I am an animal lover. Growing up in my family meant growing up with cats, dogs, rabbits, turtles, fish, pigs, and a healthy reverence for wild critters. People use to warn my mother off of my “dangerous” habit of sitting still and allowing wild animals such as deer and squirrels to come up and climb in my lap or lay beside me. No. I’m not the Beast Master, but I might be kin to Ellie May.
For me, spending time with animals is an intricate part of self care. And I suspect I’m far from alone in this. My cat Sophianne in particular is part of my daily morning routine. Spending time with Asset and Profit, the steers, can settle my emotions and clear my head. Then there are the sheep.
We often think of self care as an activity, something to do. However, a friendship with an animal can teach us about being in the moment. Animals live in the moment completely. The moment is somewhere we rarely live as modern humans. That’s why animals can sense things that we don’t. They so inhabit the moment that few details escape their attention – like our emotions or physical health.
What does this have to do with self care or self development? Quite allot, actually. Not only does spending time with animals have physical and emotional benefits, they can also help you learn to turn off your brain and inhabit the moment along side of them.
Most mornings Sophianne places her head on my shoulder and drapes herself across me while I sit in meditation. She stays in my arms, heart to heart, for about five to ten minutes. During that time I simply exist with her. There are no demands or agendas. I do something similar each morning with the sheep before chores. I kneel down as they come one by one, share a breath, touch heads and noses, and move out to pasture.
These times feel sacred and eternal, because fully inhabiting the moment is sacred and eternal. In these moments, in the now, the connection to the Oneness, The Divine, The Inner Light, feels tangible. These moments feed the soul and connect us to the larger portion of creation. So, go get your fur baby, and care for you both.
Be Well and In Peace,