By Cheryl Whitelaw
Kind Power Coach and Facilitator
My cat Abbie has a special gift, an intuition for when she seeks attention. I have a little routine as I settle into my computer each day, sort of a digital putter, allowing a settling in to more focused work. And as soon as I shift my intention to settle in to work, she jumps up and lays back into my arms, pushing her head under my chin in equally adorable and annoying ways. And I am torn, I enjoy snuggling Abbie and being distractable and a person who values being productive, I know I need to settle into a zone of concentration – so bam – our needs clash. She claims my attention at the moment I least want to pay it to her. This cat/human drama goes one of two ways. I absorb her request to snuggle and take an unscheduled cat break or I resist it. A moment of choice. Do I accept what is presented or to I try to force my way?
In this daily human/cat drama, I have tried both. Resistance always leads to repeating the drama – my way is won by increasingly stern rejections, getting irritated by her persistence and dumping her down on the floor. No dignity for either of us in that choice. When I choose acceptance, I can go with the flow, open up, embrace her need for attention and love in the moment. When I meet her fully, usually asking, “Can I pick you up right now?” she gets what she needs and I can re-direct her after a few minutes, laying her gently on her favorite blanket in the office swivel rocking chair.
It’s a simple example. What are the moments you resist what is in front of you? Can you allow space for connection, for the dignity of acknowledging the being, human, cat or otherwise in front of you?
Resistance requires polarity maintenance – keeping this and not that as the truth. It takes a lot of energy to defend the pole you have chosen – work now or snuggle cat now. When you stop fighting for (or against) a pole, you can win by going with the flow, by opening into trusting your purpose (to get back to work), by staying centered in yourself.
I am the kind of cat owner who does little life experiments on her test subjects or cats. So I interrupt Abbie’s nap to see what she will do (admittedly with a little payback vengeance to wake her up after all the 5 am cat landings on my bladder). I wake her, she purrs and accepts the attention. So learning to embrace now, and it helps to purr a little.