Category Archives: Excitement
Ahh… the simple question of a child. The ten year old at lessons yesterday so intent on getting right the timing with her horse, stopped suddenly in tears of frustration. “I’m so stupid!! She’s not even trying to listen to me and do what I say. We are never going to get this right, I don’t even know why we come here. Stupid horse, stupid heat, stupid ground. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Ms Cat why do you even come out here with us?” Tears rolling down her face, in the 96 degree weather on a hot Thursday afternoon in Texas.
With only attempting one new move, a tiny shift in her posture to re-learn after my noticing her growth spurt of the last few weeks. After taking the time to adjust her stirrups and explain how it would help her sit and feel better. I told her “just takes a little while to get used to”. Watching her face as I demonstrated how those 2” of adjustment were now going to allow her to be able to sit deeper in the saddle, to feel her horse up under her. She would no longer be crouched forward in trying to keep her stirrups in place caused by her growing legs adjusting to fit in the saddle, instead of adjusting the saddle to fit her.
All the excitement of “hope” that this would be the cure-all for the problems found in the last few weeks since her previous lesson, showing in her face after the adjustments were completed. She proceeded to walk through the simple warm-ups she has been learning, to see if the little mare was following her feel. Listening, turning and moving together easily and smoother than minutes before.
Smiling from ear to ear she moved into the trot… for it all to seem to come apart. The horse dropping in to turn, the small hands trying to compensate with all of the thoughts running through her mind of “what it was she thought she understood she was trying to do”. By the third attempt all of the tears, frustration and indignation surfaced from all the time her mother said she had been working on it at home. They came boiling to the surface in the tirade that ended in the needed to be answered question.
I let the tirade run its course. Looked at her and asked “Why do you think I am still out here with you?”
She reached down petting her horse and apologizing to her for being so darn stupid and mad. Then looking at me, took her hand made it into the letter L (I use here to symbolize learning) held it at the front of her head and said “Because you love helping us to learn! You care about having fun. Fun for me, my horse, for you and that we are comfortable, confident and safe!”
And… I queried? “Baby steps!” Suddenly her face lit up as she remembered, “Ms Cat this is what practice is for, so I can learn it slowly, for it to become easy for me and her. I don’t have to get it perfect, just improve a teeny, tiny, bit, have fun, be safe and breathe!”
I then asked her “What do you think is wrong?” As she sat there thinking for her answer. I watched as the tension was released in first her fingers, then her body as she became more relaxed in the saddle. The mare’s head dipped, the reins became soft, with a cocked her hind foot as calmness returned.
“I don’t know… can you explain it to me better?” I thought about the maneuvers she was making and where I saw the improvement might be made, and then I asked her to explain what she thought she was trying to do. Listening as I heard her explanation, aware of her understanding what she thought I was saying, verses what I was intending for her to do. Aware of the discrepancy in words, I immediately switching to my physical mode of teaching, by allowing her to see and really “feel” the movement of the horse step by step in the best position for this mare’s physique and her young rider. Mimicking with my body the movement of the horse in the correct position with hindquarters engaged and the frustrating feel of the horse when dropping to turn, causing the hind legs stepping out, with no collection. To have the thrill of within just a few simple, really slow steps, she was getting her body in sync with the little mare at a walk, then an extended walk, to finally one simple circled trot to the right, then to the left with both moving together, upright and connected, all smiles and scratches for her mare.
The Wayne Dyer’s quote “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!” came up a lot this last week. Reading questions and concerns on a few horse sites I belong to from so many owners and riders who in learning new ways are having the same disconnection of words to physical action seen with this student earlier. When she allowed her emotions to come boiling up, and thankfully flowing out of her body for relief. Instead of the learned habit many experience in “feeling not good, pretty, successful, happy, rich etc… enough”. Many asking for help… to find tons of advice and suggestions. Not aware of how much their “not enough” feelings about what they are attempting are the limiting factor. The negative self talk, then internalizing the feelings into walls of doubt that seem impossible to overcome. Aware also of how many words there are out there to describe a movement, a place, a desire, a need… the words are only as capable as the feeling of possible or not possible as the understanding behind them.
In assisting my clients and their animals I’ve learned to listen to the question asked and the feeling accompanying it is. Slowing things down, hearing what they think, how they feel and what is the thing inside so tangled as to be creating this confusion of “I need the whole thing now!” Not the fun and joy of feeling the music in learning and creating their own dance. Teaching for me is awareness, breathing, learning and fun along with others on this journey!
Awareness is the key to change. Though actually in my process of discovering what it is I need to change, I have found I can be aware of the things on the surface, and never once have touched the undertow actually running my life. Amazed at discovering there is this place inside where when one is persistently, intently focused on what appears to be happening right in front of them, outside of their control, while an entire slew of subtle old beliefs are actually controlling the current.
The beliefs of who “Am I” usually start with an entire litany of others description of me, as they see, desire or need me to be. Which in the living of my life I have done an incredible job of fitting into just fine, by doing all the steps necessary to make others wishes come true. Yet now, no where in this incredible state of doing so much for so many have I found the entirety of me.
Earlier today I went into meditation with the desire to know what is the core belief that ties all of this stuck-ed resistance together for me to not find myself in either the “glorious picture of success” presented by advertising or the “famous rescuer of the world” from the shamed and blasphemed sensationalism depicted in the news.
Before me danced the many dictates of beliefs I have encountered in the past with each one saying “pick me, look here, notice me”, nodding at their availability, I continued down the rows of my life’s steps, stopping to look, pick up, uncover and examine each in turn. Slowly feeling for the emotion attached or represented by each one.
Noticing something odd, just a little off, barely tangible, almost out of sorts… A single out of place thread, just a wisp poking out of the side, off to the edge, barely visible on some, in plain sight on others, yet it continually looped back and forth between all of the aisles of my life.
As I looked back I discovered there was not one single evident belief that it did not run through.
Interestingly it was the most simple shade of gray. Not flashy, not pretty, not ugly… just there. Small, slim, fine like a spider’s silk, yet resiliently stretching over years and years of the past.
I stopped, walked back, picked it up, truly examining it to see what truth it had for me.
It was alone. It had no others. There was just the one tiny, slim thread. So fine as to seem to be just a tiny thought, buried here, yet in plain sight. Waiting to be found, to be gathered and re-weaved, successfully into my awareness. The biggest change I needed to find, see and realize. My Aloneness!
I alone can change my life. There is no waiting. No blaming. No loss… other than not choosing my taking and owning my own power. The responsibility to own everything I have ever done as the perfect steps to lead me to now.
I have been steadily, slowly, constantly learning, deciding and choosing whether it is to say no or yes to any situation. Because nothing is ever truly wrong, to be judged or challenged. It’s just not right for me. I, Alone, own the choice. I, Alone choose to be more, less or do nothing. But I so Gloriously “ALONE” get to choose. For there is no one else inside who causes me to feel or think. JUST AWESOMELY ME! I am my connection to it all. Every day a little bit more, every moment I choose to be the best me… YET!
I headed out to ride, thinking about that answer and a memory flashed before me of being 5, running away from home, suitcase packed full of all my important things, all the way around the block to the furthest corner from the house, and just standing there defeated, cause I did not have permission to cross the street. Suddenly I see everything in my life these last few months. It’s like I have been looking for permission, how to… what to… where to… if I can… why… My entire life has been pleasing others…looking for permission to be me… Sheesh
Had to go drive, the mechanic called batteries are fine, fully charged, just need an O ring kit. I have taken my life fully back. I now give myself permission to live how, why, where, and whatever that allows me to feel good, great, happy, successful, and smile. I give permission to myself to have others be exactly as I expect, and allow myself to change those expectations in any way that works for me. Now understanding why people sometimes act exactly as I expect, no exceptions… I understand why I got so hooked on Abraham, they never teach what to believe, just to find anyway that allows you to feel good.
Came home to pens being cleaned, troughs cleaned and full, to ride the last horse of the evening, who so tried to get me to buy into how scary my jacket was when I took it off. He and I could feel the confidence just oozing out of me. Finished with the big horse, my youngest fixed supper, while I completely re-drew, re-designed, re-wrote my business contracts and my letter head. Then cleaned off my desk, re-filed my files, last year’s all now in the oldies and the current year files waiting for the new clients to come in and fill them out.
There is so much power in finding I exactly what I have been looking for… PERMISSION… such a simple thing now that I have found it and understand… I give myself permission to succeed, love and be loved…I am so super, duper, fantastically “Jazzzed!”