My cats teach me lessons all the time – yes they do.
We have a black cat named Rama (or Dyson, after the vacuum cleaner). Dyson is extremely athletic and will jump straight into the air (as high as four feet up) for a bug. Flying insects are visible to Dyson through our French doors. Sometime the bugs are inside the house; mostly harmless flies and an occasional mosquito or wasp.
Dyson loves to jump up and grab a bug in his jaws. He’ll land on all fours and jump again and again and again until he catches that bug. He seems not to care whether the bugs are inside or outside – part of it seems to be about the sheer joy of jumping.
I’d like to be a little more joyful about JUMPING! Feels like I’ve been doing a lot of jumping lately – into new territory. Sometimes it’s edgy and scary, sometimes fun, sometimes joyful, sometimes frustrating – and sometimes it requires me to put armor around my heart! Cold calling bookstores, being more public, getting rejections, getting acceptances (!), selling books, not selling books, putting myself out into the world – I keep having to repeat that old truism to myself that there will be no outcomes (of any sort) if I don’t jump.
And I’m also practicing a lot of yoga (philosophy) these days – I’m really learning about surrendering any attachment to outcome. I’m constantly reminded of this on a daily basis!
A while back, before my book was a reality, I was whining to my husband about some risk I had to take. (I don’t remember the exact situation.) Nothing earthshattering, probably, to anyone but me. (It’s amazing the noise our minds can make, and the chaos and the turmoil we can stir up all by ourselves.)
My husband looked at me. “You gotta jump,” he said.
“Look at Dyson,” he continued. (He knows I love anything and everything to do with my cats.) “Dyson doesn’t hesitate. He Leaps! He might get a sting, or he might get a tasty treat. He doesn’t care.”
I laughed, and I still use the metaphor a lot. Sometimes I get stung, and sometimes I get a tasty treat. And I’ll keep watching Dyson, because he makes me laugh and reminds me that jumping can be fun and scary and exciting all at the same time.