Category Archives: Teamwork
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!
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.”
Suddenly there he was realizing, he was in it alone to figure out. Started talking out solutions, expecting answers, help, or contributions, still nothing, until he made an actual decision to just make do with what was there. He ended up making salad, with a sausage, pasta, marinara combination. It was simple, it was good, he did all the steps, by himself.
Though the kitchen took a toll, which started with almost the same routine, I just caught myself in time for “us” to get it cleaner than when I came home. All of it made more possible with a change in my perspective, I am learning to give myself permission to allow him to rant, ramble, fumble, and then decide he is responsible to do his part. Team work, partnership, part of what makes this place a home, two people live here, two people can do so much more than one, and being allowed to make a creative mess, is doing something. Little baby steps for him learning to do it alone. Big baby steps for me, to leave him to figure it out, better when as I learn to keep my mouth closed, not respond the habitual way I use to. Breathing, sighing, as I listen for the timer on the oven, for the chocolate mint cake, I finally had to make, to taste the batter, sweetly, on my tongue… A full mouth is so much easier to keep closed! 😀
Cold, crisp and clear with just the hint of pink fog off the river down below the hill and with an extremely clear sky, more differences to note as I fed. Came in for coffee and biscuits, the desire for the phone numbers presently still lost to me in my locked up phone, till I can go into town to get it repaired. So a quick email for the most important numbers is sent out to those I communicate with most often. Which interestingly enough set off a chain of events when two of the contacts put in calls promptlyback to me so I could just save the numbers. Both of them also calling with more information about the proposed arena and school, their views, ideas, and thoughts, each agreeing to stop in later to talk. About then I noticed the time, signed off and started getting ready for the day’s schedule.
First horse still moving slowly after his mishap with the fence, though still readily listening and following my body and my mood as I noticed the time, which corresponded perfectly with the arrival of my lesson. She is standing straighter, moving easier as we start her lesson. I notice her intent, her desire to learn more and expand her knowledge both about horses and this energy work I do. We have a really good, moving forward lesson, with her easily and aptly asking more questions, doing lots of thinking until her eyes light up, as she realizes her body has found the right feel and movement. She suddenly quits trying to think her way forward and allows the rhythm and movement of the dance as the feeling of partnership finds her. When we get to the end of the session as I am doing my normal follow up questions, she remarks to me how she appreciates what all of this paying attention to how her energy reacts with the horse’s has done for her. Providing her with the information she has been looking for as to why she attracted the kind of men from before. She has discovered her boundaries are changing just in the two short sessions we have had. We set the time for the next session, say our goodbyes and I grin knowing I am receiving conformation from the Universe I am going the right way.
Then both of my friends from earlier, pull in the drive way with in minutes of each other, turns out they have met before under different circumstances. We all laugh at the synchronicity of life. Then I show them the area under consideration, we each contribute our ideas and for the next 30 minutes have a short introductory of where we each coming from, setting up a general game plan to meet again in the next three days. Each person required to make notations of any and every idea, to then have a sit down, pow-wow to come up with the major mission statement and ways to tie all this stuff into a long range business plan. Every one leaves jazzed and prepared to take more steps toward our overall dream. The best part being it is so much easier to share with like-minded individuals… I so feel good about my life, my dreams, my steps forward and upward.