighting with your parents, and you’re 40-years-old, you could still be in the ‘child’ role of the relationship. You could be in the ‘victim’ role as well. While it’s easy to blame parents, there comes a point where you must take responsibility for your own life. Your parents aren’t responsible for you — you are. True, they may have sucked at parenting, but it’s up to you to ‘shift’ your life for the better. Release stinking thinking and shake-off a self-defeating attitude. You’re no longer bound by the rules and regulations of your parents. You make the rules and regulations for your life. If your parents object to the ‘new’ you that’s too bad — it’s not your problem.

If you find yourself dating men or women with lots of money, you’re still in the child and co-dependency role. This isn’t healthy on many levels. Instead of being dependent on another person be dependent on you and only you. What happens if your boyfriend/girlfriend/life partner leaves you? What will you do? Would you find another source of income to replace them with? How is this beneficial to you? It will behoove you to examine ‘why’ you feel you can’t or don’t want to make a living. Perhaps you lack confidence. Maybe you don’t know what to do. Whatever the reason, figure it out today before it’s too late.

Who you are in your relationships matters. If you’re experiencing any drama or pain in your relationships, it could be due to the fact that you’re not being your authentic, adult self. You may not even be aware of this. Take a moment and examine all of your relationships closely. Ask yourself, “Who am I in this relationship?” Write down your answers in a journal or notebook. You may be surprised by the answer you receive. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

Rebecca

 

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How to Shift Your Beliefs

thought bubble

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Question: I’ve been studying the Law of Attraction for a few years, but I still don’t get it. I want to change my beliefs, but I don’t think saying affirmations every day works for me. How can I shift my beliefs once and for all? I’m tired of the ‘same old, same old’ in my life and am ready to embrace change. Thank you!

Answer: Ah yes, the Law of Attraction. Many people watched The Secret or read the book. It takes more than saying affirmations — you must believe in them. Also, how you say affirmations is important. For example, if you want to ‘reverse the aging process,’ you may be tempted to say, “I am reversing the aging process.” However, it would behoove you to say, “My youth is replenished and restored.” Do you see and feel the difference between these two affirmations. The latter is truly affirming that your youth is restored.

According to Abraham (Esther & Jerry Hicks), “You can’t get rid of anything. You can’t get rid of your beliefs because you activate them as you try to get rid of them. Instead, practice new beliefs to make them more dominate.” In other words, stop trying to ‘get rid of old thought beliefs’ and cultivate new ones.

You have beliefs you’re not aware of; these aren’t big players in your experience. ~ Abraham

How to shift your beliefs

1. Journal your current beliefs. Grab a journal or notebook and journal all of your beliefs; categorize them into negative and positive. Review your beliefs and ask the following questions:

  • Are these truly my beliefs?
  • Where did I learn these beliefs?
  • How do these beliefs serve me?
  • How are these beliefs creating my present and future?
  • Am I willing to release the beliefs?
  • Am I afraid to release these beliefs? What will happen?

2. Monitor your thoughts. Try this exercise for one week. Notice your thoughts without judging them. How do you ‘feel’ when you think a thought? How does your body react?Really get into your body and allow it to guide you around your thoughts.

3. Set the intention to shift your beliefs. If you want to ‘shift’ your beliefs, set an intention to do so. Write it down — post it around your home. You could also post your ‘new’ beliefs around your home as well.

4. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Unfortunately, the people around you may not be supportive that you’re going in a different direction. It will behoove you to keep your thoughts on shifting your beliefs to yourself for a while. If people begin to distance themselves, bless and allow them to go. You’re embarking on a new path/journey that may not ‘mesh’ with their path/journey anymore.

5. Take it one day at a time. You can expect to change your beliefs overnight but you could be setting yourself up for failure. If you slip into ‘old beliefs/thought’ patterns, acknowledge it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can.

Rebecca

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Are Your Emotions Holding You Hostage?

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Question: I’ve noticed that my emotions have been out-of-whack lately. What can I do to get control over them? Sometimes, I think they’re holding me hostage!

Answer: Your emotions act like a GPS (global positioning system) because they tell you where you are in your life. Are you angry? Are you sad? Are you frustrated? Are you fed up with life in general? You get the idea. Use your ’emotional GPS’ to help you ‘sort’ through your emotions. Please don’t ‘stuff’ your emotions because they’ll resurface; you’ll have to deal with them eventually.

When you push against unwanted or uncomfortable emotions, you’re resistance to them will create more of the same. Instead of getting upset that you’re upset, take a deep breath and ‘feel’ your emotions. If you’re angry, feel it. This is healthier than ignoring your anger. Once you ‘feel’ the anger, you can process the emotion. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why am I angry?
  • What or who angered me?
  • What inside of me becomes angry when I communicate with or think of (fill in the blank)?
  • How can my anger be positive?

Once you go through this process, you’ll have a better understanding of where your anger is coming from. It usually has nothing to do with a person or situation. There’s something inside of you that wants to be acknowledged and healed.

Be grateful for ALL of your emotions because they have great lesson to teach you. Of course, when you’re ticked off, you probably won’t believe this. However, your emotions will help you to heal and move forward with your life if you feel them. Please don’t be afraid that feeling your emotions will create negativity in your life. The opposite is true. Once you recognize and process your emotions, you’ll be set free. Positive vibrations will come into your life because you made room for them. It’s something to look forward to.

Rebecca

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What’s the Number One Relationship in Your Life?

My Fellow Students of Life,

What’s the number one relationship in your life? Chances are you said one of the following:

  • Spouse
  • Life  partner
  • Children
  • Career
  • Family
  • Religion
  • Friends
  • Significant other
  • Business connections

If you said the following, “The number one relationship is with me,” you have a good understanding of how important this is. If you don’t have a good relationship with you, how will you have one with another? You won’t be able to. You’ll keep repeating self-sabotaging behaviors and patterns and drive yourself nuts!

Before you jump into a relationship, cultivate a relationship with you. Learn to set healthy boundaries; enforce them. Learn to love yourself fully and you’ll be able to love others fully. Everyone has flaws — no one is perfect. If you can acknowledge and accept this, you’ll be fine.

Rebecca

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The Art of Saying and Meaning No

Yes... and No

Image by Timothy Valentine - ferris bueller for a day via Flickr

Question: How can I say “No” and mean it? I often say “Yes” when I want to say “No.” I’m sure my childhood has something to do with this. I could never speak up and say what I really felt. I always had to do stuff out of duty and obligation. It sucked!

Answer: The good news is you’re an adult and can say “No” and mean it. If the people in your life get mad or upset with you it’s their issue, not yours. To quote my law professor, “Too bad, so sad” which means it’s not your problem.

Many people say “Yes” when they want to say “No.” They say ‘Yes’ out of duty, obligation, or a sense of responsibility. Meanwhile they mumble under their breath as they bake cookies, cook a meal, drive a family member somewhere because they never learned how to drive, or whatever it is they agreed to do. Don’t be one of these people! You have every right to say “No” and mean it. The key is to be nice about it. There’s no reason to get snippy.

How to Say “No” and Mean It

1. Be polite. Remain calm and simply say “No, I can’t help this time.”

2. Don’t give an elaborate explanation. There’s no reason give a lengthy explanation as to ‘why’ you can’t help. If you’re busy or will be out-of-town, mention it. You could also say, “I’m overextended right now.” Otherwise, just say “No.”

3. Accept that people be mad or upset with you. You may have to push through your people-pleasing tendencies and get over it. You can’t and won’t please everyone all of the time. You must be willing to accept this and be alright with it. It’s not your job to keep people happy; it’s their job. If you can accept that saying “No” may tick-off family, friends, PTA members, co-workers, bosses, etc. you’ll have grasped the art of saying and meaning “no.”

Whenever you’re asked to do something, don’t do it because you feel you ‘have’ to. Simply say, “I’d love to help, but I can’t.” You don’t have to go into a lengthy explanation. Of course, if you’re going on vacation or will be out-of-town, you could mention it. Please don’t lie and say you’ll be out-of-town, when in fact, you won’t be. Lying is draining and unnecessary. Chances are you will get caught.

Rebecca

How to Get a Grip on Control

Anxiety

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My Fellow Students of Life,

Do feel the ‘need’ to control everything and everyone in your life? Do you have anxiety if you’re not in control? If you control everything in your life, you’re not really living. In fact, you’re probably exhausted. There are many reasons why you believe you must be in control. Perhaps, you were mentally, emotionally, or physically abused and feel safe by being in control. Maybe you took control of a ‘bad’ situation when you were a child to protect younger siblings. Whatever the reason, it’s time to ease up on control; otherwise, you’ll put yourself into an early grave.

How to Get a Grip on Control

1. Get help. Seek counseling and or life coaching. Speaking to someone about your control issues is the first step to finding a solution for it. There’s nothing shameful about therapy. You’ll be able to process emotions you’ve probably kept bottled up for years.

2. Allow people to be who they are. Unfortunately, you can’t ‘force’ people to something they’re not. If you do, they’ll resent you. Forcing others to be what you expect or want them to be (especially kids) will drive them away from you.

3. No one is perfect. Trying to be perfect and controlling others so they can be perfect isn’t healthy. Plus, it sounds like a full-time job. You don’t want that, do you?

4. Give yourself permission to let go. There’s a saying, “Let go, and let God.” You have the right to be happy. If you stop controlling everyone and everything in your life, you’ll be free. When’s the last time you had some fun? Let go once in a while and don’t worry so much.

5. Journal. This is a good way to find out ‘why’ you feel the need to be in control. When did your controlling behavior start? Why the need to keep up a facade that everything is fine? What don’t you want people to see? Believe it or not, we all have flaws. It’s alright.

You may think having control is productive but it’s not — it’s a paradox. Being controlling won’t provide you with happiness, safety, and security. It causes unhappiness, stress, tension, anxiety, unnecessary worry, and other unhealthful emotions. Find the courage within yourself to loosen and let go of your grip on control. You’ll feel lighter and as if a ‘weight’ has been lifted off of you.

Rebecca

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A Generous Heart Can Become Resentful

Broken Heart symbol

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Fellow Students of Life,

Here’s the July 27, 2011 Life Path 5 reading from Horoscope.com:

If you find yourself feeling resentful on this 9-Day it’s time to take some action. You often have a generous and giving heart. However, some of the greater rewards of giving to others don’t come immediately. Often the effects of what you do for other people remain obscure for a long time, if they become apparent to you at all. This is where resentment can build. Trust that what you do really is worthwhile, even if you can’t see it. And do something to reward yourself regularly.

This reading was specifically for the Life Path 5; however, you too may feel resentful when you give and give and don’t receive in return. Your rewards may not be immediate; perhaps they won’t come at all. The key is to give because you want to give. Be selective; be discerning. You don’t always have to give of your time and money. You have the right to say “No” at anytime.

To avoid becoming resentful, do something for yourself such as getting a massage, Reiki treatment, or whatever it is you want. Realize how you’re contributing to the greater good when you choose to give of your time and money. Please don’t stop giving because you’re not receiving something immediately in return. Give for the sake of giving not to get something in return. If you do this, you won’t feel resentful.

Rebecca

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