Is it possible to learn the art of mindfulness from a cat? How about an adolescent cat? A nine month-old, swaggering, teen-age cat named CHAKRA?! Evidently so, for I have done it.
Yes, I admit it, our cat is named Chakra. It is a name I would never have chosen, not even in my 20-something bohemian days. But I didn't name him, my teenage daughter did. She rescued him off the streets, out of a shopping cart, so she got to name him. It's only fair.
At first my husband and I were too embarrassed to call him by this hokey moniker. "Chakra" did not roll easily, or comfortably off the tongue. So we made up nicknames like Chalkie, Chalkster, Mr. Cool, Young Sir, Burt Reynolds (don't ask), etc, and used those instead.
But now, the playful kitten has morphed into a long, languid, leonine creature. He is a titan of cats: long in body and in tail, with silky hair that parts in the wind. The hair is so silky in fact that it reminds me of a 1970's feathered 'do, like a Charlie's Angel might have, or David Cassidy.
And perhaps in that hair, like with Samson, lies Chakra's inner strength. He is a combination of macho and mellow. (Aren't most 1970's cult gurus a similar mix? Father Yod, anyone?) Sometimes Chakra is intent on violence, lying hidden under the bushes, fixing the birds and squirrels that dare enter the yard with a clear-eyed kill-stare, flexing his new talons in anticipation of ripping out their guts. But other times he is content to lie in the shade of the lilac bush, twitching his ears to the bird calls, blinking his eyes in apparent bliss, occasionally raising a paw to swat the insouciant flies that come within reach. Those times he is truly CHAKRA, totally in line with the planets, at one with his breath, at one with the world.
And he inspires me!
Why not, right? Pets are known for their calming, blood-pressure-reducing benefits. Watching Chakra lie in the green grass, sides rising and falling as he sniffs the fresh spring air and just absorbs the world around him, inspires me to do the same. Sometimes as we both sit in the back yard, the blue sky overhead and the white clouds scudding across it, and I feel totally at peace. Totally happy. And however corny it might sound to the uninitiated, aligning your chakras is where it is at.