Tribute to my Zen cat, Sesame

Sesame 2002-2019
Sesame 2002-2019

As most people know, I am a cat owner. On Saturday, 12 January 2019, we (our family) had a difficult decision to put our dear lovely cat, Sesame to sleep. While no one wants to go through that decision-making, we, especially me, dreaded thinking of that moment. Sesame was not my first cat who had to go through the death process. I already had three cats who went through that – but those were natural death. The three earlier cats each had a disease that took them naturally away from us. Was it easy to deal with their natural death? In a way Yes. However, Sesame’s death was different and difficult. It was a decision we had to take and like many other pet owners’ questions such as “What if?”, “Was that necessary?” or “Maybe a miracle can take place…” and so on. She was put to sleep on Saturday, 12 January at 1.37 am. It was a time when the whole world became quiet and still for me. I was sure feeling helpless and lousy…

Sesame had her first seizure on 09 January, morning. We rushed her to the vet and the vet ran many tests and fixed an appointment for further tests 2 weeks later. She was back home, was eating well, but the movement had decreased and she was mostly confined to her sleeping area. Late Friday night, 11 January, before 12 am, Sesame had her second seizure. This time, it was longer than the earlier one. To make things worse, she also had bleeding from her nose. We rushed to the emergency vet. She seemed lifeless for a long time at the vet. The vet was suggesting further tests in the morning when the regular clinic is in operation. The vet was also telling us that she had limited chances of survival if we prolong her life. We looked at her and we knew she did not have the strength or determination to take it any further. After much debates among ourselves, we finally agreed to a common decision. When the decision was made to put Sesame down, she seemed to understand and started “cleaning” herself (as if preparing herself) for the final journey. My mother was the one who was speaking to her until the final journey.

As a pet owner, this is something I do not like. However, it is also something I cannot avoid too. Anything that has life in it has an expiry date too…after all, being in the Spiritual line and/or holistic, I should be better prepared? Well, not really. My departed cats and existing cats all have taught me some lessons and are still teaching me too. Each of my earlier departed cats went through the death process differently. My first cat, Jacintha had heart problems. My second cat, Violet had kidney issues. My third cat, Lotus, had blood-related issues. However, their deaths were natural – something that was slightly easier to accept. Sesame’s death was and will not be easy for me and for my mother too (as she is the one who is always at home with them). Sesame taught me a valuable lesson…What was that? Even at that time of death, there is nothing to fear: Prepare and accept it…

Can I accept? As of now, I am still struggling to accept. My cats are part of my family life. They are part of me too…It will take some time, as any death will do.

In addition, I must add something on Sesame: she was the most responsive cat I ever had. She was adopted from SPCA, together with her best buddy, Violet. She responds to any talk by us to her with “meows” and was never shy to respond in her cat meows. Even to the last, Sesame was responding with her meows – perhaps she is also saying her final “goodbyes” to us.

We had a private cremation for Sesame on 12 January 2019, Saturday. We got that done at Mount Pleasant Pet Cremation Centre.

To our dear beautiful Sesame: Thank you for being part of our family over these years. Most importantly, thank you for the wonderful memories…

I have dedicated some pages just for my cat Zen Masters in my website. I appreciate their time with me and their unspoken ways of unconditional love…

https://www.withinsenses.com/my-zen-cats

The internet is full of pet owners telling of their agony and the life lessons they received, etc. I chose two articles that relate to me most…

5 Lessons I Learned From Losing My Own Pet by Kimberley Beldam-Saylor
http://drandyroark.com/5-lessons-learned-losing-pet/

Dealing With the Loss of Your Cat by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT
https://www.thesprucepets.com/grieving-the-loss-of-your-cat-552081

 

Celebrate our existence…

Today I celebrate my entrance into this world (that is my birthday). I take this time to wish anyone celebrating their birthdays on this day and for the month of January. And of course, wishing “Happy Birthday” to myself too! 🙂

Most importantly, I thank everyone (including the “Big Boss”, the Creator) who has and will be part of my life always…

Esther Birthday Cake from Awfully Chocolateawfully chocolate cake

Why wait for the world or someone to celebrate your existence? Always be in the celebration mood – and what else is better than each one of us to celebrate ourselves, our purpose and our living? When we truly understand and appreciate ourselves and our existence it will be easy to find and see beauty all around us. Nothing in the world is perfect – including us. I do not believe in waiting for something to be “perfect” to celebrate. It is important to celebrate when there are imperfections too. After all, each one of us is unique. Each one of us possesses certain qualities due to various reasons, according to our life purpose and/or life path.

Therefore, do not wait for a special occasion to celebrate yourself…you can begin now and you can do it on a daily basis…

birthday quote

“A child is born on that day, and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual Karma. His horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing his unalterable past and its probable future result. But the natal chart can be rightly interpreted only by men of intuitive wisdom – These are few…”
~ Sri Yukteswar Giri ~

Website: Reiki Rays, 2019 Reflection & Intention Workbook

If you are into Reiki, Self-healing or a Reiki practitioner, this is a useful website of free articles, downloads and more.

To know more about this website, visit this link: https://reikirays.com/about-reiki-rays/

In addition, they have a free download for welcoming 2019 with reflection and intention: https://reikirays.com/thank-you-newsletter/create-your-year-reiki-workbook.php

There are also many other articles by various Reiki Masters and Teachers. I am sure you can find something useful here.

Blessings,
Esther

close up photo of person holding crystal stone
Photo by Deena on Pexels.com

My life is like a dandelion…

life-cycle-dandelion-9350001

My life is like a dandelion.

Why do I compare my life to a dandelion? I am sure that there many other things out there than just dandelions? Yes! Definitely. A dandelion brings out feelings of freedom, emotional release and more. It is more like a “release” feature than to hold.

BBC.com describes the life cycle of dandelions (https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/clips/zhrb4wx),

“A look at the life cycle of a dandelion including wind-aided seed dispersal. Once fertilisation has taken place the plant will produce seeds. Plants such as dandelions often use wind to transport seeds. Each dandelion seed comes with its own individual parachute. This device works very well and only a slight wind will carry seeds high into the sky. As there are so many adult plants in one place there is no space for the next generation of plants to grow. The dandelion therefore needs the wind to carry the seeds far away. New plants are formed and the whole process starts again.”

Website, “Flower Meaning.com” describes dandelions and its symbolism beautifully.

http://www.flowermeaning.com/dandelion-flower-meaning/

What Does the Dandelion Flower Mean?

The common and humble Dandelion has a surprising amount of different meanings. The Dandelion means:

  • Healing from emotional pain and physical injury alike
  • Intelligence, especially in an emotional and spiritual sense
  • The warmth and power of the rising sun
  • Surviving through all challenges and difficulties
  • Long lasting happiness and youthful joy
  • Getting your wish fulfilled

Since the Dandelion can thrive in difficult conditions, it is no wonder that people say the flower symbolizes the ability to rise above life’s challenges.”

And no wonder I prefer dandelions!

I have encountered and survived many difficulties in my life. I am at my present stage of my life here because of my hard work. There were no short cuts offered to me. All was with hard work sprinkled with determination and courage. After surviving so many ordeals in my life, on and off I feel lack of self-worth and self-confidence. I realise feelings of self-love and self-worth has to continue in any person as long as one lives. You cannot put a brake on those. Over the years, there were many occasions when my determination and courage was tested. I managed to get through those. The one thing I failed in the past is to take good care of myself! I took care of others, their needs and their future – but I did not do anything for myself specially and thoughtfully. At the same time, I know that it is no use blaming others. The truth is that I should not blame anyone for the negative feelings or emotions I have created in my life.

A quote by Nicole Bailey-Williams puts it beautifully,

“I was a dandelion puff…Some saw the beauty in me and stooped quietly to admire my innocence. Others saw the potential of what I could do for them, so they uprooted me, seeking to shape me around their needs. They blew at my head, scattering my hair from the roots, changing me to suit them. Yet still others saw me as something that was unworthy and needed to be erased.”

I also found a beautiful YouTube video of the life cycle of a dandelion by Neil Bromhall. View it to enjoy the transformation.

In addition, there is more information on dandelions at Building Beautiful Souls website by Bernadette King

https://www.buildingbeautifulsouls.com/symbols-meanings/flower-meanings-symbolism/dandelion-meaning-symbolism/

Video of Time lapse Dandelion flower to seed head by Neil Bromhall

qqu

Manage Stress

stress

Ayurveda offers simple and easy to follow ways to reduce stress at any time. It is important to do regular self-checks for stress. If we ignore the stress symptoms, our body slowly develops illness and/or other negativity. The more we delay self-checks and self-management of stress, the harder and longer it becomes to achieve a balanced and calm state of mind and body.

Banyan Botanicals has shared an article telling ways to control stress. Do take time to read…to benefit your body and its systems.

An Ayurvedic Guide to Stress Management by Banyan Botanicals
Click here to go the article

In addition, Banyan Botanicals also has a page where you can take quiz to know your Ayurvedic compositions, etc. Feel free to visit the other pages for information on herbs, yoga and more.

Let us spread love and joy not only this holiday season, but all the time! And let us begin with ourselves…

Peace and Blessings.

peace

Be gentle and loving to your own good self

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.”
~ Margo Anand ~

Many times, I am the worst critic of myself. At times I get so hard on myself that I find it impossible to believe that I am doing it!

In the past, it has always taken much effort to love myself. Often, I was critical and even annoyed with myself over many aspects of my life and its happenings. Often, I took on the blame for other people failures. It took me a while or should say many years to realise that I do not need to carry all the burdens of everyone around me. It also took me awhile to love the person as I am. I lacked confidence in a number of aspects, for example in the way I look, dress, speak and more. While it does not need anyone to say anything negative to me, I could instantly, in a snap be very critical of myself that it brought me down in terms of emotions to negative thoughts and feelings. Often, it took plenty of courage on my part just to love myself. Afraid that I might look like a failure, I kept all of these to myself not wanting to discuss these aspects with anyone.

I am in my 40s now. Looking back, I could see many moments of life wasted just by being a critic of myself. That not only brought more bitterness to me but it also did not let me enjoy life and its moments. Spiritual knowledge or just to love myself is what I needed. While it is easy to go out to the world and proclaim, “I am the worse critic and I lack self-confidence,” I did not want to do it as society had its own expectations of me and most importantly, I had my own expectations of myself. I was afraid to talk about it to humans. Nevertheless, I turned inwards many times to my inner self and to God and his guides for direction and assistance. I am quite sure I received some kind of help from the inner self. At the same time, my self-critical voice was too loud to hear the inner voices. I wasted my life moments going around like a self-negative bomb, ready to burst on anyone that triggered it unknowingly.

The good thing to know is that your inner self NEVER gives up on you. My inner self made me search – search endlessly wanting to put an end to this very negative and dark areas. My inner self lead me to music, books and poems. The music piece that triggered in me a positive self-change and wanting to love myself more was “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins. One day many years back in my dark negative self, I just played the CD (I had purchased the inspiration moments 1 collection of music), “Adiemus” piece came. I just closed my eyes and drifted away – in peace, in love and in bliss. I was so peaceful that it is now impossible to explain in words. As of now, I play that piece of music and I can get goosebumps! Another music piece that will offer me peace and love anytime will be “Nightingale” by Yanni. This music piece brought about a closer connection to Nature or Mother Earth. It was as if it was erasing my negativity and replacing it with pure love (like a mother cradling a child with love). I wanted these peaceful and positive feelings to persists and wanted to carry it with me always and forever. I was silly not to realise that those wonderful positive feelings was always there – in me and in everyone too. We put a mask over it – by our expectations and societal expectations. Once the mask is up, we forget our true beautiful and lovely selves.

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

My search went on and then I stumbled upon Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)” and I was just so inspired and felt more loved and worthy by reading this book. It seemed that Parahamansa Yogananda was speaking directly to me on all my issues.

(The links to the music pieces and books are at the end of this post)

Another great mystic whom I love and respect is Rumi. He changes the reader with his beautiful poems. Rumi woke me from my negative sleep. He together with other Masters and Teachers made me see the positive value of my life. As Rumi puts,
“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there.”

Slowly, but surely I made progress. Now, my critical self is quieter these days as I spend by being in Zen (by conscious living and living in the moments). However, my critical self is not totally “dead” or gone. It comes on and off making me think negatively over something or someone. I suppress the negative self-talk by focusing on my breath, nature (if I am outside), mantra, meditation, prayer, writing, coloring, drawing and more. I gently “kick” my negative thoughts and feelings away, replacing it with positive thoughts and feelings.

Often, it is very easy to fall into the trap of making ourselves look vulnerable and self-pitiable for so many negative and unhappy happenings in our life. The first step of remedy is to realise that we brought upon ourselves these negativity. In addition, we also need to realise that we are the Masters of our own life. Therefore, it is right that we erase it and replace it with positivity by our own efforts. It is not the responsibility of the world, society and family to get it done for us. We need to act like a Master and correct it.

These days there are many options out there to get it right. Books and music are easily available in electronic versions. Music is one way to find peace and unity with your own self. The only thing is that you just need to search for the right one to lift your spirits. Written works or books allow us to get in touch or connected with Ancient Masters. If you rather have people comfort, there are many support groups out there. If you are determined to get things right and / or sorted, the options will be available to you in many forms and ways.

The biggest mistake anyone can make is to waste his / her life precious moments in self-pity and negativity. To counter that, one need to love himself and be gentle at the same time. In fact it is so very easy to start loving our own self. We can start immediately without having to getting any clearance, approval or not doing much. After all, it is about us and life.

My friends, the year is ending soon. 2019 will be here soon. Take this opportunity to do a “self-check” and get rid of any mental clutter and negativity. It is now or never. You might not make great progress at a start. A small step is what one needs. Indeed, it is a big favor one will be doing for himself.

Imagine yourself as a positive bubble. There will be no one out there who will be able burst that bubble if you do not let them do it. If they try to burst your bubble, you can always tape it up with self-worth and self-love. I have done it and I am still doing it. Many others, who have experienced similar or different ways of negativity, have overcome it.

Let us all welcome 2019 with a big hug and wave a big bye to 2018, with gratitude…

“To be beautiful means to be yourself.
You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. “
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

The links to the various music pieces that made a difference to my life

Link to Adiemus by Karl Jenkins
Video (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLjDAxHiDQ4
Audio (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX__4aHwYzM

Link to Nightingale by Yanni
Video1 (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPc5kMrStkY
Video2 (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inWzjwLmiPo

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

The links to the books that has made a difference to me and is continuing to make a difference to many others in the world…

Link to the Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)”
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6604259-journey-to-self-realization

Link to Man’s Eternal Quest (Collected Talks & Essays 1) by by Paramahansa Yogananda
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/648109.Man_s_Eternal_Quest?from_search=true

Link to Rumi’s Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit by Rumi, Maryam Mafi (Translator), Azima Melita Kolin (Translator)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14343182-rumi-s-little-book-of-life

Link to Dancing Into the Light: An Inner Journey Guided by Rumi by Rumi, Omid Arabian (Translation), Shilla Shakoori (Illustrations)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32165751-dancing-into-the-light?from_search=true

and more…

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

 

Age has no limits for interests!

I am a Postcrossing member and recently at the Postcrossing blog, an article was written featuring their oldest member for now. She is Helen, 101 years old from the USA. One should read to find out that there are no age barriers for interests – even though we might have some limitations within our physical body as we age.

Among whatever that was written, what caught my eye was when Helen mentioned, “What you don’t use, you lose!” Isn’t that very much the truth? Our daily activities are at times so confined to certain matters, that we do not get to use all our talents and capabilities. It is time to look at ourselves and ask on a daily basis on what we are failing to use and letting it go to waste.

I was totally thrilled to read on Helen. I hope you do find some inspiration in this article just as I did.

Link to the article:

Title: A special postcrosser: Honney17 from the USA!

https://www.postcrossing.com/blog/2018/10/27/a-special-postcrosser-honney17-from-the-usa

Enjoy the Little Things