Category Archives: Fear
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!
Tears streaming down my face in apology, with no one physically present to have to apologize to. For something so simple that “I thought” I had unwittingly created a problem because I didn’t read all of the rules… After I received a polite reminder from a group I’m in.
When the feelings first came up of… shame, guilt, admonishment, reprisal??? My first thoughts started to run, I mean truly run off down that old bunny trail habit of beating myself up for my “mistake in not getting it right”… by accident.
Oh my God, who did I think I was?? I was just sharing, assisting, unasked, but coming from my best intention of the information being shared was valuable and might be of use to someone, besides just me.
When the second thought thankfully, quickly filled my mind… Cry, scream, bawl!!! React to exactly how I feel at this moment. For God’s sake woman, let it out, please don’t you dare stuff it again. Get in touch with all of yourself. That is what this moment is trying to teach you.
Don’t you feel it. Doesn’t it feel off? This reaction. This habit of thinking when someone else is just trying to reach out to let you know that you missed a turn. You went a block past your street. There is something here for you to learn. Your okay. It’s just a new step for you to choose, a new way to respond. A new better feeling belief to put in place, to replace a yucky old one that has been gumming up your reactions for years.
Ahh!!! The relief in actually listening to my thoughts and then truly finding what I am feeling as I have the thought. Something so simple as to actually respond to myself. By feeling, becoming present, honoring “my reaction” so I can find a new, better, feeling way to respond to each present moment.
Funny thing in being, in my allowing myself to be fully present with me just now. Was finding out how to fix one of the frustrating things about learning this new Office program. Where before I was inadvertently going from “insert mode” to “overwrite” mode and in not knowing how to fix it. I was just choosing to work around it, not understanding and scared of what I might have to learn… to utilize it. The answer now presented itself to me, as I was willing to be open to new possibilities to my “old reactive feeling thoughts”. By being open, actually acknowledging what I felt to be present in me. Allowed new possibilities in my life to show themselves now that I could actually see what I was doing to myself. Things are always working out for me when I allow, listen and feel for my inner guidance, present, in the moment.
When you think you know what it is you do and suddenly find yourself fully engulfed having fun changing lives in ways you never quite imagined or have ever explained to another…
In the last few weeks of my working with horses and their owners I was suddenly, almost magically transported to a keen insight into what it is I am actually doing in my “supposed” line of work as a horse trainer/coach. I am a transformer.
I have owners bring me their problems… horses, fears, ideals and dreams. Their horses that have stopped working, are barely moving, running away and are in conflict with what is being expected, or are totally refusing to “behave”.
I evaluate the communication between horse and rider, finding the clues to the mistakes. Many times because the horse’s body is out of alignment. The owner’s timing is off. The horse has never been asked or taught how to move in ways that are comfortable much less correct, and with no idea of how to ask with the rider’s body for the expected results with their horse.
I assist people in learning to connect in the horse’s body language of communication, how much difference it makes to a horse to move in a way that the horse can flow in any direction that is desired when the person asking is in the right place. Even more so to be able to bring to the owner’s awareness that many of the horses brought to me have been started or handled by well-meaning individuals who are not aware of what incredible mimics’ horses are. That every minute you are handling a horse you are teaching it something! What you do want or what you don’t want. For horses focus and live in the now, they are not thinking of ten minutes ago, are where they will be tomorrow.
Their focus on present is so keen, that if they are asked to move in any way that causes the one moving them to stop moving. They accept the non-movement as this last movement they have done was the right answer.
I have had three horses in the last four days that are older horses, who have no idea how to lope confidently on the ground with a lead attached, much less under saddle. These horses all show the signs of being ridden by people that had no idea that everything they asked a horse to do, even if it put the horse’s body out of balance. It had to be the right answer because one of several things would happen. The horse would stop moving, slow down to a more in control speed, the rider would stop pulling, yanking, kicking, lose the rider, or would quit and put the horse away. Many times selling the horse because they didn’t know how to fix the problem they had created.
I assist owners in becoming aware of how everything going on with their horses is a reflection of something in the owner’s confidence in communication. Horses and their owners’ bodies are evaluated, for chiropractic, feet, emotional and communication abilities. Many times as in the present horses… I go all the way back to simple, basic baby steps. In assisting the horse to find trust in my ability to ask with the right feel and timing for the best answer for the horse, then by showing and teaching this to the rider to start a whole new form of communication. Teaching and coaching both with their ability to understand and work with each other to change the habits that have brought them to me.
Always I watch with fascination and joy as a horse learns to lose the brace from frustrated, fearful handling because of all the misunderstanding in trying to figure out what is desired of them, and that it is possible to do these movements in a much more comfortable and easy way. I show both how to communicate comfortably, safely, and effectively in a way that they both understand and can feel that they must move as a team, each one’s job is to be in a position to assist the other the best placement of their bodies, so they can now find a new way to react that feels and works better for the both of them.
Many times taking former “washed up, bad, blown up” horses, and frustrated, fearful riders. Back to performing winners, comfortable, and confident companions, by getting all to slow down, communicate, trust and “ask” each other to be the incredible partner they had both been seeking and believing possible when they first came to me. I love my job, the people and the horses that grace my life.
I have spent the last few mornings opening and perusing my many uplifting emails from others. Always easily deleting the off-key nonessential ones that always contribute to my ability to choose what I allow into my mind. For me to find myself opening an email from another like to my blog which has been lying dormant, as the new seeds of certainty slowly spring to life. Opening up the husk of long held close reverence to the confidence that I have been fanning from a tiny old spark, to this consistent rising flame of life!
Life from beneath the ashes where I once quelled, lying shaken and afraid from my allowing a well-known critic (in my circle) to slash my last book attempt to fragments for “My Way” of connecting to others from my learnings with people and their horses. Allowing another’s power of “their” opinion to have any say whether I was good, or not…
So I retreated…
Deep inside to the murky waters of doubt that seemed to be so warm, safe, comforting…
Only to discover they were only concealing the truth of how truly powerful and awesome I was to those who needed and understood the view “I” was coming from. They are the ones whom I write and share for. There are many who might critique, complain and condemn my ways… But they are not of importance to me, except for how they remind me to look forward at my ability. Never back to the old ruts of OPO (other people’s opinion) that use to be the trap I so easily fell into.
This morning’s email being the third time this week that I have received thanks and likes about blogs that I had previously written months and years ago. Before I finally was caught in the deep old waters of fear that so easily encourage me back to their depths for the false safety of doing without movement forward, just resting in the their dark, murky depths…
No… I choose to rise!
Just this last week I went from just riding, interacting, and socializing fully with my horses, especially “Charlie” and my students. I am fully embracing, loving all of life again with biking 2 miles and walking 1 mile every day. Now finding myself, feeling amazingly alive because I choose to believe in myself, in my ability and right to do things my way in everything I do. Knowing and trusting those who need what and how I write, will find this to be blessed, encouraged or just amused at how easy it is to just “breathe”, take “baby steps” and the world will support you being fully true to Yourself! It is always Time!
Big sigh, as I see the sun so wonderfully enveloping the entire room as it climbs in the morning sky to dry out the cold, dampness from the last two weeks of “yes” much needed rain for this and the entire state of Texas. Funny how the Universe knew to match my moods where I have been searching, digging, excavating and discovering the root parts of me, buried so deeply, safely away, to avoid further humiliation, distress, uncertainty and all the other old stuff that finally found me after Christmas with my family last night. I watched the inter changes, listened to the talks, heard the general tone, and dynamics of those I care about. Wondering, how I could help, what all of this was really reflecting back to me about me. With real fun at the gift exchange part, followed by quick noticeable departures, I felt so strongly from others mirrored inside me, just with no real answers.
My youngest and I said our goodbye’s, loaded up our stuff, and departed with me driving, thinking, and aware. Getting home to my horses out in the yard, the youngest swearing he had closed everything as he rounded them up, talking ugly to them under his breath for their awareness of his hurrying earlier and evidently not checking to see all gates latched and closed properly from the enquiring expertise of my gate artists. Animals re-corralled, fed, watered, hayed, latches, gates thoroughly checked and all lights turned out. Came inside to put away the dishes, showered, and a few games of solitaire for my mind still thinking, considering and searching for the answers, since nothing showed itself I went to bed. To dreams about men, loose horses, and hedges with holes, and fence lines that were under construction, some places completely missing and others with odd patching’s.
Woke up, reminded my youngest of our agreement for him to do the morning feeding, went and made the fixings for breakfast. He was not moving quite fast enough for my morning mood, and as I felt this annoying consistent anger rise. I could feel how out of place, inappropriate, misguided and off base where it was directed at. So I asked myself “what gives?” All of me answered back “you’re mad at yourself, cause your afraid to move any closer to your dream!” I felt the anger drain away, I knew what I had just said to me was right. I have been frozen in fear, just like the side of my face, because what if I’m wrong, what if I get duped again, what if…. What if… what it?
I got some coffee, 2 biscuits with jam, turned on the computer, pulled up the program for drawing, opened it, but instead of letting it frustrate or stop me cause I don’t know how to use it yet. I opened the desktop publishing program I am extremely comfortable and familiar with. Allowing my now open to the possibility I could fail, but at least movement is forward motion. Decided on what tools I would need if I were to hand draw it. First thought graph paper, so I pulled up graph paper images, copied, pasted one to my open page. Went back outside, measured the distances on my property, then crossed the fence and measured out the distances on the proposed adjoining property next door. Came back in and put all these now easy pieces together.
Things kind of a got a lot easier, when I figured out the only one keeping me from anything has been me. I have failed before, but I generally figure it out and then one, two, five or more times later I have really much better end results than when I started. So here goes…. Oh yes Margarita, this I attribute to your wonderfully observant and in-depth answer from before!
So I got the coffee on, checked with my youngest that was up, about what he wanted for breakfast. He stated he would feed and do the chores he missed yesterday in coming home to late way after dark. So I fixed me a cup, grabbed a banana, pulled up my emails, then read and responded to the blogs I found posted at BLC.
Had a message from an old friend about her liking my blogs after I shared this: http://mydesiresblog.blogspot.com/ on Facebook yesterday. Right after I posted my most recent blog. As I was reading her response, I noticed the friend I had thought about earlier was currently on line, so I had a quick comfortable chat with her over all the positive changes I had seen on her postings. She informed me, she to had checked out my blog site and enjoyed what she saw, exclaiming “you really should do a book”. I thanked her, as we both had other stuff to do, said our goodbyes and signed off.
I felt so good about where I was at and the positive feedback I was receiving. I got the impulse to send the link to my blog to all in my email contacts. It was such a simple easy thing to do. Then I contacted my lesson’s mom, we discussed the wet weather and decided we would see how the day, rain, and ground progressed to maybe do it later. Called the other friend from my morning thoughts, had a wonderful catching up session, another cup of coffee, where I found myself cleaning. First just the few dishes, then the counter, then I found myself pulling up the shades, washing the windows and sills. Imagining my Christmas tree there in the corner fully decked out to be viewed from the alcove facing and front windows. My youngest surprises me by walking in carrying all the lights to be tested out, replaced and used, evidently his mind on the same wavelength. Suddenly I can feel these last few weeks of change between him and me, bearing fruit, the ability to work, play and think as friends and family. All the allowing the outside world slowly back in, now that I have a more solid view of me…by me.
Then I feel this nagging thought of discomfort, not sure what, just there. I take a shower, truly enjoying the warmth of the water, considering ideas for today’s writing. Many come, but nothing I feel real solid, or sure about. So I just meander, slowly, easily in my unexpected morning off. Comfortable in my pajama pants and an old shirt, sat down to play the same game as yesterday, searching for this uncomfortableness that was becoming more noticeable by the moment. I am on level five, with no rhythm, no timing, just all disconnected, hurrying, or maybe trying to run away from something? I let the thought just sit there while I played. I struggled with the same level at least four times before I identified what was the culprit behind this current discomfort. Now, like a crazed, scared animal, I was pacing, my heart was pounding, and my senses were all extended, my hair standing on end. Just because I had put me out there to share with those whose view of me I knew. The moment I found where it came from, my playing ability changed, I began to relax and have fun because “I stopped judging myself” for whatever reaction sharing my blog might bring. I discovered I was giving my power to be okay with my writing to me… away in what had felt like the next logical step. I had shared me with a world I had chosen to withdraw from. Withdraw from so I could find and be, real, alive, and just all of me, I was finding, reviewing, and re-becoming. I evidently was still feeling a little uncertain, a little trepid, a little…little, bitty, timid… what might they think or say. The phone rang. I jumped. I answered it to find tomorrow’s lesson, rescheduling because of the weather for later in the week. My youngest came in, offered to pay for the show if it kept raining and I had to cancel the rescheduled lesson. I took a breath; played for a little while longer, suddenly discovering I had gotten so back in touch with listening to me I had actually completed all of the levels and won.
We checked the outside conditions. Water still standing in huge puddles everywhere and a huge one in the center of the arena, so I called, cancelled and to the show we went. For us to be amused, taken in, entertained and uplifted with a great kids flick. We then got fuel and drove over to buy groceries. After reading the few emails on my phone that had come in while we were at the show. I went to get out my seat snapped, plummeting me into the back seat. As I was figuring out how to fix my temporary dilemma, I became aware of this being the third seat to come apart in the last few weeks, wondering what is up with that. We quickly went through the store, filled our list, then checked out and while he put the bags in the truck, I discovered a pole in the floorboard fit perfectly to keep the seat upright till we got home. My mind playing through the sudden physical reaction to one of the emails about my blog and the ensuing collapsed seat.
I drove, seeking for an answer, made it home, unloaded groceries, and fixed the seat, all the time writing stories in my mind. Then, the very one that came out so quickly and easily as I “Sat” down here to write to me so I could watch myself write and realized “I WRITE FOR ME!” Because it is the only way I can comfortably and easily sort through all of the stuff that comes in, from others of their opinion. I’m the one who chooses to put myself out there, trusting and knowing I am okay. I am still on a little shaky ground with all of this. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but that’s okay, I will figure it out, I usually do, and I am the one who lives with me, loves me, supports me…more than anyone else. And that alone makes it PERFECT! The peanut gallery may have opinions, but they don’t wear and have the same size, style, kind or form of clothes, much less body that I do. Deep breath…in…out…
My mind warped, my heart beat rose, my whole physical being tightened. As I felt my body reacting so very strongly, I allowed my mind to start allowing other memories to surface, recall, and find resonance with the sensations of such strong fear, definite uncomfortableness and immense displeasure. Also thinking back over what had happened in the last week, something small, that I might have asked the Universe for some help with, now coming to the forefront with all the other things I have managed to pull out, re-weave and work into a new more comfortable picture of my life. Several small snags came quickly to the forefront, followed by one or two tiny, small things I had done this morning. So I played, felt, figured out, allowed, let go, and just found the pieces, one by one showing themselves. Disfigured, misplaced, misunderstood, and often tangled up so very tightly in the old picture/description of me found in all the people I have met, consorted, counseled, debated, argued with, and listened to. By burying my true authentic self, layers, upon layers, deep under their opinions, away from me. I played on while thought after thought found me. The pulsing of my heart, the tightening of my gut over this feeling of time, must get it done now… what done? I asked, memories washing over me of not enoughness, someone might know, might recognize me, remind me of my place…what place? I asked, as the years ago memories of correction, schooling grades, courses taken, and degree’s expected. Sudden feeling of total stomach distress, things spinning out of control… there are rules, there are guidelines…What the hell are you kidding? Just about the time I felt I went to far, to fast, was pushing to hard. I felt the relief…as my body realized I was truly listening, understanding, caring about it, myself first.
Then the answers came as I found myself wading through the fears, accusations, and concerns at each and every stage of my life, where it had been misplaced, hidden from view in some incident from my past. First to be addressed, the not time thing for me to be or do something different. I explained to this little kid with a list of the ages one makes a decision as to why and what one does in life. Carefully untangling and challenging the choice of age, as passion and love have neither, they are all encompassing with joy and fun in being paid for the recognition of either in the finished product. Then the missed opportunities for the right guidelines , rules and regulations understood in the degrees one obtains and shows in their wall papering’s honored by those who toe the mark. My body relaxed a little, sitting up straighter, listening. I held myself close, showing the care of withdrawing a splinter way to deep, severely festered, aching with fear… knowing I had been writing for years, to great abandonment. Until shared or discovered by another with different taste and views… I am writing to love, honor, listen, and understand myself better, to be shared with those in like circumstances who desire answers who are on the same kind of path. Felt the room stop heaving, my breath easier, slower. But you’re a trainer, coach, counselor, bus driver there’s no time left it will take forever, you waited to long… I took a deep breath, I listened to my heart, I followed myself all the way deep inside, found the college student in love with words, the bookworm, the your taking more English, are you crazy? The girlfriend, date, wife and mother…who do you think you are??? Miss Britanica!! I laughed, a small simpler knot, not as old as the others, definitely woven tightly, backward, out of place a few rows to the wrong side. Deftly, softly, and lovingly undone. Rethreaded the needle, carefully placing the now warmed by new understanding thread, in a place of honor in my rapidly changing picture of me. I can do this, I can do it my way, I know the time is right, I know that I am guided, believed in, aided, assisted, and supported. I know this because I love me, I am listening to me, and I am a powerful creator! It is time!