When Your Mind Is Made Up But Your Heart Has Questions

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Stone heart sculpture on side of trail in Boulder, CO - 2012 at Chautauqua. Photo/Art by Michele Domingo©
Stone heart sculpture on side of trail in Boulder, CO – 2012 at Chautauqua. Photo/Art by Michele Domingo©

Confused for a moment, I wasn’t sure if I was ordering a drink or picking out a kitten, as I scoured a pet rescue site when I came upon Mimosa, Margarita, Scotch, Jack Daniels and Cosmo, all soon to be available for adoption. Judging by their clever bios and ridiculously adorable photos, I was sure it was going to be Scotch on the rocks for me. From my experience and for a more probable, peaceful compatibility, I knew I wanted a male cat to get along with an already female cat in our home. Scotch looked just like the Scottish Folds I had always been enamored with from afar but were rarely available as a rescue. I was so excited and certain he was the one!

Paula, the cat-rehoming-warrior-princess, as I liked to call her, greeted me at the door in her upscale, gorgeous home.  Surprise number one of the day, as I had prepared the preconceived corners of my mind to see a cat foster Mom’s home in disarray or at least look more like the cat lady cartoon images that float around Social Media circles.  As she led me upstairs, Paula expressed that the kittens were anxiously waiting to meet me. Imagine my surprise when she opened the door to a large office. When I mentioned that I was fully expecting these kittens to be hanging out in an upstairs bar getting to know one another better due to their cocktail-infused names, Paula did a polite short giggle – joke went flat quick, as she obviously wanted to get down to business. Still glad I said it.

I had reached out to Paula a few weeks earlier, as I felt I needed a second cat, to keep my other young cat company while I attempted to work from home. Sounds logical – unless you understand cats – then, not so much. Yet I soldiered on in my nonsensical quest to find a compatible playmate for my current feline friend, Maya. As I watched the possible candidates wrestle and clumsily chase one another around the room, I was encouraged to pick each one up and visit with them to see which one was a good match. I assured Paula, this was not necessary, I KNEW the one I had come to adopt.

Still contemplating Paula’s possible issue with alcohol, I continued to hold tight to the idea of bringing home Scotch from my website search. Mimosa, the Mother cat, was a full Scottish Fold and the father was an unknown.  Most of the others, although, adorable, were a mix of both parents and really looked nothing like the comical Fold’s I had seen.  For me it had to be Scotch, he was the only logical choice. I would soon learn that my cat-racism would come with a healthy dose of “Nu-uh” and “LOL” from the Universe.

My original plan was to get in and get out, as any admitted animal nut, you have to set boundaries. I did not want to leave there with five cats and try to explain to my husband that we would need to build a new wing – Ernest Hemingway-style.  Yet, I felt obliged to follow Foster Mom protocol and picked up each kitten as instructed.  Let me explain. They were all amazing little fluff balls of pure love and potential. Scotch was the first one that I held, of course, and he was adorable. I thought, “Well this is a done deal. Scotch is coming home with me today”!  After all that was the plan (as if he were something on my checklist for the day). Respecting Paula’s request to handle all fuzz balls, I continued the process.  Next was tiny little Margarita, her feisty brother Jack D, and then…well, Cosmo.

As a self-confessed recovering know-it-all, it is fun to fall off the wagon-of-sureness and be pleasantly surprised. As Paula handed me Cosmo, it was as though the Sun, Moon and Stars aligned, the seas parted and music from the Lion King began playing in my ears.  There was an undeniable and very surprising pitter-patter happening with my heart. If cotton candy and silk got together and had a baby, it might be as soft as the coat of Cosmo. His eyes looked into mine so deeply and as I spoke baby-kitty to him, he stared, head cocked and tuned into my blather. He looked NOTHING like a Scottish Fold. He had long charcoal colored fur that resembled the texture and appearance of a baby chick. His eyes were intense and focused. Yet there was just something about this little guy that grabbed my heart and told my logical brain to have a seat.

Paula witnessing our connection knowingly smiled as a well-experienced cat sage does.  As she prepared the paperwork she stopped, put the pen down and said, “Wait, in full-disclosure, I need to tell you about this really strange, very loud suckling thing that Cosmo does at night – like, wake you up loud noise. He basically is nursing the side of his own body. He’s the ONLY one in the litter who does it. I researched it and some kittens do this, they usually grow out of it, but some do not. Here, look, I have a video of it so you can see it and hear it. “

As I watched the video, I realized she was right. He was super loud and it was a tad strange.  She looked at me as though she were thinking I was going to back out of the deal. Instead I responded, “So…. does this mean he costs more money? Give me the little weirdo, he’s mine!” She just laughed at me, shaking her head a bit as we wrapped things up.

It’s been almost five years now since Cosmo became part of our family. We are, of course, madly in love with him.  All of Cosmo’s siblings and his feline mother were adopted and went to lovely homes. I kept his original foster assigned name as,  A) it happens to be my favorite adult beverage and B) he was such a dreamy, “out-there” sort of little dude that the term The Cosmos also applied. Yes, he does still do “the thing” and we find it adorable.

Why am I telling this long cat story? I believe it illustrates that the heart knows what the heart knows before you even get there. I had completely made up my mind and was one hundred percent prepared to stick to my well thought out decision. Scotch was it.  If that’s true, then what exactly happened and why is it important?

Now I know I used a very cute personal story to make a point but sometimes life’s choices and decisions are challenging and far from cute. Many times we are faced with important, life altering, huge issues or events that we need to make significant determinations about. Recognizing that the brain, logic and intellect are important but when it comes to connection and choosing, your best bet will always be your heart. Can you stay open and allow for it to communicate to you?

The Heart Math Institute  (www.heartmath.org) has conducted several studies that show that the heart sends far more signals to the brain than the brain does to the heart.  Think about that. It is counter-intuitive to what most of us were taught in our Science-based school studies. Not only does it send more signals but the signals it does send are directly related to your cognitive and emotionally based choices. Hmmmm…interesting, insert head scratch here, or maybe we should update that gesture to a heart scratch! In addition, your hearts rhythmic patterns are directly affected between you and another (animals included in study) in a very specific way. Did you know that your heart’s electromagnetic field is 60x stronger than your brains electromagnetic field? That is a lot of heart power!

When you are making choices and you really seem to be “struggling”, notice how your body feels. Maybe your face tightens and your eyes squint. How is your breathing – is it shallow, deep or have you silently and unknowingly paused altogether? How does your head or your chest area feel?  These physical signs are your body’s way of communicating resistance. Your job, in those moments, is to question these feelings. Where does this hesitation or fear come from? It may be a great opportunity to make a different choice. What is your heart trying to tell you?

For clarification, sometimes a choice is made for your personal safety’s sake and that is not what I am talking about here.  I’m certainly not suggesting that if you are hiking and come upon a Grizzly bear that you should question whether to stick around and lovingly try to pet Smokey or to carefully back away from said giant bear.  This is not a fight or flight conversation. I’m talking about those long, thought out, gnawing issues that you may grapple with in your head that steep you in indecision. The thoughts that we ruminate on until our eyes seemingly want to pop out.

The next time you are confronted with a choice that seems tough for your mind to figure out, learn to tune into the rhythm of your heart. Here is one quick and easy suggestion that I find works well:

Find a seat and sit quietly. Close your eyes, put your dominant hand on your chest or over your heart and breathe in and out slowly and intentionally. Do a few more comfortable breaths in and out at your own pace. With your hand at your heart, when you think of the first choice, how does that feel? Notice how your entire body feels when you think of that choice? Is it relaxed or tense? Take a few more breaths in and out and do the same process with the second choice, how does that feel? Listen with your body – again, is it tense or relaxed? Anxious or Neutral with twinges of excitement? Your heart knows – I have a soft, fuzzy cat that proves this theory.

Copyright© 2019, Michele Domingo. All rights reserved.

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Michele Domingo

Author/Certified Intuitive Coach/Co-Creator of the WisePlay Transformation System/Student of Astrology Everyday I am looking for the light in all things - starting with myself first. I enjoy teaching others how to navigate their lives and embrace the whole of life with love, appreciation and compassion.

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