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Life Without Labels

It’s been awhile since my last blog because I chose to continue my journey inward. guidance

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.

Illumination

I bless you are feeling fully present.illuminating heart

May the space of time you read this post in, also be time you take to breathe a little deeper. May it invite you to allow yourself to consciously receive love, from God, Source, All That Is and Me to you.

I am at peace here. My months of clearing, cleaning, and reestablishing my priorities for Me… Found me meditating, reflecting and spending many hours soaking up the time of re-discovering my true self with the joy in just being in my life and with my horses.

The first part of this year I was beginning my journey with Scoozi. With our series of starts, stops, stalls, flips and an abrupt dismount. I started to ask myself a lot of questions about what it is that “I truly do and have always wanted to do with my life”? How could I best serve in a way that is useful, unique, and true to me? In a way that felt…. right… fun and all ME!.

This time allowed me to truly look at, revise and reassess my past experiences. Finding the best way to see each memory that came to mind. Aware from my recent reminder of Wayne Dyer’s “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” A new, deeper list of self intentions was born.

Because I have become so clear in my desire to listen to my deepest dreams. To truly connect with my horses despite a very busy world of suggestions, directions, ultimatums and others ideas for me. I was able to align with my innate truth without allowing the world to distract me.

I have becoming more fluent in Horse/Human/Self connection. Aware of my old buried roots of intuitively knowing how to truly listen, feel, and connect with horses and peoples “feelings”… Because I know so thoroughly about shutting down my own personal unique ideas, for the reasoning’s from others. “Shut up, do this, wear that, because they said so.”

I have become more fluent in Self… Owning my walk, talk, looks, dreams, desires and abilities.

Supporting others by truly listening to what they hope they are saying. Versus what their bodies, inflections and words are actually communicating. Assisting them in finding their truth, their voice, their own unique signatures and styles.

I am back, and aligned with my true self. Sharing this because it’s so important to carve out time to listen to one’s heart whisper, to listen and discover… what is calling.

To recognize having a desire to learn something, to align with a cause, to start something new, or and this one is tricky – to let someone or something go…

Be brave, dear one, trust your gut…

Drop the current narrative for just a moment.

Listen… your heart is calling you.

And watch for the magic that unfolds!

Listen Carefully…

this is meAhh… 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!

Two Steps and Standing…

Awareness of another in an entire new spectrum of understanding, just by allowing myself to find the best feeling view of the scenario presented in front of me. The day after feeling I had truly re-wove my tapestry of how I choose to live my life. I know I partially started on Saturday morning when I chose to purposely wake late after my first week back bus driving, riding and teaching. Giving myself the luxury of actually lying in bed totally enjoying the peacefulness of an alarms silenced moments before they intended to go off. I just laid there enjoying the comfort of my decision to mold my life moment by moment.

Then actually arising, feeding, haying, watering and reveling in the animals appreciation of my tending to their various needs as I experienced the coolness still found happily at 7:30, as I fixed on my to do list of this holiday weekend. I made a point to linger in the shower, luxuriating in the foam of lather from a very sudsy deep purple wash cloth, then the wonderfully sensual scent from the coconut crème rinse as the aroma was saturating the shower area in the strong flow of elegant hot water. I was so enjoying the vision of my being selecting the most wonderful feeling scenes for each moment of the day. Stepping out to engulf myself in my oversized, big fluffy towel that wonderfully whisked off each droplet, before coming to rest turban style above my head with hair comfortably enclosed. Hair dryer to style my bangs, pull the rest into a quick pony tail, sunscreen, makeup, taking the time to accentuate my eyes, before I pulled on my shades and my sweat stained lilac ball cap to complete the feeling I wanted to exude.

Heading to the kitchen for toast, lime water, and my Emergen-C as I headed out to greet my expected three clients, plus two other unexpected sons and their one horse. Making it a point to allow my eyes to take in the entire picture playing out before me as my eyes settled on the view that brought a feeling of “I like that” to my solar plexus. To then truly begin the new path of choice over reaction I had found so different and comfortable in the last few weeks of changing and letting go of “other peoples opinions” as I now deliberately allow myself to find how life works when I choose for me…first.

The situation that presented itself was 5 individuals, each with a difference, each allowed to be who they chose to be. All here for horse handling lessons, all at different levels, interests and abilities, my lesson was to keep my focus on the one most interested, asking questions, wanting to learn, and allowing each to show where they were in their understanding or capability. To then guide by hands on, voice, example, or situation as I played with their listening, and accomplishing to encourage and allow them to stand on their own two feet and successfully put each piece together.

Noting some chaos from those who sought center stage, just allowing others in the group the energy needed to redirect those members. As I kept my focus on the ones inhaling the information shared. Totally delving into the ones who could so enjoyed getting their hands and self into their deepest desires to have each question answered. The wonder of the deep breaths, bright eyes, and hands that were feeling for the answers my words were describing, as they sought with their bodies, and fingers for the desired result from such a wonderfully patient horse. I was so reveling in each moment as the freedom from constraints of being made to feel wrong, were loosed from me and these enjoyably entertaining students.

The one hour lesson turned into two, extended by the eldest asking me about his interest in roping and my other long ago, laid down passion brought out from the dusty roping bag hanging in the rafters. To then become totally involved in breaking down each little step of holding, coiling, handling, moving, touching, and throwing the rope till he had a real feel for several aspects of the sport I sense has been idling in his mind for a while. I indulged myself, by following the questions I felt or sensed in each willing participant. Allowing others in the group the ability to find their own two feet to handle each and every oddity that tried to take away from the fun the larger part of the group was experiencing. Fascinated with how different and fun everything turned out by only dealing with what I chose to keep my focus on.

Now, forty-eight hours later, I feel and realize this is such a much easier way to live. It truly is okay to only find the best feeling thing to look at. I can turn my head away from the commotion, deal with the fun things and the world really does keep spinning. Someone else really does show up to handle the other stuff. I really can redirect conversations to things I enjoy, say no to what I don’t want, and live for me. All the other things take care of themselves as I let others deal with their things. Looking at someone and seeing them as possible… sure makes life easier and a whole lot more fun.

CATS Confident Assertive Training System

Today has been a day of listening, learning and sharing. All accompanied with the plaintive meows of my ousted son’s cat, the sound coming consistently from the corner of the wall just inches away from my desk. Where she gets to in the crawl space under the house, squeezing in to plaintively announce to me how unfair it is that her rule of running, attacking, biting, and maneuvering every person living in this house or visiting within has now been brought to an end. Very much beneath her very dignity and her rights as queen, ruler and supreme spoiled brat, poor woe is me, there is nothing she did wrong that I and others here did not deserve.  I find it fascinating that I fill her bowls twice a day, walking out and calling her to be fed, and find her totally silent, non-responsive. Though thirty minutes later when I check the bowls, they are empty, followed by her howls of how cruel I am. The few times she has come out when my son has called, she then hisses at him to then crawl deep under the house to sit next to my desk and complain. I hear her and think, you can’t have it both ways, your reign is over, you will figure this out, everyone here is now responsible for their choices and their behavior. All aggressive behavior has been changed, transformed, thought carefully through to become confident, assertive, and cooperative partnerships. All others have been asked to or directed to go elsewhere.

 My entire day reflecting exactly the huge expanse of change taking place, as each of my lessons of the day so wonderfully unfolded along those very lines. My first owner is beginning to understand how much her confidence has grown as I helped her to understand the difference between the fear found in being aggressive with others, in lieu of the confidence found in being quietly assertive. Once she truly grasped how much easier things were flowing between her and her horse, discovering her breath comes easier and her body no longer hurting from being tense. The overall difference in relaxing and enjoying the progress of each little thing, when she now looks back and sees she has come so far up the mountain of progress, with each pebble of success she firmly placed there. So pleased she stuck it out, trusted herself in the importance of following this dream of hers.

 My second lesson, this small child of five, fully praising herself at the end of the lesson, for each little step she now can get the big mare to do by herself. Pleased with all of the things she remembers, prevents, changes, and decisions she is allowed to make as she grins more by just being aware of what she is doing, how the horse is or isn’t listening. Fascinated with being allowed to choose to do just one or two new things each lesson, as she shows her ability to remember and repeat each cue when asked from the last time here. Showing me how I am so following my instinct to teach when asked, to encourage questions and try, and to praise each and every little step forward I see.

 My final lesson, is so the icing on the cake, all of the previous lessons rolled into a star brightly shining, as she now learns in leaps and bounds, asking, absorbing, calling the shots of why this, can we do this, this is not working for me, actually reveling in having to ask again for another way to try, because the first three or four ideas are not comfortable for her. Ending the day with fits of laughter over the retelling of our experiences at supper, as we entice another deeper off the ledge of conversation, into the trap of “Ya’ll did what?” as we explain a process that has to be done, just because it’s necessary. Not gross, not disgusting, not nasty, just a part of horses and life. Life is so easy, when you just deal with it, letting the judgments go, doing what is necessary and living your life in the moment…because the moment is always now. Why wait for approval, just live, be, love, become!

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