MAKING THE MOST OF THIS WEEK’S HIGHLY CHARGED FULL MOON/EQUINOX

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POSITIVE EMPOWERMENT: HAPPY FULL MOON IN LIBRA/VERNAL (SPRING EQUINOX)!

On Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 we are blessed with both this month’s full moon and the Vernal (spring) Equinox. This occasion promises to be one full of new beginnings and lighthearted fun! With the equinox’s peak at 5:58pm EDT (2:58pm PST) and the moon waxing full at 9:43 pm EDT (6:48pm PST), the late afternoon/evening hours declare a time of limitless potential.

The Vernal Equinox is one of two days of the calendar year (the second one being the Autumnal Equinox) wherein day and night are balanced. It is the moment at which the centre of the visible sun is directly above the equator. This placement of the sun and Earth cause daytime hours to be equal to the hours of night darkness. The Vernal Equinox also marks the first day of spring as well as the first day in the sun sign of Aries.
Spiritually, both the full moon and the Vernal Equinox are a significant time of releasing of old energies. Because spring is a time of new beginning, the moments before the precise time of the equinox hold a great opportunity to let go of that which no longer serves us. For those who are yet unaware, the full moon is traditionally the time during each lunar cycle that we bid farewell to energies that no longer serve us. Thus, this full moon/equinox day is a blessing; immersed with opportunity to grow.

With the full moon waxing full in the sign of Libra, we can expect to feel somewhat balanced in the midst of the shuffling seasons and zodiac signs. We will likely be able to remove ourselves emotionally from all the seeming chaos that may surround us during this shift and flux. As Libra is a air sign, for those who are most often set in our ways, we will feel delighted in our ability to go with the flow. Further to the positive note, as the traditional symbol for Libra is a judge holding scales (reminiscent of the ‘Justice’ card in the Tarot), we may draw upon this lunar energy to aid us in seeking balance within ourselves as well as externally. Interestingly, the numerical value placed on the Justice card in the major Arcana of the Tarot is the number ‘8’, defining the symbol for ‘always and forever’, ‘infinite’ or ‘eternal’. This is to say that choosing how we spend our time and energy during this full moon is a wise move. Because of the resonation of the number 8 and its eternal energy, this lunar influence has the capacity to project our intentions and energy into our infinite future. If we are so inclined, it is wise to spend our time and energy on that which we wish for ourselves. What do we mist desire to accomplish? What are our dreams? Our goals? By focusing on these types of positive aspects of our futures, we are literally creating them as we think. Remember: Thoughts become things. Think and act with love.

Contrary to the moon’s placement in Libra, the sun will resume its yearly placement in Aries. As Aries is a fire sign, the sun will feel comfortable here. The Aries nature is a very passionate one. We may feel, during this illuminated time that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. And we are right! However, we must be mindful that as strong willed and hard working as the Aries may be, they also become bored quite easily. Too often, they begin a very exciting venture only to find that they lose interest and feel called toward another project. Whether in work or romance, Aries people have been known to have relatively short attention spans. Knowing this ahead of time can make all of the difference in the world. Should we become excited about a new project during this time of wonderful creative opportunity, let us continue to remind ourselves that we can do it! We can remind ourselves that we are indeed capable of accomplishing anything our hearts desire. All that must be done is the work involved to see it through. Utilizing the diligent nature of the Aries sun, we are sure to succeed!

Noteworthy on the subject of Aries is that in the Tarot there is a ram situated on the Emperor’s chair. As the symbol for Aries is the ram, this is or particular interest while Aries is astrologically prevalent. This is because the ‘Emperor’ card in the Tarot is card number 4 in the major Arcana. The meaning of the number four is often connoted in reference to building a foundation. This symbol of building of foundation is consistent with this Vernal Equinox/Full Moon’s theme of new beginnings. And, as both Aries and the Emperor card yield a ram in their symbolism, we can expect to want to charge head first into our intentions, plans and projects. Full speed ahead!

The 48 hours surrounding the full moon and equinox will unquestionably be a period of excitement, new freedoms and new beginnings. This opportunity before us has the capacity to lift us up and shift our vibrations and our lives in a very meaningful and powerful way. These energies do exist! It’s our choice- what will we create with them?

PART III: THE TELL’TAIL’SIGN OF COMPANION ANIMAL HEALTH

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ANIMALS & DIGESTIVE HEALTH  PT III- THE TELL’TAIL’ SIGN OF HEALTH

In the first part of this article, we discussed various types and formulas of food. We discussed proper feeding instructions and how to switch to healthier types of foods. https://soulsticespirit.com/2018/03/18/what-every-person-must-know-animals-digestive-health/

In the second part of this article, we discussed the importance of doing our own research instead of blindly following instructions of professionals with ulterior motives. We learned that very often, health concerns get swept under the rug so that marketing techniques become the most efficient way for major cat and dog food companies to manipulate consumers into buying harmful ‘food’ products for their animal companions. https://soulsticespirit.com/2018/03/25/animals-digestive-health-pt2-what-you-need-to-know/

As important as all of the above information is, there is yet one vital ‘tell-tail’ sign of whether an animal is healthy. There is one main way to denote if an animal is adequately processing her-his food. This sign is one that most leave out of nutrition discussion as to some it is unpleasant. Many overlook this sign and characteristic of optimal wellness. And that sign is poop. An animal’s elimination habits are the key component to understanding what is occurring within his digestive system.

The frequency, consistency, colour and odour (lovely, I know) are all integral information as to how our animal’s inner bodies are functioning. Depending on each animal’s individual nutritional requirements, her body will react to food in a variety of ways. Of course, it is of primary import to research a species appropriate diet for your animal companion. Not all dogs require the same diet. Not all cats require the same diet. In addition to each species, each different animal has different genetics and environmental dietary considerations. It is too often that consumers believe manipulative marketing techniques in terms of painting every large breed dog, small dog or cat with the same dietary requirement brush. Some brands of food have even recognized this and started to market emotionally-based labeling that suggests different formulas for different breeds. While the idea is on point, the ingredients are not. In fact, when consumers do fall for these tactics, they will find that the results are not what they bargained for.

When we feed our animal companions inappropriate species diets such as over-processed foods, nutrient poor foods or foods high in preservatives and carcinogens, we will notice first and foremost, poor elimination habits. Before we discuss what are considered “poor” elimination habits, we may want to examine what healthy habits are. Healthy dogs and cats should eliminate at least once per day. The stool should be a healthy size. If an animal’s stool is frequently large in size, this is a clear indication that s/he is not retaining much in the way of nutrients. This is an indication that the food is passing right through her without being absorbed into the body at all. And this is a clear indication that she is eating nutrient-poor food. Stool should be average in colour (not too light and not too dark) and fairly odourless. Of course there will be some odour. However if the odour is overly repulsive, there is foul play in the animal’s digestive system.  The animal should rarely have diarrhea or be constipated.

If your animal friend’s elimination occurs lesser frequently than once per day, has a repulsive odour, is frequently runny, frequently hard, too light, too dark, too soft, too hard or the animal eliminates more frequently than he or she should, it is time to take  step back and examine. All of the animal’s elimination habits are DIRECTLY related to her/his food.

There are several methods to approach the healing of elimination habits. The first of which of course is to research a healthier food for our animals. There is more information on this in the second part of this article. In addition to finding healthier choices, we want to examine what else may be contributing to the poor gastrointestinal function of our cats and dogs. In many cases, kittens and puppies who have been ‘found’ at very young ages without their mothers take issue with digestion. This is because they have not received sufficient nourishment from their mother’s milk as youngsters for their digestive systems to properly develop. When the gastro systems of animals develop improperly, this leaves a lot of room for insufficient amounts of enzymes, gut flora and other vital aspects of healthy digestion. In cases where despite the healthiest food choices, the animal continues to endure chronic diarrhea, constipation or both, we will want to consider the addition of probiotics or enzymes to the diet. Do you know the difference? For a detailed description of the difference between probiotics and enzymes and their benefits, read https://soulsticespirit.com/2017/08/13/enzymes-or-probiotics-which-one-is-best-for-my-animal/ .

In terms of constipation specifically, many would be appalled by the lack of nutrition in processed foods. For instance, did you know that in many well known cat and dog food brands the “fibre” is made of sawdust? Sawdust.  And we wonder why our animals take issue processing food through their gastrointestinal system. To boot, not only is the quality of the fibre in processed foods compromised by not even being food but the quantity of fibre in many is severely lacking. Without fibre, the animal becomes bloated, gassy and constipated. How do we remedy this? By adding fibre to their diet, we will be allowing their bodies to function more healthily. Of course we will want to add real, whole foods. Not sawdust. We will also be sure not to listen to professionals who claim that animals need laxatives, prescription diets and other garbage that will cause more harm than good in the long run. There are several easy household ways to help our animals “go”. Here are four tried, tested and true methods of relieving constipation in cats and dogs.

1)      WATER– Nearly all companion dogs and cats suffer from severe dehydration. Few of their human families recognize this. When the body is depleted of moisture, it can easily become constipated. Diets that are higher in grains, kibble (dry food) based or are highly processed easily diminish the body’s moisture. Believe it or not in most cases, water alone cannot even fully hydrate the animal’s body; most of the water goes right through the animal’s system. However water can be fully effective in relieving constipation. Most animals do not drink enough water on their own. It is up to us as caregivers to monitor this and make drinking water a fun experience for our animal friends. From drinking fountains to water streams, there are a myriad of ways to entice our furry friends to hydrate effectively.

2)      ADD MORE OMEGAS 3 & 6 TO DIET– As mentioned above, water alone, in most cases, is insufficient in terms of hydration. By adding extra omegas to the diets of our animal friends, we will be encouraging moisture retention within their skin, coat and internal organs. Highly recommended sources of Omegas 3 & 6 are: Wild salmon oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, and flax seed oil. (Please note that flax seed oil is NOT a complete protein, however it contains the nutrients to retain substantial moisture within the body).

3)      ADD MORE FIBRE– If we look closely at the nutritional breakdown of ingredients in processed (canned or dry) food for cats and dogs, we may notice that the majority are lacking in the fibre department. As stated earlier in this article, many well known companies add sawdust to their foods and call it fibre. Obviously, this type of ‘fibre’ is insoluble (does not break down in the GI system). Therefore, adding our own sources of fibre can be handy. There are several household items that can be used to enhance the fibre content of their food. We may use: ground flax seeds, ground almonds, ground cooked lentils, ground cooked beans. These are excellent sources of fibre, Be sure to avoid canned beans and lentils as the cans often contain heavy metals and BPA’s. Buy your own lentils and beans in bulk and cook them on your own.

4)      CANNED PUMPKIN OR PAPAYA SEEDS– Canned pumpkin and papaya seeds are very high in fibre. They are sweet tasting which makes it easy for an animal to eat.

5)      CHIROPRACTOR– When all else fails, take the animal to the chiropractor! Because the digestive organs are all intimately connected with the spine, often a simple spinal adjustment can cure the body of unhealthy elimination habits. Because the muscles and tendons surrounding the internal organs are also connected with the spine, many times the treatment process is synonymous. Again, examining the skeletal & organ development of a malnourished or abused animal, very often physical trauma to the skeletal system can affect inner organ function.

On the other side of the poop spectrum we have those animals who have chronic diarrhea. In many emotionally sensitive animals, diarrhea can be caused by stress. It is also caused by improperly developed GI system as a youngster. Most of the time, the latter can effectively be treated with enzymes or probiotics. In cases where the digestive system is too underdeveloped, there are several options to rebalance.

1)      MORE WHOLE FOODS- Often, processed foods can cause digestive upsets in animals (and people!). By learning about appropriate raw food or whole food diets, even the most sensitive of tummies will have a better chance at functioning well.

2)      CANNED PUMPKIN– Though high in fibre, canned pumpkin has also been shown to balance food absorption and digestive function. Canned pumpkin is an overall win-win to add to any diet. Be sure to check with your holistic veterinarian to ensure there are no contraindications.

3)      LOWER PROTEIN CONTENT– Especially in aging animals and nervous animals, excess amounts of protein can cause runny stool. In most cases we are taught that higher protein means better overall health. In many cases this is correct however as each animal’s dietary needs differs from the next, there are numerous tummies that do not agree with this blanket statement. Be sure to note that in foods with lower proteins, food companies often replace proteins with fillers such as grains or starches. When seeking a lower protein, high quality diet be sure to read labels and purchase foods with vegetables instead of starches!

4)      CHIROPRACTOR (yes, again.) – When all else fails, take the animal to the chiropractor! Because the digestive organs are all intimately connected with the spine, often a simple spinal adjustment can cure the body of unhealthy elimination habits. Because the muscles and tendons surrounding the internal organs are also connected with the spine, many times the treatment process is synonymous. Again, examining the skeletal & organ development of a malnourished or abused animal, very often physical trauma to the skeletal system can affect inner organ function.

 

As I teach in all of my animal-related classes, it is of utmost importance to observe you animal when she is healthy so that you will notice the very first sign of a shift in her heath. By far, noting elimination habits (in detail!) is the most effective way to gauge what goes on inside the body. By keeping an eye on this tell’tail’ sign and acting accordingly, we are sure to keep our animals healthy and feeling great!

WHAT DO ANIMALS HEAR WHEN WE SPEAK?

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ANIMALS AND SPOKEN WORD

Many human companions of animals often wonder if their animals can actually understand the words they speak to their animals. Almost all of us have realized that our companions respond to us when we communicate to them with spoken word.
But how much do they understand spoken word when we are speaking to other humans within the vicinity of the animals?

Studies have shown that each species of animal has a relative capacity for understanding human language. Some breeds of species have the capacity to understand more than others as well. There are numerous benefits to practicing exercises with our cats, dogs, parrots and horses whereby we teach them the meanings of pertinent words. One obvious benefit is to aid in their learning what is acceptable behaviour. By using command words we are able to express fairly clearly how we wish for the animal to behave. Conversely we are able to express what s undesirable behaviour.
A second, perhaps lesser considered benefit to teaching animals to understand spoken word is for mental stimulation. What few people realize is that to promote longevity and healthy quality of life, in addition to adequate physical, animals require adequate mental stimulation. Without mental stimulation animals easily become bored and lose their mental sharpness. Some even choose to act out when they are not being challenged to utilize their mental capacity. There are several ways to maintain a healthy learning environment for our animal friends. By allowing them the opportunity to socialize and play outside they are subject to a wide array of smells and energies that is sure to stimulate them. Perhaps more to the point, encouraging our animal companions to engage in games with spoken word can be an excellent tool to help them learn and grow.

One such way is to lay out several items and teach an animal the name of each item. Using memory game techniques, the animal may quickly learn (depending on species and breed) the names of the items involved. Keeping our animal friends’ minds active will promote a much healthier quality of life.

                                                     A LANGUAGE MORE THAN WORDS

Almost more important to realize is that animals are acutely tuned into the element of spoken word that lies between the lines, so to speak. Beyond the language of letters strewn together to create precise words, animals understand a deeper aspect of spoken word. And that is intonation. Though companion animals may not be cognizant of all of our chosen words, they can certainly read our messages through intonation, or the tone of our voice. Animal are keenly sensitive to sound. Their audio-sensory perception is one of their most prominent survival mechanisms. Their ability to relate to pitch and volume is magnificent. Therefore, when we raise our voices, lower our voices, anger, soften, speak loudly and whisper, the tones of our voice carry far more information than do words themselves. Though animals ill not always understand each word we speak, we will notice that they do respond to the tones of our voices.

Conceivably, there is a third, deeper understanding that companion animals have through our spoken word. And that is their fundamental language: energy. Spoken word or non spoken word, our animal friends resolutely understand every thought, feeling and belief we have; whether we move a muscle or not. Because our animal friends feel that it is their familial duty to keep our balance and the balance of the household energy, they have adapted to a deeply sensitive understanding of human consciousness. Relative to their energetic interconnection with human consciousness, companion animals have become acutely empathic to their people. For those who are new to the study of spirituality and animal consciousness, empaths are those who unconsciously take on other people (or animals’) thoughts, feelings and beliefs and believe that they are their own. This means that when their human companions feel blue, they need not speak the words or even move a muscle to express their sadness; animals ascertain their person’s blues through empathic wisdom. In other words, animals feel what their people are emoting.

Further to their empathic nature, animals understand a vast array of their people’s thoughts. They may not recognize separate words that create the sentences we may think. However, they do understand both pictures and feelings. If we are visual thinkers, animals will likely have an easier time understanding our thoughts. This talent renders them telepathic. Telepathy accounts for the ability to obtain information from another conscious entity without using spoken word. Animals are highly telepathic as this is how they communicate with each other. Animals generally understand human thought however there is a substantial gap between animal and human consciousness as humans have a wider range of experience than do animals (i.e. driving a car, buying groceries). To an animal these examples would feel like sitting inside an object that moves or being hungry. Animals understand concepts without the added spoken word.

Do animals understand spoken word? Yes. Not only do they understand spoken word but they understand beyond the third dimension and feel the words we speak. Animal consciousness is far more complex than most humans give credit for. This is an excellent opportunity for us to connect with animal kind in new and beautiful ways. With great certitude, we will learn just how similar the animal mind is to the human!

TO LEARN ABOUT WHAT YOUR COMPANION ANIMAL THINKS AND FEELS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR HOME, SCHEDULE AN ANIMAL COMMUNICATION SESSION: jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com

TUESDAY’S FULL SUPERMOON IN VIRGO: COLLECT, ACCEPT AND RESPECT YOURSELF!

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FULL MOON IN VIRGO

February 19th, 2019 births a full moon in the sign of Virgo. This full moon is a supermoon, which means that it is one of four moons that are closer in proximity to the Earth than the other nine during the calendar year. Because this full moon’s distance to our planet is closer than most, it appears larger than usual in the night sky.
As with all full moons, this one is a time for release. When the moon appears at its fullest, it astrologically signifies the highest and best time to let go of that which no longer serves our highest good.

As this moon waxes full in the sign of Virgo, it illuminates our need for order and structure in our lives; both physically and emotionally. While being organized and regimented are a valuable part of a healthy life, this particular lunar influence may have us dwelling on our imperfections. We may feel compelled to dwell on every detail of our lives that is chaotic. Any lack of clarity in emotional relationships may feel excessively overwhelming. In fact any aspect of our lives over which we feel a lack of control may have us in a panic. We feel an accentuated desire to “fix” everyone and everything surrounding. However despite all of the opportunity to feel we are unable to manage and organize, there is a lesson. And the lesson is acceptance. This is our opportunity to accept our imperfections, both in or physical world as well as our mental, emotional and spiritual. By working towards self-acceptance, we are working toward inner peace.

With emphasis on our need to control every detail of our lives, we may also utilize this opportunity to practice the discipline of letting go. When we relinquish control of our lives, we are allowing circumstances to naturally unfold. And, as they always will, they will do so in our highest good- in ways that work best for all involved. In the human body and mind, we are unable to understand the full picture of the greatest good. By releasing our need to control; by letting go of our ego, we are allowing divine miracles to shine through. We are opening ourselves up to possibilities that we hadn’t even dreamt of.

While the moon shines brightly in Virgo, our sun is in the watery, sensitive sign of Pisces. We may feel a desire to withdraw- to go within and search our souls. We may find that if we do so, we will daydream the day away. Pisces energy can be quiet ethereal. We may utilize this energy to create! Though we may get lost in other dimensions during this lunar period, we may find that when we return, we are filled with love and inspiration to create. Whether we are creative individuals or strictly wish to create a better life for ourselves, the full moon in the sun sign of Pisces is a wonderful time to get lost in creative potential. However should we feel that we are getting “too lost”, we can rely on the grounded earth sign Virgo to bring us back to Earth.

Both Pisces and Virgo have strong empathic tendencies. Both are acutely sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others. This, during this full moon period, is not to be taken lightly. During this time, empaths may feel extra sensitive. The Piscean energy could have empaths engulfed in their emotions- or the emotions of others. It is crucial to all to engage in grounding techniques- with the aid of the Virgo moon. By rooting ourselves into the Earth, we will find balance and compassion.

Throughout this 48 hour lunar period, it is crucial that we are mindful of the motivations behind our actions. Do we have ulterior motives? Or are we behaving out of the goodness of our hearts free of attachment? Thankfully, both the Piscean and Virgo energies carry a “think before I act” mentality. This mentality enables us to discern the motivations behind our actions. We may also draw on the “think before I act” mentality before we find ourselves succumbing to the ego’s need for perfectionism. Before we get swept up into dwelling on each individual detail of that which is out of our control, we may take comfort in our ability to practice the pause, take a deep breath and find compassion for others; and most importantly ourselves.

5 EFFECTIVE, EASY WAYS TO BREAK THOSE WINTER BLUES!

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BREAK OUT OF THOSE WINTER BLUES WITH THESE 5 EASY REMEDIES:

As many of us are experiencing, most of North America is in a winter that is far colder than normal. For anyone who is sensitive to cold (animal or person), these colder climes can have us feeling blue. For some of us, feeling cold is so uncomfortable that we go to extreme measures to avoid it. However try as we might, sometimes there is just no escaping the cold.
The cold weather not only affects our moods, it also affects our physical bodies. When we are cold, there is more risk of pulling a muscle, imbalanced walking, muscle atrophy, respiratory system and circulation. The combination of mental and physical discomfort often leads to a deep depression. In some cases, we are well aware of our seasonal depression. In others, it goes unexamined, leaving us feeling unquestionably miserable.
Of course, going to see our doctor is an important part of mental wellness. However, it is often avoidable by making a few small changes to our routine. Some of the time, shifting several small aspects of our routine can make all of the difference to beating the winter blues. Here are five easy shifts that we can make to our winter routines that can help us combat seasonal depression:

1) EXERCISE- Exercise is a well known method of mood regulation. Particularly cardiovascular exercise which raises endorphins which raises the spirit. Endorphins cause a feeling of euphoria after exercise. Though most are familiar with the term “runner’s high” when considering the boost of endorphins after exercise, cardiovascular exercise does not have to mean running or any other high impact body movements. An effective cardiovascular workout is one that moderately, intermediately or greatly elevates the heart rate. Fast walking, swimming, cycling (even stationary or spinning) are all effective means of raising the heart rate. Circuit training or other fast-paced weight training with light weights is also a beneficial endorphin- causing exercise. It is not necessary to lift heavy weights for an endorphin release. Lifting lighter weights in many repetitions (20 or more per set) helps with muscular endurance which will in turn raise the endorphin levels of the brain. Not only do endorphins help us to feel happy, they also minimize physical pain.

2) ADAPTOGENS- Adaptogens are used in herbal medicine for various health benefits. One such benefit is that they promote stabilization of moods, hormones and physiological processes. Adaptogens have been used in Ayurvedic medicine to elevate moods and regulate hormones. Adaptogens moderate stress responses which is to say that when we become stressed, anxious or depressed, our reaction to those feelings is calmer and more regulated. Adaptogen herbs treat the hypothalamic-pituitary-endocrine axis. This is to say that they keep the brain and hormones in check and balance. Additionally, increasing adaptogens in the diet promotes homeostasis. This means that they keep body cells healthy and unchanged so that they are unimpaired by external conditions. Adaptogens boost the immune system so that fewer pathogens can infiltrate the body. This means that fewer allergies, flu-like symptoms, chronic fatigue or terminal illness attack the body, leaving the body in a healthier state for longer. Several examples of adaptogen herbs are: Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, Ginseng, Astralagus, St John’s Wort to name a few. Be sure to consult your local holistic doctor or local herb consultant to be sure which option is the best for you.

3) INCREASE SUNLIGHT- Studies have shown that those with seasonal depression show some improvement when they increase their sunlight exposure. This may mean direct sunlight, indirect sunlight such as through a window or using an indoor tanning bed for no more than 7 minutes at a time. Though there is much discrepancy about whether or not indoor tanning is healthy, for those who have seasonal depression, indoor tanning is often highly effective in elevating moods. If indoor tanning is not an option, sitting inside your home by a sunny window for a half hour or more can also help to treat those seasonal blues. Sunlight is a powerful healer.

4) INCREASE OMEGA FATTY ACIDS- Studies have shown that ingesting an appropriate amount of EFA’s (essential fatty acids) in the diet can help to regulate brain hormones. The brain requires an adequate amount of Omega 3’s to properly function. It has been discovered through research that many people who have depression are deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids. Several case studies were performed on various types of depression with various sources of omega fatty acids. Though research is fairly recent, the studies showed a significant decrease in seasonal, chronic, postpartum and severe depression through the intake of omega fatty acids. There are two types of Omega’s; EPA and DHA. The above studies showed that food sources that contained both of the types of Omegas were the most effective in the treatment of depression. Common sources of omega fatty acids are: salmon, salmon oil, almonds, avocados, eggs, CBD oil, algae oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil with DHA, hemp seed oil, sardines. It is unnecessary to eat all of these food sources. It is important to do your research in order to discern which options are right for you.

5) LAUGHTER- It is commonly stated that “laughter is the best medicine”. This is the truth! When we laugh, we immediately shift our vibration to a higher state. This is because our brain and body react to the joyful feeling that comes along with laughter. Our body reflects the joyful feeling, raising our vibration out of the depths. Too, when we smile, the brain releases dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness. Laughing also produces endorphins which, as we learned above, create a natural high. Laughter decreases cortisol levels which is the hormone responsible for stress and worry. Laughter also increases serotonin which is the hormone responsible for regulation of moods. Laughter, both experientially and scientifically truly is the best medicine!

Thankfully, this winter shall pass. In the mean time, the above mood elevating techniques will help us to stay positive!

8 FEEDING MISTAKES YOU’RE MAKING THAT COULD SHORTEN YOUR ANIMAL’S LIFE

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8 BAD HABITS

There’s no doubt about it. Animals love food. And for some of us, feeding our animal companions brings us almost as much joy as it brings them. It is a bonding experience. However, because animals find food so exciting, there is a danger in allowing ourselves to fall into poor feeding habits. Often, caregivers feel compelled to express our love toward animals through food because we know how much they love it. But are our feeding habits unintentionally harming our beloved furry family? Here are eight common feeding habits that almost always create more harm than good. Are you guilty of any of these?

  1. FREE FEEDING- Allowing our animal companions to eat whenever and however much they want are detrimental to their health and metabolism. When animals eat all day and night they will, more often than not, gain weight. Obesity is an alarmingly common cause of early death in cats and dogs. Animals’ metabolisms are no different than humans in that they will gain weight if they are unable to burn off the calories that they are consuming. Further, many of the foods that are left out on which the animals free-feed are full of unnecessary grains and starches and preservatives that cause inflammation of the joints, yeast overgrowth and obesity. Of course obesity has its own set of sub category ailments such as poor respiratory and cardiovascular health, early stage arthritis and organ failure among a vast array of others. By feeding our animal friends set meals (ideally 3-4 smaller meals per day), we are allowing their metabolisms to function optimally while disallowing them to gain excess weight. Should caregivers of animals be unable to feed 3-4 meals per day due to work schedules, feeding twice per day while leaving a snack for the animal to find during the way such as a kong toy filled with peanut butter or a portion of food hidden for the animal to find throughout the day is an excellent replacement for free feeding. This even food distribution will also help to regulate the animal’s metabolism and avoid obesity and other symptoms of poor metabolic health.
  2. NOT READING INGREDIENTS- Many consumers blindly purchase food for their cats and dogs. Some consumers blindly accept what their veterinarian recommends without doing their own research. This is dangerous. If you have ever read the first several ingredients of “prescription” diets, you will note that they are composed of “pork by-product”, “corn gluten” and various other non-food items. Animals, akin to humans, thrive on whole, nutritious foods. Though seeking advice of a veterinary professional is often important, it is even more important to research the advice they give us instead of blindly accepting their claims at face value.
    Further, there is often an over-saturation of vitamins and minerals in many store bought foods. While a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals is crucial to an animal’s health, the oversaturation of them has been repeatedly linked to hypo and hyperthyroidism. BE SURE to research (or ask your holistic vet) for information on appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals for your particular breed of companion animal.
    In addition to prescription diet foods, there are also low quality nutrient poor foods that are often purchased by consumers to avoid breaking the bank. While saving money is definitely important, at what expense are we doing so? Many of the nutrient poor foods on the market leave our animal friends malnourished and suffering from inflammation. Every companion animal deserves to be properly nourished so that she or he has the best possible quality of life. There are many healthier choices available for middle of the road prices. By purchasing foods whose first ingredients read “chicken, turkey, salmon etc” we are providing our animal family members with nourishment that will prolong their lives and give them a better quality of life while they are with us.
  3. FEEDING DRY FOOD/KIBBLE- KIBBLE IS NOT FOOD. Dry food is not an appropriate diet for any animal. Should any animal regularly feed on dehydrated food, they will easily become dehydrated. This is because when an animal eats kibble, the digestive process requires all of the water in the digestive organs to process the dry food through the digestive tract. After repeated offense of this water draining digestive process, the inner and outer organs of the animal become completely devoid of moisture. In the short term this results in skin rashes, dry eyes, bladder crystals, painful urination, inflammation of the joints and organs, arthritis and excessive thirst. In the longer term this results in early stage kidney failure. In order to avoid all of these severe ailments, feeding our animals a moisture-rich diet will save the day. By adding more foods with omegas 3 & 6, we will be allowing our animals to stay hydrated.
  4. TOO MUCH GRAIN/STARCH- Primarily, cats cannot digest grains. They lack the digestive enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of grains. This means that if they eat a high grain diet, they metabolize the grains as sugars. If the sugars do not get burned off (through exercise), their sugar levels become deregulated which affects their insulin levels in the pancreas. This is where feline diabetes comes from. In order to avoid giving your cat diabetes, it is crucial to feed a grain free cat food.
    Secondly, in cats and dogs who are sensitive to yeast, feeding a high grain-starch diet is detrimental. This is because grains and starches such as rice, barley, oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, wheat, etc breed yeast in dogs and cats. Many dogs develop yeast overgrowth as a result of a nutrient-poor diet that is wealthy in grains and starches. If your dog or cat has candida (yeast) overgrowth, research grain-free foods and species appropriate diets.
  5. TOO MANY TREATS- Most of us likely realise that feeding our animals too many treats can be detrimental to their health. Fatty, sugary foods cause obesity, inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and more. Many cat and dog caregivers often use treats to train their animals to exhibit desired behaviours. While this is proven to be an effective mode of training, the health issues that arise could be costly. To substitute treat training, try training with a piece of dry food or a small piece of ground beef (without seasoning or sauce!) The goal with any training is to entice the animal with a reward that is more enticing than anything s/he receives on a regular basis. If your cat is eating mostly wet food (which she ABSOLUTELY should be), a piece of kibble may be exciting enough to entice her to learn desired behaviour. If your dog east mostly canned and dry food, instead of using a sugary or fatty treat, try enticing him with lean cooked ground beef. This way, he will reap the rewards of a highly delicious and nutritious snack!
  6. FEEDING HUMAN FOOD- While we all enjoy seeing the expressions of joy and excitement upon feeding our companion animals table food, we must be very conscious of how these food affect their health. This is not to be confused with feeding whole foods such as animal proteins and veggies which have many health benefits for cats and dogs. Contrary to the health benefits of whole foods, many people believe that feeding “a small amount” of fatty, salty and sugary human foods “can’t hurt them”. They would be wrong. For some animals, even a small amount of fatty, salty or sugary foods means many adverse, chronic health reactions such as IBS, Inflammatory bowel disease, yeast overgrowth or even fatal, painful pancreatitis. It is always best to read labels and research species appropriate homemade diets thoroughly in order to keep our animals fully nourished!
  7. BUYING “WHATEVER’S ON SALE”- Cheaping out on dog and cat food will come back to haunt both your animal and you. Any animal who is malnourished inevitably ends up at the vet clinic too early with a mountain of vet bills. By feeding cheap food to our animals we are causing their bodies to easily break down from malnourishment. This most often results in trips back and forth to the vet which is quite costly, not to mention traumatic for our beloved animal friends. Buying “whatever’s on sale” is hazardous to your animal’s health in many ways. The cheap cat and dog foods brands are full of inflammatory substances, non-food items such as chicken beaks, plastics, carcinogens, food dyes, saw dust, heavy metals, pollutants and dozens of other harmful toxins. These types of harmful ingredients cause may chronic, painful diseases in cats and dogs and are easily avoided by taking the time to research high quality foods that do not break the bank.
  8. BELIEVING THAT WATER ALONE IS ADEQUATE HYDRATION- Contrary to popular belief, water alone does not hydrate companion cats and dogs. It flushes out the organs well which is beneficial to the animal’s well being, however it often fails to be retained in the animal’s body. In extreme temperatures such as the harshness of winter or the heat of summer, companion animals require a lot more than plain water to stay hydrated. Sometimes, no matter how much water our animal friends consume, they are still dehydrated. It is important to understand why this is and how it can be remedied. Without adequate omega fatty acids, water runs right through the body. Omega fatty acids (EFA’s) are the ‘good’ fats that the body needs in order to optimally function. Hair, skin, nails and fur are composed of EFA’s. In a diet that is absent of them, the animal’s hair, skin, nails and coat become dry. Additionally, Omegas (EFA’s) significantly reduce inflammation of the joints, organs and muscle tissues. Water alone cannot rehydrate hair, skin nails and fur, nor can it reduce bodily inflammation.
    Often low-fat store bought foods (and prescription diet foods) contain too little EFA content and contribute to inflammatory diseases and chronic dehydration. The lower fat foods often remove the good fats as well as the bad fats, leaving little room for the moisturizing of major organs.
    Additionally, in a dry food-based diet, water is insufficient hydration for animals as the water merely helps the dry food to pass through the gastrointestinal system with very little left over to moisturize the inner organs.
    Solution? Add more essential fatty acids to the diet. Common and safe sources of the above are: wild salmon oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, CBD oil, whole cooked salmon (without sauces and spices), ground beef, sardines, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. It is unnecessary to add more than one of these sources to the diet at the same time as oversaturation of EFA’s can cause loose stool and weight gain. To find out which source of EFA’s is best for your animal(s), consult your local animal communicator or holistic veterinarian.

These are just eight of many potentially harmful feeding habits many of us make. As always, when making any alterations to our companion animals’ diets, it is important to consult your local animal professional. And, as stated above, be sure to do your research in addition to listening to the advice of your local professional to understand the best options for you and your animal family members.

 

TO SCHEDULE YOUR ANIMAL COMMUNICATION READING, EMAIL: jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com.

NAVIGATING LIFE AS AN EMPATH

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5 STEPS TO SELF CARE

Self care in itself is spiritual practice. As healers and empaths we often neglect to take the time to properly care for ourselves. All too easily we become overwhelmed by the many aspects of our lives that call to us. Before we know it the day has passed us by and we have forgotten to take time out for ourselves for self care. With all that is occurring in the world and almost nowhere to escape from it, we are likely to feel easily drained and overtired. Though many of us have very limited amounts of “free” time, there are several daily time-friendly practices in which we can engage in order to promote self care and overall well-being.

1)    STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR PEOPLE- As sensitive souls, we are often known to be peacekeepers in interpersonal relationships. Whether romantic or plutonic in nature, we are likely to find ourselves rationalizing the hurtful or offensive behaviour of loved ones in order to avoid conflict.  We often rationalize and excuse their behaviour because we feel that we can accept everyone for who they are and that we are immune to their negativity. It is our nature as healers and empaths to make excuses for the behaviour of others, even when it offends or hurts us deeply. In order to nurture and care for ourselves, we must remember that it is acceptable to put our own need first. If we are repeatedly hurt or offended by the actions and behaviours of others, it is safe to remove ourselves from the situation. It is safe to accept that these types of people are not contributing to our well being in a positive way. It is safe to accept that after repeated, hurtful behaviour, these people may not be the right fit for us in our lives at this time. Should these excuses we make be for family members or those whom we are unable to remove from our lives, it is important for us to take the time to ground ourselves before and after any interactions with these people. This grounding may take the form of writing, drawing, connecting with nature or any other healthy outlet to which we are drawn. While it is our goal to be non judgmental toward all humans, it is not our job to accept their repeatedly offensive and hurtful behaviour on the grounds that “they have had it rough”, “we deserved it” or any other excuse we can come up with. Though it is important to respect where others have come from, their hurtful behaviour wears on us. After prolonged exposure it even has the capacity to wear on our self respect, self confidence and self love. There is a fine line between accepting someone for who they are and allowing ourselves to shove our hurt feelings down inside to our own detriment. It is never ok to continuously put our own hurt feelings aside to make somebody else feel good.  Be honest with yourself and others. If someone is being hurtful towards you, it is acceptable to walk away.

2)    SET REALISTIC BOUNDARIES FOR YOURSELF AND STICK TO THEM- As empaths and healers we are prone to being energetically drained by other people and circumstances. It is crucial to our well being that we create boundaries for ourselves. This most often means learning to say “NO”. As healers and empaths, it is our second nature, our duty, to help anyone and everyone we can. While this is quite a noble feat, we often tend to go overboard. We often tend to ignore our body’s warning signs that it needs to rest because we are so caught up in caring for others. But what we must remind ourselves that the very best way to care for others is to care for ourselves. And this means setting boundaries with others so that we allow ourselves the time to rest and recharge. This means taking the time to listen to our bodies and hearts to hear them speak of what they need to be balanced. And once we have heard their needs, follow their advices. It is one thing to tell ourselves that we are going to stop doing something, yet it is entirely more effective to stick to the resolution! Be firm with yourself in knowing what you need to keep yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy- and stick to it! After all, we cannot pour from an empty cup!

3)    RESPECT YOURSELF- Self respect is an integral part of self-care. Under the umbrella of self respect are many ideals. Eating healthy food, resting well and exercising to the best of our ability are all adequate ways of respecting ourselves and our bodies. Aside from the physical aspects of self respect, there are various mental and spiritual. To be patient with yourself is to respect yourself. Understand where your beliefs and feelings end and others’ begin; avoid confusing the two. Subscribing to the beliefs and thoughts of others- if out of alignment with ours- can be exhausting. Any beliefs and actions that we take that are out of alignment with or authentic selves are not genuine. The lesser genuine we become, the more exhausting life becomes. Be firm in your convictions however do so without trying to prove to anyone who you are and what you believe. Part of self respect is being confident with who you are and what you believe without allowing ego to interfere. Whether going along with the beliefs of others or forcing your beliefs on others, you may find that you become easily depleted. The preceding behaviours are out of alignment with your highest good. To realign with your highest good is to stay firm in your convictions and to have compassion for those who do not.

4)    LEARN TO SAY “YES”- LET GO OF LIMITING BELIEFS, THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS- Part of caring for ourselves is to acknowledge that we often engage in limiting thoughts, beliefs and actions. When we tell ourselves “no” or “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t”, we are limiting our potential. Often we object to taking breaks or vacations because we feel we “can’t afford” or “can’t leave”. While not everyone can necessarily go on a month long cruise of the Caribbean, everyone has the ability to take a “time out” once in a while. Everyone has the ability to take a few hours away from their stressors to go into nature or to turn off their phones and listen to relaxing music in their favourite room of their house. By telling ourselves “I can” take a break, we are allowing our bodies to recharge.
By telling yourself “Yes, I can take healthy steps to change my life” instead of being afraid of new and potentially exciting new experiences, you will be changing the very fabric of your life. You will be tailoring your life to a higher and better version of itself. You will be creating a far more optimistic life path for yourself.
The energy that comes along with saying “Yes!” to new opportunity is far more positive for the body and mind than telling yourself “No”. The “yes” vibration allows you to be open to receive all of the wonderful blessings and gifts that the universe has for you!

5)    LET GO OF UNHEALTHY ATTACHMENTS- Buddha rightfully claimed that “Attachment is the root of all suffering”. When we become attached to material items, people or circumstances, we are creating the potential for suffering. By practicing detachment from all of the above, we are lesser likely to be disappointed when these things leave us or fail to go the way we’d hoped. Nothing is permanent. To understand the impermanence of all that comes in and out of our lives is to be free of attachment to them.
That said, it is often difficult to release attachment to loved ones. This is because in the human body we form emotional bonds with others. It is even often difficult to release attachment to workplaces and sentimental items for the same reasons. However, often we outgrow these relationships, circumstances and items. Though we have outgrown them, letting them go can prove to be quite challenging. But the more we hold on, the more they can breed suffering. This suffering naturally takes its toll on our well being. This is because these people or situations that we have outgrown are often out of alignment with our current vibration. As many of us know, the further long our spiritual path we venture, the more we gravitate away from that which no longer serves our highest good. When we invest our energy into those situations that no longer serve our highest good, we will invariably find that our energy becomes quickly drained. This is because we are constantly descending our energy to meet those old vibrations which we outgrew.  It is of great import to learn to recognize when an unhealthy attachment is forming and to release it immediately. By aiming to release attachment to all unhealthy situations, we are saving our energy from certain depletion.

Particularly in today’s world where we are often surrounded by misery on the news, at work or on social media self care is a must. Self care is self love. By engaging in positive action toward self care, we will become stronger and more empowered versions of ourselves. We will feel more energized and far better equipped to be the best versions of ourselves we can be!

TONIGHT’S WOLF BLOOD FULL SUPERMOON/LUNAR ECLIPSE: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?

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HAPPY WOLF BLOOD FULL SUPERMOON/ LUNAR ECLIPSE IN LEO!

On the eve of Sunday January 20th, our planet Earth will experience its “Wolf” Blood Full Supermoon/Lunar Eclipse in the moon sign of Leo. This event will be the first full moon and eclipse of 2019. This celestial event promises to be one of high energy and electricity. 

To understand the maginifnece of this celestial event, we must examine each term separately: A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon appears to be darkened as it passes through the Earth’s umbra or shadow. During this time, the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, giving an eerie appearance to the moon and the night sky.

The “Wolf” moon is a name which North American indigenous tribes gave to the first full moon of the year. The farmer’s almanac uses similar titles to name the moons.

The ‘blood’ moon is a name given to all total lunar eclipses as while the moon passes over the sun, it appears red in the night sky. And of course the ‘supermoon’ is a term given to the moon when its proximity is closer to the Earth than usual. This generally happens three times per year. The average distance from the Earth to the moon is 328 000 kms. The supermoon’s distance to Earth is approximately 326,000 kms. Therefore the moon, as it is literally closer than usual to the Earth, appears larger and brighter than usual.

Spiritually, this planetary alignment as many wonderful opportunities for personal growth and self-examination. When we examine the effects of each celestial body at play during a lunar eclipse, we can begin to see how to harness and work alongside these beautiful natural energies. Astrologically, the sun represents our personalities. It represents how we express ourselves to the world and each other. The moon represents our subconscious; our shadow sides- the sides of ourselves that we are often un-fond of. These are the sides of ourselves that during a lunar eclipse, are highlighted. Because during the lunar eclipse, the moon is illuminated by the solar energy, our shadow sides are brought to the forefront. Often this illumination may cause discomfort. However, we must also view this discomfort as an opportunity to grow and heal.

In addition to the energy of the lunar eclipse, we also witness the first full moon of the year. As with all full moons, this is an optimal time to assess which aspects of our lives and consciousness that no longer serves our highest good. As the moon is in its final stages of waxing (getting bigger), we may take the opportunity to acknowledge where our lives may be off balance. These imbalances may be in the form of relationships, responsibilities, or any other undue our outgrown sources of stress.

This full moon/lunar eclipse has energy that embodies the need to seek our purpose and to set foot on the path to serve it. The Leo lunar energy will impassion us to work harder than we ever thought we could at releasing who we thought we were to make room for who we aspire to be. The Aquarian solar energy will have us in full warrior mode, discerning what must be released without becoming overly attached to what we must bid farewell. The lunar and solar balance create an optimal time to shed our skin and become in alignment with our improving paths for the new year.

The moon being in Leo brings about a sense of awakening and confidence. Leo’s are empowered, courageous individuals. By connecting with the Leo energy during this eclipse, you will bring to the surface inner strength, courage and conviction. Leos embody the spiritual warrior consciousness. They are fearless and unafraid of self work. To harness this Leo energy is to allow ourselves to break free of the fears that come along with change. Leo is a fire sign which means that this lunar energy allows our passionate side to emerge, encouraging us to cast aside any self imposed blocks in the name of following our hearts. Leo is emotionally driven and very passionate about the cause. This sense of determination can create an ideal environment to recognize what we wish to shift within our lives and to take the head-first plunge into it.

While the moon is in Leo, the sun is in tepid Aquarius. Aquarians are quite removed from their emotions which allows for logic to take the forefront. Though air signs, Aquarians have a unique way to remove themselves from attachment to emotions and circumstances to obtain an objective view. When it comes to self-work, drawing on the sun’s  Aquarian energy will allow us to remain objective in all of our endeavours. This is particularly helpful while processing any aspects of our lives that no longer serve our highest good. After all, the more we attach ourselves emotionally or physically to that which we desire o release, the more difficult and dramatic it becomes. By harnessing the detached mantra of the Aquarius sun, the discipline of release will feel simpler.

While all of this seems relatively painless, there is an astrological wrench that will work its way into this planetary alignment. The mighty Uranus opposes this eclipse in the night heavens. We can expect sudden changes, sudden announcements and sudden shifting resulting in anxiety about the future. Unexpected news may bring about uncertainty. Life’ events could seem to be coming at us far more rapidly than what we are comfortable with.  We may find that we or those around us are prone to impulsiveness or rapid mood swings.  These types of experiences can have us easily reverting back to “fear mode” which could drive up a wall between us and those we love. Before we give into our knee jerk fear based reaction, it is important to take a moment to reconnect with our heart centres. It is important to note that this eclipse is not a good time to make sudden emotionally-charged changes to our relationships but to wait out the turmoil as we will see the pendulum swing back the other way.

As with all anxieties, it is crucial to ensure that we regularly release, ground and centre. When we partake in these exercises, we are more readily able to face the events that are thrown our way. By practicing patience, adaptability and self-compassion, we are better equipped to wade through the peaks and troughs that this lunar eclipse brings.

ARE YOU MISSING YOUR DOG’S CALMING SIGNALS?

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ARE YOU MISSING YOUR CANINE COMPANION’S CALMING SIGNALS?

All species communicate within themselves and with each other. As pack animals, dogs have their own unique way of communicating with each other through body language. Their body language communication is unique to their species however dogs will also communicate these signals to their human family members. This is because, as many of us know, dogs view all of the members of their household as their pack.
Dogs use communication signals to let other dogs know that they are friendly. Communication within their species is crucial to the survival of the pack. These signals can be used for hunting, to raise babies and to alert each other to ‘calm down’. In general, dogs will not seek out conflict within their pack. In the pack dog mind, any conflict can cause injury to one of their members, therefore weakening the pack.
These communication signals are effective tools for dogs to communicate with other species, particularly humans. In the dog mind, they believe that all species will inherently understand and receive these signals. It is quite easy for humans to miss these signals from our dogs of we do not make ourselves aware of them. If they go unnoticed for too long, the dog may cease trying.

While many humans tend to get upset with their dogs for certain behaviours, they may be missing their dogs signals that ‘there’s no need to yell’, or ‘calm down, I understand’ and the dog will get punished anyway. This can lead to sadness and overall frustration within the dog. In some cases, this frustration can lead the dog to act out or to become aggressive.

One such example may be when a human calls his dog to come to him. He has learned in class that he needs to sound strict and dominant so that the dog will understand who is in charge. The dog
finds dad´s voice to be aggressive. The dog instantly gives dad a calming signal in order to make him aware that he need not be aggressive. Perhaps the dog will lick his own nose, yawn, turn his head away. This will result in the human becoming angry, as he perceives the dog as being pig-headed, stubborn and disobedient. The human then punishes the dog for using his calming signals to calm him.

Outlined below are several of the approximately 30 dog calming signals to pay attention to. The more we understand dog body language and behaviour the more harmonious our lives will be together.

YAWNING– When a dog feels threatened by yelling, loud arguing, aggressive behaviour, he will often yawn. When a person is leaning over him, when another dog or person is hurriedly or excitedly walking towards him, the dog often perceives such actions as threatening. He may yawn to let them know to calm, that their intensity is unnecessary.

TURNING HEAD AWAY– Often, when a dog is being scolded or is in the company of aggressive tones, s/he will turn her/his head away from the source. This is another sign that s/he is communicating calmness. S/he is letting the aggressor(s) know that their message is received and she meant no harm. Therefore she need not be punished. Or, she understands the aggressor’s message loud and clear and wishes to share this.

LICKING– A dog will give a quick lick of the face as a calming signal. This licking behaviour is its own type of unique licking only meant to diffuse a potentially confrontational situation. Interestingly, it is more notable behaviour on dogs whose faces are harder to read such as dogs with small noses or long haired dogs.

SNIFFING THE GROUND– Dogs, as a rule use their noses to obtain a wide variety of information. In almost any situation, a dog’s nose is his most powerful sense. However with respect to calming cues, when a dog lowers his nose toward the ground even slightly, this is a sign of calming behaviour. One example might be if a dog is in a crowded area and feels overwhelmed by all of the activity. If there are people or other dogs walking toward your dog, he may lower his nose slightly to let the others in his vicinity know that he “comes in peace’.

WALKING SLOWLY– In the dog mind, high speed is seen as a threat. Coming from dog or person (or other being), walking toward or beside at high speed can invoke the defense mechanism within the dog. This can trigger a calming signal; for example walking slowly. Particularly because the other being is in motion, the dog will have a reactive defense of movement as well. The slow walking is intended to let the other beings in motion know that he is peaceful.

WALKING IN A CURVE– When you call your dog, does she respond by coming toward you in a curve (or walking slowly as per the statement above)? If she does, this may be a reflection of your tone of voice. If you sound overly stern or authoritative, this curved walk may be a calming signal. Your dog my be letting you know that there is no need to be so commanding.
When a dog is introduced to another dog, she will often approach the other dog in a curve as opposed to straight on. This is because the dog feels that she does not want to pose a threat to the other dog. In fact, when humans force their dogs to meet in a straight line format, this makes the dogs feel very uncomfortable. It is important never to force a dog into a meeting and to let it happen naturally. It may help you, as well, to understand this behaviour when approaching any new dog. You may wish to greet the new dog from a curve instead of a straight line. This may help to assist the dog in being more comfortable and lesser threatened by you.
Calming signals coming from dogs can be subtle. It is of great benefit to pay close attention to how your dog reacts to you and other stimuli in her/his environment. These are but a few of the 30+ calming signals that dogs exhibit to each other and to humans. Once we have a solid understanding about what they are and when dogs use them, we may even be able to send them back to our canine companions. When we see our dogs giving us calming signals, we can take the time to lower our voices or carry a more peaceful demeanor. Additionally, by sending calming signals to our dogs, they will be grateful that we have learned their language. They will feel understood and comfortable in our homes and in our hearts. We will surely be creating a more harmonious environment for all!

TOP 5 WINTER WARMING FOODS FOR ANIMALS

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TOP 5 WARMING FOODS FOR YOUR ANIMAL FRIENDS:

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, food is categorized in many ways. One of these ways is to categorize food into “heating”, “cooling” and “neutral”. This does not mean that the foods themselves are “hot” or “cold”. What it means is that food has a thermal effect on the body. “Cooling foods” help to cool the body, decrease inflammation and can even go so far as to calm the nerves and/or aggressive tendencies of an animal or human. Conversely, “warming foods” can aid in blood and fluid circulation, keep the metabolism running efficiently and can treat arthritic conditions in animals whose suffering is greater in the winter.

Generally speaking, animals have a “hot” or “cold” type disposition. Though both of these body types, in northern climates, can be uncomfortable in the winter season, a “cold-type” will be affected much worse.

If you have an animal with constantly cold ears and feet, if you have an animal who is always stationed by a heater and is making an attempt to find any small speck of sunlight streaming through a window to sit in, your animal has a “cold-type” disposition. Cold type animals will especially benefit from a supplementation of “warming” foods in her or his diet. As always, it’s important to consult your holistic veterinarian or knowledgeable Animal Communicator before adding any extras to your animal friends’ diets.

Here is a list of 5 or many readily available “warming” foods to keep your animal’s circulation healthy in the deep-freeze of winter:

1)      KELP– A form of seaweed, kelp has many benefits for you and your animal friend. It is a warming food, lowers the risk of cancer, helps in thyroid gland regulation, and is an immune-stimulant (will keep defenses up against cold viruses). DO NOT USE IF YOUR ANIMAL HAS AN OVERACTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEM.

2)       SWEET POTATO– In addition to being a warming food, sweet potatoes are very rich sources of necessary vitamins and minerals. Generally speaking, root vegetables have a “warming” effect on the body. Please note that any foods of the potato family should not be supplemented in any animal’s diet who is sensitive to yeast and/or has yeast overgrowth. Potatoes and sweet potatoes contain starches that could offset the balance of yeast in your cat or dog’s body. This may cause a worsening of yeast overgrowth.

3)      CHICKEN– According to Traditional Chinese medicine, chicken is warming due to its rapid nature. The kinetic energy of a chicken is quite high, therefore it’s constitution is considered to be “warming”. The theory suggests that because the kinetic motion of a chicken is rapid, it burns energy and is therefore “warmer”.

4)      SALMON– Salmon swim upstream which means that they swim against the current By virtue of this fact, they are considered to be constitutionally warm. As they swim against the current they are utilizing much kinetic energy which in turn creates more heat. Salmon is also high in necessary omega fatty acids that will help the body to retain moisture on the dryness of winter.

5)      KALE– A warming food that is high in fibre, calcium and antioxidants.

Those who are cat companions know that attempting to feed any new type of food to their cat will result in disastrous catitudes. For cats and small dogs, tiny portions of these foods are all that are needed to have a warming effect on them.

Since many companion animals are susceptible to allergies, it is important to also pay attention to your animal after adding a new food to their diet. It is important to take note of any shifts in behaviour, bathroom habits, itching or any other unusual condition. To be certain that you have all the facts, take note of the behaviour that your animal is exhibiting before the food addition. That way, citing any changes in behaviour will be easier.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: When supplementing your animal friend’s diet with vegetables, it is incredibly important that you cook the veggies thoroughly before serving. Digestive systems of cats and dogs are extremely sensitive and can only digest cooked veggies. If they are fed raw veggies, they will become gassy, irritable, and the whole food will come out in their stool. Begin supplementation with a very small amount of ONE of these options and see how your animal friend reacts. If she or he is good with it, you may slightly increase the increment. If she or he does not like the one you chose, you may want to consider a second option from the list above. Remember every cat and every dog is different and will have different likes and dislikes.

The good news is that not only will these warming foods help your animal stay warm- they can also do the same for you!

TO BOOK AN ASSESSMENT OR ANIMAL COMMUNICATION SESSION EMAIL: jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com