Posted by: betrueblog | May 4, 2009

My cat is my life coach

Naturally, as a life coach, I am always looking for inspiration and role models.  I subscribe to numerous newsletters put out by other coaches, I read motivational books and listen to audio recordings, and I ask myself what I can learn from each life experience.

This morning, I realized I’ve been overlooking an obvious source of inspiration that was literally right under my nose – my cat, Makana.  Here are some of the life lessons Makana has taught me by her example:

1.  Ask for what you need in any relationship.  Humans often make the mistake of assuming that a loved one should know what they need and provide it without having to be asked.  Makana knows better.  Every morning, she follows me into the kitchen and meows incessantly until I feed her.  In fact, if I do not get up early enough to suit her wishes, sometimes she will hop on the bed and meow at me until I get up and follow her into the kitchen.  She does this regardless of whether or not there is still food remaining in the dish from the day before, and despite the fact that I have faithfully fed her every morning from day one.  How much healthier would human relationships be if we each communicated our needs to each other openly and honestly, and made sure we were heard?

2.  Make sure you get enough sleep.  Makana does not hesitate to take a nap when she is tired, regardless of the time of day or where she is at the time.  She sprawls out in places (next to the toilet) and positions (on her back, with her paws in the air) that seem strange to me, but she doesn’t care what I think.  She sleeps whenever and wherever she feels the need.  Granted, as humans we can’t always immediately go to sleep when we’re tired (very bad idea if you’re driving, for instance), but we can go to bed at a reasonable hour that allows us to get the eight hours of sleep most of us need instead of the five or six hours we figure will enable us to get by, and take naps when the opportunity arises (usually Sunday afternoons for me).

3.  Show your love and concern for others, regardless of their response.  Although most of us would probably agree in principle with the idea that we should treat others the way we want to be treated, in reality we often treat others the way they treat us.  This means that if someone is behaving badly, we do the same, and get into a shouting match or physical fight with them or refuse to speak to them at all.  We wait for them to admit the error of their ways and apologize to us before we will consider apologizing to them.  We justify our behavior by saying that they started it or we are just giving them a taste of their own medicine.  Makana knows better.  If I yell at her because she has just made a mess, or push her away from me when she wants to be affectionate, she doesn’t hold it against me.  Five minutes later she is back, purring and eager for me to pet her or let her sleep next to me.   I wish I could forgive as easily as she does.

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Responses

  1. Thanks Amanda! I’m glad you enjoyed this post and hope others do, too. We can all learn from our furry friends, plus they show us the unconditional love that is all too often lacking in relationships with other humans.

  2. Hi – loved you blog. So true – was pondering the very same things this am about my two mogs; Ned and Nellie and what can be learned.

    18 hours of sleep a day does keep you beautiful and sprightly. Eating when you like is good when you get enough exercise and the clear lines of communication never cease to amaze me as Nellie jumps on my head at 6.30 am for breakfast.

    The truth is we do as you say, treat people as they treat us – even if it doesn’t start out that way – it is often the result. But then in the way that cats don’t bear a grudge – I have realised I would forgive my cats anything..dismembered birds and fur balls, just there are some people I can’t or may be won’t… I need to observe my cat a bit longer I think…. :O)

    Thanks for this though it was great.

    Amanda


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