What Can You Learn from Felines?
It's the winter holiday time. Everything seems to get slower around this time, looking from the outside. At the same time, people are often busy preparing to celebrate: buying gifts, making food, decorating their homes.
I'd like to focus on the former part. On slowing down. To continue the topic from the previous issue of this newsletter, rest.
You probably wonder what cats have to do with it.
How Cats Spend Their Time
Have you ever noticed how cats spend their time? The first thing most people notice is that cats sleep a lot. An average of fifteen hours a day. When they're not sleeping, they're probably either hunting (taking care of their survival) or playing (so training their survival skills).
They understand that to survive, they have to balance their time. Cats not only work hard (when hunting), but they also rest hard and play hard. Whatever they do, they do it with purpose. Some may even say: passion.
Contrast this to the hustle culture that surrounds us. People bragging about their eighteen-hour workdays. Treating sleep as an unnecessary burden. Never finding time to play or at least enjoy their lives outside work. You wouldn't find a cat behaving like that!
Enter Cat Mode
So, what is cat mode? Buster Benson coined the term as an answer to feeling guilty about being lazy. The hustle culture wants us to believe that unless we are "getting things done" (usually by checking things off the list), we are "useless." Wasting our time. There's so much work to do!
Cat mode is an example of reframing. Rest and play are both necessary in your life. If you are lazy, chances are that your body is telling you it needs some rest. If that's the case, there's no use fighting it.
Cats are ambitious about being lazy. And you should be too. If you are serious about your personal growth (or just living a happy life), make sure you take care of all the three aspects of your life (work, rest, play).
Tony Stubblebine, the founder of the coaching platform Coach.me describes it in a slightly different way. Here's a quote from his Codex Vitae:
If I'm going to leisure, then leisure in the most ambitiously lazy way possible. That's Cat Mode.
Video games should be binged. Just play and finish the game, life be damned.
Late September is the perfect time for an off-season beach vacation.
Now's the Time
Whenever you feel like you aren't very productive, ask yourself whether you need to stop and recharge. If you do, enter Cat Mode. Imagine a stress-free activity that you can do. Make it the most luxurious one as well. A bath filled with bubbles? A cup of a nice beverage while reading? Actively listening to a music record? It's your choice, be ambitious about it!
Focus on the quality of living, not the quantity of work.
And why am I suddenly writing about cat mode this time of year? For many people, the end of December is a great moment to recharge and reflect on the past year. Have you taken care of yourself? If not, you may need more Cat Mode in the next year.
With this, I'd like to wish you Happy Holidays, a Wonderful New Year, and some well-deserved self-care time!
The picture of a cat comes from Wikimedia Commons library.