Tag Archives: Rainbow MagnifiCat

Meditating with the MagnifiCat


Clients and students often ask me about creating and sustaining a meditative practice when their children are demanding their time, energy and attention.

I recommend making them a part of their practice (being fully present with whatever’s going on). Sometimes, I tell them about how I use Rainbow MagnifiCat’s interruptions during the day to enhance my mindfulness practice. As she looks expectantly for attention, I make my lap available for her, pausing work or whatever (unless I’m with a telephone or online client, obviously) and relax into the Rainbow Appreciation Time, hearing her purr, feeling her fur (and claws and weight) and generally feeling pleasantly present and grounded.

This morning, I realised that this is not (of course) the full story. Most days, I let her out while I do my morning meditation and a little yoga. My eyes frequently open and glance towards the door, checking in case she wants to come in.

This morning, with a lot of pent up energy from her snow avoiding time indoors yesterday, she didn’t want to go out while I meditated. I told her (and her angel) that I’d be meditating and focusing on my experience yet still noticed myself getting very distracted. Lots of opportunities this morning for noticing this (with as much self-compassion and curiosity as I could muster) and gently bringing my mind back to the meditation.

And Rainbow’s a cat. Babies and children (and puppies and goats etc) are far more demanding.

What can you do to make them part of your practice in a way that’s practical for them and you?

As with everything, some days, it’s much easier to be present than others. Many mornings, Rainbow’s so peaceful and quiet on the bed, I do my meditation next to her there before I even brush my teeth.

This morning, I could have easily locked Rainbow out of the room but I wanted to challenge myself to stay focused. (I can almost hear her howl, ‘Mwah hahahaha’ from the other room where she’s been peaceful and still since I finished and put my yoga mat away.)

Children and animals are wonderful at bringing us into the present moment.

This isn’t to say it’s always easy. Just as it’s often easier to be aware of our bodies and what they need when we feel strong, fit and healthy, it’s when we’re in pain that the biggest benefits of being present and really paying attention to what we need can pay off.

Do you include your children and/or animals in your meditative practices?

When is it easiest?

When is it most challenging?

What helps you most?

Feel free to share below.




Bringing holiday highlights home


Back from my first ‘proper’ holiday in years. Nine sea swims in eight days.

Glorious Greece.

And I’m happy to be home (as is Rainbow MagnifiCat, who had her own holiday staying with a loved one).

While walking into the sea each time barely pausing (as it wasn’t the Essex sunshine coast temperature I’ve become used to) was amazing, I know I’ll still love my more local swims.

The water being warm enough to swim properly (parallel to shore as don’t want to risk drowning) for an hour in the sea instead of my usual mixing things up with pool swims was something I don’t think I’ve experienced before.

Although in Kenya, the sea was so warm, was swimming at 6.30am each day but also pool swam. And my Goan sea swims, each time I’ve been, have been more being battered by the sea as very choppy each time I’ve been. Gorgeous sea but not swims as such.

Yes, I’m addicted to the sea. We did lots of other lovely things (and I got looooooaaaads done on my book draft in a really relaxed way) but it’s the sea swims I’ll be thinking of most.

I’ve also been inspired to start making fruit salads after the gorgeous Seagulls restaurant served such delicious ones.

Pausing in the supermarket to pick up fruits I’ve never glanced at before (and dividing it all into freezable portions so it stays a treat instead of feeling like pressure) was another way of bringing some holiday benefits home.

The abundance of the sea and of having access to fresh, good food and time to connect face to face and (although I found such sporadic wifi access not very relaxing) time to disconnect…

Am sure I’ll think of other things that became routine last week and which can be built into my daily life.

When you think of your own favourite (recent, long ago, imaginary) holidays, which elements have you integrated into your life at home?

What else might you try?

Feel free to comment below.







Lessons on ‘failure’ from Rainbow MagnifiCat

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Rainbow climbed and (spoiler alert) fell out of her first tree yesterday.

You can see her here. After she fell, she proved she’s been paying attention to Sinatra by picking herself up and getting straight back up into that tree.

And I thought (again) how much we humans can learn from cats.

What’s your equivalent of learning to climb a tree? Something that, perhaps, feels like the kind of thing humans such as yourself can do (maybe you’ve even seen other humans do it) but isn’t within your realm of experience?

What would you love to try if you weren’t afraid of embarrassing yourself by not pulling off perfection on your first attempt (or possibly even physical bruises)?

How might you better support yourself through the inevitable ‘conscious incompetence’ phase of any new skill?

What rewards can you treat yourself to in order to keep those dopamine levels up and stay motivated even if it takes longer than anticipated?

It feels strange to call Rainbow’s less than elegant dismount ‘failure’ when it’s so obviously simply part of a miraculous process where she grows, learns and flourishes.

At no point did she pause, feeling stuck and mew pitifully. She simply kept assessing her options and just got on with things.

But it can be much easier to be compassionate to a kitten than towards ourselves. So how might you reframe some of your own ‘failures’?

If you’d like some additional support, I’d love to help you reach your goals.

Metta x