A lot of relationship and intimacy coaching has to do with reclaiming your connection to your primal and animalistic self; so you can be raw, so you can be vulnerable, so you can express yourself fully, so you can be honest and authentic with others. So what about actually healing an animal with Somatica® coaching?
Here is my story of how I did just that!
She was born at an odd time of the year for a kitten. Lucky for us, we needed a buddy for our other cat. We got Sita at about 12 weeks old. She was found alone in a film studio, starving with no mama or siblings. Then she was spayed at only eight weeks old. All of this was obviously very traumatizing.
When we met her, she was scared of everyone and everything. Her foster parents had to chase her like crazy to get her into a crate for us to take her home.
For the first few years of her life, Sita’s only solace was her brother cat, Simon. Simon somehow found it within himself to become her replacement mother. He would drape his arm around her or pin her down whenever she would startle. He would lick her all over or nick her on the ear. Sita started calming down. However she still jolted at the smallest movement. And she would connect with us only at night or when we were lying very still on the floor.
Over time, Sita warmed up to us more. But she still bolted and hid in the furthest corners when guests came over. Or she ran outside and could not be found for a day. When it came to leaving on a trip, Sita hid for sometimes days on end, starved herself, and when we returned we had work to reconnect with her again.
Then her Simon died. He was taken by coyotes. It was just Sita and us now.
Surprisingly, Simon’s death had a strengthening effect on our little feline daughter. She started becoming more of an individual. And she started leaning on us more for bonding needs. But she was still skittish when being fed and acted untrusting toward us. She still split the scene when any other human showed up.
My heart felt heavy to see her suffering like this. I also felt angry that she would not let me in to her heart and that she constantly viewed me as a threat. So one day I decided that I was going to do something about it. I decided I would become Sita’s relationship coach!
Acceptance of Your Own Capacity
The first step in becoming this cat’s coach was to accept that I would never be able to know or understand what the start of her life was really like. However, I could honour that she had done everything she could to survive. And it was amazing that she had!
I needed to accept that her survival strategies were still active and they made perfect sense for this situation she had been in. Just like humans, a cat can always fall back on its initial survival strategies. Everyone gets scared sometimes even as adults. We don’t mean to but sometimes we act from immature attachment strategies.
Intentional Attunement & Inner Child Play
Being a relationship coach, I started attuning as precisely as I could to what drew this cat near me. And to what pushed her away. I got very curious about what she needed to feel safe. And I started giving it to her.
I honed in on the particular ways she liked to play. I made time to get down on the floor on a regular basis and play with her inner child.
I learned positions that made Sita feel safe. She liked it when I went on all fours on the carpet like a big cat and let her go under my body. She also liked it when I lay on my back and let her climb on my tummy. This was amazing fun!
But probably the most fun part of her coaching process was learning how she liked to be touched! This came through trial and error, exploration, learning her boundaries and desires, learning her yes and no.
Power Dynamics: Domination and Submission
I experimented with pressure, speed and location of touch. I kept attuning to my cat to gauge her response. For example, I noticed that Sita calmed down to a very firm and immobilizing touch. She also responded to very rousing, stimulating touch. It was an overall attitude of being dominated that seemed to give her nervous system a safe container to rest and let go.
Touching for Your Own Pleasure
The other Somatica® tool that l I applied was touching for my own pleasure. I teach this tool to couples all the time. Generally when you touch your partner for your own pleasure, it feels really good to them too!
At first I was scared and felt kind of shy to do this with the cat for some reason. But I found quickly that she adored when I allowed myself pleasure. I showered her with kisses, nuzzling her soft fur, scratching my fingers up and down her spine. My pleasure became her pleasure and vice versa.
Modelling Secure Attachment
Sita has become way more settled. She has stopped hiding so much. She has started to tentatively enter the room when friends come over. And recently she has been showing signs of becoming a lap cat. She has started to actually jump into our laps when we sit on the couch or recliner!
I am starting to see that as I become more securely attached, there is a resonance and mirroring happening in my cat. I think that my secure attachment is a walking comfort to my cat and she picks up on it. She is more and more in my orbit and the bond we are creating is residing more and more in her memory. She is becoming more securely attached as I continue to unfold my own attachment healing and express it toward her.
I am so fascinated by these Somatica® coaching tools, the power of touch, the power of attunement, and the conscious dance bonding and individuation in balance to help loosen the shackles of trauma. I am so happy my cat is healing and that healing is possible for her!
If you are already aware of Somatica®, I hope this blog gave you a knowing chuckle. If you are new to Somatica®, and this blog speaks to you, I invite you to contact me to learn more.
Either way, remember – Love is Your Nature!