Pondering this week is a deep one about relationships being the essence of life. Feels like being is relationship is the 'theatre' in which we experience ourselves. Be it with another human or non-human animal, an object, circumstance, environment etc. It sounds weird when I write it down, but I can see I have a relationship with myself too - sometimes friendly and other times not so much. To experience this I have to mentally split myself into the one speaking and the one being spoken to.
To step beyond this split I enjoy learning about the Buddhist approach to consciousness - that I am the awareness that is watching my internal world rather than the players. This invites us to detach from these fleeting voices rather than create an identity out of any one of them - they are just revealing a belief that may have help make sense of life many years ago. Told you it was deep...
Animal communication is all about relationship - you wouldn't ask if you didn't care. This weeks 'Human Development Coach via Animal Wisdom' is a diminutive young cat named Luna. Her wisdom invites us to ponder the foundation of all our relationships - Control/Transactional/Fear vs Freedom/Unconditional/Love.
Luna shared that the most important thing to her is freedom. She doesn't need Jane to survive, but she chooses to spend time with her because she enjoys it. Seems so simple - why don't we all use that to arrange our diaries! Well we may not be as independent as we may think we are...
Thriving in Connection
Our nervous system tells us we are safest in relationship - not that long ago, in nervous system evolution terms at least, social exclusion meant we were vulnerable to predators. Humans thrive in connection and Brené Brown says 'love and belonging' are irreducible human needs.
Things can get messy, because we simply can't control the feelings of another. We can control some of their behaviours, through fair and foul means, but not their attitude to us. Yet we all know that love can only be given freely and we can feel the energy of genuine caring verses manipulation - so can our animal family. Luna is giving her love freely to Jane and vice versa - it's delightful for both of them to feel chosen.
Things can get sticky if we don't innately feel worthy of love and belonging - we spurn loving connection when we feel unworthy or we can place an untenable burden on another to make us feel ok. Our animals don't seem to suffer with this as we humans do - they have shown themselves to hold a hopeful space that a loving connection is possible for them.
I digress though - back to Luna. Resourceful, proud, a survivor and vigilant - all useful traits when she lived on the street. Jane asked why she bites to which she showed she wasn't keen on hands - to her they felt 'grabby and pokey' which she communicated with a mind-movie of them coming at her that I found myself ducking and weaving to get away from. Her biting was useful to keep hands at a distance. She showed that if she were able to choregraph the connection she liked to snuggle in by Jane's thigh and be stroked by her elbow and forearm. I have heard, that since our session, she has jumped up into Jane's lap.
Wishing you a week of choosing and feeling worthy of being chosen.