Wise Woman lore:
When you move to a new house, slather butter on all four paws of your cat. By the time she’s licked herself clean, she’s comfortable in her new environment and won’t wander back to the old house.
I don’t know where I picked up that bit of wisdom, and I certainly don’t know if it works for cats, but here’s how it works in my life:
As my energy level increases, and my anxiety level fluctuates, sitting still to meditate becomes problematic. (let’s not talk about the painful process of trying to quiet my bubbling brain). A couple of years ago, when the concept of self-care began to sink in, I discovered the pleasure of massaging my own feet.
Then, a delightful tiny epiphany. If I massage my feet with shea butter, cocoa butter, or some such, I am stuck sitting cross-legged on my bed until my feet are not too greasy to walk on my old wooden floors. If I get up and try to walk around with buttery feet, it leaves ugly footprints and there’s the very real prospect of busting my butt.
Sufficient incentive to stay still. If I breathe deeply, I reward myself further with the intoxicating scent of cocoa or the sweet, cotton-candy fragrance of shea butter.
I cannot muscle my way into good meditation practices, good health, emotional sobriety, happiness, joy or serenity. When I am open to the loving whisper of a power greater than myself, I can smell, touch, see and live these gifts, miracles of the commonplace.