I believe that in order for an animal to be confident they need to have awareness of their bodies. I wonder, do my animals agree with this? Here I ask them.
Makia, my white cat, says, “I definitely think that one who is confident feels good in their body. I was much braver when I was younger and could climb. Though now I understand my body’s limitations and that makes me feel confident too. If I didn’t understand how my body worked I would hurt myself.”
Serafina, my gray cat, says, “I used to be insecure and fat. Now I am slim and confident. I make sure I am conscious of when I turn around and when I blink my eyes or lick. This has made me a more thoughtful cat. The more I am in control of my body, the better sense I make of the world.”
Stormy, my Aussie, says, “I think it is important to know how your body works, send love to the parts that are in pain, and be thankful for the parts of your body that work well. If you want to live happily to old age this is important.”
Bean, my bunny, says, “It is important to set boundaries on what you want others to do with your body. I don’t want to be picked up, and since my person respects that, I have become more confident around all people. It is okay to trust your feelings about your body.”
Luca, my young poodle, says, “I am aware of my body when I roll on the grass with another dog. It feels good. When I play rough I think, ‘This is fun,’ but my mom (person) says I need to play gently, and I don’t know what gentle is, so I am learning. Bodies feel different depending who you are. I didn’t know that. I thought all bodies felt the same. I have a body and so does everyone. Feelings in bodies are different. I am still learning to understand that.”
Seamora, my blue and gold parrot, says, “I am learning the rhythms of my body, when it feels anxious and when it feels calm. I am learning to be aware of how my body feels around different people, in different situations, and at different times of the day. This is good because then my behavior starts to make sense to myself.”
Jubilee, my appaloosa sport horse, says, “I have a big body and I can control others with my body. Sometimes I don’t want to control others but I try to anyway. Sometimes my body moves without me thinking, and that makes me sad because I want to think first. I want to be a smart horse that is polite. I am learning to think before my body moves. It’s hard. But I like learning.”