What cats can teach us about leading a wickedly awesome life.
If you have animals you know that there is a lot they can teach us. So let’s chat about that and find out how you can take a few those simple lessons and start living a much more fabulous life…
As I was lying in bed this morning, gazing adoringly into my cat Parker’s eyes, I had a thought. This thought is not brand new, but it sparked a new idea, which is now being written down by yours truly. You see, being an empath, meaning someone who feels pretty much everything felt by everyone and has done since time began, I have a tendency to burn out. Since you’re here and reading this post, I have a strong feeling you can relate.
It typically looks a little like this. I start a project or six, put huge amounts of energy into them without really feeling comfortable or ok about asking for anything in return, all while taking care of everyone, feeling responsible for everyone else’s happiness and completely neglecting my own needs. Eventually and inevitably the crash and burn commences and I am out of the game for an undetermined amount of time. That is, until I pull my socks up and start the process all over again.
The frying pan in this story came two years ago when my over-doing, over-caring, over-extending and over-exerting ended with me on the couch for six weeks and in recovery for a full year with a severely bulged disc in my lumbar spine. Holy wake up call.
There were so many things I learned in that year, in particular during those six weeks of torture (think six week unending bum and hamstring muscle cramp and you’ve got a bit of the picture), but a few stand out. One, is a commitment to be much more like a cat. And that’s where Parker comes in.
Let me give you a little of the back story here so you get the whole cat thing. I have spent my entire life as an animal lover. My grand plan from about four years old was to become a veterinarian, although my fear of needles and passion for freedom steered me away in later years. My bedroom walls were plastered with horse pictures and my parents expected the inevitable question every birthday and Christmas, “Can I have a horse?”. After university, I decided to pursue that passion and became an Equine Sport Therapist, massaging, energy working and aligning horses all over British Columbia. I loved it and still do. As my business and skill grew, so did my clientele, bustling with dogs, cats, birds, goats, alpacas and people. I was and still am, in love with this work, cherishing the wisdom of each of these incredible beings and the opening of my mind facilitated by our time together. Fascinated by energy work and healing, I became a workshop junkie, learning everything from Reiki to flower essences to Equine Facilitated learning to the BodyTalk System and teaching and writing all about it. All of it led me closer to one truth: that animals are potent teachers and we have a heck of a lot to learn from them.
When Parker came into my life over a year ago as a tiny little black and white kitten, I really had no idea what I was getting into. At the shelter he strolled up to me with such conviction that there was no doubt that he was coming home with me. With his tuxedo and perfect white whiskers he won me over with a look. Once home, this tiny ball of fluff took over. He was, by all accounts, fearless. My dog Kia and him became fast friends, and Parker would join us on our walks up our long driveway. When I held a workshop two weeks after his arrival he stayed outside with the large group for the whole day, intent on not missing a thing. He even insisted on tormenting the two dogs joining us for the workshop. One medium sized dog spent the entire day in her owner’s lap as Parker, all two pounds of him, wandered about the yard, hammed it up for the camera crew and climbed large trees. Needless to say, Parker has been a fascination for me, having never had a chance to spend time with a cat or a person quite like him.
Here’s what I’ve realized. Parker and I share a common goal. Parker loves feeling good. He takes care of himself with dedication, he expresses his needs clearly and he sets boundaries with zero hesitation. That and he spends his days immersed in wild and wonderful adventures, interspersed with deep and rejuvenating napping and eating. All with the intent of feeling great. You see, after ten years of working with cats, I’ve realized there is one thing they absolutely hate (other than baths). And that is feeling crappy. If you’ve ever met a cat whose spine is out of alignment you may have found this out the hard way. They are maniacal about food because they know it feeds their energy system and body. They purr partially to balance their energy systems and partially because it just feels great (think vibrator whenever you want it!). They dislike it when their people are out of balance because it doesn’t feel good to them, hence me receiving regular Parker trachea massages. They like an environment that feels delicious and supportive and they will do whatever it takes to create it. In my ten years working with animals, I have never met a species of animal so adept at transforming their world to meet their physical and energetic needs. It is rare that I meet a cat who is “burnt out” or exhausted. In short, they are the perfect teachers in keeping your inner fire burning no matter what.
Now, I know that as humans it feels like we’ve got a heck of a lot to do pretty much all the time. But do we really? Is there really no time, money or energy to get in the that yummy cat nap, or go on a wild and spontaneous adventure, do a little self loving up or eat something nourishing and delicious? Or, if you got brutally honest with yourself, are you just making excuses? We do it all the time. How many times in a day do you say something along the lines of: “I can’t afford it”, “There’s no time”, “I’ve got way too much to do”? We all do it. But, now try to imagine a cat saying that. Not only will you giggle, but you’ll realize that it’s completely ridiculous not just for them but also for us.
So, the next time you try to pull that crap on yourself and deny yourself the goodness that your life has in store for you (and yes, I still fall in this annoying trap!), ask yourself “What would Parker do?” Works every time.
And if you’re needing a little more help finding that goodness, I get it! Being cat-like is harder than it seems. BodyTalk can help! Book a session or two with me and you’ll feel way way better. I promise.
To your fabulousness,