It has been a very busy month. I had a goal of podcasting every single day for the month of September. I knew that with two eclipses, a Mercury retrograde, and the equinox all in one month, there would be a lot to talk about. However, the level of activity required of me for various projects became overwhelming. That was one commitment I couldn’t keep.

Bruce, feeling much better.

Bruce Almighty, feeling much better.

We still have the foster kittens. One of them, Bruce, got very sick and there was some talk about him not making it as his digestive system was not assimilating food. He didn’t feel well, and spent most of his time curled up on one of us while his brothers and sisters played. Some high powered antibiotics followed by some probiotics fixed him up, however, and he’s doing great now. The support from the shelter manager and all of my friends and family on Facebook helped me get through it all. And Bruce got a middle name, Almighty. How sweet is that? I swear, he’s got his own following now on Facebook.

Because Bruce, and his slightly insane tortie sister Maia, had not gained enough weight, they were not ready to get neutered and spayed for the September trip, so they have to wait another month.

All of this was unexpected, but as with parenting, fostering comes with commitments. And when we make commitments, we follow through. Well, I do. If I can do it, I do what I say I’m going to do.

Mark, however, is ready for life to return to normal. He is the only one in the house not enjoying the presence of the kittens, and he has let me know this. I, however, was not happy that he is not accommodating the kittens when I accommodate so much for him.

It started a fight. A big one.

I thought he was being unreasonable, and boy did I get mad at him. And during the course of the argument, I realized that the part of me that was mad at him had more expectations than other parts. It was all in my memory banks. He took a risk during the fight and asked me to shift my eye movement. I took a risk and did it. And I started to see some distinctions.

Now this is not to say that he’s not wrong, because KITTENS. But I started to see how I was running a pattern that made me more defensive and angry than I would have been otherwise. It wasn’t really about who was right or wrong, but how we communicated about what we want, what we feel, and what we believe so strongly to be true.

It was a fascinating bit of learning, and I suggested we talk about what had happened. So, we recorded a podcast about the experience. I actually suggested it, because I thought it would be interesting to dissect my belief pattern and talk about what it was, where it came from, and how I was able to identify it in the heat of an argument and let it go. So that podcast is here.

Magi, look at that nose!

The presence of the kittens here has really given me a lot to work with in understanding myself more and working with the emotions and the beliefs that come up. I committed to giving them a space to grow up, but they returned the favor with growth and healing I wouldn’t have been able to work with otherwise.

Negative emotions are good

So many times in spiritual communities, we are taught to immerse ourselves in positivity and “love and light” all the time, so much so that we lose opportunities to really grow and expand our understanding of ourselves. We mask over negative emotions or conflict so much that we never give ourselves opportunities to learn and grow.

Our emotions are wonderful tools for understanding what it is that we believe about our reality and ourselves. We are not our emotions, we are not our feelings, and we are not our thoughts, but these are programs that create the experience and our perceptions about what we think is so true. If we’ve got negative emotions, they come from our thoughts, which come from our beliefs. In ho’oponopono, this is our “data” we have to clean up. But if we don’t have negative experiences, how do we know which rooms of our mind need a cleaning?

Why suffer?

The only true purpose of suffering is to teach us how not to suffer anymore. When negative feelings or conflict show up, it gives you an opportunity to really understand yourself. Don’t mask it, not sadness, not depression, not anger, not frustration. All of these things, even boredom, are things that we create for a reason to explore ourselves more. Leverage emotions, leverage your states, and you find the path to alleviating suffering.

I am lucky to have the resources and tools to make distinctions and explore the beliefs that drive my reality, and I am lucky to realize that I am not my emotions, my states, or my feelings. I’m not even my thoughts or beliefs. Making that distinction about who I really am and how my beliefs create my reality and my experience, for both good and bad, help me to navigate my life in productive ways that lead to growth and more love.

And, did I mention kittens? 😉

Spay and Neuter, people. Please.

Maia

Maia and me: the kitten selfie

The kittens will be with us until mid-October. After that, they’ll be available for adoption through Siskiyou Humane Society. Each one of them is pretty special. Maia has developed the most amazing personality of all: fearless, cuddly and sweet, playful, and absolutely hilarious. She may need a post dedicated to her alone. If she ever slows down, I’ll take a picture that isn’t blurry.

Taking care of kittens over the last few months has taught me a lot about myself. It’s also given me a ton of respect for the people who commit to caring for animals. The people at the humane society have supported me throughout this process so very much; they are awesome people who I adore and respect so very much.

And as for the people who can’t even be bothered to spay or neuter or, as in Sapphire’s case, leave their animal behind when they move, well, let’s just say I hope I never meet you face to face. I still have a few belief patterns there that I’d love to share with you.