Freeplaylife Challenge:: Week 19!

July is the month of inspiration here at freeplaylife! I’ve noticed that the more I surround myself with the words/music/friends/knickknacks that inspire me, the better my day seems to go. And I’ve just spent the last 14 days neck deep in moving everything into storage, (which makes for some craptacular days!) so I don’t say that lightly. Even moving goes better with some kick ass dance music, great food (tacos!) and drink (banana bread beer!) on breaks, and supportive friends (facebook!) cheering me on.

Last week’s challenge was to inspire yourself in some way. And you guys killed it. Some people chopped their hair off, others did some crazy extreme sports, some went back and found pictures of things they’d done in the past that inspired them even today. If you haven’t already, find a photo of you being badass and make it your facebook profile picture! I’ve loved seeing them all.

This week we’re going to find our inspirational animal. Animal guide, animal totem, whatevs you want to call it. There are two kinds of animal guides…the ones that choose you and the ones that you choose. My animal totem the octopus chose me. But it was a process and it took, like, 6 months for it to make an appearance. Since we don’t have that much time, you’re going to choose an animal that inspires you for some reason(s).

Even though I already have an octopus to remind me daily about lots of things that octopi totems signify, I have another animal that I’ve chosen to admire and emulate. And even though I’ve made her nickname “Fucker!”, that animal is my kitty Honey Badger. Remember her?! She doesn’t give a shit.

Like, literally, she. doesn’t. care. No fucks are given with this one. I am now one of those people that spend time looking at lolcat memes and laughing till I cry. Before, when I had a dog, I didn’t get it. Now that I have a cat, I get it. Cat ownership is a totally different thing than dog ownership.

Honey Badger likes to hide on top or under things and then attack us furiously when we pass by.
She howls at the door till we let her out or in.
She howls at her food dish till we fill it.
She walks away if we touch her without her permission.
She forces her way under our hands if we don’t touch her and she wants us to.
She pretty much has the run of the house.
She looks for neither approval or permission in anything she does.
She gets her own needs met.
She knows what makes her happy.
She is very clear about her emotional state.

It was hard to go from a people pleasing dog to a self pleasing cat, I’m not going to lie. Cats do whatever the fuck they want. If a dog did half the shit cats do, he’d be euthanized as a menace.It was a tough transition for me, and I wasn’t really sure I liked her (aside from being the cutest thing on the planet!). I wanted her to know I was in charge. I wanted her to show me some appreciation and respect by doing what I wanted. I expected her to be happy if I was happy. I was beside my self when I realized you don’t teach cats to “heel”, “drop it”, “down”, “sit”, or “stay”. Cats do whatever the fuck they want.

I had a moment of clarity about it one day when she was glaring at me unabashedly.

I actually said what my parent’s would say to me when I was little.

“Wipe that look off your face!”

omg omg omg omg

It clicked.

Everything I hated about this cat were actually things that I always wanted to do but couldn’t. I was taught to be nice, be quiet, be still, be obedient, be polite, be pleasing, be submissive. I was taught, through school/church/family/society at large, to give lots of fucks about all that shit. And here I have a kitten who at 6 months is more self advocating than I ever was.

She became my hero.

She inspires me every day.

Every day I come across situations where I think, “What Would Honey Badger Do?” and it’s made my life so AWESOME! Honey Badger has no guilt, shame, or obligation…but she has plenty of decency, dignity, love, and fun.

When I grow up I want to be her.

What animal inspires you? What do you connect to? A free song bird? A playful puppy? A serious owl? Why do you connect to it? What do you learn from it? How can you incorporate it into your life more…through jewelry, or a permanent marker doodle on your knee, or pictures on your wall? Make that animal very prominent this week. Emulate what it is you love, admire and appreciate about it. Let me know how it goes!

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