Lessons from Koko during lockdown

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APRIL 2020

Koko is my adorable Tonkinese cat who is now 12 years old and she is such a blessing in my life. She is a loving, gentle soul and the most adorable little companion and I have loved spending lock down with her.  Here are some mewsings from her.
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Be Koko.  
Koko is actually a Japanese word meaning, be present. I was in Japan the week before I was to bring her home and still undecided on a name. “Koko” was one of the new Japanese words I learned helping the wheelchair players and I knew then it was the perfect name for her being cocoa in colourings. Every time I call her name, it is reminder to be really present, as cats do so well. And the best part is that she is the best present I ever bought – a gift that gives so much love every single day and such a great reminder to really keep in the present whatever is happening.
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Curl up and have a nap
There’s a reason a short snooze in the middle of the day is called a cat nap. Take a page out of your pet’s book and enjoy a nap. Working from home, or not going to school, you can enjoy such luxury!  It is agreat recovery tool. Professional athletes have been napping for years, the Spanish, Italians and Greeks for centuries and in present day China, office and factory workers routinely lie down for naps. Taking a power nap will lift your productivity and your mood, lower your stress, stimulate your brain and improve memory and learning.
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Take great care of yourself
One of the fascinating things about cats is that they take really great care of their bodies. I am always amazed by how much time they spend on cleaning themselves – with a lot of dedication and enjoyment. Are you taking care of your body and exercising and eating well during this time? Are you drinking lots of water and only eating when you feel like it? Listen to your body like cats do!
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Enjoy the simple things 
To play, she is perfectly happy with a string, a small toy, or a piece of paper.  We need more simplicity in our lives. Discover the beauty of the simple things.  Clear out those things that no longer serve you and simplify your life. Now is the perfect time to do this and it feels so great.  Never overlook the power of simplicity.
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Show your appreciation
I am spoiled with lots of licks/kisses, loud purrs and beautiful eyes glancing at me or a gentle paw on my arm when working. Cats show their gratitude in so many ways. Count your blessings. Be thankful for how lucky you really are, and remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who help you.
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Stretch regularly
If you want to stay as limber and flexible as a cat, you should stretch on a daily basis.  There are no excuses now with the extra time on your hands. Koko and I  have even been enjoying taking on line yoga classes a few times a week together too as well as our daily stretching routines.
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Spend time soaking up the sun and be mindful
Wherever there is sun around the house, Koko will be there! Get inspired by your pet and go outside to soak up some vitamin D! Just be sure to wear some sunscreen. It is also the perfect way to break up your day and just sitting quietly for 15 minutes a day is great to calm your mind and attain a new sense of clarity.
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Keep 100% Focus 
Ever noticed how focused a cat is when it sees a bird? So focused and nothing stops that stare and eye on the prize. Are you really clear about your focus for the day?  What is your top priority?  Be like a cat and keep 100% focused on the goal.
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Make time to play
Cats love to play. The simplest of toys like a ball or a piece of string brings so much enjoyment. In our hectic lives, it is so crucial that we take the time to just have fun. Embrace your inner kitten. There are hundreds of ways to feel like a kid again and just be free. Remember to enjoy life and have fun. Life is a journey, not a destination
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Always stay true to yourself
Koko doesn’t care what others are doing or what they might think. She always honours herself and is simply Koko. Stay true to yourself  too and do what you love. Your individuality is unique and amazing.
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As the wise saying goes, “Time spent with cats is never wasted.” We can all learn so much from our feline friends.
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Love to all
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Koko and Ann

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