What I learned from vacuuming my cat!

According to philosopher Aristotle, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” My cat abhors a vacuum too. I remember the day I held her and turned on the vacuum at the same time. Bad Idea! You can’t drop the cat or turn off the vacuum fast enough to avoid life threatening injuries.

On a serious note, a vacuum (empty space) really is abhorrent to life. Aristotle based his conclusion on the observation that nature requires every space to be filled with something, even if it is only invisible air. A vacuum is a place of silence darkness and death. Likewise people who live in a vacuum, begin to shrivel intellectually, socially and spiritually. They begin to die.

How strange then that people occasionally have the tendency to retreat from the vibrant environment of life filled space to a space just filled with self. I think it’s because a space filled with new ideas, unfamiliar, weird people feels risky, unsafe. That kind of space is challenging, requires thinking and sometimes can be painful. Well, welcome to life! As I said in my book Fully Alive, “Life is a battle and if your not bleeding and don’t smell gun-smoke you may need to contact the nearest coroner.”

There is a reason no one wants to spend time in the crawl space, or the space in the attic. There is nothing there. No pain, no adventure, no diversity. Empty space is just that, “empty.” I never want to move toward empty. People who are “fully alive” abhor a vacuum. They invite people into their space. They explore the space inhabited by others.

This post was inspired by the Luminous Project. Luminous is a creative spiritual event in Nashville May 1-3, 2013. No vacuum here. It’s a wonderful, sweaty, messy space filled with ideas and creative people who embrace them and use them to communicate the greatest message in the universe.

Take a chance. Move into a space where you will be welcomed and challenged. Check out luminousproject.com. You can use the promo code ‘BRINGitHERE’ to get 35% off the registration price. This might just be the space you’ve been needing.

Do you ever feel like you are living in a vacuum with the world rushing by you?
What is it that brings vitality and excitement to your space?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Lee

    I’m stuck on why you were holding a cat a turning on a vacuum at the same time. :)

    • Ken Davis

      I was going to vacuum the cat!! It never happened. (-;

  • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

    I love this. Depression runs in my family and there is a tendency to pursue isolation and the downward spiral continues.

    • Ken Davis

      You are so right. There is definitely power in community. Thank you for your comment.

  • http://www.liveyourwhy.net/ Terry Hadaway

    There can be a social vacuum whenever we neglect what’s always been and pursue a new way of thinking. Our world doesn’t encourage thought; there are plenty of people and organizations anxious to tell you what to think. Yet, when we push aside “fitting in” and pursue our God-given uniqueness, we will find ourselves with plenty of time to ponder life’s mysteries because there aren’t many people in that place. And, for the true creative, it is in that place where true genius is encountered. If doing what everyone else is doing is the best we can do, one of us is unnecessary. Think about it.

  • dindav216

    Our cat actually loved being vacuumed. I guess it was like a ‘super petting’ to him.

  • tb

    just moved from Franklin to the wilds of montana. Love Franklin but here 99% of what i see here is God’s artwork. Makes you feel alive!!!

    • Ken

      I feel that way about the mountains of Colorado.

  • John Daily

    Ken, I don’t know if you read these comments or not, but PLEASE READ THIS ONE. I wanted to say, Thank God for you. Because of your hard work, two children are happier in the world, and so are my wife and I. We purchased your Under the Influence DVD and were so touched by your message about Compassion, that this morning, we sponsered a beautiful 8 uear old Indian girl and a handsome 9 year old Mexican boy. They had been waiting the longest for a sponser (almost a year each) and just the thought that no one cared devestated me. Ok, I admit: my wife doesn’t know that I did this yet, but she will when she gets home later. :)
    Thank you so much. I need to say that again: Thank you SO MUCH. God bless you.

  • John Daily

    Ken, I don’t know if you read these comments or not, but PLEASE READ THIS ONE. I wanted to say, Thank God for you. Because of your hard work, two children are happier in the world, and so are my wife and I. We purchased your Under the Influence DVD and were so touched by your message about Compassion, that this morning, we sponsered a beautiful 8 year old Indian girl and a handsome 9 year old Mexican boy. They had been waiting the longest for a sponser (almost a year each) and just the thought that no one cared devestated me. Ok, I admit: my wife doesn’t know that I did this yet, but she will when she gets home later. :)
    Thank you so much. I need to say that again: Thank you SO MUCH. God bless you.

    • Ken

      I am so blessed by your comment and your life changing sponsorship. Thank you for your faithfulness.