I learn a lot about being fully connected, acting on impulse and being in the flow from my cat Lily. She is a master of all these things.

Last night I arrived home about 7pm. I wasn’t sure how things would be in my house as it was Day One of Project Bathroom and the builders had arrived bright and early. They’d been busy bees as evidenced by my former bathroom being in a neat covered pile in my front garden. And there was still a hive of activity going on upstairs. A hive of activity and no cat. This was unusual. Lily was usually waiting for me with purrs and affection and hunger. Upon further investigation I noticed a bowl full of food from this morning. This was even more unusual. She clearly hadn’t wanted to be involved in Project Bathroom and hadn’t been in the house all day.

When Lily eventually did return at around 8.30pm, very soon after the builders had left, I could see she’d been in a fight with another cat. She had a scratch and some dried blood on her little pink nose. I suspect it was due to a heightened sense of protecting her territory. Given she’d lost ground on her inner kingdom inside the house, I imagine she wasn’t giving an inch with her outer empire. I’ve seen her defending her turf before. I’m glad I wasn’t the other cat involved in this scratch on face incident.

When I saw her pretty little face with its new war wound, my heart sprung open with concern and love. Interestingly at the same time I became aware of my Inner Critic jumping to life. “How could you have left her all day with two men she didn’t know who were making loud noise and shifting stuff around in her safe space?” And there was more where that came from. Along the lines of my general thoughtlessness and lack of foresight on the impact on her of Project Bathroom Day One. You see, after greeting the builders and sorting a few things out with them, I’d left the house in a hurry to get to a meeting. So much in a hurry that I’d forgotten to have a little chat with Lily to explain what was going on and that all was well and she was safe. Cat owners will get where I’m coming from on this little chat. Others may think I’m slightly strange:).

Returning to the jumping to life of my Inner Critic. It was an awesome event. It had only taken a nano second and my heart-opening burst of concern and love had been matched with a hurling of blame at myself. “Lily’s fight is all your fault”. Categoric. No question. Wow. The power of the mind and our automatic ways of thinking never ceases to amaze me. My Inner Critic had further ammunition when, after seeing and sniffing all the builders tools and cement piled up in the dining room, Lily had turned round and made a sharp exit again. I followed her into the garden and she’d disappeared. “Well that’s it. She’s gone and won’t come back now. You’ll never see her again. What an idiot you are”. Inner Critic full steam ahead.

But then I did catch myself and notice what was going on. I had a word with my Inner Critic and started reigning her in. “Steady on girl.” I said. “Let’s be reasonable here.” And of course Lily did return. After only a few minutes. She sniffed the strange unidentified objects in the dining room again, decided they were harmless and then, in an impulse, leapt on my shoulders. I like to think this little habit she has is her way of expressing her delight to see me and to give me a big hug. After the shoulders she usually settles on my lap. And that’s just what she did. As I stroked her I could feel my sense of presence and ease returning. Her being fully present and connected enabled my return home. Not literally. The literal return home had occurred about 90 minutes prior. My return home this time was metaphorical. Paradoxically it was a truer return home. I’d returned home to me. Fully connected and in the flow.

I learn about this being fully connected and in the flow from Lily at least once a day. I learn about acting on impulse too as I watch how she moves seamlessly from stillness to motion as if powered by a strong inner guide. No questioning and most definitely no Inner Critic to interfere with the process. Blame it would appear is a human thing.

Lessons from Lily. They are a continual process.

She is a wonderful teacher my cat.