Archive for gratitude

Inspiration and gratitude

Posted in Legba, Religion, Sekhmet with tags , , , , , , on June 20, 2012 by cheshirecatman

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, feeling tired and unmotivated. I haven’t been sculpting much. On Monday, however, I felt like a weight was being lifted from my shoulders. Now I feel lighter and more positive than I have in months. There could be several reasons why this is.

On Sunday night I sent a large (for me) donation to the Global White Lion Protection Trust. This was part of an agreement I made with Sekhmet some months back; if she helped me to get my art out there and make sales, then a percentage of those sales would be dedicated to her. And I could not think of a better way to do that than by donating to organizations that work to save big cats from extinction. There are several groups that I like, but I decided to go with Linda Tucker’s white lion group this time around. I read her amazing book “The Mystery of the White Lions: Children of the Sun God” shortly after Sekhmet first made contact. Reading the book and listening to the goddess resulted in a significant shift in some of my beliefs. Perhaps the goddess is pleased with the donation and has gifted me with creative fire. (I have a new bust of her in progress, which I’ll post photos of at some point down the road.)

On Monday I made my usual offering to Legba, and realized that my body tells me when he is present. I seem to respond to spirit in physical ways; in this case with a slight pressure in my head (which is much preferable to past arm pain and upset stomach, to be sure).

I’ve been feeling grateful. There are many things I don’t have, but I have a steady day job, my art work, and my basic needs are met. I have a girlfriend who is amazingly accepting of my various unconventional beliefs and who is a diehard animal lover. I live with some wonderful furballs and I have more than adequate food and shelter.

Also recently, I’ve removed some negative influences from my life, with no regrets. It needed to be done. I spend time online to learn, network and have fun, and some sites were causing more aggravation than fun.

The positive feeling is one of hope, as if I have a bit more control over my life than I felt I had before. This feeling is now reflected in my eating habits; I’ve gained some weight over the winter, and am inspired now to take better care of myself. I ate lighter quantities yesterday with very little effort, and had energy to sculpt last night.

So now that I have more energy, my next task is to revise another post that I’ve had in progress for about a month now 😉

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Gifts from 2010

Posted in Animal communication, Animals, Music, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2010 by cheshirecatman
My cat Luna with 2 rattles

Luna discovers percussion

I was reading one of my favorite animal communicator blogs, Tales Around the Water Bowl, and this part moved me:

He [Al] was born “accidentally”  when his mom mated with a Shepherd up the road. His mom was a Husky and was set to be bred with their dog – his dad’s favorite dog of all time: Bob. Sadly, Bob died before Al was born, so Al was the chosen one out of the litter to live with the family. He knew from Day One that his dad could never love him as he had loved Bob. He loved his dad anyway, did as he was asked as he grew, and became a much beloved member of the family. But there was always that distance between Al and his dad. Al wasn’t Bob.

Through my animal communication, I taught Al’s dad a lot about Al and the things he had to say. Al was nothing like Bob but his sweet nature is irresistible. With his giant frame, there is a heart as big to go with it.

One day we were walking the beach and Al was at my side. He said to me “My dad loves me now like he loved Bob.” I replied “Really Al?, That’s great!” and he said “Yes, and all I had to do was be myself.”

Although my young female cat (Luna, now 2-1/2 years old) is not the late Puck’s biological relation, I’ve always thought of them as spiritual siblings, both being Devon Rexes in my care. I even suspect that Puck helped me to “choose” her. However, as mentioned in the quote above, there was always a distance between Luna and me.  I fell in love with her from the first time I saw her photo and certainly upon meeting and holding my little girl, but inevitable comparisons with Puck sometimes arose in my mind, and she certainly could not compete with my companion of nearly 15 years, even if he was now in spirit form. Anne felt I did not wait long enough after Puck’s passing to adopt another Rex, and I had to admit that perhaps she was right. Puck passed in January of 2008, and we picked Luna up from the breeder in July of that year.

My other 15-year-old cat (still living, whom I’ll call by his nickname “Snowman” here) could not compete with Puck either, for that matter. Snowman is a flame-point Siamese and we’ve been through more than one life together. In contrast, this was the first go-around for Puck and I, as far as I know. This will give you some idea about the strength of my bond with Puck, that it makes my lengthier bond with Snowman seem diminished.

But in recent months something has shifted. I am loving Luna more and more. Despite breed characteristics, she is very different from Puck: she plays rougher, is shy with strangers (unlike Puck’s in-your-face gregariousness), and loves teasing Snowman. It used to be that when I looked at her, I could not help but also see Puck, but lately I am able to just enjoy her and her alone. We have our own unique interactions now–methods of play and conversation that are only between us and do not resemble interactions with Puck. Luna feels it too, and this is evident by her new desire to be constantly near me.

I am also appreciating Snowman more and more, perhaps because he is getting along in years. He’s always been a more laid-back cat than either of the Rexes, and has a very affectionate, quiet dignity about him–although he is a bit crabbier nowadays than he used to be, especially when being teased by Luna. But he loves the recent increase in attention, and seems happier than he has in months.

This new closeness with my living cats is helping me to live in the moment (always a hard one for me, due to my dreamy nature), and  I am finally feeling my grief for Puck dissipate in a substantial way. The downside is that I feel his presence around me less often now, and while I don’t relish that idea, I think it’s a good thing. I know he will never abandon me, but I also know that he undoubtedly has other things to do in the spirit world besides look after me all the time.

The second gift I recently received came from a drummer friend of mine. It’s always been amusing to me that, for the past 25 years or so, I have a tendency to become friends with musicians (without knowing they are musicians at the time), especially drummers. This may be due in part to a past desire to be a music journalist, but mostly I think it has to do with similar energies attracting each other. This friend (I’ll call him Lance) and another drummer friend (“Ben”) and I used to work together at our day jobs and, although that ended around 2000, we’ve remained close friends for the past decade.

We had breakfast together yesterday and exchanged holiday gifts, and Lance gave me an awesome maraca and goat toe rattle.

I am not the easiest person to buy gifts for, and this year Lance outdid himself. I’d been meaning to buy a maraca for ritual use all year. I’ve looked at many, but just never found one that I was compelled to buy. So I was very surprised and pleased to see this colorful little thing. The small size is great too, as my shrine area is getting a bit crowded.

Lance thought about giving me ankle bells instead of the goat toe rattle, but I am glad that in the end he chose the goat toes. I like the clacking tone of them better than I like the lighter sound of bells.

2010 has been a mixed year. The most difficult event was the loss of Anne’s stepmother Marie to cancer  in February. There have been some very positive highlights too: we bought our first home together and moved in over the summer; I am making progress in Vodou (and Mambo Racine read the post I wrote about the met tet reading she did for me, and liked it, which made me happy), and, almost as a counterbalance to the loss of Marie, Anne’s aunt (who has been courageously battling breast cancer for years) just found out last week that her cancer has gone fully into remission!

On top of all this, the recent gifts are a wonderful end note to remind me of what I am grateful for: the friends in my life, both bipedal and furred.