Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Or is it just another buzzword?
OK, first, I must tell you a story.
Our cat Lucy, who is basically soft blubber ball dressed up in velvet, came tearing through the pet door one day. She had a tiny mouse dangling from her mouth. This was an unseen event to begin with, but what thoroughly amused us was her expression. She was like, "Oh no! I've caught this thing, and now it's in my mouth, and I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT!!! AAAAH!!!!" Honestly, if she spoke English that's what she'd be saying.
Our other cat Linus, who we adopted at the exact time as Lucy, and from the same shelter where they had already spent their first few months of life together, is an avid hunter. He brings down birds like it's nobody's business. And he eats them too. Where Lucy is laid-back, quirky and bohemian, Linus is our stiff-upper-lip English gentleman, all polite and manly.
Between the two of them, we have continuous daily entertainment.
My point is; imagine if these two fab felines, with such unique personalities, behaved exactly the same. After all, they're both cats with basically the exact same upbringing and environment.
Now imagine if as human beings we all did and said and dreamt and made the same things, where would we be? If every one of us tried to be the same as everyone else, where would we be?
But then, could we be fully unique and interesting, could we be different from each other if we didn't ourselves know who we were?
Brene Brown says, “When we begin to live authentically, we recognize our worth, express vulnerability, and set boundaries.”
One of the things I help participants explore in my therapeutic art workshops is the discovery of self. Because how can we live authentically if we have not yet fully met ourselves?
This may sound heavy, but trust me, it's not! Through introspective art and writing, we can gently (even playfully) bridge the gap between who we think we are and who we really are.
This may not happen overnight, but small consistent steps will get you there. Once you know who you are and what your true purpose is, can you imagine the kind of light you would shine?
By the way, if you're curious about how Lucy's one-and-only hunting adventure ended, she bolted down the stairs and deposited the shell-shocked mousie on our bed, and literally washed her hands of it. My husband Jeff had to scoop up the poor critter, who seemed frightened but unhurt, and gently place it under some bushes in the backyard.
Lucy, meanwhile, much relieved, curled up went to sleep :)
Next week, we'll look at three easy ways to be authentic, and how to make some art out of it!
Until then, if you have any quirky pets, enjoy them!