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  • Writer's pictureKim

Kitten Parts: Be Still

My therapy homework this week is being still. I think of my foster kitty, Kinx. Kinx is the smallest kitten in a feral litter. She needs foster care to get bigger and heartier and ready for a family. Kinx rarely wanders outside of her crate. She stays huddled in it most of the time. I have evidence that she eats and uses the litter box but not while I’m watching.

She is being still.

Photo of small kitten sitting in a crate

I imagine she is gathering her resources, learning to trust herself and her environment. I’m slow with her, reaching for her slowly, moving toys slowing, accepting her pace. Eventually she lets me hold her. She lays still in my arms for a couple of hours, purring. Then she hisses at me when I put her down. The movement and seeing me from a different angle scare her. She lets me know I now appear threatening. She skitters back into her crate where she can be still.

Pushy Parts

Shannon, my therapist, gave me the homework of being still because I’m usually the opposite of still. I tend to wear myself out doing multiple projects simultaneously. I can’t hear Self over the din of all the other parts yelling at me. (For an explanation of “parts” and “Self”, see my previous post.) Their voices get loud and insistent. “Hurry up. Time’s wasting.” “Do something big and important. That’s all that counts.” “Shouldn’t you be doing something Useful?” “When you produce something, that’s when you are important.” “Being important and useful is how you get love.” Shannon is encouraging me to sit still so that I can stop being driven by parts and instead listen to Self.

Lessons on Being Still

I take lessons from Kinx on being still. Don’t run around like a wild thing. Sit still and let your mind settle. Sit comfortably and just observe. Breathe and gather resources. Tune into your body and what it is telling you. Gain strength and substance. When you are centered in calm confidence, you can set boundaries when you need to and retreat when you’ve had enough. You can choose - and bravely face - an adventure. You can trust yourself to handle encounters with the cavalier King Charles, scale the longest curtains, and drink out of someone else’s water bowl.

Thank you, Kinx (and Shannon), for showing me the importance of sitting still.

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