It was only a matter of time before I got to writing about cats. I hear you roll your eyes. Don’t worry – I’m not going to wax on about why I love cats so much. Just know that I do. And I know I’m not alone. I just discovered an Instagram page from a Japanese household that has eleven cats and seventy-six THOUSAND followers…plus me! There’s clearly quite a demand for it.
FACT : I really really want a cat to call my own.
FACT : I live in an apartment with no balcony or garden.
FACT : The cat would have to spend 6 months in Australian Quarantine when we go back.
It seems that my dreams of being a crazy cat lady have to be put on hold, so what’s a girl to do?
SOLUTION : The Catwalk
Theresa Stevens had once done a vlog about what she calls, the Beauty Walk. The aim was just to go out walking at a leisurely pace – not power walking or getting your heart rate up or kind of half jogging – walking and appreciating the beauty of your surrounds. It doesn’t matter if you are in the middle of a city or deep in the heart of suburbia, everyone can find the beauty in their environment. Of course the practice wasn’t new to me – I often walk at sunset to set the fluro-flaming sky or stop to smell roses in other people’s gardens or am struck still by the scent of jasmine blossom carried on the breeze or admire an old house made new. It really is a very mindful and uplifting thing to do.
Last Wednesday I left my little abode and hit the road at 8.30pm, when the sun is slowly making its way into the darkness. I often walk as a way to connect to spirit and to still my mind to the pace and rhythm of the march. I wanted to follow my intuition along the way and see where it led me. Where it led me to was to cats. At first they were a bit stand-offish, hiding under cars and running in the opposite direction, but as the walk went on, they became friendlier and let me stop to pat them. Was it because I was more peaceful? The last one was almost begging me to take it home, massaging my leg and bumping my hand with its head to be patted. I came home feeling so alive.
It’s good to feel alive, isn’t it?
Of course we all want this – to wash away the sludginess on our brain, to allow ourselves to feel all the colours of our emotional rainbow, to feel the fire and to look at the world with stars in our eyes.
But getting back to cats…
What is appealing about cats, besides their beauty, their aloofness, their sudden affection and their agility (shall I go on?), is the fact that they seem to know stuff. I want to know stuff too. I want to access the answers that are inside, to ask and to receive. This seems to be the most accurate gage for each of us to know what’s right and wrong, the hunch, the feeling to go in one direction over another. Like picking up the right book and turning to the page that’s right for this moment or meeting the right person who says the exact thing we need to hear right now. This is the support and guidance I seek.
Since the beginning of the year I’ve been trying to develop my intuition. And when I say ‘trying’ I mean it in the way of remembering and then forgetting and then remembering again – like most new year’s resolutions. But right now I’m back in the game. So how can we become more intuitive? Marianne Williamson says that meditating everyday fine tunes our intuition and I believe her. Who wouldn’t? Walking and paying acute attention to the aesthetics of the environment can be a moving meditation for us too (if we are doing it without being consumed by other thoughts).
But there are so many other ways to develop our relationship with our inner guidance. Some people may feel it playing music or doing sport. I feel it making pasta. Like, so often I put in the first handful and then think to add more – I always end up making too much. Now I am practising stopping on the first hunch and things are really working out for me in terms of pasta. I know I’m making it seem like I’ve got a hell of a lot of time on my hands but I’m totally serious. It’s all about tuning in to the inner voice.
I used to fantasise about going to an ashram and just becoming totally zen and uncomplicated. I wanted to feel the connection to spirit that I sometimes was rewarded with after a yoga class or a long walk at the beach by myself. But post-ashram, I imagine I’d get back to life and no one else would have got the update that I’d almost reached a state of enlightenment and wouldn’t know that they were supposed to also be thinking happy thoughts and not pissing me off and keeping their voices down while I go meditate. This is the problem with not being a monk.
And there it is – a reason not to go to an ashram but to stay amongst the real live people and get in touch with spirit at home. Gabrielle Bernstein says it’s like watering a plant – each time you honour spirit, your relationship grows stronger. This makes a lot of sense. So I will head out on a Catwalk and feel my spirit fly.
wild abandon on the gravel
massages on the grass