Self-Care through Connection

Shirley of Gluten Free Easily is our guest hostess this week as we explore self-care through connection with friends, family and pets as part of our July Self Care Retreat.  Shirley was such a natural choice and did a wonderful job! Valerie of City Life Eats and I are co-hosting the event, and her post for this week is wonderful, inspiring and brave.

Family, friends, pets…well, to make it easy, my baby Genghis Khat and his brother the love magnet, Houdini, fit for all three.  They are also one of my best teachers of self-care.  Not only did cats sleep while the book of self- care was written about them, but then they proceed to take a nap on said book.

Genghis found me about 9 years ago while I was attempting to garden in a rocky patch outside our apartment.  Hew as so rambunctious that we soon headed to the Humane Society and adopted him a brother, Houdini.  Somehow they must have known how well they would complete our lives.  They each have their wonderful quirks: Genghis is my snuggle-bunny, and Houdini will even lie quietly with me during meditations.  It’s very cute.

I must confess, I often get caught up in work or distracted bystress from pain, and then some furry being comes along and purrs until I remember what’s really important in life (in case you don’t have a cat, the things that matter are: petting the cat, feeding the cat & brushing the cat).  A cat knows when you’re really there with him, and when you’re rubbing his head and checking your email, and our dudes will have none of the multi-tasking business.  Humans were, apparently, given 2 hands for a reason.  Their reminders to be present are a huge gift to me.

They bring me so much joy.  Houdini is the happiest little dude I’ve ever met, and he’s very dog-like–he’ll run to the door to meet you and nothing makes him happier than spending time with my husband.  We’re good friends, but he worships his daddy with almost a creepy reverence.  And Genghis…AKA Felis Destructus…is constantly falling off things, breaking things (know how cats are supposed to be graceful?  this one didn’t get the memo) and causing assorted chaos.  And yet he’s perfect, and I couldn’t love him more if, well, he wasn’t such a darned mess.

And may I present to you…Relaxation 101:A day in the life of a cat, with pictures taken over the span of 6-7 hours.  And if you can’t read it, Hou is sleeping with a sign that says “attack cat on duty”.

A cat will almost always stretch before he walks around.  Life is pretty simple, and most problems can be solved with tuna. They understands the value of a nap.  A cat understands that he comes first (to a fault).  And at least our guys are also super loving and affectionate in their way…on their terms, which makes the lovin’ so much more special!

The dudes are a huge part of my life, and their love greatly enhances my world!

This virtual self-care retreat is to inspire you all to make July a month of reflecting on self-care and the many ways to nourish ourselves.   We encourage everyone to participate in this event in a way that feels appropriate to them, whether through personal reflection, journal or other self-care.  If you would like to share your experience with self-care, we would love to include you in the experience, whether you join us for one week or every week.  You can write generally about self-care, or focus on one of the themes (movement, food, family/friends/pets, creativity and meditation and mindfulness), or write every week about each of the themes.  We ask that you link back to this post so that more people can learn about this retreat, and leave a comment for the weekly theme host, too!.  If you would like to be included in our  roundup, please email a link to your post, along with your name and blog name, to us at selfcareretreat at gmail dot com by July 30, 2011.  Feel free to use the badge in your posts.  Non-bloggers who would like to contribute,please email the full text to the same address and it will be included in the roundup.

About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in cheryl's musings, self care carnival. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Self-Care through Connection

  1. What an awesome post, Cheryl! I love all the photos (ones with Attack Cat sign–too funny!) and the sentiments. Your dudes are so cute and I love their names! 🙂

    Shirley

  2. Love love love this post. What sweet cats you have. And so true they are the ultimate masters of self-care.

  3. different topic, but your post reminded me of a post on how animals express happiness that i really loved. wanted to share: http://www.blisschick.net/2011/01/big-giant-fur-covered-happy.html

  4. I LOVE this post!!! You captured catness just perfectly! I’ve learned such great life lessons from my cats. And I’m so much healthier because I stop in the midst of the craziness of life and scratch a chin and enjoy the sound of purring. Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Shirley,
    Thanks! I thorughly adore them.

    Valerie,
    Indeed. and thanks for sharing that link!

    Heather,
    Catness. Never used that word before, but surely I need to start.

  6. Pingback: Menu Plan Monday: Peaches!!! | Gluten Free Goodness

  7. I absolutely LOVE that picture of you with Ghengis! 🙂 My cats are definitely our beloved companions and can be our best friends. Our cats always give me a sense of peace and just being in their presence can put me at ease. This makes me want to go home and snuggle!!

  8. Alphonso says:

    @ Cheryl – life played a similar trick on me. I was a vegetarian for 20+ years and taught vegetarian cooking classes. Then I found out I had become allergic to dairy, soy, almonds, eggs, and beans. Not much left for protein. So I had to give up being a vegetarian (and feel much, much better) but still think it is an excellent choice for many people. I would do it again if I could!

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