Category Archives: Teaching
It’s been awhile since my last blog because I chose to continue my journey inward.
Learning more about me, who I am, who I was, the why’s of my life that all join together to create me in each “Now’. Following in the awareness of this last few weeks of only moments each day with my horses because of the vast amounts of rain found here this September. This last weekend culminating in a huge “ah ha” as the lights inside not only came on, but showed this huge piece of the tapestry that has always been right there, just out of focus. As I was use to living more in the answers others told, offered or thrust upon me.
Everything around us is always offering us the answers we seek. Yet in our societies the expectancy to conform to the pressure of fitting in is most prominent. We were taught at a very young age to respond mostly to make other people happy and then getting our desires met. The proof of one of the first words children learn is NO! Don’t touch, don’t move, don’t explore, don’t have until given permission. Permission usually with a price tag. You might get hurt, you might break something, you might do it wrong. Don’t learn about it, do as your told, I’ll keep you safe.
Yes you may have the cookie… if you do??? An entire litany of simple things at first. Give me a kiss, a hug, clean up the mess. Which slowly evolves into finish your work, take care of the dishes, take a bath, go to school. Then into the work arena of find a job, pay your bills, make your parents proud, fit your degree plan, get it done to get paid, have a family, buy a house. Yet… words don’t teach, only life experience teaches.
All of this showing itself as I was cleaning up my partnership with my new horse Scoozi. My intent… the focused idea of a fun, successful, easy, caring open communicative relationship. Amazed with how much baggage a horse just turning four (supposedly only halter broke) has with her.
Highly aware as I played with each situation which presented itself. The mirrored reflection of my life it revealed. Especially the tendency to double and triple check myself with others books, answers and videos… whenever the situation doesn’t simply resolve itself. The discomfort of not getting it “perfect” or “right” for the imaginary crowd that might suddenly show itself and critique my results here out in the country, many miles from any big city. The Universe always willing to guide me when I allow it to. Assisting me to find my way through this maze of self confusion, and then to my sharing my discoveries here.
This weekend I was led to a video (which I will share at the end) about finding one’s own answers and allowing others to find theirs, as a rat was taught how to tread water in the center of a swimming pool.
The one advantage the rat had… it’s only label was “rat”. Not a tall, short, skinny, fat, black, purple, OCD, PTS, or any of the other labels that cause separation, discomfort and fear of not being enough. This labeling hindering ones ability to learn and figure out the solution for ones self.
I have learned… I am amazing. I choose to stay fully present in each “Now”. I pay attention and reward every try of the horse… and myself. I step back and allow the other to express where they are at. I allow the other to take the time it takes. I am willing to change things when the answer I think should be next… is not really the answer that is needed. I am adaptable, I am constantly learning that in teaching there is no mold. No absolute. No definitive way. There is the final outcome to stay focused on. Just the how’s are the surprising solutions which present themselves to us when we stay open, allowing the best guidance of all… Trusting the feel… our gut, our senses, the good sensation, the ease in the next step. Keeping our focus and trust on a great feeling result.
My desire was originally thought to be a partnership with Scoozi, my new horse. Where what I have found instead… it’s a true partnership with Life. Learning I am capable, willing, aware and always connected when I allow the Universe to join, guiding me in the dance.
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.
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.
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!
The light just totally went on!!! The post I just read thinking’s spilt out onto the page for me to find. So fitting with the short delving into the book “Thick Face, Black Heart” and my last two intense weeks of reading, listening and meditating on both Catherine Ponder’s and Florence Scovel Shinn’s works. All of which I had been allowing myself to just be still with this morning for me to put all of this introspecting together with the discovery of a manila folder labeled with my oldest son’s name in a pile of what I had assumed were my boys grade school works of art. But instead of finding his stuff, there were safely all of my poems, drawings and writings. About my desires, wish, hopes, and dreams that I placed in this folder from out of my wish book, right after I crashed back in 2007 and I had thought all hopes of ever achieving were lost to me… To be found 2 days ago in my thoroughly cleaning out and discarding, bags and boxes full of old stuff. Which I have truly dug through and honestly looked at with the eyes and heart of do I need, desire or even mildly like that which now sits in front of me to see.
Interestingly enough finding these works of mine came right after reading in the book Dynamic Laws of Prosperity “Begin now by first asking yourself just what it is that you honestly desire most in your life. Be specific; be definite, and sincere with yourself. Then write down your dominant desires. Thereafter, declare in privacy, without telling anyone what you are doing, the divine fulfillment of your desires.”
Fascinated because these are my dreams…that I had shelved, hidden, even obscured from myself, except when one of the poems would briefly come into my mind for a second and I would try to remember all of it and then became afraid that maybe it was all of that dreaming had caused my dis-ease in the first place. Yet now, today looking back, I realize my being sick came was because I shared them with others who… I had allowed to change, correct, or minimize “My Deepest Desires” until my inner being had had enough of this lifelong tug of war of trying to “FIT IN”.
I have discovered in the last few months of introspect… that all of these teachers, writers, yogis, and gurus I have spent the last seven years following. Are just giving us their versions of how they accomplished things to have “their” lives work for them. We are all made as individuals looking for “Our own unique Signature and Style”!
Even now as I edit this, I am aware of the subtle hints my own inner beingness has been whispering to me as I have been persistently searching for my own direct connection. Noticing signs, slowing down to feel is this part of the trail, or is this the full deal. Much like when I find a new recipe that appeals to me, and as I am tasting, imagining and smelling the final results in my body. I find sometimes as I begin to read what I have printed out and go to the kitchen to see how many of the required ingredients I have on hand. I will espy a spice, or condiment I can substitute because I have almost all of the other ingredients, instead of stopping, running to town and buying the few other things I might need. To then find a better, tastier and many times awesome upgrade that is perfect for me.
By Jove I think I have this! As I walked around this morning raking hay and the metal handle snapped. My first thought was hmmm… then in my mind’s eye I remembered all the various sized pieces of scrap pipe in the barn. Took the rake in, found the pile, and rummaged through it till I found a perfect fitting piece. Then cut both the new internal extension to the right length, the rake handle open, rebending the flattened pieces, slipped in the extension now garnished with QuikSteel weld. Followed by a wrap or two of duct tape to allow usage of it until it can be taken up to the schools welding shop with my youngest son for his class tomorrow.
I am always guided; it just has been such a struggle to believe in myself… again. Because before I never really trusted or believed in me 100% all of the time, I so bought into the sideshow of life that tried and very successfully convinced me I didn’t have the right stuff. Except for when all of a sudden I was doing what minutes, days, weeks, months before I had been told was impossible… Hurray for me. I am beginning to confidently and consistently hold my own in a world full of other people’s opinions about life and doing it all My Way!!
Had invited him to go to the movies with me, he opted to stay home and borrow the computer. We agreed on the terms, which he was then checked on for an almost A+ performance. I in waiting for the okay he was done, several times got the message from the Universe… Slow down… really feel your way… really check to see what it is “you” want to do for you… check to really, really, feel who you are trying to please.
Several things crossed my mind, and then by double and triple checking I decided otherwise.
I gave him the okay, and headed off for the show driving in really slow, drizzly, damp, grey cold, mist. Paid for my ticket and then bought their movie night out packages for the upcoming Chinese Christmas with my family Monday. I went to see “We Bought A Zoo”, perfect story line and feelings for my current place in life. So glad I had opted for my jacket over the long sleeves and sweater after I got into the theatre because it was colder in there than out in the concession area. The pretzel was warm and filling, the cola helped the chill bumps. I was in this place of knowing something else is coming, almost here, any minute, but I am learning to enjoy the moment, and relax it will get here when it is supposed to.
Stop by a tea for later, a few scratch offs and an actual lottery ticket. Get home, we both just scrounge for something to snack on. I heat mine up, he goes to feed, then heats up his, we find a movie to watch. My phone goes off with a text message, and freezes… hmmm, then his refuses to hold a charge, and the sound on the movie from online quits. I do a quick survey of phones to think about, consider, kind of sleep on the idea of them. Do a quick email to all current owners and students of the temporary other number to use. Figure this day off thing is definitely an all day, no communication with others, as I continue to re-write my life and desires to make sure they are truly “all” about “my” dreams and goals from my heart! The school, arena, barns, writing, and teaching individually tailored to how another thinks, ingest, understands, and learns… It Is So About To Be My Total Reality!
This morning I began searching, looking, seeking for any other places in my life where my saying “no” meant nothing. My last week has been besieged with opportunities to get to the last few knots, that were still tangling up this, what appeared to be thread of the word and power of my personal no. The college investigation for a possible place to attend, has had the wonderful help and guidance we all receive when we ask, allow and trust that we are provided with answers to any question we ask.
My first question was if I really wanted to go back to school and the factors to consider. Being that of the amount of time, which would be answered by knowing what I was trying to accomplish, in my case was does one need a degree to write? Then if one pursues that line of thinking, what type of degree, how much of my previous schooling is applicable, that amount then subtracted by the amount of hours required by the school of choice, and of those hours required, which hours really have anything to do with me actually writing, anytime soon. Then add the final questions to the mix of where the funding will come from, and how much time will I give up before I am deemed ready, able or even apt to being a writer.
So many things to consider, so I threw out my baited hook… single mom, low income, disadvantaged, business owner, eligible for grants, loans and government financing. Funny part is I didn’t realize my own value till I filled out an application for aide, selected the few colleges recommended by family and friends. Then it was like, let the games begin, just with the Universe/God on my side. That translates into, if I asked a specific question, the computer and internet were flawless. If a college or source tried to persuade, push, or manage me into a particular round hole, that square ole me not only did not fit, but was not the least interested in budging. The computer would close, lose the connection, change screens, etc. Till I really started noticing and following the guidance, easily stopping when things went awry, and politely dismissing those institutions’ that were easily showing up in the not that way column.
Today’s particularly persistent university had 8 emails with urgency put on each one, from several different departments, after my email Monday that I was no longer interested. I had woken up this morning, knowing a major storm had blown through last night, opening the door to a be-sodden pasture and pens soaked with over 4 inches of rain. To which I knew meant other than feeding and short turn outs, riding was off. I knew my day could be spent running the last errands for Christmas just days away. My work had called checks were in early, I made a deal with my youngster to do a few chores for me while I was out and I would make it worth his while on my return. He agreed, I loaded up the huge collection of old things and trash to complete my elimination of this last year’s discards and off I went, expecting the other piece to surface I had been sensing were at hand.
Dropped off the trash, then the stuff to Good Will, picked up my check, (wow no bonus, hmmm) went to the bank, then fuel, then the store, dropped off the electric check and stopped for two drinks for him and me. Came home to no answer when I honked to help unload, walked in and nothing was done, but tons of excuses. So much frustration, anger, confusion, just boiled out, till I heard something inside tell me I was safe, I wouldn’t be punished for being mad, this was his path of least resistance, he was in need of this lesson. I got calmer, and we cleaned for the next two hours, contacted a service I pay for on line, and instead of having to pay this month’s fee, was blessed with $100 savings, from an old credit just recently applied. My son, walks in with some new twist to his story, I cut him off with no, he starts to continue, I reiterate No, No, No… he walks away and gets back to work. There’s a knock on the door, a client who had asked to allow her final payment till next week, is there with the full amount in cash.
Okay, Universe I am listening, I think I have this “no” thing down. I feel around for what to do next. Spy several discards from my last relatives upheaval in leaving, load them up to then drop off at Good Will and decide the extra $100 I would go spend on me. I was treating myself to Christmas presents from me…to me! I have my son get cleaned up, he gets his money for gifts he has yet to buy and off we go. A new wheelbarrow, drill, heater for my office, back door rug and a few pretty girly girl intimates. Head home to feed, make supper and watch a movie with my youngest.
Get in the door, and the whining, twisting, pleading starts again. All of a sudden in the middle of this new bout of anger, the tears begin to flow, the huge old story of manipulation, this jagged thread which has been right there just below what I thought was people running over my “no’s” is the culprit. Suddenly seeing it there, fully exposed, recognizing it, literally tasting it as it came bubbling out of the deep festering old pocket held tightly by my training to fit in, be good, be worthy… All healed in the moment of love of understanding, releasing this wound tightly, smothering me amidst the years of tales of others who had bought into there is only one way to do anything.
I love them all, I understand this has been my training, education, schooling, to make me become the teacher, student, trainer, trainee, love and lover I am, each and every moment of every day! Thank you Universe, the tears were healing, especially when I turned all of that love back on my ability to create it all, sort it out, and put it back together in a more loving and understanding package!