A couple years ago I spent 5 or 6 days wandering around Los Angeles, meowing like a cat.
“Meeeoww!” said I out loud every time I caught myself judging a person, place, or thing. For example, some areas of some east Hollywood streets are much smellier than others. When I found myself wrinkling my nose and wondering how the glamorous men and women of LA could stand the disgusting smell of old urine baked into the sidewalk, I would let a big loud “meeeeoww!” leap from my lips. Even if people were nearby.
Why meow? Because that’s what cats do. And I am becoming more happily catlike, like a pussy willow blossoming into a flexible reed that may bend but won’t be broken by the winds of time or circumstance.
And because fighting stuff takes too much energy.
I don’t know about you, but my time and energy is too valuable to spend focusing on things I can’t change, dwelling on the past, or regretting stuff I said or did. Instead, I’m meowing and purring like a happy cat basking in the sun, licking the last of the fish from my paws and whiskers.
CAT is Curious – Accepting – Trusting
When I find myself judging myself or others, I’m learning to say “meeeeoww.” I remind myself that my energy and time is best spent being Curious, Accepting, and Trusting.
Instead of assuming I know stuff, I ask questions. Sometimes I even make up answers — but none that are critical or mean.
“Why are some LA streets so smelly? Maybe because homeless people and dogs pee outside, and it hasn’t rained in LA for 5 years, and nobody wants to waste water washing cement.”
When you find yourself judging people, situations or yourself, ask a few gentle questions. Who is this person you’re criticizing, what do you know about her, where has she been, what has she experienced? Even more importantly, why “should” she do things your way? What makes you think you know better?
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but satisfaction brought her back. 🙂
Be gentle with yourself and the person, place or thing. Let go of your expectations, your shoulds, and your assumptions that you know better. Surrender to an open mind and loving heart.
Notice how much time and energy it takes to judge and complain. If you think you aren’t critical, ask someone close to you what they think. Ask them, “How critical am I, on a scale of 1 to 10? One is negative (I see the pits in fresh cherries) and 10 is positive (I happily crunch into bruised, wrinkled apples because they deserve appreciation, too!).
Instead of fighting reality (yes, cherries have pits and some streets and people and situations are super stinky), just allow the thing to be. It has as much right to exist as you do. Who are you to say something should not be what it is?
At the end of your life, God won’t ask you why your daughter/husband/neighbor/pastor didn’t make the right choices or your boss was such an idiot. He’ll ask you questions about you, not them.
Everything belongs, even if you can’t see why or how. Everything belongs, even if you didn’t ask for it, deserve it, or put it there.
There is a reason your life is unfolding this way. There is a reason you chose to take that action, say those words, or go down that street. Trust that even if you don’t know why something happened, it is there because it is supposed to be.
You don’t have all the answers. You’re too little, too vulnerable, too inexperienced. You expect too much from others, from life, from yourself. And your expectations are holding you back and keeping you down. Your expectations are wasting your time and energy. Your “shoulds” are distracting you from the peace, joy, and freedom that being catlike offers.
You can’t be both content and critical. You can’t be grateful and grumpy.
So, say “meeeoowww” out loud when you find yourself beating yourself up for this or judging someone for that. Learn how to meow and purr like a happy cat! Go lie in the sun. Eat something with your fingers. Surrender, and feel the weight lift.
May you find a patch of sunlight today, you precious little kitty cat.
In peace and passion,
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