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THIS WEEK’S NEW MOON CHALLENGE: FREEDOM’S JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR…. INDEPENDENCE

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FREE YOURSELF FROM THE TIES THST BIND: NEW MOON IN AQUARIUS

Following the first full Moon of 2020, on Friday, January 24th, we are faced with the first new Moon. After the brutal self-examination that our previous full Moon incurred, this new Moon brings about a new challenge. Despite the challenges that this new Moon in Aquarius brings, we can take comfort in its opportunity to begin again. As with each new Moon, we have the blessing of being able to manifest a new start for ourselves. New Moons signify the beginning of a new lunar cycle. This beginning is a time when we are able to ignite change through conscious intention.

This new Moon lies in the zodiac sign of Aquarius. Aquarians are known detachers from their emotions. Hence, this new Moon’s challenge- how to make sense of our emotions. Aquarians are air signs. This means that they are not attached nor comfortable with feeling their emotions. And if they are, they certainly do not want to regale their partners or loved ones with them. Aquarians do not wish to be encumbered with their emotions or the emotions of others. In fact, this new Moon is all about becoming comfortable with emotional freedom.

Emotional freedom can be about releasing attachment to our emotions about others. If we are in romantic partnerships, for example, we may feel compelled to want to process our emotions without the help of our partner. Or, it could mean that our partner will wish to process their emotions with our help. For this, we must be prepared. Should we wish to process our emotions on our own, we must make the time to do so. This new Moon is the perfect time to learn to stand on our own two feet instead of relying on others to tell us the answers.

Emotional freedom is far more than becoming detached from the emotions that we have about our interpersonal relationships. Emotional freedom is about releasing attachment to our fears ad insecurities. Often this is difficult because we have become so attached to our fears and insecurities that they have become our identity. This attachment to our fears has often been a lengthy process, and it’s important to recognize their origin. Perhaps we experienced childhood stress, trauma or loss. Perhaps we had a frightening experience that led us to create thoughts and belief systems in order to protect ourselves from being hurt again in a similar way. It is now time to detach from these defense mechanisms so that we are able to heal them and to nurture the parts of ourselves that were wounded enough to create them in the first place.

Thankfully, if we should find ourselves in the company of others, we will find it easy to identify our feelings. As we spend time around other people, we will be easily able to take personal cues regarding what aspects of our consciousness trigger fear and insecurity. Drawing on the Aquarian need to detach from our emotions, we will readily be able to view our fears and insecurities from a higher perspective; one of detachment. This new viewpoint will gift us the knowledge of how to let them go.

Because Aquarius is ruled by the planet Uranus, we have the opportunity during this new Moon to liberate ourselves from that which binds us. Uranus is the planet of ‘shaking up and breaking free’. Thus, we can look at this new Moon as either an uncomfortable time of change OR we can look at it as a time to break loose from the ties that bound. Change can be frightening. However as spiritual warriors we have empowering courage. We are brave and can shake loose of whatever may be holding us back.

Astrologically, the start of this decade is challenging on every level. It has challenged us to look within and come to terms with our shadow selves. It has challenged our self worth, self confidence and self love. And now it is challenging our identity. It is challenging us to take a look at ourselves and to discern how much of our identity we have created out of fear and how much we have created out of love. It is challenging us to move away from relying on others for emotional validation and turning to ourselves for comfort. We are strong and fierce and CAN succeed these challenges. We can rise above, for once we do, we will emerge as butterflies from long dormant cocoons.

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

OVER 50% OF NORTH AMERICAN ANIMALS SUFFER FROM THIS FATAL AND EASILY AVOIDABLE DISEASE

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HOW YOU CAN PREVENT THIS PAINFUL DISEASE

There is a growing epidemic in today’s companion animal world. This problem is quite serious and harmful to our beloved furry friends. It is an escalating issue and its impact is severe. Long term consequences of obesity result in: arthritis, torn cruciate ligaments, hypertension, hypothyroidism, impaired respiration, heart disease, poor gastrointestinal health, chronic renal disease, hepatitis, urinary tract disease, inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, hepatitis, cancer, diabetes – just to name a few.

Companion animal obesity is alarmingly prevalent in today’s society. Aside from its serious side effects, obesity can be fatal. Companion animal obesity does not happen overnight. It takes years to create. However, obesity is easily reversible and even preventable altogether. With so much education on the subject, why is companion animal obesity so common?

Perhaps most commonly, many humans mistake feeding for love. Because our furry friends find feeding time to be so exciting, we often associate their happiness with food. By over-feeding our animal friends, we are not helping them. In fact we are often shortening their lives and time with us! Even more hazardous to their health, humans will feed animals ‘people’ food. While some ‘people’ food is beneficial to animals such as whole meats and steamed veggies, most table foods cause serious health problems for companion animals. The digestive systems of cats and dogs (and parrots, horses and hamsters) are not wired for all of the fatty, saturated, sugary, starchy foods that many humans consume. These rich ingredients cause many painful organ imbalances such as pancreatitis, diabetes, kidney or liver failure, UTI’s, bladder crystals, several types of cancer and more. Though it may take some discipline on our part, dissociating food and love is the best way to keep our beloved furry ones healthy!

One key factor in the rise of obesity is carbohydrates in the diet. Genetically, cats and dogs mainly subsisted on meats. By adding grains to the diet, marketing companies have found marketable filler, allowing them to cheap out on the main staples of the companion animal diet. Most of the carbohydrates found in cat and dog food are full of sugars and starches which not only slow the metabolism but also impair digestion. Consequently, weight gain is almost inevitable. Of primary significance to carbohydrate-infuse foods is that felines are physiologically unable to digest grains. Cats lack the digestive enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of grains (found in almost all carbohydrates). When cats eat grains, the carbohydrates metabolize into sugars. With excess exposure to grains in food (causing excess sugar levels in the blood), feline diabetes runs rampant. Further, there are innumerable documented cases of the link between carbohydrates in the diet and yeast overgrowth in dogs and cats (candida overgrowth). It is our role in our animal’s lives to read labels and make sure that we understand what sugary, starchy carbohydrates are and how they can harm our animals.

What many companion animal caregivers fail to acknowledge is that companion animals need sufficient exercise to burn calories. In this respect (and many others) humans and animals are the same. In order to maintain a healthy body weight, we must balance the calories we eat with the calories we burn through daily activity. Humans often disregard their cat or dog’s need for exercise. Humans often excuse this by telling themselves they are “too busy” to adequately walk their dogs or play with their cats. They often feel that the yard is sufficient exercise for the dog and that the cat walks around their home enough to burn the calories necessary for healthy weight maintenance. Unless these animals are reaching a cardiovascular endurance that is equivalent to a ‘light sweat’ of a human’s cardiovascular routine, they are likely not burning the calories needed to stay healthy. In many cases, finding suitable exercise for cats and some dogs can be challenging. However with research and a little bit of creativity, creating a healthy exercise regimen for our companion animal friends will ensure that they do not fall into the trap of obesity. They will live longer and have a healthy quality of life.

Sadly, almost all processed (store bought) cat and dog food is full of preservatives, non-food items and carcinogens. These frighteningly harmful ingredients cause an alarmingly high rate of inflammation and obesity within our animal friends’ bodies. Preservatives such as corn gluten are exceedingly common in many veterinary recommended foods. This is to say that even professionals are suggesting that foods whose first several ingredients are harmful to an animal in many ways (chronic inflammation, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease to name a few). Frighteningly, many consumers fall prey to accepting what veterinarians and marketing companies claim is “healthy’ instead of conducting their own research. This failure to read and research labels is a very real cause of obesity. By making time to research exactly what it is you’re feeding your animal friend, you might be very shocked at what is being passed off as “food” in the animal community. Take the time to get to know the species appropriate diet that is best suited to your companion.

Most readily available to all companion animal caregivers is portion control. Many caregivers ‘free feed’ their cats and dogs. This means that they leave food out all day for their animal to eat whenever they so choose. This behavior is often detrimental to their animal’s health. Animals who are home alone all day will tend to ‘boredom eat’. Many humans suffer from boredom eating as well. If animals have no other task to complete throughout their day, they will choose to eat just for something to do. By controlling the amount of food they have access to, we can monitor their weight more closely. Many objections to this idea come into play in homes where humans work long hours and animals are unable to go for so long without food. This is correct. Ideally, animals should be fed small meals every four hours (as should humans). If humans are out for prolonged time periods, leaving food ‘games’ for their animals can help with portion control. One such game is the feeding puzzle wherein dogs must work though a puzzle to find their food. By suggesting that animals work for their food, we are creating both a task for our animals as well as a way for them to be nourished. Additionally, animals who have been undernourished prior to coming into your home will tend to wolf down every ounce of food as soon as it’s placed in front of them. Free-feeding poses a serious threat to those previously undernourished cats and dogs because they can eat far too much in one sitting and become quite ill. By monitoring your feeding portions, you will be ensuring a healthier body weight for your animal friends!

It is crucial to put ourselves in the bodies and minds of our animal friends. How would we feel if we were being fed improperly and could not do anything to remedy it? Animals are unable to shop for themselves and in many cases are unable to voice how uncomfortable nutrient-poor food makes them feel. Many animals love table food so much that they wouldn’t object if they could- until they fell into chronic pain or disease. It is our role as companion animal caregivers to make healthy choices on their behalf.

TO SCHEDULE YOUR ANIMAL COMMUNICATION OR ANIMAL REIKI SESSION, EMAIL: jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com

 

THIS DECADE’S FIRST FULL MOON/ECLIPSE: THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM

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FACE YOUR SHADOW SIDE ONE LAST TIME AND RISE ABOVE

Welcome to the 2020’s! This new decade promises to be one of new beginnings, worldwide learning experiences, rebellion and revolution. Astrologically speaking, our new decade comes in with a BANG! TO begin the second weekend of our decade, rises our first Full Moon in the sign of Cancer. At 1:21pm on Friday, January 10, we witness the very first Full Moon and Eclipse of the 2020’s. How will YOU begin this new decade?

Full Moon in Cancer is heavily rooted in family and friends. Cancer fules the breasts and the stomach; the bodily areas that relate to bearing children.This maternal energy will take us on and flow through us throughout the weeked. As Canceris a water sign and water signs are deeply in touch with their emotions,, we will feel called to deeply nurture our loved ones. As we nurture our loved ones,we may ask ourselves “why stop there”? Why do we just tae the time and energy to nurtureothers? This is the time to capitalize on the concept of “nurture”. We ay wish to take this one step further. We may wish to take this nurturing energy and run with it. We may choose to run so far that we feel drawn to engage in selfless service. We may open ourselves up to the inspiration the  act of ‘giving’ brings and it use it to be of service to those in need. – OR – Equally as necessarily, we can take this notion of ‘nurture’ ad run with it all the way to our own doorstep. We may utilize this energy to self-nurture. To allow ourselves the time and space we deserve. After all, you cannot care for anyone else until you care for yourself.

Often, we believe that we do not have the time for self care. No matter who you are or what your life entails, there is ALWAYS time for YOU! This can be something as simple as a bath, a short walk in the woods or even a ten minute nap. This means and activity that is just for YOU.

While our Moon is bathing in the waters of Cancer, our sun stands transfixed in the Earthy sign of Capricorn. Fortunately for those of us who may easily get swept up by the emotional depths of watery Cancer, we have the Capricornian energy to call upon to ground. As Capricorn is an Earth sign, it has very strong ties to our Mother Earth and has a big enough heart to bring us down from our emotional flightiness.

Both Cancer and Capricorn are correlated to family life. They both wish to see a fully functioning, nurturing family unit. This lunar period is an excellent time to step back from our family life and ask ourselves what is working and what is no longer. With Cancer’s unending love for harmony in the home and Capricorn’s structured approach, engaging in teamwork with our family to weed out any discomfort is the healthiest approach to use. That way, everyone feels heard and appreciated.

Capricorn is also focused on work and survival. There is emphasis at this time on making ends meet. There is much tension in the air regarding the future of our planet, or economy and how it will affect us and our families. These are concerns prevalent on the minds of Capricorns that will be echoing in the minds of others during this lunar period. To further intensify things, we have our first solar eclipse of the decade. A solar eclipse occurs when the Sun comes between the Earth and the moon. This celestial event is a time when we may feel a magnification of the Sun’s and Moon’s energies. On this particular occasion with the Sun and Moon being where they are, we may feel drawn to examine our shadow sides in the areas of home and work. We may feel very uncomfortable around the hours of 11 am CDT which are the hours of the eclipse. During this exciting celestial event, it is important to take the time to come face to face with the sides of ourselves that we may not like. This must be done so that we can confront them, learn from them, heal them and banish them for good. While the sun eclipses the moon, Capricorn eclipses Cancer. We may feel weighed down as Capricorn thrives on structure and function whereas Cancer is ruled by emotions. To get through these heavy feelings, we must submit to them and accept that working on our shadow sides does take structure. It is the structure that will meticulously have us weeding out old beliefs, thoughts and feelings that we can leave at the doorstep of 2020.

On the subject of structure and function, a mere two days following our first full moon and eclipse, we face Saturn conjunct Pluto. For this time period, we are facing two of the coldest, most unfeeling planetary energies thrusting toward us at the very beginning of our new decade. We may feel limited, restricted and bound to the hard work it takes to tread along our healing journeys. however unlike the 48 hours of the lunar period, this planetary conjunction is a slow and painful shifting. We may encounter healing crises, we may relive past pain that we had understood to have previously worked through. HOWEVER- as daunting as this all may seem, the work we are thrust into at this time is but a small point as compared to the fruitful prosperity that lies on its other side. Though we may feel, for a short period, helpless and confused, we must look at this as an opportunity for discipline and hard work. This alignment only comes around our solar system once every 34 years. As with any, we can view this alignment with a grain of salt, or we can shift our perspective and rise to the occasion and face it, engage in self-discipline and conquer the shadow it casts upon us.

Welcome to 2020.

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

 

19 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT CATS

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19 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT CATS

Cats. People speculate that they have no personality, that they’re not as loyal as dogs are; that they are just plain uninteresting. These speculators are wrong. Cats are one of the most loving, caring, uniquely beautiful species on Earth. Over thousands of years, cats have been both revered as royalty and cast aside as bad luck. Though most of these old world beliefs are mostly myth, one thing is for sure: cats are magical, mystical creatures who want nothing more than to love, be loved and to help we humans along our personal healing journeys. And food, of course.

Aside from the folklore and wonderful companionship in which those fortunate to live alongside a cat are aware, there are many lesser known cat facts. Cats have many unique physical, mental, emotional and spiritual traits. Do you think you know everything there is to know about our domesticated feline friends? Try this list on:

  1. Cats only meow to their people, not to each other.
  2. Cats do not have a specific meow language- they tailor their series of meows to their people. This series of meows is based on a learning curve between cat and human that evolves over their time together.
  3. Cats cannot digest grains. Unlike most mammals who were born with the digestive enzyme amylase which is responsible for the breakdown of grains in the digestive system, cats were born without it. This means that when they consume grains, the grains metabolize straight into sugar. When these grains metabolize into sugar, insulin spikes are created which result in feline diabetes. Most cat kibble (dry food) is over saturated with grains in the form of human grade cereals which are quite high in sugars and starches. Even oats, barley, rice and other grains metabolize into insulin spikes. This is why cats should be eating a grain free diet.
  4. All Calico cats are female.
  5. Almost all orange cats are male, very few are female.
  6. The cat’s purr resonates on an audio frequency that has been shown to regenerate bone and tissue re-growth. This means that their purr has the capability of healing bones and tissues.
  7. Cats purr for several reasons, not just when they’re happy or want cuddles. They purr when they are scared, hungry or hurt.
  8. Ailurophobia- the persistent, irrational fear of cats.
  9. Ailurophile- those who love cats.
  10. In Great Britain and Japan, black cats are revered as good luck.
  11. Not all cats go crazy for catnip. Though all house cats have catnip receptors on their noses, catnip craziness is selective and hereditary.
  12. Whereas cats appear to be sleeping for 13-18 hours per day, they actually spend much of that time in the astral dimension (the fourth dimension). In other words, they are not always sleeping- they spend a lot of time meditating. Cats who spend much of their time in the astral dimension are often sensitive to spiritual energy. This can mean either that they are spiritually sensitive themselves or that they are able to see spirit.
  13. The average cat can be clocked running at 30mph. This is fast enough to get a speeding ticket in a school zone!
  14. Cats have hair, not fur
  15. Cats sweat through their paws
  16. The Hungarian word for “quotation marks” literally translates to “cat claws”.
  17. Cats need whole foods to stay healthy. When a diet is absent of whole meats (raw or cooked), cats are very often malnourished and oversaturated with vitamins and minerals. This can cause hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Cats nee a healthy balance of meats and vitamins as minerals as well as a healthy source of essential fatty acids to feel and look their best. Cats are carnivores. As such they need whole sources of meat. Any dry food they eat contributes to early stage organ failure. By eating whole sources of meat such as fish, poultry or cattle, their organs and bodies will be happy and healthy for longer!
  18. Cats have very sensitive kidneys- because cats are not genetically wired to hydrate with water, their kidneys become easily endangered. The kidneys are responsible for processing toxins from food, water and the environment. When the kidneys are depleted of adequate water, they are unable to filter the toxins from the bloodstream. When they are unable to do their job, toxins can build up in the body and can cause kidney failure.
  19. Cats do not inherently know to drink water- the origin of the feline species is in the deserts of Africa. In the deserts of Africa, water is scarce. Cats subsisted on the meat and fluids of the prey they killed. Though modern day house cats are far removed from their origin of species, they genetics are still very much prevalent. Drinking water is a learned behaviour for cats. Some cats hesitate to drink water at all, which makes hydration difficult. Fir optimal kitty health, they must eat wet cat food, whole meats (free of spices and sauces) or fish oils to stay hydrated. It also helps to place water bowls around the home as cats do not generally like to have their drinking areas next to their eating areas. This is because when they did have sources of water, cats would not make their ‘kill’ close to the drinking area for fear of water contamination.

These are just 19 lesser know cat facts. As with all fascinating species, this short list is limited. Cats bring us a world of joy, wonder and amazement. They are highly intelligent, spiritual beings who have been brought into our lives to nourish our souls. Let us honour them for their individual personalities, their engaging, humorous behaviour and most of all, their Divine life purposes to care for our hearts.

Blessings to all felines everywhere! May you all have a long, enriched, healthy life.

 

TO SCHEDULE YOUR ANIMAL COMMUNICATION OR ANIMAL REIKI SESSION, EMAIL:

Jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com

THIS WEEK’S WINTER SOLSTICE/NEW MOON/ANNULAR ECLIPSE: THE END IS A NEW BEGINNING

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THE END OF A DECADE: TWO TRUE CAUSES FOR CELEBRATION!

The week upcoming harnesses magical celestial energy! The astrological events that are set to occur have the potential to offer to us joyful new beginnings from every which way. From today’s winter solstice to Thursday’s New Moon/Annular Eclipse, this week, the last week of the decade, proves to be one with much potential to reinvent ourselves toward a higher purpose for the years ahead.

Today, Saturday, December 21, 2019 marks this year’s winter solstice. The winter solstice is the first day of winter.  The winter solstice is a time to celebrate. It is a time to give thanks for all that we have harvested in the autumn season. It is a time to celebrate the beginning of a long season of reflection of our lives and ourselves. We can utilize this first day of winter to ask ourselves: over the last year, what have we accomplished? What have we learned? What personal goals have we accomplished? What can we improve upon? What areas of our life require our attention, our intention- to heal?

The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. It is an occasion during which we will feel inspired to peer into our own darkness; to search within it, to wade through it and to acknowledge and accept ourselves for all that we are; dark and light. As the winter season comes upon us, all is still. This stillness is a grand occasion to find peace in each moment. The stillness of winter is an opportunity for us to take the time to rest. Many of us can be quite focused on the self-imposed need to be everything to everyone- to accomplish every single task on our list no matter how exhausted we become in the process. The winter solstice reminds us that rest and rejuvenation are just as important as being the fierce warriors we are. Just as nature rests and is still during the wintertime, so will we be in an effort to rebalance our tired, overworked selves.

As the winter solstice is the longest night of the year, it also gives way to the rebirth of the sun. As the days get longer little by little, we allow Light to slowly re-enter our darkness. The sun’s rebirth grants us the beginning of a new cycle. Thus, though the winter’s darkness casts an opening to reflect on cycles past, it also births a new beginning. It grants us the wisdom to work through our darkness to make way for new and higher light. The nights slowly become lighter and the darkness seems lesser long. The rebirth of the sun consents to limitless possibilities for our own creation!

In addition to the beginning of our winter season, we have yet another beautiful dawning this week. The second of the two opportunities for new beginnings this week is due to surface on Thursday December 26th. The new moon in Capricorn arises then with an explosive energy. The New Moon in Capricorn lends us its strength and confidence to put our strongest desires to work. As this decade’s final new moon, we have an impending opportunity to create for ourselves wonderful years ahead. As with all new moons, this one is an ideal time to manifest our life’s wishes. This moon’s position in Capricorn will have us writing an empowered list of intentions for the upcoming year.

During this time, both the sun and moon are in Capricorn. Capricorns are extremely diligent and hard working individuals. For those of us willing to commit to the work, drawing the Capricorn energy into our spiritual practice at this time will prove to be very rewarding. Both business and family matters are highlighted during this new moon. We have the ability now to improve both of these aspects of our lives- IF we put in the time and energy to improve ourselves.

The new moon in Capricorn’s arrival several days before the turn of the decade is ideal for those who wish to make their last minute, long overdue life changes. This new moon is powered by Capricorn- the zodiac sign of “getting it done”. This is to say that when we are creating our list of intentions for this new moon, for the upcoming year, we must write with intention and integrity. Simply putting pen to paper will not suffice for this new moon. We must take the time to deeply contemplate what it is that we wish for ourselves that is alignment with our greatest good. And once we have chosen that which we wish to manifest, we must mark our intentions down with confidence and conviction as this is the Capricorn way.

Perhaps what makes this new moon most powerful, aside from its being the final one of the decade, is that it’s also an annular eclipse. An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is farther away from the Earth than usual. Thus, for the duration of the eclipse, the Moon does not cover the entire sun- all that remains is a ring of fire around the moon. During this time, the sun still emits light. Though the eclipse will occur at a time that is visible only to Asia, Australia, East Africa and the Indian Ocean, its effects will still be felt in North America. Eclipses, much like our winter solstice, allow us to come face to face with our shadows; our darkness. As the sun illuminates the moon, our dark sides are illuminated.

The spiritual nature of the annular eclipse is a powerful one. Usually, during a solar eclipse , the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun which creates the ideal energy for us to wade through our shadow sides; our subconscious fears. However, during an annular eclipse, the moon appears smaller in the sky, leaving a ring of fire around the moon. This ring of fire represents the inner fire we all carry deep within that propels us to work through our deeply rooted subconscious fears. Let us utilize this ring of fire thoroughly, to rid our consciousnesses, to cleanse ourselves of that which no longer serves us.

In combination with our winter solstice, there is much possibility to go deep within and to work on the aspects of ourselves that could make us feel uncomfortable. Though at times, this task can be daunting, self- work is vital for the purpose of self growth. We, as spiritual souls, are in these bodies to learn. We are here to grow and to find peace and harmony within ourselves despite any external circumstances. These celestial events, occurring during the last week of this decade, have the potential to catapult is into the new year- the new decade, with flying colours. We are given a golden opportunity this coming week to release all of the trauma and residual pain that we have lived through, that we have survived. We have an opportunity to check our baggage at the door at the beginning of the new cycles upon us. The choice is ours- do we wish to carry our pain with us into the next cycles of our lives? Or do we wish to release them once and for all?

Whatever celebratory activities in which we find ourselves this week, let s remember to give thanks to all those who have given us the opportunity to grow and flourish. For many of us, 2019 has been a very challenging and heartbreaking experience. Let us aim not to dwell on the pain we may have been made to endure, but to focus on what we have learned from the pains and traumas of the year. Let us focus on how much we have grown, how much more empowered we have become as a result of surviving our struggles. Let us be aware that we have the absolute power to recreate ourselves and the decade ahead. Let us focus on our inner strength and give thanks to ourselves for being true survivors; for being true warriors.

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

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.

THURSDAY’S FULL MOON CHALLENGE: FACING YOUR SELF WORTH

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STAY IN BED WITH THE COVERS OVER YOUR HEAD

Our final full moon of 2019 rises on Thursday, Dec 12th. This last moon lands in the zodiac sign of Gemini. As the final full moon of both the autumn season and the year, this is a time to reflect. It is a time to ruminate over the last few months, the last year. For some of us, this may have been a year full of distress, loss and heartbreak. For others, this may have been a year of joys, heartfelt relationships and new beginnings. Into whichever category you fall, this full moon is a time to contemplate the year ahead. What did we enjoy about this year? What can we improve on? What do we wish for next year to look like to us?

As with all full moons, this one is helpful for releasing any energies that are no longer relevant to your growth at this time. For some of us this could mean that we burn the list of intentions that we had created during this most recent new moon. For others this could mean partaking in a banishing ritual to send the undesired energies away from us for good.

The final full moon in Gemini is a tricky one. Full moons often illuminate hidden aspects of our consciousness. Astrologically speaking, the sun represents our personality whereas the moon represents our hidden, subconscious feelings and tendencies. This full moon is no different. It will bring up aspects of our consciousness that we had buried deeply. It will bring our deepest insecurities to the forefront, creating a strong sense of vulnerability. This moon will relentlessly test our self- worth. The more we give into our insecurities, the farther away we get from a healthy and strong sense of self.

Because Gemini is most outwardly known as the ‘sign with two personalities’, those of us who are working through trust issues with others will be put to the test. For those of us with trust issues, our insecurities in romantic relationships, friendships or family relationships will be highly illuminated and could potentially make for a dramatic lunar period. We may catch ourselves, in mid conversation with those we trust, attempting to doubt the loved one with whom we are communicating. We may create scenarios in our heads that reinforce our insecurities and trust issues in relationships that are false; just so we can feed into the drama of our trust issues.

This lunar period will have us confronting the sides of ourselves that will likely make us feel uncomfortable. We will tend to focus on the areas of our life that we feel we have underachieved. If these self-defeating thoughts arise, let us be mindful that clinging to a belief system that suggests we “should” or shouldn’t” be doing something at the present time is harmful. Whereas we may have held these belief systems dear because they made sense at one time in our lives, it is time now to let it go. In fact, it is time now to let all belief systems go; particularly the outdated ones. This can lead to a long winded process of discernment- “what beliefs do I have that no longer serve me? Are these beliefs my own or have they come from an external source (such as parents, schooling, media, peer pressure)?”

Contrary to Gemini’s push to face our shadow sides, our sun sits in the jovial sign of Sagittarius. Sagittarius’ place in thus planetary alignment can bring a welcome lighthearted energy to all of the self- work in which we are likely to engage. Sagittarius is social, charming, charismatic and fun! The sun’s place in Sagittarius also brings about a desire to engage in spiritual and philosophical conversations and activities. By drawing in and harnessing the Sagittarian energy, we may find the confidence and determination required to power through this period of self-examination.

In addition to the sun and moon’s opposing forces on our self confidence, we can also view the other planets that influence the feeling of lack of self worth. First we have Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Pluto resting in the sign of Capricorn, we will further be inclined to question our self-perception. Capricorn can feel very heavy and structured at times which can create an air of harsh self judgment. Pluto’s place in Capricorn will have us digging deep to uncover our deepest of insecurities and fears. Saturn’s comfortable place in Capricorn will feel like a disciplinary force, perhaps even oppressive.

Despite all of the situations we face that challenge our self worth, this Gemini moon is an opportunity to work through behaviour and thought patterns that need to be reconfigured or banished altogether. We may face this full moon with grace and dignity. After all, we know that all it takes to avoid feeding into our insecurities is to relentlessly love ourselves exactly for who we are. It takes telling ourselves that we are loved by us, by many and by The Creator. It takes the strength to laugh at our ego when it attaches to the negative thoughts in our heads. Because to laugh at them means that we recognize that they are just thoughts; that they can come and go without affecting us one way or another. Instead of dwelling on the negative, self-defeatist thoughts and feelings that wade through our minds, we can attach ourselves to the loving thoughts we think and words we speak.

This planetary alignment is heavily based on our sense of self. It is centered around our ego’s perception of reality. Be mindful that we are not our ego. We are free thinking, independent, Divine souls who have come here to make peace with the heaviness of our ego. We have come here to learn to love ourselves, even in the face of our own shadows. We must remember and take comfort in the fact that we are only given what we can handle! Any situation that challenges our self worth is sure to be one we can learn and grow from. We can handle it. We can confront it, battle it and rise above it. We are fierce warriors!

TOP 5 POWERFUL HEALING PLANTS FOR ANIMALS

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5 MIRACLE PLANTS AND THEIR HEALING POWERS

These days, a growing number of animal caregivers are thinking and acting more holistically. Many of us have realized that western medicine, although sometimes necessary, is not the only solution to many of our companion animals’ health concerns. We have realized that medicine can be quite harsh on their small and sensitive bodies. We have realized the value of alternative treatments. We have realized that there is more than one way to treat ailments that arise in our companion animals. For some of us, this means research, research, research!

Though western veterinary medicine is still prevalent and has its significant role in saving lives, it is highly unnecessary to fall back on in every little circumstance. Just like for humans, companion animals can develop chronic health issues. This often means a lot of pain and suffering for our animal friends unless we do something to stop it. Most companion animal caregiver would run straight to the vet and read a list of symptoms for the vet to assess and diagnose. What most caregivers fail to realize is that the appointment should stop THERE. In many cases of chronic health issues, western medical doctors will prescribe medicines and treatments that are harmful to the body. They will prescribe medicines that treat the symptoms as opposed to the root cause of the issues. Most of these medicines are highly inflammatory and highly priced. But is there an alternative? Yes. There is. The alternative is to seek holistic care. For that matter, it need not be one or the other- we need not choose at all. We can seek both western and eastern (holistic) medicines. One difference between the two being that instead of treating the animal’s symptoms as a western doctor would do, the holistic doctor will assess the symptoms and diagnose the root cause of the health issues. When we treat the root cause, the symptoms go away. However when we treat the symptoms alone, they will never fully go away because the root cause is still there. Essentially, your animal will be made to take medicines that relieve only the symptoms for the rest of her/his life; unless the root cause disappears on its own. When we treat the root cause, both it and the symptoms will disappear.

Though in some cases, holistic care can take linger than western medicine to take effect, the long term health of your companion animal will be much healthier. This is because, as mentioned earlier, western medicines can be highly inflammatory, can seriously harm the inner organs of the animal, can cause kidney failure, cancers, irritable bowel, IBS, heart problems, sweat gland problems, allergies, and more. By taking the time to administer holistic solutions to the very same chronic issues your animal is exhibiting, you will almost definitely avoid all of the above consequences. Here are five powerful plants that will treat the ROOT CAUSE of your animal’s health issues.

TURMERICTurmeric is a wonderful anti-inflammatory plant. Its medicinal compound, curcumin, is a very strong antioxidant as well as highly anti-inflammatory. . Turmeric is linked to improved brain function and lowers the risk of brain diseases. Turmeric has also been linked to prevent some types of cancers because of its antioxidant properties. Turmeric, on its own, would be very difficult to achieve the desired amount of anti-inflammatory effects. This is why researching a curcumin supplement for your animal may be of benefit. The next time your vet suggests steroids as a form of anti-inflammatory treatment, (which actually end up inflaming your insides anyway after prolonged use as the side effects of them are often worse than the initial disease we wish to fight), discuss the idea of weaning off of the steroids and onto a healthier, safer anti-inflammatory option. Or, better yet, make an appointment with a holistic veterinarian and ask about turmeric.

DANDELIONDandelion is a bitter yet powerful plant. It is a front runner in anti-inflammation, aids in weight loss, reduces cancer risks and it boosts the immune system. Particularly for animals who have seasonal allergies, dandelion’s immune-boosting properties can help to regulate them. After all, allergies are just a symptom of a weak immune system. Thus, by boosting the immune system, we will be attacking the root cause of the health issue at hand.

MARSHMALLOW ROOTMarshmallow root has many magical benefits! By consuming it via capsule, tincture or tea form, we are allowing it to act as an enzyme that breaks down mucous in our respiratory tract. In humans, marshmallow root has been shown to relieve coughs, colds, bronchitis and other respiratory tract diseases. Safe for animals (with holistic veterinary approval), marshmallow root can help to alleviate similar symptoms. Secondly, marshmallow root has been noted to help skin rashes, eczema and dermatitis in humans. Used as an ointment and applied topically, this plant can help with skin rashes, itchy skin, dermatitis and various other skin irritations. Thirdly, marshmallow root aids in digestion. A natural diuretic and a reliever or constipation, marshmallow root can soothe irritation and inflammation in the digestive tract. Many companion animals suffer from chronic diarrhea or constipation. By soothing the lining of the stomach and intestines, your animal’s digestion is sure to flow more naturally! (Of course, before adding any powerful plant supplement to your animal’s diet , be sure to read your food labels to ensure that their stomach and digestion issues are not a result of nutrient-poor food).

MORINGARich in antioxidants, Moringa fights harmful free- radicals that run rampant through your animal’s body. What are free radicals? Find out here: ( https://soulsticespirit.com/2019/09/01/is-your-cat-or-dog-being-harmed-by-these-microscopic-threats/) . Moringa is a highly effective anti-inflammatory plant. High in protein, calcium, beta carotene, vitamin C and potassium, this miracle plant is a nutritious addition to any animal’s diet. Especially in today’s world of cat and dog food malnutrition, adding Moringa to your animal’s dietary regimen can help to regulate nutrient supply in the blood and body for an overall healthier quality of life.

LICORICE ROOT Sweet to taste, licorice root has innumerable health benefits for animals. Licorice root is a detoxifier of the liver. The liver is the organ in the body that is responsible for processing toxins that come from food, water and the environment. When the body is made to digest too many toxins, sometimes there can be a build up in the liver and it needs an extra push to be cleansed out. Licorice root is just the plant to do it. Another important benefit of licorice root for animals is that it has the power to treat a full spectrum of stomach ailments. It can treat any ailment from a digestive upset to an ulcer to stomach cancer. Licorice root is another highly anti-inflammatory plant. It helps to relieve pain, itchy skin, inflammation of the inner organs and joints without compromising the immune system which any veterinary prescription steroid would.
In addition to ingestion of licorice root in tea or tincture form, using it in a topical ointment or salve can be used to treat psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and flea-bite allergies. Licorice root is unique in that it provides relief right away whereas many other holistic treatments can take days or weeks to take full effect. Thus, using licorice root immediately following an allergic reaction such as a bite or skin rash or stomach/liver toxin buildup can be a healthier option while waiting for the rest of the holistic remedies to take effect.
Please note: there are several contraindications between licorice root and some medicines. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before beginning administration of licorice root.

These are just five miraculously powerful healing plants of thousands. Finding a safer, longer-term focused, non-invasive treatment is always the better way for our beloved animal companions. As with all new ideas, it is highly recommended to further look into what these plants are, if they can help with ay condition your animal may be in and of course if they are safe for your animal (if your animal is on other medications). Talk to your local holistic vet about which of these powerful, magnificent plants are right for your best friend!

T O SCHEDULE AN ANIMAL COMMUNICATION OR ANIMAL REIKI SESSION, EMAIL: jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com .

TUESDAY’S NEW MOON: ALIGNING WITH ABUNDANCE

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ALIGNING WITH ABUNDANCE: TUESDAY’S NEW MOON IN SAGITTARIUS

Tuesday, November 26th births this year’s new moon in Sagittarius. New moons are always exciting celestial event s because they allow us to begin anew. Particularly because we experienced our last new moon in the darkness of Scorpio during Mercury’s retrograde, we are ready to return to the Light- and this new moon is just the right one with which to do it!

This new moon is an ideal time to manifest that abundance that has been eluding you. There is often a connotation regarding Sagittarius and abundance which makes this particular planetary alignment a wonderful opportunity to focus on abundance. Many people have misguided beliefs about abundance. Either they subconsciously feel that they are unworthy of abundance or the opposite; that they have a fear of success. Many people were brought up in families where there were belief systems that “life is hard. You have to work as hard as you possibly can to make every cent and then you cannot spend it! You must save, save, save…”. Whereas working hard is an important part of life, there is often a human misunderstanding that there is a finite resource for abundance in our lives. This is a belief system that has been instilled us that brings about fear and scarcity thinking. And nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we are worthy of all of the abundance in the universe! We must learn to truly believe in our self-worth.

While the journey to self love can be a very lengthy and challenging process, we can begin to believe that we are worth of abundance by setting the intention during this new moon. By intending to be open to receiving the abundance we deserve, we are sending a message to the Universe that we believe that life is meant to be abundant and that we are worthy recipients. As with all new moons, this is the perfect time to set this intention. As the new moon waxes into a full moon, our intentions grow and flourish. It is important to note as well that some intentions we set can take more than one lunar cycle to come to fruition. Sometimes our intentions can take a lot of hard work. This intention for abundance is the perfect example. In order for us to receive the abundance we ask for, we must come into alignment with it. Coming into alignment with any intention takes a lot of intense work and self examination. In order for us to receive the abundance we ask for, we must take the time we need to truly believe that we are worth its reception.

On this occasion, both the sun and the moon are in the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. . Sagittarius has a lot to offer. Because Sagittarius is often known for its boastful, jovial energies, this new moon is a wonderful time to gather with friends, to laugh and to rejoice. This lunar period calls for festivities and socialization. Because Mercury has recently resumed forward motion, we will likely feel an extra desire to connect with others. This is a wonderful time to live it up!

However, despite Sagittarius’ social nature, we must beware of overindulgence. Jupiter is the planet that rules Sagittarius. Jupiter has a very expansive nature which can be a catalyst for overindulgence. Whether we find ourselves at a family dinner, party or any other social festivity, we must take care to pay attention to how much food we eat or drinks we drink. On this double-Sagittarian occasion, we are prone to overdo just about every pleasurable activity there is to overdo. Remember that moderation is the key to peace. While it can be ok to have that extra drink or piece of cake once in a while, be sure to stay away from the whole bottle or the whole cake! Remember that every action we take has its consequences. If we wish to feel healthy tomorrow, avoid succumbing to temptation.

This new moon is the last new moon before our next solar eclipse on December 26th. This means that we have one month before both the sun and the moon align with Jupiter. This is a very fortuitous alignment that brings about an even stronger ability to manifest the abundance and joy that you deserve. Because we have one month between this new moon in Sagittarius and the new moon/solar eclipse in one month’s time, spending this month’s time on personal growth and self healing is the highest and best way to bring ourselves into alignment with the self-worth we need in order to receive the abundant gifts that the Universe has to offer.

Lastly, during this new moon, we also have Mars opposing Uranus. This can be quite a catastrophic alignment if we are not careful. Mars is the planet of war and Uranus is the planet of sudden change. The alignment of the two has the potential to bring about rash arguments, flaring tempers and bouts of rage. These disruptive forces can loom heavily in the air for many of us. However, our awareness of their potential can also help us to evade them. Becoming cognizant of their presence can help us to realize that at this time it is extra important to think before we react.

Though there is a chill in the air for most of us at this time of year, taking the time to go out and enjoy the fresh air is always an enjoyable way to experience the new moon. Expressing joy and gratitude for all that we have is the very best way to ensure that we are granted even more to be grateful for!

 

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PREVENT EARLY STAGE TERMINAL ILLNESS:

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PROLONGING YOUR ANIMAL COMPANION’S LIFE IS EASIER THAN YOU THOUGHT!

As many would agree, knowledge is power. Most consumers truly wish to provide the best possible life for their animal friends. Many are unaware of how they may be presently harming their best friends; their animal companions. It is always crucial to obtain as much knowledge as possible before beginning a cat or dog food regimen. It is vital to avoid blindly trusting other people; even veterinarians without doing your own research. Even for the most knowledgeable, there are often many important details about optimal nutrition for our animals that fly under the radar. Below are five very common causes of early stage illness that can easily be avoided in companion animals.

1) OBESITY- By far, one of the leading reasons for early stage animal illness is obesity. Sadly, many North Americans are unaware of how obesity affects themselves and their animal companions. Obesity in animals can cause; arthritis, early stage heart failure, early stage kidney failure, early stage lethargy, constipation, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses associated with having to carry heavy weight around, among many, many others. The math is simple. Calories in, calories out. If you are feeding your animal friend more calories than he can burn in one day, he will gain weight. If you are feeding your animal adequate numbers of calories for how much exercise he gets, your animal should be a healthy weight. Selecting a food for your animal that has a list of primarily whole foods will aid her digestive system and contribute to overall optimal functionality of the body. This will help your animals maintain a healthy weight. And the strangest part is that most feel that good quality cat and dog food is expensive! Did you know that the highest quality food brands for cats and dogs are only middle of the road prices?

2) FEED NUTRITIOUS FOOD- Believe it or not, healthy cat and dog food need not break your bank. The healthiest (most nutritious) brands of food in North America are middle of the road in price. The high priced foods are reserved for “vet recommended foods” that are geared towards a specific outcome for you animal friend. Some of these “prescription diets” include; weight loss, hairball control, dental hygiene or urinary bladder health to name a few. There has been a law suit filed against the “big six” American dog and cat food companies for falsely using the word “prescription” as there is no such ingredient in the food that requires a prescription. To make matters far worse, in reading the ingredients listed on the labels of most of these foods, consumers will not find even one whole food in the product. For example, one of these companies lists the following two as FIRST INGREDIENTS: Pork by –product, wheat gluten, powdered cellulose, brewer’s yeast… and it goes on from there. These are not whole foods. They are big even food at all. They are by products and chemical preservatives. They can cause severe damage to our animals and can contribute to extremely poor health down the road. Because of the lack of nutrients in these foods, animals have been known to develop dandruff (excessively dry skin and coat), early stage kidney failure ( of course there is a “prescription diet” for that.. how convenient), certain types of cancers (from non- food items such as preservatives and GMO products), poor bowel health, IBS, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and the list goes on. The lesson here is to research food labels! Animals alike to people require whole foods for optimal wellness.

3) KEEP HYDRATED- Most dog and cat parents are completely unaware of how easily dogs and cats can become dehydrated. For one, most often water alone will not adequately hydrate a companion animal. Humans will constantly argue that “my dog/cat drinks so much water, how can s/he possibly be dehydrated?” Though water can adequately hydrate a human, the same is not necessarily true for an animal. This is particularly true for those animals who consume processed foods. Though the animal is aware that water can quench his thirst, the animal is likely not aware that the water is not being retained in the body. This water will often go right through the body and be outputted in the urine. This means that there is no moisture retention occurring in the body whatsoever. Ideally here, our goal is to have the animal’s body retain some moisture to promote healthy skin and coat, healthy eyeballs ( no red-eye) and in the longer run, urinary bladder and kidney health. On the subject of kibble (dry food) and kidney failure- I always pose the following question to clients- “what would happen to your body if you only consumed dehydrated food every day?” When considered, they often give the correct response: my organs would become dehydrated. Exactly. When a cat or dog eats mostly dry food every day it can be quite taxing on the organs, especially the kidneys. This is because in order for the body’s gastrointestinal system to process the dehydrated food, the GI system must draw moisture from all of the body’s organs. The kidneys take the brunt of this. As you may have guessed, after prolonged periods of time in this state, the kidneys will in fact shut down. And depending on other factors in the animals’ life such as genetics stress, a poor immune system etc, this kidney failure can happen at a very early age. Instead of buying into the “early stage kidney failure prescription diet” garbage, there are several ways to prevent any of this organ failure from happening. a) Add consistent supplementary Omega’s 3 & 6. Akin to the human body, the companion animal body requires a healthy amount of Omega fatty acids to retain moisture in the skin, coat, eyes and other vital organs. Healthy sources of Omega fatty acids for animals include; coconut oil, Wild Salmon oil, other fish oils, flax seed oil with DHA (DHA makes the flax seed into a complete protein. Without the DHA, the flax oil is considered an incomplete protein and will be of lesser value to the animal’s system) among others. It is important that before you add any new supplement to your animal’s dietary regimen, that you consult your holistic veterinarian or other holistic animal care professional. b) Ensure that your animal is consuming whole foods- For those who live with cats, domesticated cats should be living on a mostly wet food diet. This wet food should be of high quality (not high price!), and should be bought at your local cat/dog food store- NOT at a human grocery store. Cats in particular are genetically linked to their desert-dwelling ancestors. These wild cats did not drink water as they lived in the desert. Their digestive systems developed to retain moisture through the meats and blood found in the prey animals they consumed. This is why it is especially important for felines to eat mainly wet food. Their bodies only retain a very limited amount of water. Cats and dogs alike will derive a healthy amount of moisture from wet food. Be sure that this wet food is composed of whole food ingredients such as “deboned chicken or chicken, turkey, salmon, duck, etc.” and NOT “protein source by-product”.

4) ADEQUATE EXERCISE-  Just like humans, companion animals require adequate exercise. Benefits of exercise include; healthy weight, healthy musculature, proper circulation of blood and other fluids, arthritis prevention, self-confidence, self-worth/purpose, cardiovascular health among others. I have seen FAR too many clients who do not understand the significance of exercising their animals. Some are too lazy to walk their dogs, thinking that it’s not of primary importance. Some feel that because their dog has a big yard to play in, they get enough exercise. Did you know that walking your dog is not just about the physical exercise but also about mental exercise? The smells and sights to a dog on a walk can be educational and inspirational. When dog people do not regularly walk their dogs, without a doubt, the dogs will develop depression. They will also often develop a lack of purpose feeling. Dogs are highly intelligent creatures. If they are not being consistently mentally and physically stimulated through varied outdoor exercise, they suffer greatly. Their mental health will suffer which will contribute to a rapid decline of physical health. Please walk your dogs. If you are unable to do so, hire someone who can.

5) AGE/SPECIES APPROPRIATE DIETS- Few people are aware of the fact that there are different formulas of food for different age groups of animals. For example, there is a major difference between kitten food, adult cat food and senior cat food. The main difference is the volume of protein and fat in the food. Because kittens are growing, they need extra proteins and fats to healthily build muscle, skin and organ tissues. Adult cats need about 10%-12% protein content in a can of food to maintain a healthy metabolism, body and brain. However, once a cat reaches approx. 11 years of age, the level of protein that his body needs decreases. As the organs age, they are unable to process as much protein. If the aging cat consumes the volume of protein of an adult (2-10 yrs) for a prolonged period of time, it will take its toll on the kidneys. This often induces early stage kidney failure. Feeding species appropriate diets encourages optimal wellness. These diets are full of whole foods, often inclusive of raw food diets. Please be mindful that the raw food diet is not ideal for all animals. It is important not only to read ingredient lists but also to understand that the word “natural” on a food label does not mean that it is natural at all. In fact many processed foods claim that they are natural. This, by definition is untrue. Anything that is processed cannot be natural. This includes all brands of canned and dry food. This is not to say that all brands of canned and dry food are unhealthy for animals. It is up to you, the caregivers of your animals to thoroughly research proper nutrition for your cat and dog friends.

These are just five of the main causes of early stage illness in companion animals that can be easily avoided. Through careful observation of your own habits, avid research and a little bit of common sense, we may be able to prolong our animal’s good quality of life, our animal’s life overall- and our time with our beloved family member.

TO SCHEDULE YOUR ANIMAL COMMUNICATION OR ANIMAL REIKI SESSION, EMAIL: jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com .