Sure, we human beings have these big, complicated brains. And that’s awesome. But sometimes, it’s equally awesome to remember that we’re animals, too. Because we’ve forgotten some of the best life lessons we were born with:
2. Animals are always present in the moment. They are not worried about something that happened in the past (though a past scary event can trigger present fear is the animal is presented with similar circumstances). They aren’t off daydreaming or living in the future. Animal time is always “now.”
3. Animals, instinctive defensiveness to protect themselves or their young aside, are without judgment, no matter how any cat cartoons and photos you’ve seen attributing smugness, disdain or other human emotions to felines. You can train an animal to fear you by your actions, but otherwise, you are just you to your pet.
4. Animals are great at finding the opportunity in any event. Garbage spills all over the floor? Free food! Someone left a dirty t-shirt on the floor? Cool beans, a new bed (or, possibly, chew toy, depending on the age of your pet). The gate’s open? Run with your face into the wind for the sheer thrill of it!
5. Animals are nurturers. Yes, they also hunt, kill and eat each other. But there are simply too many photos and evidence of interspecies care of young to ignore. Animals instinctively take care of others.
6. Animals are completely non-materialistic. Sure, they’ll wear that cute sweater you bought ’em, and they may love their stuffed chew toy. But without the accessories, they’d be just fine, too. They have no concept of “stuff.”
7. Animals give 100 percent to everything they do, whether it’s wolfing down kibble, chasing a butterfly, giving themselves a bath, or methodically chewing the baseboards. They are always all in.
8. Animals live on THEIR time. They “know” when it’s dinner time. They “know” when you are coming home from work. But a clock is as meaningless to them as the concept of “today” or “tomorrow” or “next Thursday.” Their concept of time is a felt sense, within their bodies, cued by nature.
9. Animals are rarely embarrassed by anything. Yes, you can see the occasional cat falling off a table and acting like “I totally meant to do that.” But look: they live their lives, naked, in front of everyone else. They have no self-consciousness about their bodies or its functions.
10. Animals never lose their sense of play. A stick? A ball? A reflection in the mirror? It’s all good!
If you’re getting yourself twisted in knots over something, take a cue from the animals and ask yourself, is this something an animal would be worried about? If the answer is no, try a second question: so why am I wasting my time caught up in all the drama?
Eat if you’re hungry. Drink when you’re thirsty. Sleep when you’re tired. Preferably on a comfy surface dappled with the smile of a sunbeam.