Connecting with our spiritual core is an important part of conscious living. We all have different ways of doing this, and there isn’t any one single method that is more valuable than another. For some, it may be through structured religious observations, often shared in the community of a church or other spiritual gathering. For others, this connection may happen during meditation. Others still may connect with spirit in nature. Watching a beautiful sunset or sunrise, walking in a deep green forest, or hiking in a striking desert landscape – all of these can help open a portal for a connection to something greater than ourselves.
Whether we call this something God, our soul, Spirit, or Source, I believe that all humans have an innate need to feel this kind of connection. We know it when we have it. Sometimes, it may just be for a brief, almost fleeting moment. Other times, we may be able to bask in it for an extended period of time. Regardless of how it comes about and how long it lasts, the feeling that comes with it is one of utter peace, joy, and love. It’s that feeling we get when we’re completely absorbed in doing something we love. We loose track of all sense of time. We are living in this present moment, to the exclusion of everything else. Anything is possible, and magic can and will happen.
For me, animals, and of course, especially cats, have always been an easy way to help me find that spiritual connection. Animals are so much closer to nature than we are, and as such, are much more in touch with Spirit than most humans. Simply observing a cat can instantly transport me into a state of connection.
In Zooburbia: Meditations on the Wild Animals Among Us, Tai Moses writes “We can trust animals to be themselves, and because of that, in some ineffable way, they help connect us to a better part of ourselves, to the more authentic self we long to be. In their inability to be anything but genuine, animals remind us of the ways in which we are imperfect and the ways in which we can be a little kinder, a little more generous, a little braver.”
I believe that animals facilitate this connection with our true self. That moment, when we simply observe a sleeping cat, or play with her, or pet her, forces us to step back from our busy lives for a little while, and to just be in the moment. It’s during those moments that we are reminded of who we really are, and that we’re connected to something greater than ourselves.