Zoisite and Zen Cats…

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I borrowed “Zen” for the sake of alliteration here, for although I have my own belief system, personal to me, I like the 21st interpretation of the word. “Zen” has somehow evolved to mean calm and centred, possibly derived from the practice of meditation in Buddhism. There is much to be learned from the art of meditation: it is both calming and grounding, even if you don’t at first achieve a state of enlightenment. It can help to deal with depression, stress and anxiety as you are within yourself, and at one with yourself.

Cats are masters at the art of meditation. I have sometimes mistaken Ting’s deep, contemplative state as one of her shifts at her part-time job of being a garden rock…

No! I’m not sleeping! I was a paw step away from total peace…”

Oh, sorry, I thought you were just sleeping…”

Charlie is an excellent meditation partner – she likes to sit on my legs to ground me and purr soothingly, while I refresh and re-connect. Sometimes we are joined by one or two of the other cats, just sitting, and purring, sitting and purring…

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Zoisite, therefore, is an excellent stone for meditation, and one that I mean to try for myself, rather than my “Go-to” stone of Rose Quartz. In The Autumn Of My Life did a wonderful post about her personal experience of Zoisite, go and check it out…

A typical interpretation of this stone is that it is positive and uplifting, it can transform negative energies, dispel lethargy and give you a hotline to the spiritual realms, so to speak. Zoisite is a stone of direction, enabling positive character traits and focus. Ruby in Zoisite is a combination stone, bestowing the benefits of Ruby too as it is linked to the Crown Chakra. It can help to access the soul memory and facilitate spiritual learning, maintain your connection to other people whilst amplifying the biomagnetic field around your body, protecting your sense of inner peace and calm.

A little piece and serenity can go a long way to self help and healing, not least making you feel better after a long, horrendous day. Then I look forward to sitting down, cup of tea in hand and cat on knee; after a few minutes, the stress oozes away, the dark depressive cloud lifts and I can see a way forward.

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My cats are both calming and restorative to me, there have been quite a few articles written about the health benefits of owning a pet, with scientific proof, but as well as being good for the body, they are also good for the soul. What you see is what you get with a cat, there is no artifice or deception, they don’t understand – or care – about how people perceive them, they just know that they are cats. They sometimes aspire to greater things, but ultimately they accept themselves for what they are and are at peace with that:

If there were a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr.”

Barbara L. Diamond

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Murder… most crispy

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I didn’t mean to do it. Honest. And I feel awful too, absolutely horrible. I have killed my son’s Bonsai tree.

Bonnie-as she was known-was purchased from a special market that only comes to our city twice a year. They have wonderful stalls, one that makes French crepes, a subtle flick of the wrist and your pancake is done to perfection, sugar or syrup added and it is presented to you in a paper cone. No bits stuck to the ceiling as you try and flip, no acrid black smoke drifting through the house…A hand made chocolate stall, rich and dark, glistening with the sheen of luxury and finished with points of nut, sugared flowers…ethnic stalls with clothes and bags, bright zigzags of colour against the usual dull grey of the market square. An amazing Baltic Amber stall, chunks of the past polished and made into wonderful things…like trees…Yes, I know, I’m evading the issue…

My son and I were wandering entranced through the stalls when his eyes fell upon one previously unnoticed, selling Bonsai trees. His face lit up and he set off with determination. Even then, my heart sank a little, as I am not the world’s best gardener and any houseplants I am given are usually re-homed for their own safety.

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Moss Agate – the ‘gardener’s talisman’ and beneficial for increased plant growth… 

However, these little trees were robust and jolly. Perfect miniatures of their giant counterparts, tiny leaves of emerald and jade, glowing with health and vitality. Some even had little flowers, dainty and delicate, that looked as if any minute a tiny fairy would pop out from behind its gnarled trunk.

After much debate and conversation with the stallholder, my son decided upon a Chinese honeysuckle. Not quite as aged as the others, her delicate trunk bore aloft fine branches and tiny twiglets, carrying miniscule leaves that shone green in the sun, bursting with health and vigour.

Proudly, my son bore her home, studied the instruction leaflet assiduously and installed her carefully in the optimum spot in his room. He named her Bonnie, spoke to her tenderly, watered her carefully and gently dug in the pellets of feed.

At first, Bonnie seemed to relish the attention, she stretched out more branches that my son carefully tweaked away to maintain her neat shape. Then something went wrong. She had a little accident where the cat sat on her…but nothing to DIE about. Her leaves lost their gleam. She seemed somewhat pallid and unhealthy.

Then one day when my son was at college and the sun was shining, I thought:

Perhaps she’d like a change of scene. The fresh air and sunshine might cheer her up.”

I carefully placed her on the garden table and left her. Overnight. I forgot.

When my son left for college the next day I rushed out and brought Bonnie in. She looked…crispy. As I looked, a couple of leaves fell off. I elected for the coward’s way out and replaced her in my son’s room still looking…crispy. Later, my son said:

Bonnie’s not looking too well, perhaps I’ll water her, and give her a bit of Reiki. Maybe gridding her with Clear Quartz points and Moss Agate will help.”

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Numbly, I nodded my head. Personally, I thought it was too late as Bonnie had probably already left for the big forest in the sky…

I love my son. He’s had some unpleasant incidents in his short time on this earth, but he remains calm, kind, immensely compassionate and forgiving… I told him what I had done. A brief look of pain crossed his face. Then he said:

It’s all right. We can get another one when the market comes again.”

A weight lifted off my conscience, but the black stain of murder remains in my mind. I’ll buy him an Amber tree…what could possibly go wrong with that?

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MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award

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I must thank A Floating Speck for nominating me for this award – please go and visit her blog for emotive poetry and evocative pictures…

 

ABOUT THE AWARD

The MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers for quality content, originality and presentation. The intention of this award is to encourage connectivity and support in the blogging community and to increase exposure for individual bloggers.

THE RULES

If you have been nominated for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and choose to accept, write a blog post about the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award in which you:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog. Take a moment to positively promote the person who nominated you.

2. Display the award on your blog by adding it to your post and/or displaying it using a widget on your page (Save the image to your computer and upload it to your blog post).. Don’t forget to use the tag #MyUltraAward when you make your post!

3. Answer the following MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award questions.

 

What is your name?

Samantha

Where are you from?

England

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

26th March 2016 – I used to write a lot when I was younger, but, you know, life happens and I lost confidence in myself… to cut a long story short, my younger son is friends with a wonderful man, who has been his mentor and guide. He’s involved with Copper Staple, an independent online publishing co. I asked him whether he thought I could write something for it… and he said yes. The man who said I can. Also my son was writing typing a letter for me on the laptop – I’d hurt my elbow and couldn’t grip a pen (I smoke with the left hand – ha ha!) and he was laughing aloud as I dictated. He said I should start a blog, as did his lovely crystal lady Lizian – whose stones  and insights feature in some of my posts. Long answer, I’m afraid, but there it is, a combination of three people, who I must always thank for their support and encouragement.

What are you most proud of?

My sons. 
What are your blogging goals?

To entertain, make people look again at something in a different light and perhaps even inform a little…
How do you spend your free time?

Generally just faffing about… dusting crystals, ironing, reading, writing, feeding my cats… oh dear that’s not very exciting ! Sorry!

img_6448-2Yellow Roses… for friendship.

4. Nominate 1-8 blogs that you feel deserve the award and provide links.

 

5. Provide 5 random facts about yourself (optional).

  • My great grandmother, grandmother and mother were all nurses. I’m not.
  • I had two pet tortoises when I was a little girl called Pecky Number One and Pecky Number Two.
  • I’ve never been stung by a bee.
  • I once dyed my hair pink… by accident.
  • My favourite book EVER is ‘Ferney’ by James Long

 

6. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here).

 

7. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and provide a link for them to your post.

 

You do not need to be nominated to make nominations!

3 Day Quote Challenge #3

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Day 3 and the last day for me… final thanks go to Nikhil of Weirdly Wired for the challenge. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading…

So, rules:

  1. Post 1 quote each day for 3 days.
  2. A theme for each day would be nice (although not necessary)
  3. Nominate 3 blogs to pick up the challenge and pass on…

Don’t forget to let your nominees know on their blog… 

TAG, YOU’RE IT!

 

The theme today is crystals and the quote is from my oldest son’s favourite scientist/thinker…

In crystal we have a pure evidence of the existence of a formative life principle, and although in spite of everything we cannot understand the life of crystals – it is still a living being.

Nicola Tesla

My final nominations are:

  1. In The Autumn Of My Life
  2. Granny Moon’s Morning Feast
  3. Crystal Clear

 

Obviously, there is no pressure to accept – it’s just a bit of fun:)

3 Day Quote Challenge #2

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Day 2 – thank you again Nikhil of Weirdly Wired for this challenge… drop by his blog and have a look at his lovely writing!

Today’s theme is dogs…

So, rules:

  1. Post 1 quote each day for 3 days.
  2. A theme for each day would be nice (although not necessary)
  3. Nominate 3 blogs to pick up the challenge and pass on…

Don’t forget to let your nominees know on their blog… 

TAG, YOU’RE IT!

 

I’ve seen a look in dog’s eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt and am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts

John Steinbeck

My nominees today are:

  1. The Mad Terrier & Me
  2. life with 3 dogs
  3. A Vegetarian Gammy Takes A Hike ~ Then A Permanent Detour

 

Obviously, there is no pressure to accept – it’s just a bit of fun:)

3 Day Quote Challenge #1

Thank you to Nikhil of Weirdly Wired for challenging me – do drop by his blog…

I have come across a variety of these challenges with varying numbers, but I am going to stick to this set… And add a theme…

 

So, rules:

  1. Post 1 quote each day for 3 days.
  2. A theme for each day would be nice (although not necessary)
  3. Nominate 3 blogs to pick up the challenge and pass on…

Don’t forget to let your nominees know on their blog… 

TAG, YOU’RE IT!

 

Day 1 (as if you couldn’t guess)… cats

I adore cats. I do not mind them at all when they scrape their exquisite claws all down one’s best armchair. I have not the heart to reprimand them when they push a cold, purring nose against an ornament and whisk it off my desk… because their expression of faint disdain as they regard the ornament, after it has been foolish enough to fall to the floor, is worth any ornament that was ever made

Beverley Nichols, from ‘Down The Garden Path’

 

My nominees are:

  1. felinameow
  2. catsmeow123
  3. Cats&Grammar

 

Obviously, there is no pressure to accept – it’s just a bit of fun 🙂

Dalmationite and Dogs

For Alex…

My family’s dogs were a big part of my life when I was a little girl. I learned to stand, clutching fistfuls of fur and hauling myself upright against our German Shepherd Nikki, who bore my maulings good naturedly. I created miniature worlds between his paws as I sat and played, marching little animals across his shoulders… He also taught me my first adult lessons in grief… Returning home from school to find him gone, it broke my heart, but I thank him for his gentle love and guidance. In comparison to myself, my mother has always been a ‘dog person’. I am primarily a ‘cat person’ but I love dogs too and have had a couple who have co-existed happily alongside my various cats.

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Rosie was another notable character from my mother’s succession of dogs… my first sister dog, she taught my older son how to treat a dog. She would tolerate no nonsense, yet was loving and kind. When my younger son was born, I laid him at her paws. She sniffed him delicately, sensitive nose reading all the nuances of this new little person I had brought to her for inspection. Then she gave me a look as if to say:

Another one! Don’t you think I’ve done my duty?” However, she went on to become an adored auntie dog, to hug at the end of a hard school day and receive comfort and understanding from her wise brown eyes.

My older son was quite offended on one – he went towards his little brother, intending a play fight… he never reached him, as Rosie stood and pushed herself in front of my younger son. She bared her teeth – just slightly, but the message was clear:

Hey! We’ll have none of that here!”

She grew older as my son moved from toddlerhood into a little boy – he learned the same lesson I did at about the same age, our beloved animals never live as long as we want them to, but our lives are the better for having known them, and learned their lessons of love and loyalty that they have to teach.

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Next was Rowan, beautiful and golden. She took more to my older son, but had plenty of time to spend with my younger son. I watched them both, once, outside at my mother’s as my son drew complicated chalk pictures and explained them to her. She watched, fascinated, her ears twitching to the enthusiasm in his voice and eyes following every line of the chalk.

Good natured and loving, she also had a congenital heart defect that my mother was unaware of until it was too late. My son and I stood outside the vets while my mother said her goodbyes. As I comforted him, a tiny white feather floated down from the sky to land at our feet. I had my words:

Rowan was such a good dog, God could only lend her to us for a little while, then He needed her back. She’s left you a feather from her angel wings.” My son still has it.

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Now my mother has Erin, paler than the traditional Shepherd colours of black and tan – her father was white – show quality, but really just our little girl. She’s the most vocal dog Mum’s had, and can say things like “Horrible”, “Hungry” and “Harare”. Perhaps she’d like to visit. She’s loving, affectionate and trusting, my mother’s constant companion – I’d worry about her a lot more if she didn’t have a dog. Erin has one particular game that I find reasonably amusing… she shows me she’d like her toybox moving so she can look into it. Then I have to get her toys out, one by one, and show them to her. She’ll prod them with her nose and that’s a sign to put that one away. When I happen to choose the one she wants, she’ll grab it and run off… sounds quite tedious but the dog enjoys it! Another favourite is to chase my younger son around the garden, leaping and grabbing and SQUEEZING his bottom with her teeth to produce a scream…

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All these canine family members had, and have, love, loyalty, trust and an innocent sheer joy of life… Dalmationite helps you live in the moment, rather like a dog, encouraging you to enjoy this present incarnation and connecting to the base and sacral chakras. It is both protective and sensitive, a guard dog for the spirit, as it will enhance your awareness of danger but help you to remain calm and deal with it.

IMG_6222 (2)The black spots are Tourmaline – skulls don’t have to be scary, they are actually quite  a powerful symbol of new life and knowledge

A typical interpretation of this stone is that it can help you attune to the innocent child within, strengthening your sense of fun, helping to dissolve depression and restoring energy. Dalmationite can stop you from overthinking and help you get out there and just do it… At the same time, instilling awareness and the ability to plan for every eventuality. A good stone for children – what child doesn’t love puppies! – it encourages fidelity and stabilises emotions and can help you release the desire for revenge that could be potentially harmful to yourself. It’s another good stone to use for animals, enhancing the link between Mother Earth and her children.

I think we could learn a lot from our canine family, their unquestioning love and trust in us should be repaid in our care and love for them. Their ability for love and joy in life is one that we would do well to adopt ourselves… dogs just get along.

Walkies anyone?

_MG_6279“Hey! It’s good for all animals you know!”