Category Archives: progress
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!
After all this practicing of learning to meditate and focus… and doing an incredible job of it. “Except…”
My inner being feels much louder now that I have found the way to quiet so much of the old programs from others which use to have control over most of my attention. The false old belief that fitting in was important. Making others happy by saving those in pain, despair, woe or whatever other drama they brought to the forefront of my attention to their neediness was the solution to being or having it all.
The voice spoke again, just a whisper as it knew I was listening…
You did so well last night, the pain that woke you about four this morning. You got up, took something for it, rearranged the bed, even turned the heating pad on low, to go back to sleep and wake up feeling fine.
Then the phone message ding… Need ride! Son hurriedly texted after checking to see if you were awake. Both of those texts you just answered. There was no focus. No thought as you read what was texted to sense inside for your feelings, then think and feel for the best answer for you.
First responder habit still has dibs on you!
No excuses seemed even a little bit plausible, as I felt the beginning of discomfort in my head. Then I grinned. The very discomfort I was feeling, was also the key to me allowing my inner self access to my attention again… from when moments before I told myself I was “having” to finish playing all of the players shown waiting in the queue, then I could go blog about what I’d discovered was true for me with the judging, focus, and looking away outside to others habit, taught in manifesting living the “perfect life”.
Softly the voice went on… Meditation was learned to quiet your mind. Focus was to learn how to hone in on “one” thing at a time. Awareness was to learn thoughts and feelings are partners in creating anything. All of these can create the most simple or complex creations when they work together.
Allowing was to learn and realize that judgment divides. In giving up deciding right from wrong, the focus is no longer outside of you. Everything is just choices to choose to continue to look at and create more of, or let go of to allow new thoughts to experience in.
The conversation with your son went better. You allowed him the choice of ranting on about all the things impossible about his transportation situation. Faced it straight on and gave him two choices that worked perfectly for you. Both required him to step up and figure out the best answer for him, from inside himself. No band aids, no hand outs, no exceptions. It’s his life.
It took for you to starting to feel physically off, stopping all of the excuses of your own “outside attention others first awareness” to feel for what you, all of your body needed. You slowed down, turned off the game without finishing it. Closed the browser, just sat with yourself, to focus on what would feel best… right now. Got quiet. Waited… to see the bottle of medicine in your mind, the amount to take with water. Then after taking care of yourself. Sat down and allowed the words to flow…
Damn… and now not only do you feel better… you finished a blog. Good Job!!!
I love this new way of tuning in to me, listening to what I am telling myself. Actually hearing all of the crazy, justifying statements that were almost silent roadblocks in any of my own movement forward. Loving when I’m in a focused state, fully invested in the experience and aligned with what is going on in the present moment. I am not worried about the outcome or any means to an end. I am learning how to be present and move with intention in caring about all of Me! Congratulating, praising and honoring all of this which is coming from within me, to me, for me. It’s so powerfully changing, honing and improving every aspect of my life.
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” ~Helen Keller
I never would of thought that bull nettle could be so full of the information that I have been asking for clarity about. Yet, here I was out in the amiable Texas 96 degree weather, slowly, deftly moving from plant to plant on the top 2 acres of my property.
Not having rain on this clay/sand hillside was allowing growth only to the magically deep taproot system that allows this plant to flourish amid the heat. Much like my deep rooted desire to know the truth in my questioning of off feeling beliefs, that wonderfully keep surfacing for me to examine and change or discard completely.
I had noticed in the last few days the raggedness of the sparse growth of grass in any but the shaded areas, with the contrasting greenness and size of the scattered nettles out on my riding area. Trusting the impulse to more easily weed-eat them than drag out the big mower. I easily fired up my machine and started trimming away, when I felt this huge download of thoughts from the questioning earlier of my belief of why I “use to so easily do for others first”.
Old belief “because I’m supposed to take care of others first, helping those less fortunate because I perceive them as helpless.” Flip side “I assist others as I guide them into finding their own answers as I now choose to see them as confident and able, when they find information they get from answering their own questions filtered back to them”.
This was followed by a new understanding about instant gratification and manifestation. Caused from the circumstances of several of my clients in the last few days, whose children, friends or family would either physically, by text or by calling. Break in at a crucial part of the lesson, for the parent to stop, fix, buy, console, or delegate whatever the other needed, so they could continue “their lesson on their time”. Followed by personal awareness of when I use to do the same in shopping with my kids and “buy them something” so I could think, finish shopping and have my peace back. Highly aware of how much I used to mentally beat up on myself for giving in to them.
Now I see that as a learned habit, but at least I allowed myself to buy my own thinking privacy back. Even when I handled the beliefs of “their my kids, family, friends, they don’t understand, I must take care of them first, because they won”t love me” if I don’t.” The buying was a perfect instant manifestation for me… I never celebrated that I did momentarily take the heat off of myself. Albeit temporarily, I had an out, a little relief, I did have a solution to a huge bevy of taught beliefs about my children, spouse, coworkers (fill in the blank) coming first.
This peace I find in physical work, especially since I tackle the “real work” the kind that makes you sweat, get dirty, stinky, smell, break nails, soil and wrinkle your clothes. The kind unless paid, threatened or begged… everyone mysteriously vanishes. For me to contentedly, accomplish the task at hand, and allow my mind to focus. My perfect self-taught way for those millions of other thoughts to be held at bay… My learning how to allow only in that which assist me in the task at hand.
I am so proud of me. I have been secretly meditating for years with working… playing with my dreams, accomplishing consistent daily steps toward my goal. Alone!!
So gloriously now in full awareness of my learning how to get more and more in touch with my inner guidance, to follow impulses, to do these little movements forwards, by reading just a page in a book, just a quote here, a glance, then movement to readjust a bucket. Pay attention to my horse’s ear because someone is approaching, notice the response in my clients of the frustration of how to stop their child’s onslaught need for attention. Finding the ability to focus, notice, and assist on the real nature of the question not voiced. Where does one’s power begin…
Finally fascinated with how many words, phrases, and excuses I use to believe held the key to personal power. How much it use to frustrate me to find a book, lecturer, video, or series that would just go on and on and on. And my mind would scream “To Many Words, simpler is better”. I was just taught (and believed) it was rude to honor my true feelings. I needed to explain myself, and this whole list of and for others. Instead of one simple, poignant word… NO! One word that is simple, yet powerful, and to the point “NO!”
Saying No to another… is such a big YES to SELF!!
Wasn’t sure just where to start… figuring I would let it flow and see what came about in my awareness of living life with the Heart I now find at the very edge of each and every thought. As I have been soaking up the newness of change… in my own beliefs, words, and realizations from others experiences so lovingly shared and found when one searches. Necessary from my previously unknown tendency to take “to heart” and become what others needed me to be so they might be happy.
Thankfully, whenever I last wrote here, a few days later I was sent a notice that another person was following my blog, so I went back to read one of the post they liked. Which led to my reading two other post I had written months apart, yet basically just loops of the same place I was struggling in. I stepped back. Tried to look around to truly see as best possible of where I was. To start clearing, cleaning, changing and feeling for what was it I was truly “Wanting”!
This last weekend found me deep within connecting to my self in an entirely new profound way. I was looking into my own eyes, feeling my focus for what I saw… was I truly looking inside of me, or just at the physical aspects of me? How was I thinking? From the thoughts of what my looks were or where my looks were radiating from…
I have a new 3 ½ year old filly. The first day I went to see her I had a flash of intuition of who she truly would become. Loaded her up and she came home with me. Starting with… vet, wormed, chiropractor, farrier, 60 days ground work of her consistently “taking directions”… noting how aware she was of guarding her right side. Slow, careful, consistent 21 days under saddle.
Day 22… noted how old the earpiece on the bridle was (to be changed later). Which found me hard on the ground minutes later, after her panicked run into the fence when the bridle broke at the buckled spot and she tried to get away from this swinging piece near her eye. I “panicked” by physically making sure we did not run through the fence as she started to collide with it. Once turned she immediately unloaded her once confident rider, and two jumps later as I am refilling my lungs with air. She turns and walks back up to me with reins and bridle dangling from around her neck to find out what was so scary.
Healing is a mental thing, I knew I had missed something… I stopped and went back to the start, with slow, observant ground work. When I happened to reach over to the right side of her face where the bridle gave and found the still, very acute panic that had been apparent in her at the beginning. That which I had “obediently trained” her past. Suddenly having a very strong memory of my ole man “Chic” and the fear so strongly present in him when I first finally got to own him, and the months of slow, careful, conscious time earning his trust. Realizations of who I was and what I have been missing in my assisting others to change, all of these many years later after he died.
I forgot the Heart, Soul, and Look of Eagles when the light goes on because another knows you are listening to “ALL” of them. Seeing another as who they see themselves to be. Not who others think they should, could or ought to be.
Acutely aware of the time I went to a rodeo type event when I first moved back here and won 5 of the 7 events, placing 2nd in the others because I had to learn them minutes before competing. So relishing the comrade of being noticed, talked to and “accepted”. Highly aware of the one common comment “What I did was awesome BUT how much faster I would be when I learned to do it like they all did!”
Basically I went to clinics… untaught, untrained and disciplined myself to obediently follow the guidelines, finding the winnings getting less and less. Unless I started a beginning rider or horse with my self taught basics. From which they would start winning, only to be enticed to other stables so they could fit in and “Really Win”. I’d lost my own heart, trained it obediently away and didn’t even know it.
Thankfully I have never given up, just learned to slow down, start over and examine “everything!” Which blissfully led to this last weekend with my three different horses, now with a heartfelt connection to me, as I am looking and treating them as full valuable partners. Allowing them to know we are doing this together, step by step. The reward in their letting down, letting in, and amazed at the immense physical releases of their years worth of just “being obedient” yet having no real say in the partnership.
The run, run, hurry, hurry, everyone wants it now! Why aren’t you riding, trotting, loping, winning or on them yet demands. I had bought into the outcome, quantity, and “other peoples” wants for the mount to be just ridden and controlled. Their horses obediently following directions and going through the motions.
Not the quality and class of bringing the whole horse I am so capable and available to assist others in finding. The “Look of Eagles” in their eyes in full partnership, each a full half of the team. The team that sparkles and shines because of the connection of being powerful beings “Together, calm, connected, confident, classy, full Partners in Heart.”
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!
My student arrives, we unload her horses, feed mine, head out to pick up the new horse with her filling me in on the things we will work on her two horses for when we get back. She is driving and helping in exchange for lessons. When we get there, we both notice the cutie helping out who is introduced as a college, roper, cutting horse riding cousin. Ashley introduces herself, says he looks familiar and he fills us in on his experiences animal and college wise till they figure out a possibility.
We begin checking out the horse, within 10 minutes all involved know she and her new owner will definitely benefit from the whole month package. I get out the contract, she is filling it out, and up walks cuties dad, who introduces himself and comments on me being about 30…. I tell him load up, he can come with me.
Grinning we get the horse loaded and head to the house. With the new horse’s owner following to see the rest of my evaluation and take her 4th lesson. We get to the place, the horse unloads easy, starts stiff, uncomfortable as I walk her through my asking, listening, feel for me, breathe, try and reward for each right step. Getting to the place of me teaching her to move over when tied, giving to pressure, then ask for the each foot, where the telltale signs of inconsistency shows and whack out she lashes with her hind foot when I work my hand down her leg. Takes thirty minutes, till she is comfortably giving, allowing me minimal handling and cleaning of all four feet, a perfect place to end day one.
The new owner shows her nervousness in the first few minutes of her lesson. A lot of the stress brought on by her wanting this 18 year old give-away to be good, safe prospect for her. Once she begins to breathe, relax, then know that she has done the best possible thing in finding me and trusting me with her very long dream of having her own horse. This is the lady who at 32 was just given her first riding lessons last week. We get done, she is pleased with herself for learning a little bit more today, and realizing things are working out for her.
Pays me, then she and her mom drive off, to suddenly turn around and come back to tell me her dad is headed this way bringing the hay. I tell her that is fine and start with my student’s lesson, first with the saddle fitting and as we are getting her first horse underway with groundwork. Up drives the dad with the cutie and the cutie’s dad all whom after they unload the hay, start socializing, the young cutie makes a beeline to socialize with my student who teases him into getting on my main horse. He starts asking me all the right kind of horse questions; I am eating up all of these great inquiries and the good looking friendly horsemen. Then it’s off they go and back to lessons and riding. My day ends with my truck parts on back order, the meeting of some really nice unexpected people, having fun comparing notes with a favorite student about horses and good horsemen. All of this money coming in from the horse, hauling, and bus checks were given out today.
I know the rest of the pieces are easily and quickly coming in to place, because twice today I got to talk and tell about my future plans for my upcoming new facilities. God I love coming in here and sharing with all of you awesome people. Doubly so, because I get the privilege of writing, sharing and seeing what old stuff starts to come out, to change it for the best possibility before I post and share!