In life we all learn and grown from different people. My parents taught me to live life to the fullest, to work on all kinds of relationship and to treat everyone in that way I would like to be treated myself. My god mother told me taught me to live without barrier. That I was capable of anything and I should strive to make myself happy in any way I could.
There are people in life that I admire and watch from afar. They may have careers I would love to equal, lifestyles I aspire to, or values I share. This is all entirely normal. You may have a hero, a guru, a spiritual guide. You may love celebrities, an author, a model or a great spirt in your local community. We all learn and grow from things around us so let me introduce you to my accidental teacher, George.
Yes. George is my cat.
What could I possibly learn from my cat? Am I crazy cat lady? I’ll let you read on and decide.
Three lessons we could all learn from George…
1) Get as much sleep as you need to live your life well
I’ve often said that if I was to be reincarnated I’d want to come back as a cat. They eat, sleep and play. My cat George particularly loves to sleep and sleep is a something we could all prioritise.
Speaking from experience, if I let myself get exhausted even the smallest things start to overwhelm me and life just gets a little too hard. If, like me you love a TED talk you should check out this one by Arianna Huffington at TED Women in 2010. How to get more sleep – TED
She urges us all to “sleep our way to the top”. Get rested, be more productive and stop associating being busy with working effectively. I love me some Huffington and couldn’t agree more. My time working in Mental health taught me the importance of sleep. I know my sleep pattern. I’m happier getting up early than I am staying up late so I kerb those late nights. I utilise the quiet morning before the house wakes to get some writing done (Like I am now) and I acknowledge that if I don’t get at least seven whole hours of uninterrupted sleep I’m not a nice person to be around. Unlike my cat I can’t curl up midday and dose on the bed or on top of the fridge so for this we need to prioritise. Every time I see that cat uncurling from her slumber, yawning fully and relishing in that little cat nap, there is something to take from that. It is OK to sleep. Sleep whenever you need to and believe me you need to. So sleep.
2) Communicate well
George came to us. We were a pet free household and then this cat turned up in the garden. She pawed at our windows. She found her way in through any possible means and she stayed put. We checked with neighbours and vets. We put up posters. No one knew where this cat came from. The vet thought was that as she was young and so wild she may have been part of a litter that had no real home. Here she was. Finding one.
George has never really had an issue communicating what she needs. When she needed a home, she found one. Every day in many small ways she tells us exactly what she needs to make her life easier. Food, a clean litter tray, a moment on the lap or a moment in the sun. We communicate in different way’s but I have learned her language. We committed each in our own way and we make it work. I could learn a lot from George.
I wish I were that clear about meeting my own needs. bI wish I only ate foods that nourished my health, that I only did work that made me feel joyful. I wish I ran outside every time the sun shone on my garden. I wish I could tell everyone when I needed space for me without feeling guilty. I wish I just told everyone what I needed. That they in turn told me. and then it would all be so, so simple. Now, life isn’t like that but from George I learn that it is possible to say what I need. It may not feel comfortable but I can do it. I can do something because I want to even if that something is just for me. Especially if it is just for me.
3) Be selfish
Yep… she only thinks of herself. She needs feeding. She wants affection. She wants to play.
George never asks how my day at work is. As ye,t she hasn’t asked if I’m ok for cash? If my friends are doing well or if I’d like a cup of tea? She isn’t capable of any of this yet I utterly adore her. I just had to break from my typing because she wanted affection. She is not bothered by my goal to get this finished, to make it readable, maybe slightly entertaining. She wants her chin scratched and she will happily stick a claw into my thigh to ensure that happens. Now, please don’t think that I am encouraging you to claw your partner in order to get their attention. Please don’t think that I am telling you to be selfish in a negative way, the way we have been programmed to think. That taking time for you is bad! It’s not the done thing.
Listen. Like George, we all need to eat. We all need to sleep and we all need to play. You need time to do things that make you happy. You need time for you because working on you makes you a better person. I’m a people pleaser. I will happily put myself last but over the years I have learned that I have to take time for me. I need to be selfish. Selfish is no bad thing in my book. If it’s yoga, meditation or reading a book with a cup of tea, do something today for you. Because YOU have to make YOU happy.
George knows it and I know it and deep down you know it too.
Where have you learned your best life lessons from? Let me know, I love to hear from you.