Monthly Archives: October 2012
The last week or so has been a deep, slow, careful examination of all the rooms in my house. The castles from tales of old that I truly believe, each and every one of us are born into. This wondrous mansion of our mind with so many rooms of wonder and delight, that some of us are then scolded, corrected, shamed or told we are not supposed to go into because of someone else’s belief of what is right or wrong for us from their view. Causing us to slowly, but surely, close doors, board up windows, hide trash and treasures far away from us, secured, covered, barred and blocked from us, for our own well-being.
Till many years later, some incident causes us to stray from the pack. There might be scratching, sounds, feelings, or keys of interest that pull us back toward are beginnings, searching for answers when things no longer add up. As our more internal clock, our heart, beckons from the dark corridor we have hidden it in. Covered up by layers of should of’s, would of’s and maybe’s where the tiny spark of us that still burns in hope, awaits. Softly flickering, beckoning us to seek, open, try… something, anything other than what has been taught, schooled, and suggested is the only way.
I have been told that sometimes the experience to start the renovations is much like driving down the road a hundred miles an hour and you hit a tree. Run smack dab against the deepest, most special part of one’s heart, the place of hope and the answer that confronts you is so very wrong feeling. It goes so much against the grain, after you have worked so hard to achieve the brass ring of someone else ideals and your very spirit cries “Enough”. You may have had to pick yourself up several times in your life, as you continued to struggle toward this elusive goal. But this time, your body says “No” hundreds of times louder than ever before. With the pain of betrayal of self, evident in the extreme tiredness of any movement one single step further toward where you think you are supposed to be going.
That has been this last week. I received a reply asking me why from the stance of another, now, as a grown-up they wanted to know. I have tapped at least two or three hours every day, amazed at the doors, closed in my past from trying to get it right and fit in. Finding rooms overflowing with stuff that I took the time to go through and clean out. Finding some of it fixable, some of it perfect never even used, some of it just plain, simple, a whole lot of trash both blocking and behind the doors.
I have cleaned up the good, repaired the interesting, useable, worthwhile, and thrown out all things that do not mean anything to me now. Following the quote from “If when using a theory it doesn’t work on even one horse, then it is a tool, not a rule” from Cindy Hawk Sullivan. Realizing how much that works for a lot of my beliefs now sorted into the proper places in my life utility box of tool ideas that are useable some of the time when applicable or necessary.
I checked up on a lot of those old beliefs, realizing they got me through some era of my life. They have been thoroughly scrutinized for their roles, tuned up, changed, or discarded with total love and appreciation. I am free. I realize I owe no one. I am my own person. I chart my own course from now on. I am quite the sailor of my vessel, now that it has been updated, made ship shape, polished, restocked and organized to set sail on my chosen path of “Now”, right this moment toward loving and approving of myself. Every single cell, tissue, gland and part just like I am, because I am fantastic, I did it, I made it to today as I easily and readily cut the cord of my trash barge of beliefs from all my yesterdays.
Seems like a simple enough question to be asked and in some ways very easy to just answer by popping off the first thing that comes to mind if one is just in a casual sort of conversation. Just now days I intend to honor myself and another with a thought out answer that feels exactly where I am coming from and where I am expecting to eventually be…
Why do I get paid to play with people and horses? Because I love the feeling of connection of two separate species learning to dance and communicate as partners. Each one being who they are, yet connected in movement with an ease and flow that allows each to feel the beauty of life, happening, alive, flowing like a stream in an easy, soft, effortless nonverbal form of communication. Where there appear just subtle motions, to be answered by a lowering of the head, the raising of the back to move in refined coordination with the leg so gently suggesting short or long stride forward, sideways or back. Always in an effort for asking and responding in the simplest feel of whatever movements each rider finds for their connection to their horse.
The lesson tonight a perfect example of teamwork, communication, and caring as the rider had her third ride on her young horse who has been in training now for the last month or so, while she was learning on my little mare how to ask for the movements she experienced this evening . The thrill of watching the two connect, some suggestions taking a little more time than others, as the two found their way to the communication that would work best between them. The rider, tickled at how easily the two of them were doing many of the slow work with simple, easy cues, and how quickly this freshly started horse would snap to do what was asked. My eager student was kidding me as she was leaving that maybe on the way to the airport next week before her trip, she could sneak in one quick lesson instead of missing the whole week…
Why do I own the horses I have… There are hundreds of horses that are constantly being offered to me and have been here in training. They all have different personalities, colors, sizes, breeds and sexes. Many are absolutely fantastic to ride. But I don’t want to own them all. I love being able to ride, teach, and play with them. Just there’s this moment, something lights up, and there is this unmistakable urge/desire to have to own a particular one that no logic sometimes can be made of it. There was one that I fell for the first time I saw him. I pulled over, admired the young horse, then went up to the horse barn and asked about him. To hear the price, so many thousands of dollars out of my range, so I took the next logical step and went to work for the place. Learned to handle all the young horses, even the joy of being the first one to sit upon him, as I relished every step he and I took in the learning process.
Things changed, they hired a professional who moved all the young stock to his facility and he wasn’t hiring. So I sighed, and left, walked away, let it go, moved on. Went to work with other horses, with him out of reach, and out of my mind, till three months later, they called, he was for sale, I said no I did not have that kind of money. They told me the price was now a tenth of what it was before. I got a loan, a halter, my trailer and within 24 hours had him home. To have the most incredible 19 years with a horse that was sold as a washout, who went on to when over thousands of dollars, 55 buckles for my students and me. While teaching hundreds of students to ride. It is so amazing what love, desire, belief and knowing can do.
Why… do I buy the clothes I wear, the food I eat, the drinks I choose, the truck I drive, and live the life I do? Because it fits me, I like the way it taste, the way it fits, the way it sounds, way it feels. I know me, better than anybody else. I am now responsible for figuring out what does or does not work for me. And no I cannot explain the feeling of knowing…its just there, deep inside, it
makes no sense to anyone else. To tell you the truth it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but me…I like it that way, I love being able to choose because I know why…it just feels right, so that means it fits me perfectly!
What an interesting way to become aware of the subtle shifts going on within me, as I become more conscious of my feeling for each thought I think. This morning being an incredible awakening to my own and other people’s power to create exactly whatever reality they are living, as my alarm on my phone went off from some place different, further away than my night stand next to my bed. I lay there listening to it, knowing it was telling me it’s time to get up, its 7, there is so much to do… But I didn’t care; I was so comfortable all snug in my soft, fuzzy blankets, cuddled up to my super fluffy stuffed donkey. I just wanted to soak up the good feeling warmth, close my eyes and enjoy comfort. Allow the morning to find me later, as the noisy ringer drilled, then faded to silence as I lay there thinking of yesterday’s incredible last minute call to bring a horse that they finally decided, I was the best choice and did I have an opening.
They arrived exactly 2 hours after they called. Accompanied by one of my former students, her husband, little boy, and two horses, the one to be sorted out in the next month of training, with the other to be evaluated for possible training in the future. As the first horse was unloaded I became focused on how tight, tense, and nervous he was as it was quickly accentuated by the handler, trying to control the horse the best way he knew how. I walked up, asked for the halter, and started my dance of handling the horse, while explaining as quickly as I could my maintaining a soft, asking feel on the lead rope, with my full attention riveted on the horse in a calm, assertive, it is okay demeanor. This was rewarded within about 10 minutes with a big sigh from the animal, a softening of his eyes, as I maneuvered him, from dancing about head held high, till he was softly being led past the new sights of my place, and into his temporary pen.
I then asked all the necessary questions as the paperwork was being filled out. To then turn my attention to horse number two, doing a full body, agility, and in hand, under saddle, walking and talking both to the horse and my audience as I explained what I found and how their untrained eyes could find signs in future horses as to when things may not be as completely comfortable for the horse to do, by watching their feet, their eyes, the ability to move with simple suggestions by the handler which a soft, supple, relaxed mount can accomplish easily.
As I came to the tail end of the demonstration I became aware of the dynamics of the energy of the group, aware of the subtle play of a power struggle going on, that just swayed me into that feeling of needing to protect another. Thankfully about then the little boy, made a bee line for the house, with the mother running after. Causing the situation to right itself, as payment was made, final questions were answered, and they loaded up with a promise from me to call with the remaining horse’s progress by next weeks end. Which as I lay there, mulling this over in my mind. I suddenly became aware of several incidents this last week where I considered stepping in to help another, even though they didn’t actually ask. It was more of the body language of a wounded, save me, I am helpless look, that caused me to stop and reconsider how both situations have been going on for a while. With lots of stories of “whoa is me, I don’t know what to do, it is so rough” etc….
I got up with these thoughts running through my mind, to fix coffee, breakfast, and clean the kitchen. As my youngest came through, in a hurry, to make the parade with his welding class, explaining as he walked out the door about how he would eat when he got there. I just continued on with my weekend chores, took a shower, and after about 3 hours was started with the new horse. When my son came back, wanted to know why I didn’t fix and leave him left overs and when was I coming in to fix lunch.
And it hit me! He and she and all of us, we create are realities. We can choose to be bumpkins, dumpkins, put upons, rescuers, life savers, rich or poor. And I would so serve my fellowman better if I would see each and every one as capable of all of their strengths, abilities, and intuitions to have any and every thing they choose. Because it is always a choice! My choice right now is to apologize to each and every person I have ever not seen as totally completely capable of choosing their thoughts, to say yes or no to any situation. Just many do it unconsciously, not taking the time to really, truly slow down, breathe, look around, see or listen to what they are saying. It is my job to see each and every one of them as powerful creators. Capable of shining or not shining their own light brightly as children of God. Wonderful, capable, lovable, shining images of the Universe in all of their own unique characteristics, thoughts, colors, creeds, and livelihoods that make up this awesome world we all live in. It’s the contrast that causes us to realize we can choose…more, less, nothing, or it all. So simple.
I have had such a totally awesome, eye-opening 24 hours, all from paying attention to what I was aware of that felt good, and following the flow of what followed. Starting with my trip to work of taking my time, feeling out how good it would feel to have all of the things in my life just meld together in such away as to answer: What it is I need, and How can I help? To then feel this question bubble up inside of me of my still feeling on the brink… to an answer I have been seeking since forever. Which I knew what the question was the minute each piece almost magically appeared.
Starting with my retelling of the dream yesterday morning that woke me to a very special friend, who in her grace of truly being able to listen, told me I was not recognizing my own worth in relating to others. Feeling so sparked by her insight as I felt the nudge of recognition inside to my old habit of how “I” think another (in this case any of my family members) perceive me as the one who can accomplish the impossible… at their bidding, no cost to them, do the work, but you can’t play with us. Feeling the lack I over never being compensated for my help. It’s all been my own doing; I could so feel how I automatically assume they take me for granted, so they do.
To then have this incredible lesson with one of my owners who realized how out of balance she was in being able to easily lope the horse to the right and struggle to maintain her balance to the left. Which in working with horses, a rider’s balance is what a horse mimics, so most people easily make a connection with their dominant side, and falter from uncertainity with the untrained to lead side, till they learn to use all of their body in a balanced manner. She was so jazzed at the realization that she could easily lope in one direction and by the realization of the dominant side was trying to do it all. To then be shown how to adjust her feet and hands, relaxing and feeling for the horse, she could feel the leaning, and over exaggerating her practiced right handedness was trying to hold her body the same way for two different directions. So excited was she that she then paid for the next series of lessons for her and her husband. I then knew I was on the right path in my sudden awareness at excepting compliments and people paying me before I was next needed, because I am so very good and worthy.
I then continue on to drive thinking how often in the past my results so matched my expectations, now high on the realization I so do deserve. I am really getting into the awesomeness of the maroon tops of grass blowing, swaying, and waltzing in the passing breezes that I find I am quickly done with my route, to park my bus and check my phone to find… He has responded to me! Finding myself aware of every word he replied, but especially the last few. Where he stated “he has trouble letting people in”, all of a sudden I realized what has been happening the last year or so. I have been struggling in letting “Me” out! I have been hiding, playing it safe, just truly learning “Who I am”.
To have it occur to me a while ago while I was driving how freedom and unconditional love are the same things to me. These years of trying to relate my spiritual experiences and the way my life kept having these rigid, rough, interesting, ups and downs, accidents and recoveries. I have been judging things, not relishing my creation of all of this so I could better understand the wonderful, total acceptance I have experienced when during my several NDE. I now get that in viewing another person, situation or thing with unconditional acceptance is the freedom to observe or not, to get involved or not, to turn something on or not. To just allow something to be as it is. Whole, complete, as is where it is. The Freedom of the other thing is just a contrast for me to what I want more or less of, to buy into, or not, to fight against or honor. I now get that whatever choice I choose is mine. I now know if I do something to please or keep anothers love I am chaining them and myself to the burden of what’s going on to stay the same, and that is not possible because every moment is change or growth. Unless one wants to live in a stagnant pond, with no refreshing flow to stir things up and allow for the difference to move forward, breathe, and become. I know to well if I hold my breath long enough in stubborn determination to have it my way or else…I will pass out.
I choose freedom, unconditional love and allowing for things to change, to live, suffer, breathe or die because that is their choice. I so love my life, I so appreciate all that Joe Charles has ever done for me. Before when we were young, and lately in my minds visualization of being loved, having fun, just being all of me, okay, loved, and cared for. So reminding me of my choices of bondage in my youth to keep my family’s love and not trust myself enough to even think “I” might truly know what was best for me! Life keeps getting better and better.
There was a saying I remember about “Curiosity killed the cat… and satisfaction brought it back!” My cat like tendencies are to sit, watch and wait for the appropriate response. From my life of studying nuances that are physical, mental and spiritual in aiding the animals and people who come to me. I am so granted a view of the myriad of pieces that compose the puzzle of knots (not’s) that are in need of untangling, unraveling, and untying from periods of stress, overexertion, and plain old misunderstanding in communication from two distinctly different forms of life.
The human being looks at life from a constant flow of information from the past, present, and future who many times has been taught to depend upon others for sustenance, housing, love and approval to belong. Animals live in the moment, depending upon instincts to allow them to live, eat, breathe, drink and survive in their ability to just be alive. The biggest difference I have come to recognize and willing learning more about on a daily basis, is their ability to think and feel successfully to tune in to the necessary response in most any given situation. There is no rationalizing it out, thinking it through, wondering how it will effect tomorrow, how in the world some ancestor did it a long time ago, or does it matter to some other animal. It is about them choosing what is good or bad the outcome to live or die.
This today has brought me much relief in finding out a perfect feeling answer to the recent slew of visitations from a man from my past in my memory, when I had the realizations this morning “I feel, I love, I am alive”! Seems in the last few years of healing, digging through and unearthing all of the layers of me that erupted into that one single moment when my body had had enough. I have healed almost 100% physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is those last little fragments of understanding about thinking and feeling that have kept me searching for an answer of ease, simplicity, playfulness, the ability to relax and truly enjoy this new way of life I have been exploring and expanding into the whole of who I am, now.
When this morning I felt the answer as I was fixing myself some coffee in the early hours before I walked out to feed and meet the day. I thought how I would like my coffee as I felt the taste sensation vibrate across my palate of a certain amount of cream, sugar and then topped off with just the right blend of coffee. I had my answer the minute I opened the old can of coffee to mix the two or so remaining scoops into the new one. As I tasted the bitterness in the air, aware of now needing to thoroughly blend it into the entire can, wondering how much time I was using in all of this saving a few cents. Thoroughly amused at my ability to think a thought to feel the air for the bitterness of reaction from my senses and my sudden arrival of pleasure with a simple answer to all of my confusion over this remembered love.
I can feel! I can remember someone who loved me unconditionally as I did him! There were no rules, no one else’s opinion mattered, until I chose to trust someone else knew more about what was right for me than me. I had “given” my rights away because I never once thought I might deserve otherwise. I had such a reputation as “the goat, Cathy did it, and now what” all of this attention and responsibility to dance as fast as I could trying to stay away from the spotlight… so “they” (whoever they were) could be happy.
His sudden reappearance last year and now, have been all about having fun with myself and another no matter what. I was doing it safely in my mind at first, then out loud when I told a friend or two. Then finally outrageously as I admitted it out openly. I Can Feel! Now with learning to slow down and feel, really feel how each and every thought, word or movement feels. I can create good or bad. I have enough sense to know if it is pouring down muggy drippy rain, to go inside, get dry, change and do something else.
This has all been a lesson from my higher self to slow down, think, really feel, pay attention, and then, only then when it feels good do it. Unsure…wait, feels bad…duh, do something else, anything else that feels better. I so love myself for my willingness to experience it all, play the game, allow for the answers, figure things out. I am fantastic, life is good… and there is always more as I consciously live fully in each moment I can create and set the mood by choosing how to feel about it!
I have had much on my mind the last few days after giving myself permission to have it all. The life I want, that will suit me, because it feels right, easy, takes absolutely no effort to imagine, dream, fantasize, taste, delight, sense, smell and find in my memory, much less have happening and becoming aware of in bright flashes during my day. Some of the memories have come out in unexpected collisions with layers of my old patterns of redirecting my desires in lieu of Pleasing Other People. These thin layers that still try to trap and ensnare me, when I am not aware of how what it is I am thinking is causing me to still start to lean in the direction of others, first.
I remember his smile, the small space in his teeth when he grinned. The ability to talk to me, share, and tolerate my attempt at fixing things when I was given the dire warning of the consequences should my father find out. Which many of us are redirected from our dreams and ideas through the misdirected fears of another’s view of how life will be by our misplaced loyalty should we selfishly choose our self-first. Having overheard “the doctor” tell my father he would be dead in a year if he did not give up his drinking because of all the pills he took for his high blood pressure.
I being young, naïve, impressionable, and so trusting that my mom had every body’s best interest at heart and was truly taking care of the family. It never once entered my head I could survive, I would be okay, the Universe would take care of things. So I walked away, slid under the door of denial and loss to hide myself as far away from my true self as was possible. To turn the lock, hide the key, to do any and almost everything I could to be normal, okay, fit in, like the rest of them. Smiling on the outside, while the whole inside was dark, waiting, hoping.
Well almost. There was a hole, a tiny beam of light that kept calling to me. My sophomore year in college I found a place to keep a horse for a few dollars a month. Bought me a skinny 17 hand mare for $150.00, who within 6 months, I had retrained, slicked up, sold, to slowly started trading, training, and coaching myself out of my closet. Into the land of horses, animals and people found in the world I had read about, collected statues, made tiny pieces of equipment, drew pictures and told stories about since I was tiny.
The same world that kept me going, helped me heal, taught me about freedom, independence and assertiveness, the land of breathing, feeling, sensing, and full awareness to the present. These great wonderful beasts, fully alive in the moment, no real past to consider, or future to construct, just being, eating, living enjoying life and the community of the herd.
Helping me to find the strength to be an assertive, caring, a fully present leader in the dance of life I lead. Which allows me to sense, take in and digest the goings on around me, sometimes learning, re-learning, and unlearning patterns of others that may or may not serve me. Just this awareness I have learned from them, is the key I now find firmly in my hand, to be used each time I come to a place of decision when I feel something that feels off for me.
Last night was an eye-opener in meeting with an old acquaintance, watching the show, catching up on our lives. While I sat there inside my head, aware of for the first time ever that when they talk, I listen. I start to talk, not a word I say is heard. The conversation became this game of cat and mouse as I tried to shift the conversation to some neutral, safe, positive, fun thoughts, about both of our interests. Till I started playing distracter, uncomfortable, glancing at my watch, waiting for it to be over, wanting to run, and so glad when we said our goodbyes to go home.
Came home and happen to glance in the mirror to find a very exhausted wreck looking back at me. Aware I have more sleuthing to do for next time, since I now had very visible signs of how avoiding dealing with some situations is not the answer. Realizing to first figure out how I wish things to be in each moment and situation is definitely healthier, smarter, and a new idea to play with.
To then be rewarded with remembering the album he sent me at college, aware of his scent after they came out of the showers after football practice, his hands as he held mine when we sat on the cliff at retreat. The memory of his eyes looking into mine in understanding that things would be okay, and now almost 40 years later, wondering how to talk to him. How to understand this, is it to just be a way for more healing. It is amazing, it is fun, it is comfortable. What now, just these sudden visions of him mowing my lawn, caring groceries into the house, throwing popcorn at me at the movies, suddenly unexpectedly occurring. I dunno but I know I will figure it out…I always do!
I have been sitting here with a candy bar. It is a King Size Special Dark Hershey’s Chocolate one because as I was finishing up my route for the evening, I started thinking about what I would like to have for dessert after supper this evening, visualizing the dark chocolate that frequents my favorite ice cream. Imagining the taste of it, the satisfaction it brings when I allow it to melt in mouth, thoroughly engulfed in the way that particular type of dark chocolate, taste, feels, delights and arouses my full attention to the feeling of luxury and indulgence that I so delight in. Having done a full at least five minutes of enjoying the delights of the evening to come, I continued with the rest of my route. Parked the bus, and then proceeded to the meeting place with my youngest son at the high school welding shop to pick up my repaired stool. The whole time, planning, seeing, and deciding upon my options of my intended route for the chair, feed, ice cream, ice and chocolate, before 4:45 at the grocery store. When the store is too jam packed with kids and parents headed home after school for me to fit into my intended time frame. Deciding when I arrived at the school with no son in sight, to then proceed to the shop, talk with the instructor, pick up my stool, all the while noting the time and my intention of honoring the 4:25 agreed upon time or he’d walk home.
At the appointed time with a no show from him, I proceeded on to my next few stops, choosing to forgo the store because of the crowd. Heading instead to the local convenience store where they sell awesome large bags of ice, and a variety of treats for me to taste in my mind to find a close match to my already intended treat for the evening. Spying the Hershey bar and a small container of vanilla ice cream, I figured I would at least hit close to my intention. I paid for the ice and stuff to come home to find my son busily cutting grass, sheepishly admitting he had forgotten again and wasn’t I proud of his mowing to make amends.
I was cool about it, I had my stool, my ice, my ice cream and the dark chocolate. All the while thinking about how good the candy would be as I continued to wrestle a solution about how I was truly feeling about a guy I knew in high school. Who appeared in my night and day dreams almost all of last spring and summer from somewhere hidden deep inside of me, and then reappear this last Friday night. Causing me to consider why and where was this was coming from. Though not near as much as the voices of reason that was going on in my head. The whole story of caring, loving, fitting in, making sure I took care of everybody else… but me.
I took the first bite of chocolate… and knew it wasn’t what I wanted or intended. My mind matching that to the couple of short, polite, carefully constructed notes I have made in an attempt to re-connect. I am eating the second piece of candy, thinking how it is so not what I wanted. Yes it is dark, yes it is chocolate, yes it is here. But it is “NOT” what I truly want to eat or wanted to say…
I heard my mind correcting and warning me the few times I have written. Being polite, trying to take care of him, in case he is married, mad at me, aware of weirdo’s, stalkers, strange things that go bump in the night, or any other scenario’s that I have learned happen to go with improper etiquette. I wished him Happy Birthday a few days ago out on Facebook with his initials and totally freaked out when he replied, much less with a set of letters I didn’t figure out till I quit panicking over “What had I done!”
I then calmed down enough to send him a very polite response over wishing to talk, though not a clue about what, to be greeted with a dream of him calling me that night, my family in the room and me walking away from them. I chose him, I didn’t think twice about it, I just got up and walked out. Now in eating this not even close to what I want bar, I realize I love him, I loved our friendship, our time together, the playing, the working, the just being.
I so have bought into how my heart’s choice would be wrong for everyone else… I walked away from a whole lot of things, after him, and have been settling, selectively choosing to hear from everyone else what they need from me so that “they” will be okay. Closing off the deepest part of me. Which I have only truly rediscovered in the last few years, as I have uncovered layer by layer all of the beliefs, ideals and dreams of everyone else’s idea of me. To truly find this afternoon, when I realized I love me, I love him, I love my ability to choose and listed to me first, last and foremost.
I’m worth the trip back to the grocery store for the white chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream. I am worth a letter from my heart stating my truths no matter the consequences. Because I am the best judge of what it is I desire, seek, want, and need… Which I will only acquire when I line up my focus, feelings, and thoughts with absolute certainty toward what I intend to zone in on as the best life for me!