Tag Archives: animals

Does Meditation Make You A Better Pet Owner

Does Meditation Make You A Better Pet Owner?

Does meditation make you a better pet owner? Well, it certainly has a whole host of benefits for both you and your pets. Meditation also helps us cultivate mindfulness and gratitude, allowing us to let go of the concept of ownership altogether and embrace being a pet parent. Or even better, it helps us look at our pets as animal companions.

Animals are sentient beings, and as such, they are affected by our moods and energy. Ever felt stressed while you were getting ready to go out and noticed that your pets were acting excited, too? Or have you ever been sick or sad and somehow your pet just knows to give you extra snuggles that day? They know when you are sad, mad, or glad and behave accordingly.

The Benefits of Meditation for You and Your Pet

The well-being of your animal companion rests entirely on you. And how are you supposed to take care of a living creature if you are not taking care of yourself? Any anxiety in your life will spill over into theirs. This is where meditation can be a big (and easy) help.

You also want to ensure that you will be around to take care of your pet. Stress has been linked to numerous health issues, ranging from mild to life threatening. Simply taking ten minutes to meditate each day will help reduce your stress and improve your health. Benefits of meditation include lower blood pressure, feeling calmer and grounded, less muscle tension, a decrease in inflammation, and a stronger immune system.

The benefits of meditation will spill over into your pet parenting. For instance, studies show that meditation increases a person’s empathy, which will allow you to make an even deeper emotional connection with your animal companion. Meditation will keep you more calm and relaxed, which means your animal companions will also feel more calm and relaxed.

Three Ways to Meditate with Your Pet

Mindfulness Meditation: An easy way to get started is to take a minimum of ten minutes a day to sit in silence. Once you are in a comfortable position and have been sitting in silence for a moment, begin to focus on your breathing. You’ll want to take long, full belly breaths from deep within you abdomen.

While you are focusing on your breathing, think about positive qualities your animal companions bring into your life. This will help cultivate an increase of gratitude and appreciation for your pets. As well, taking a moment each day to calmly think about your pets and nothing else can alert you to any changes in their behavior. We are not always aware of things unless we make a point to focus on them. Mindful meditation will give you a renewed perspective of your animal companions and what’s going on in their lives.

Petting and Snuggling: You most likely pet and snuggle with your animal companions throughout the day. This is a form of meditation in itself. The rhythmic motion of petting your animal companion’s fur often puts people into a slight meditative state. There is a reason you find snuggling with your pets relaxing!

To take this one step further, integrate the mindfulness meditation techniques. Focus on channeling your calm energy to your pet. If you have a cat, try to match your breathing with your cat’s purr. Studies even suggest that a cat’s purr has healing powers! To get the most out of this meditation, make sure you and your pet are in a quiet place with no distractions. This is a great way to calm an anxious pet and especially helps when dogs are barking. Creating this relaxation for your pet will also help decrease pain in pets that have tense muscles or inflammation caused by disorders such as arthritis.

Chanting and Mantras: Animals respond strongly to the tone of a person’s voice. It’s one of the reasons dog trainers advise owners to not yell at their dogs during training sessions (or ever). Even looking at an animal a certain way can cause them to tremble with feelings of guilt (you’re especially aware of this one if you have a dog).

Chanting sounds such as “om” are very calming and rhythmic and are an easy technique to use as a way to calm anxious pets. For example, if you have a pet that suffers from anxiety while traveling in cars, chant a simple mantra while you’re driving. This is also a technique that can be used to help pets who have trouble sleeping. Feel free to use healthy treats to your pets when you are using the chant or mantra so they will further associate it with something positive.

The chanting can be as simple as a hum or using the word “om”, or it can be more complex, such as a lullaby or a mantra. The mantra and chanting will have positive effects on you as well; they say a daily mantra can stave off depression and foster feelings of positivity and gratitude.

If you think about it, animals meditate on a regular basis anyway. Meditation is simply finding the joy and gratitude of being in the moment. Animals do that everyday. In fact, everything mentioned in this article are benefits your animal companions provide for you. It only makes sense to return the favor.

If you happen to be in the California area on July 18th, 2015, join me for my “Writing as a Path to Awakening” workshop at Spirit Rock for a day of mindfulness meditation and writing. More details: www.spiritrock.com

How to Write a Poem that Commemorates your Pet

How to Write a Poem that Commemorates your Pet

The grieving process that follows after losing an animal companion can be really heart wrenching. For most people, having an animal companion pass on is like losing a family member. There are many ways to cope with the grief, such as reaching out to friends and family, and there are also ways to commemorate your beloved pet so that their memory will live on with you.

A poem is perhaps one of the nicest ways to commemorate an animal companion. It’s personal and sentimental, and it’s something that is easily shared on social media, can be displayed in a frame, or be kept private. It’s also very therapeutic to put pen to paper and conjure up memories of your pet. The only tricky thing is actually writing the poem! The following tips and writing prompts will make the process of writing the poem go smoothly and easily so that you can focus on healing and creating a beautiful tribute for your beloved pet.

Write down facts about your pet

This is where you start compiling information that you can put into your poem. Writing down facts and details about your pet is also a nice way to remember all the good times and what you loved about your animal companion.

Include facts such as your pet’s favorite food, games they liked to play, and funny habits they had. Also write down details about your pet’s appearance. Did they have long or short ears? Did they have fur, feathers, or scales? Did your pet have any special behaviors or needs that made them unique?

Descriptive words

After you have a list of facts and qualities about your animal companion, make a list of descriptive words that can compliment the words in your first list. For example, if you wrote “brown” for the color of your dog’s fur, you could add “shiny brown fur that was the color of caramel”. Think about textures, sounds, emotions, and expressions.

Play around with making different sentences for the qualities you wrote down in your first list. Maybe “the color of caramel” didn’t sound quite right and you want to change it to “the color of milk chocolate”. Feel free to be as creative and expressive as you wish.

A picture is worth a thousand words

While it may be painful, looking at photos of your pet is a good way to come up with ideas for descriptive words and imagery. You’ll be able to see the expressions on your pet’s face and reflect back on the times when the photos were taken. This process can be very therapeutic. Just be sure to have some tissues on hand because it can really tug on your heart strings.

Poetry comes from the heart

The lovely thing about poetry is that you can really make the writing style your own. Poems do not have to rhyme. The only thing that truly matters is that your poem comes from the heart. You can include family members and friends and write the poem together. Or you can write it on your own. Either way, let the style come easily to you and don’t worry about form or layout.

Rhyming tips for poems

If you do want your poem to rhyme, there are some easy tricks you can use so that the words will flow naturally. First, make a list of words that rhyme with the type of animal you had. That way, you won’t have to try to think of rhyming words as you’re writing the poem. Second, make a list of words that rhyme with your pet’s name. Third, make a list of endearing words that represent how you feel about your animal companion, such as love, happy, and joy.

Lastly, look up examples of a variety of rhyming poems to see which style of rhyming you like best. Typically, a poem consists of stanzas that are four lines each. This does not have to be a rule set in stone. You can play around with the number of lines and stanzas until you find a pattern that is right for you. Pay attention to the number of beats per line so that your poetry will have a steady cadence and rhythm.

Finishing touches

After you’ve written a few lines of your poem, read them out loud to see how the rhythm is starting to form. It’s better to make adjustment in the early stages than to wait until the end. Continue to read your poem out loud every time you’ve written a few more lines.

When you get to the end of your poem, really focus on making the closing line count. Choose words that convey emotion and that pay tribute to your animal companion. Once your poem is finished, it is up to you if you want to share it with others. The poem is something you will have for always, so you can share it when you are ready.

By the time you’ve finished writing the poem, you will have spent quality time healing through the grief of losing your animal companion. It’s important to use things like poetry as a way take care of yourself through this difficult time, because the other place your pet will always live on is in your heart.

For more #BrilliantWriter tips follow Albert Flynn DeSilver at Facebook.com/Albert.Flynn.DeSilver.Author