Build a Mindful Connection With Your Pet | 与你的宠物构建正念连接
Writing an article about mindfulness and pets was not an easy task. Many people don’t see much of the connection with them. In this article, we try to briefly address how and why we need to change our view of life in the perspective of our furry friends.
First, close your eyes and think about a typical day in your life. From the moment waking up, we begin our day lost in our thoughts - deciding what to dress, where to eat, next appointment, deadlines for jobs…. hundreds of thoughts and situations. When we return home exhausted, who is there waiting for you? - Your lovely furry baby. But what it’s the involvement of mindfulness in our life?
The Harvard Medical school defines mindfulness as 'the ability to live each moment as it unfolds and accept it without judgment — can help reduce stress and enhance health'.Unfortunately, we are doing the opposite. Our mind is always wandering in the past, feeling guilty of what we did wrong or what we could change, or thinking too much about the future like pretending to have psychic abilities that we actually don’t have. Future is just a consequence of our present!. Instead of being mindful, we are doing our best to be judgmental of others, ourselves or any situation that happens in our daily life.
首先，闭上眼睛，想想你生命中最寻常的一天。从醒来那一刻起，我们就开始了迷失在无穷尽并不断涌现的想法中 - 决定如何穿衣、在哪吃饭、会议日程、某项工作的截止时间(…)。当我们晚上回到家时已经被工作折磨的疲惫不堪，然而可爱的毛茸茸宝贝依然满怀期待迎接你的归来。所以在我们的日常生活中，正念究竟有何作用？
In our experience with cats and dogs working in Ohmycat for the past 4 years and of course with our 3 cats, We have discovered a lot of the similarities between cats or dogs and their human parents.
A recent report published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science pointing out the similarity between the personalities of parents and their dogs using the most commonly accepted personality dimensions.
From that study they concluded that there are personality traits which human parents and their pets are involved:
“The dog parents rated their dogs as having similar personalities to themselves in all five of the personality traits measured. The strongest association was between the parent's degree of neuroticism (when a person is sensitive and nervous vs. secure and confident). It is often referred to as a measure of "emotional stability"), and that of their dog, followed by extraversion ” (this looks at whether the individual is outgoing, sociable and energetic vs. solitary and reserved).
This study revealed how much influence we give to our pet. By extension, using our experience of many years of understanding of pet’s behavior we can assume that the results of these studies can be applied very much to cats and their parents emotional-energy bonds.
We can conclude that there is a strong connection in the emotional energy field, and if we see our cat or dogs are always in fears, hiding all the time or having a hard time interacting with new people or other dogs, there could be a projection of how we are, without realizing it. If we come home angry or feeling annoyed, we will definitely imprint that emotion-energy on our pets. On the contrary, if we are calm and levelheaded that good energy will be spread throughout your home.
Observing is a good starting point to get connected with your pet, as well as for you to start mindfulness practice and lower your stress level and anxiety.
When you get to the stage of calming your mind and just being present without judgment you will be able to see magic things: Reality with no filters or color lens, just the river of life.
Your connection with your pet on the other level is emotional - energy connection. I will call the “mirror effect”.
Have you heard about a cat leaving his/her parent because the parent is jobless or living in a poor neighborhood? Guess who is always being present without any judgment? Yes, them! From here we have a great opportunity to learn from cats and dogs - live in now without any judgment leads us to less suffering and to be a happier person.
We don’t realize that we are in the present because our mind creates fiction to see what it wants to see. And it has a lot of space to develop their inner dialogue and mental pictures from the extremes of the timeline (past/future) which the present has not held any space for it. We do not realize this situation because our mind is always in DISTRACTION ( thinking, chatting, social media, online shopping etc). No means you cannot do any of these, you simply aren’t aware of your own distraction.
Observe your cat when he/she is eating, playing or sleeping, and you may find they are absolutely focused on what’s going. They are totally mindful when they decide to play with a dirty delivery box rather than your pricey cat toy.
Distraction is one of the ‘problems’ as we cannot see how emotional or how lost in our mind we can be. And being mindful doesn’t necessarily mean to quit your conventional life or simply became an emotionless robot. Just stay where you are and be present to identify the quality of your emotions and from there “make conscious choice” of your next step. Our furry friends can be a perfect guide to help us to improve positive emotion in our life.
1. Live the now, be present since wake up |
When you wake up in the morning, please don’t hurry to grab your phone. Look at your cat eyes but stay in bed if you want, and be grateful to the universe and yourself that you are still alive, as others may not able to make it. Slowly get your routine life started and prepare for your day. When you get off your pillow in the morning, you’ve already got everything you need in life. Remember to pet your furry friends and express your love gently and try to live in that moment.
2. Breath | 呼吸
Observe your pets that are always in present. Try to identify their needs when they bark or meow. Watch and feel their stable breathing, and try to breathe with them
3. Observe | 观察
If you need to feed your pet, pls be conscious of what you are doing. Don’t do it mechanically as a routine job. Observe yourself when you are preparing the food and feel the love between them and you.
4. Stop old behavior, focus and take on your role as a pet parent | 改变过去的行为，集中精力，扮演好宠物父母的角色
Try to have regular playtime with your cat or dog. However, if your someone else or pet sitter do the work for you, spare some time from your busy schedule to do it as well even just a short time. Leave behind all the devices that may cause distractions (mobile, magazines, iPad, etc. ) When you are playing with your pet, observe them, watch their movements and their reaction from any of your interaction. Look into their eyes and you will feel their strong sense of present joy. At the same time observe your self, catch the present moment as it is.
5. Break the circle, Leave the problems out | 打破习惯，抛开问题
When you are going through your home, right after you cross the threshold door after a long day work, try to visualize that you are leaving all your problems or situations of the day outside of the door. And when you are home, look into his/her eyes and feel the love between you without any complaints. Feel one more time the moment and how present you begin to be.
6. Be weird, be human, be connected | 做任何你想做的事情
Talk to your pet, it is not weird. Remember, don’t judge yourself, they will listen to yourself with no judgment. If it's hard for you to leave your bad day out of the home, try to pet your baby and breath with them for a while then you will feel better.
7. Be furry | 成为他们
Try to understand that if you have a high level of stress, it is mainly caused by something that you are doing and that is leading you to feel the stress. Don’t blame others for your stress because negative feelings are originated from you and it is affecting you. To get that understanding requires you to work on seeing reality from a different perspective. Different circumstances in your life are actually helping you to see it. Read this advice without judgment but the willingness to give a try and change some of the repetitive distractions that most of us are immersed. From there start to build your self-healing - Be your pet for a while.
As a conclusion, I must say that life is a gift, and being alive and truly happy is a miracle that only we can construct. Our pets are amazing spirits that come to guide us and raise our vibration. To get a true connection we must take the first step to be involved in reality: stronger attention, stop fighting with reality and accept it. See your dogs and cats: they are just PRESENT and happy because they never judge. To some extent, they are our little masters Yoda.