Archive - February 2015

1
5 books to warm a dog lover’s heart
2
4 wild facts about animals’ (very real) emotions
3
Sanctuary spotlight: The CARE Foundation
4
New trend: Emotional Support Animals
5
Celebrating the Year of the Goat at Chenoa Manor Farm Sanctuary
6
5 mindfulness lessons from our animals
7
Happy Heart Day from Kathleen and Charlotte, the “sister team” at It’s a Heartful Life 
8
Fun ways to celebrate animals this Valentine’s Day
9
Soul smoothies: nourish and flourish!
10
New food trend: faux fish

5 books to warm a dog lover’s heart

My dearest dog lovers, are you looking for something special to read this weekend? Curl up with one (or all) of these truly inspirational books about canine rescue …

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4 wild facts about animals’ (very real) emotions

Every animal lover knows it’s true: Animals are capable of complex, and very real, emotions. Our society doesn’t quite accept this—yet—but research is continuing to put forth evidence way beyond the anecdotal. The latest? A study revealing dogs’ amazing capability to recognize human emotions (more on this below).

But dogs are not the only ones. Here are four amazing facts about all species of animals and their complex, humanlike emotions …

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Sanctuary spotlight: The CARE Foundation

I’ve just finished another awesome, whirlwind weekend teaching animal Reiki and mindfulness at a very special place: The CARE Foundation in Florida, an exotic animal rescue center and SARA shelter. Every year Leah D’Ambrosio (my Shelter Animal Reiki Association partner) and I fly cross-country to spend time with the beautiful big cats and reptiles (and my students, of course!). I can’t wait to share more about my adventures with you, but until then, here are some fun facts about this amazing wild animal rescue …

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New trend: Emotional Support Animals

How sweet is this: Superman star Henry Cavill was recently photographed at LAX with his dog Kal-El wearing a blue vest with the words: “Working. Do not pet. Emotional Support Dog.” And it’s also well-known that Ryan Gosling flies with his dog George, a registered Emotional Support Animal, or ESA.

Despite some of the bad press surrounding ESAs (did you hear about the woman who caused a stir by bringing her therapy kangaroo into a McDonald’s in Wisconsin?), as animal lovers, we know how strong that bond with our animals can be and that yes, being with our animal can calm us. And thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act, ESAs, like traditional service dogs, are allowed in airline cabins. (By law, ESAs are also allowed in apartments that typically turn away pets.) The law does allow for common sense to prevail, however, so if you plan on taking a hyper goat or a 500-pound pig into the economy section on your next flight, the airline will probably turn you both away.

Though ESAs have been “on the books” for several years, more people today—not just celebrities—are signing their animals up as ESAs than ever before.

Here’s a closer look how ESAs differ from the typical service/therapy animals we’re used to seeing …

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Celebrating the Year of the Goat at Chenoa Manor Farm Sanctuary

Tomorrow marks the Year of the Goat (also known as the Year of the Sheep or the Year of the Ram, depending on whom you ask)! What better way to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year than to prepare for my trip in May to the Chenoa Manor Farm Sanctuary in Pennsylvania? They have so many cute goats and sheep there! I’ll be teaching two classes and giving an evening talk and healing circle at Chenoa May 28-31; please join us if you can. (More details here.)

Chenoa Manor Farm Sanctuary does such wonderful work; I can’t wait to work with the animals. Here are some fun facts about this amazing nonprofit sanctuary:

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5 mindfulness lessons from our animals

Sometimes when looking at my dog, I notice how mindfulness appears to come so naturally to her. She doesn’t carry the weight of the world on her shoulders (OK, she’s a dog–of course she doesn’t!). But we can learn a thing or two from these mindfulness masters, our favorite cats and dogs.

Over the years, in my animal Reiki work with animals and also after spending so much time with my own animals, it has occurred to me that important examples in mindfulness exist right before my eyes, every single day. My animals live in this special mindful space we humans are always trying to reach (but rarely get there). It’s so hard to “be mindful” when that same mind is filled with worries for the day, responsibilities for loved ones, tasks to accomplish and so on.

So whenever I start to feel overwhelmed (and therefore less mindful), I think about these lessons in mindfulness we can all learn from our animals …

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Happy Heart Day from Kathleen and Charlotte, the “sister team” at It’s a Heartful Life 

From Kathleen …

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers: students, Reiki friends and animal-loving supporters. Thank you for being a part of our Heartful Life community. Today is a day where we celebrate love in all its many forms, and today I want to celebrate a very special person in my life whom I love, and who also makes this blog so beautiful: a talented writer, mommy to a toddler and a Persian: my best friend, my number-one cheerleader, my beautiful sister, Charlotte.

Our sister history as Kathleen remembers it …

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Fun ways to celebrate animals this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s is a great reminder every year to celebrate those you love … including the furry kind. Here are six fun (and unexpected!) ways for animal lovers to celebrate this weekend:

1. Love this! This year’s batch of Sweethearts heart candies have some cute new messages, including …

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Soul smoothies: nourish and flourish!

Making green smoothies and juicing are all the rage these days. In fact, I make a green drink for my family every single morning to get us going! After I nourish my body, it’s time to think about what I’m going to pour into my spirit for the day.

What we experience each day is like food for our spirit. What we pour into our hearts and minds is what we choose as our “soul” diet. With all the negative stories and images in the news and on the internet, I want to share my favorite Heartful Life remedy to get your soul back on track and flourishing …

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New food trend: faux fish

Dear friends, what are you up to this weekend? Tomorrow and Sunday I am excited to be teaching Reiki 2 at BrightHaven (though we will miss little Joey so, so much). Here are a few interesting and important links from around the web of things I’m grateful for today:

1. A vegetarian alternative to fish: Whether or not you’re a vegetarian, overfishing and mercury levels are real problems when it comes to consuming your favorite fish, whether it’s ahi, bluefin or even unagi. Now enterprising chefs and companies across the nation are experimenting with savory, visually appetizing alternatives to your favorite fish dishes. Vegan options and veggie-based foods like “tomato sushi” (which looks and supposedly tastes like the real thing) are starting to roll out. Though demand is still small, I love this idea and can’t wait to try some of these products. Read more here on the flourishing faux-fish trend.

2. Here’s a woman living the dream: She gave up her fancy life in London to rescue street dogs in India …

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