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Pet Therapy And Your Emotional Health

Those of us who own pets know they make us happy. And thankfully, a growing body of scientific research is showing that our pets are good for our emotional well being.

I have forever had a dog and despite the inevitable heart break, this has been an never ending love affair. Whether you are dealing with depression or anxiety, pets have a way of calming you down. One study even indicates that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.

Research also indicates, when dealing with stressful situations at work or home  playing with your pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax. Research indicates, pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.

Besides your emotional well being, they also take care of your physical well being. They get you going, allowing you to blow off pent up stress and relax, distracting you from situations/ things you could be battling with and forcing you to be in the present.

While, pets are miracle mood enhancers, do ensure that you are taking care of them and not just using them to entertain you temporarily and then abandon them. Don’t scream/ shout at them, pets especially dogs are hyper sensitive about our moods. It’s like having a child at home. Imagine the emotional trauma you could cause to a being who is voiceless and unable to express his anxiety. In fact, pets can teach you emotional discipline with their unconditional love. If you see you dog hiding behind couches or going in another room and hiding – it’s a sure red flag for you not to have a pet.

Every time you walk through your door they will be as enthusiastic as they were when you first got them. Caring for your pets is extremely rewarding for your emotional health. With growing children in the house, pets can encourage expressing love, being responsible and being a kind human – which goes a long way in bringing up emotionally healthy adults.

Try and get a pet from the shelter, they make excellent companions. They teach you that though life is short, all you can do is love unconditionally and be grateful.

New Moon in Gemini: May 25th 2017 – Relationships & Power Struggles

New Moon Meaning

A new moon represents the end of one cycle and the beginning of new 28 day lunar cycle. When there is a new moon, the Earth, Moon, and the Sun are positioned in a line.

 New moon is traditionally a good time for starting fresh, both in relationships and starting new projects. A time to let go of old patterns, conditioning and belief systems. The influence of which lasts approximately four weeks, with the first two weeks being a time of making changes. The effect lasts about 10th June. However, with the cardinal signs being in a tussle there could be a trigger to your love life and finance. Which could result in having power struggles in relationships. If there has been insecurity or a sense of not being valued in a relationship, chances are things will boil to the surface causing power struggles.
Some experience a sudden or unexpected end to their shaky relationship, which could besides causing a drama be painful. A stable relationship however, will withhold. That said, change is imperative, things can no longer carry on the way they have before. There will be a sense of wanting more freedom and understanding in the relationship. Old ways of operating will no longer be valid, as would your life experiences. Be willing to give more and open yourself up. It’s a time for emotional growth, enhancing what you already have. Try not to give ultimatums or threaten your partner, who may just end up feeding on your insecurity more rather than empathise.

 

Transformation on both sides is the key to survive and strengthen the roots of the relationship. Work with the Pluto energy by being transparent and not hide behind the defence mechanism of burying your head in the sand.

Full Moon In Scorpio 10th May 2017: Convert Fear To Love

This May full moon is all about taking your power back. It’s about going in deep, letting go of things not required, making space for something to change, shift on a deep level. Pluto, one of the ruling planets of Scorpio, is going to dig deep, dig everything under the surface which is not pretty.

It’s the time for opening your heart, understanding the complexities of your relationship. On the other hand, if you are done trying, this would be the perfect time to cut that someone off from your life, or of a situation that is no longer adding any value to your life. It’s a time of being courageous, of taking back your power, tapping deep inside you for the strength and wisdom you possess.

Embrace and accept responsibility for your life. If you are not supported emotionally by your partner, look at whether it is something they are refusing to give you or are incapable of being there for you.

Show up for yourself. Use this full moon transformative energy to heal and move forward. You may just find a new direction ahead.

 

 

 

Don’t let fear block your way ahead.

Embrace and accept.

Unrequited Love….

“I hold it true, whate’er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” – Tennyson

Maybe in the moment of the worst pain, you’d rather never have loved; but there is sometimes something exquisitely beautiful in such a love. It makes us feel alive in a very special way. It also, of course, hurts like very few other things do.  So, you have this great friend/buddy, whom you hang with most of your weekends, go out catch a drink, text them throughout the week, staying engaged in their lives and then you sort of have feelings for your friend… you start to spend more time with them, you expose yourself to whom he or she is — all the idiosyncrasies, past experiences, what makes him or her happy or sad, dreams and ambitions in life, flaws and the depths of his or her heart. And you, in return, divulge your deepest secrets and desires. They know what it takes to make you laugh or feel special, and you build new memories together that make any torment of the past that much easier to bear. It makes you feel hopeful, and before you know it, you’re in love…something which you sense but will not admit. You feel safe being your vulnerable best with them and are finally able to share stories held tightly that you have locked up from the world outside. You trust them.

Somehow, everything changes the moment you look at your buddy differently. You start to notice intricate details you didn’t before, like the curve of his or her lips, the frown line above his or her eyebrows and the way he or she laughs. The realisation of being in love or even being infatuated with your buddy is not an easy one. You realise, you will either have to commit or move away and you also know you’ll always miss the wildness, the craziness and the laughs only they managed to get out of you.

To avoid awkwardness, you decide to take the heat of the relationship, by calling them your “drinking buddy” or only someone with whom you hang your “hair down”.  You let go off them finally, and you miss them. You let go to a point, where even going out and drinking with anyone else, reminds you of them…the fun you had, the crazy madness and the chemistry which you both felt but didn’t speak about. So, you get involved with other people, but you secretly always wonder about the , “what if’s”,  fearing you’ll never open your heart that way again. You also fear no one will be able to get you the way they did.

When we live with the regrets of certain relationships not culminating into something more concrete than we would have wanted/hoped for (but maybe the time/situation in your life at that time didn’t allow) you’ll keep the bond alive. The distance does not stop you from thinking of them or wondering how wonderful it could have been. It does seem like an harmless exercise, but you understand, it’s just a matter of time, when you’ll bump into them and have that harmless drink again. So, you wait, patiently – for time to go by and things to get easy, but you’re secretly certain – this is not over.

I unfortunately have no rule book which would dictate, “You have to text only when its their birthday”  or “Don’t pine for them!” Every relationship is different, every person is different, and different things work for different people. What I do understand is, it’s  helpful to create some extra space between yourself and the person you’re interested in. It could mean, cutting down the time texting, updating them about your life or showing interest in theirs. 

Honestly? It may sound harsh, but either you learn to accept that, for whatever reason, and for however long, this circle is the pattern you’re going to live with. (of playing the patient game and then having the innocent drink) and be okay with it.

Or … Let go and move on, without the closure that you think you want or they want. None exists. Recognise your need to fill that gap again left by that person and accept it. Don’t chase closure. It’s a holy grail.

You don’t need to keep looking for signs that it’s over, but what you may really want is proof that it could happen. So, be clear – of what you want or what you wish for. Hidden desires have a way of manifesting themselves that could confuse your current relationship.

Gone Too Soon….

Like A Comet, Blazing ‘Cross The Evening Sky 
Gone Too Soon
Like A Rainbow, Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon
Like The Loss Of Sunlight, On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon
Like A Castle, Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon (MJ) 

I think in a way we always grieve. About our innocence, about loving fiercely, carelessly and about losing people we love dearly too early to death.

I accept that many things in life are a mystery and maybe there is peace in accepting things as there are. We  can have lengthy theological discussions about God, his existence or even question the “higher power” and have endless debates on why good people need to suffer and the evil one’s get away with murder. Do people who die young or in bizarre accidents or illnesses didn’t deserve to live longer? Do people who live long lives have some unfinished business from the past? Karma? Are things “meant to be”?

Maybe some of us are destined to live longer as our soul still needs to evolve more, learn more lessons, be it through challenging family or work situations….maybe people who die young were evolved souls …maybe they taught us quickly or left us in a space which forced our soul growth or evolvement. Maybe we would have never been ready if these people had not touched our lives or transformed us in some way.  This is very likely.

When people experience a near death experience, it makes them look at life with a totally different perspective. They tend to do a sifting of what’s important and what’s not and start focussing on doing things they love. It’s not strange to find people post this experience to give up their high flying careers and pursue a path of pure happiness. I call it the “soul walk” Cliched as it may be, the realisation that there is a price to pay for each extra buck that is earned and what we are losing along the way cannot be replaced again, can be a very humbling experience. So, in a  way, near death or traumatic experiences are good in a twisted way. They set us free.  They remove the fear of how we are perceived. It becomes easier to shed pretences, not be worried about tags, societal pressures and pursue a life which is in sync with the soul.

For me, losing someone drove me to push myself to connect within myself and listen closely to what my soul wanted. There are times, when I do feel I can’t see the path ahead clearly, but through my darkest and challenging times I have formed the deepest bond with myself. I no longer ignore the voice inside, I know it has held me in good faith – in fact at times, that is all I had.

When we learn to move away from fear, feel free to pursue what we love, connect with people authentically and change the negative experience to self growth, we create a space of happiness.

I don’t think death is a terrible thing…yes, the loss it creates for the people it leaves behind can be devastating and even debilitating . But if, what if we were to consider,  that a soul is just here for an x period of time doing it’s chosen task… whether it was something that it had come to learn or that it had come to share. Maybe,  that soul chose to be in your life for just that short time, so it could enrich you for the rest of yours… Maybe that was the only goal of that soul…

Grieving, I feel should be embraced, accepted and not shamed or shunned. When people near you grieve, rather than feel incredulous on their inability after so many years of still grieving, empathise. We shouldn’t be made to feel bad about a loss that happened years back. Of course, one should not be in a constant state of mourning or not be connected with the present. Acceptance in fact is a state of being in the present, in the now.

We all seek happiness through some form of perfection in our lives and at times the perfection becomes the journey and the goal. The truth is, life doesn’t always give you what you think you want. Life does give you some truly wonderful opportunities and some average one’s….but true happiness is entirely dependent on the experience you are choosing to respond with.

 

Start Again: New Moon & Solar Eclipse In Pisces: 26th Feb 2017

FullSizeRender_1 Ideally, a New Moon – Solar Eclipse transits are perfect for planting new seeds and starting afresh. However, on the 26th February 2017, we have a full moon in Pisces as it joins Neptune, God of the Sea and everything to do with inspiration, dreams, psychic receptivity, illusion, and confusion. Neptune rules spirituality, and all things subtle. Neptune is going to be encouraging us to be reflective, introspective in order to gain insight. Movies, theatre, poetry, music and dance are the showier side of Neptune. When negative, this planet leans towards the netherworld of drugs, alcohol and hypnosis. Neptunian energy reeks of escapism on its darker days, a sea of delusion, where sleep and dreams could get effected.

This New Moon, while we may be embarking on a new emotional cycle, we can be expected to go through many layers of change before we have any clarity. For some, it may be a rude shock to finally see things in the light of the harsh Sun, for some, you may be still putting the facts down, getting clarity on your experiences. Be prepared to feel ultra sensitive and confused. Piscean New Moons are powerful experiences especially when you are discovering your self and removing layers of deep seated negative conditioning that may exist in the unconscious. Look at it as an opportunity to let go of unwanted patterns that are merely holding you back from living your life fully. Rather than focus on self pity or a sense of confusion focus on having compassion towards yourself and others. Listen to your higher self and happiness is possible. 🙂

Let go of pettiness, regrets, on what should have been and could have been and rather than give up and be in denial, make an effort to stick to facts. It may be uncomfortable but it’s healthier to stay connected to reality.IMG_1988

Dream fearlessly this New Moon in order to create a new life full of hope and and opportunities. It’s a perfect time to start afresh, find innovative solutions to old problems, look at your life as it is and embrace it.

 

Are You With A Soulmate Or A Wound mate?

We often get confused between our soulmate and wound mate. One operates out of love and another ego. It can be amazingly confusing as signals received from both can be similar. A strong soul connection, coupled with an electrifying chemistry can confuse the best of us. The lessons unfortunately can be both, beautiful and tragic at the same time.

A wound mate is often your own splitting image, carrying their hurts, unsorted emotional scarring from childhood or from repetitive toxic relationships, they become your partners in crime. Misery loves company as do wound mates. You feel connected through pain, grief and at times just the plain old feeling of constant unsupported or unloved. Unfortunately, neither of these partners survive the relationship or can hope of building a strong foundation as the sensitivities can always be at an high with neither willing to heal.

 

The more light gets shone on our dark places, the more we realise corners that have not been dusted or some simply been ignored over the years, stuff we thought we had sorted – now seems to lie scattered on the floor. What may have been a daunting task in the past now seems impossible. Constantly being ridiculed about our grief or scars helps non one heal but just open the wound again and again. With constant criticism, it becomes very hard to trust wound partners or bare your authentic self to them. The unfortunate thing with a wound mate is, over a period of time you start wearing a mask, as your darker side is uncomfortable to deal with. Until, both partners commit to operate from a place of empathy and fearlessness, this kind of a relationship is often a waste of emotions and energy for all you would do is press constant triggers in each other and keep the wounds in focus.

 

A soul mate interestingly does not necessarily save you in the traditional way, they guide you through narrow paths, giving you your own torch, enabling you. They don’t accuse you of having wound, but on seeing your scars tenderly patch them by giving you another perspective. They will create space for you, listen to you without prejudice, seldom mocking or assuming the worst of you. You are allowed to unpack your baggage. No lengthy explanations required on what you said and what you meant…for they always view you with trust.

If the ego is always in control, constantly dominating, it becomes hard for the wound mate to convert into a soulmate. Breaking down of the ego and establishing a soul connect is though hard but fulfilling work. It is important to recognise that when we constantly feel threatened, rejected we have entered into a relationship which would require considerable work and empathy towards your partner. Love is the most powerful healer, but you need to allow the love seep in the nooks and crevices of areas that hurt which may not always be as easy as it sounds but it’s not impossible.

 

 

 

Venus Retrograde & How It Will Effect You (6th March – 15th April)

“We are born at a given moment in a given place and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born.” – Carl Jung

From MARCH 6 through APRIL 15 2017,  planet Venus will be retrograde. The signs which are most sensitive to a Venus retrograde are Taurus & Libra.  The retrograde motion of an inner planet is an apparent phenomenon as viewed from earth in which Venus appears to retrace its steps, hence giving a sense of moving backwards. Every 1 ½ years, Venus moves approximately 29 degrees ahead of the Sun.

Lessons in relationships, our values, how we value the people in our life will all be under review. With existing relationships, a Venus retrograde you will become acutely aware of how your partner treats you, values you/not and how they demonstrate their love. If you have heard people complain during a Mercury Retrograde that they lost their data or texted the wrong person, during Venus Retrograde watch out for lot of drama in your love life. Try not to purchase something exorbitant, you will sure to suffer from the buyers remorse.

Use the retrograde to evaluate rather than react or act. Yes, there are possibilities, you could become acutely aware of existing problems in your love life or unresolved issues. Venus retrograde is a good time to re-assess and re-examine our relationship values. What are the kind of people we attract in our lives? Are we constantly attracting people who put us down, mock us or are we drawing supportive and nurturing partners. There’s a strong possibility of old lovers to resurface. For some, it may become necessary to heal old wounds and put to rest old issues.

It’s natural to experience challenges in any romantic relationship, but if you have a deep bond and understanding Venus retrograde won’t cause any damage. If things have been intolerable and you have felt taken for granted or constantly misunderstood, these things if unresolved can only cause further damage to a relationship.The good, strong one’s will stand. The retrograde motion can alter our perspective, making us to misunderstand signals/situation. While Venus retrograde doesn’t imply deceit but rather a distorted version of truth regarding maybe a person we thought was the person of our dreams.

Venus is also all about money and how do we attract and value money.

Maybe you need to re-budget, re-plan your money. Maybe you need to look at your finances and update your books. Try not to invest in a luxurious house/dress or go in for a cosmetic makeover during a Venus retrograde. It’s a time to close loose ends financially, repay old debts.

During a Venus retrograde, seek a therapist if you have been suffering from emotional blockages. Revisit old issues and sort them. Revisit your old memories with your partner, how you met, where you went and how it all started. Recreate and rekindle the love flame which could be burning at a low.

More importantly, remember, it’s a phase. It has come to help you resolve old issues, so you can move on to a stronger, deeper relationship.

 

Letting Go Of 2016….

Let go of 2016 with grace, with compassion and acknowledging that you’ve come a long way. Sure, there were better routes, maybe smoother one’s but you chose what you knew  was the best route to your knowledge. If the lessons have been hard and cruel, acknowledge them and know time does not heal all wounds but allows us to cope with them. You are fine, you will be fine. Maybe it still looks dark, maybe you still feel lost and that’s okay. Embrace your uncertainty, embrace your aches and know you did your best. Accept, don’t dramatise, stay easy , stay light.

Let go judging yourself, yet simply ask what you could have done differently. Would it still have gotten you the desired results? You would only know, if you would try another way. Hold yourself accountable and take action on what you’ve learned. Stop keeping lists of how you have been wronged. Taking responsibility means you allow yourself to be vulnerable and open in the world. It’s okay to fall, it’s okay to fail as long as you can pick yourself up and start walking again. If amazing stuff is happening, you played a role. If tough stuff is happening, you played a role.

For me this is not about focusing on something and expecting to magically conjure it into existence but simply focusing on the good. By focusing on what I can do next. Does a certain situation seem futile? Do you constantly feel undermined, criticised, unloved? Do I live in fear or do I live in abundance? Do I choose to ignore or do I choose to deal with it?

End of 2016, look back, ask yourself, what is my focus right now? Am I focusing on something I want or something I don’t want? Am I seeing the opportunities or only the obstacles? What am I looking at? What am I willing to give? Do I want to live in regret or do smile back at life, tighten my gloves and beckon it back for another round?

Let go of what did not work out, what could have/should have, the disappointment of working in a place that ignores your potential, maybe a state of being in and out of jobs or the people you loved and did not love you back. The friends who chose to see you in pain and look through your pain, the disappointments of not being loved enough, of being let down. ACCEPT it all with gentleness – look at these hurts with compassion.

Choose to move beyond the self defeating beliefs that you’ve told yourself over and over again, “I will never be happy, I can never find love, I can never find a job that makes me happy”,” my situation will never change”.  Tell yourself, “I am worthy”.  Focus on the small moments of happiness that you felt, snuggling early in the morning, the kindness given by random strangers, the cab that arrived on time, the gym session you aced, the pure joy on your child’s face when you hugged them or your quite walks holding hands.

The universe has not forgotten you, you are loved, your are cared for…you matter.

 

Working Through Intimacy

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry.  If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.  There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” — Dalai Lama XIV

All relationships have a pattern. Well almost. As much as we promise ourselves after each experience “this is the last time I will let this effect me so deeply”, we promptly go back to the same reaction/space the moment the situation gets recreated. Romantic love is beautiful, but no matter how full the moon that first night, no matter how many willows are weeping and birds singing your song, you can’t build years of relationship on that lovely, fragile foundation and spend nights whispering sweet nothings in each others ears.

There are plenty of roads that can lead to disappointment. But the heaviest traffic probably turns up on the one traveled by people in search of love. Consider the plight of Vikram and Sakshi, a couple in their  late 30s who found each other at a mutual friend’s party. Both successful professionals moving steadily forward in their careers—he as a creative director in an advertising agency who also played bass in a leading band, she with a big job in the media, producing documentary films for a television channel.

When their eyes first met, the din of the party seemed to recede and the room light up for the two of them with a glow of promise. After a few months of Friday and Saturday nights together, they moved in with each other. Within a year, marriage felt right to both of them.

But marriage turned out to be a good deal more than they had bargained for. As singles living together, they’d conducted their lives separately. When they dined together, it was usually in restaurants. Now someone had to shop and cook, clear the table and organise the daily chores. Not to mention the mad dash to the gym every night.  It became more and more difficult to find time for making love. They were both too tired anyway.

The extraordinary experience of romantic love conveys the feeling that “the two of us are as one.” But the daily tasks of living together can quickly dissolve couple of notions that they have found such a perfect union. As their different rhythms and preferences emerge in the course of living together, each comes to feel that the other may not be, after all, the ideal partner who brings salvation from loneliness, deprivation, a sense of personal inadequacy, or other anxieties of the solitary self. “You are not who I thought you were,” they tell each other. And from the depths of this disappointment, they often turn to accusing each other of deception, selfishness, or worse.

Disappointment is a stage of love nearly every serious intimate relationship—probably every one that lasts longer than overnight—has to struggle with. It may strike suddenly or build up slowly, but once the battling begins, it can assume tragic proportions for a couple trying to make a life together.

Falling in love leads to such Herculean expectations of happiness that it can feel like the discovery of Eden. But falling out of fairyland with regularity also seems to be our lot.  There’s nothing like your mind playing games that you have yet again failed at love and that if this relationship does not work, will I ever find one that does?

Unfortunately, most of us grow up thinking, “love is easy or effortless” and the thought of working on a relationship itself is perceived as a tedious task. We hesitate in our hearts and minds to “work through it” because relationships that require work are difficult relationships. Thanks to the information we pick up during our growing years through movies or books, where love is all about oneness, sunsets and did I forget to mention easy. Boy meets girl, falls in love and they zoom off somewhere lovely!

Truth be told, the best relationships are constantly effort in motion. Couples who have perfect relationships have mastered the art of managing each others expectations simply because they love each other enough to roll up their sleeves and deal with what they have. They recognise that they are different individuals who have chosen to live together and accept that there will be differences in their outlook. This is where maturity comes to play. To be able to step back and know that the one you love deeply also has flaws.

At all times being empathetic with each other does the magic. Empathy helps turn anger into sorrow. When sorrow becomes mutual, it begins to erase the lines drawn in the sand. Only then does the possibility of apology and forgiveness become real. I consider this sequence—anger, sorrow, apology, forgiveness—one of the most important developmental passages in marriage or in therapy with couples because it is a prerequisite for the restoration of innocence and trust.

I also think at times it’s good to be disappointed early on in a relationship – it gives you time to realign your expectations and your partners. Plus disappointment has a future; depression doesn’t. There is no where to go if you are already at the end of the story. With disappointment, the plot is still taking shape, even though there may be hard work to do learning to tolerate the unknown of the future despite past suffering and to risk rebuilding a social life anyway together.

A flourishing intimacy is likely to demand an extraordinary amount of empathy and patient cultivation from both partners.

The first drafts of love are usually in need of considerable revision. As long as both the partners are willing to work at it.

I guess Blinkie said it right you Don’t give up on love

You and me, me and you
In the summertime
How we touched, how we kissed
Felt so right
Sun is gone, but the moon shines so bright
And I know we will share under the same star tonight
Oh, don't give up on love, don't give up on love, don't give up on love
Dance with me like no one else can see
Hold me like you don't want to be free
Sun is gone, but the moon shines so bright
And I know we will share under the same star tonight

Cause' I just wanna dance with you
Won't you let me dance with you?
Oh, don't give up on love, don't give up on love, don't give up on love