I’ve been resisting writing the last few days, even though I know I have uncovered a lot of stuff and turned it all into rich, soft, fertile ground to plant all of my now renewed, re-discovered and truly life changing hopes and dreams. Many of them from years and years back, some relating all the way back to my childhood where all I could ever imagine or think about was spending time near horses, around horses or on horses. Making equipment, blankets, bridles, reins and halters out of every scrap of lacing, leather or material I had access to.
Begging, pleading, bartering or chattering to any and all that would listen. Getting into this much misaligned habit of sharing by having to play with others in the games, manners and ways that made them happy, as I hopefully waited for my turn, the turn that came with the promise of if I shared my time with them, and “played nice”, then they would have to do the same for me. Though many times as not the minutes, hours, days would roll by with the “if I would just wait or do one more thing” then my turn would come.
To find me all these many years later, still waiting, playing, coaching, teaching, training and being paid handsomely for those who are starting out, starting over, actually going after their dreams too, of the joy, freedom, and satisfaction that comes from being a horse owner and connecting as a partner with an animal of such immense size, ability and awareness.
The last few days of this week found me once again working with and mulling over the little app horse I have had for 6 years, which had been given to me as a kid’s because of his size. Though my initial response in handling and meeting him… was are you kidding me?? Taking all of the time possible since then, to exam him and myself for all of the accumulated lessons of fear, distrust, and fleeing, so readily discernible up until the last three years of his tendency to bolt at the slightest movement from anyone or anything. So much of that originally attributed to the large indention in the center of his head about two inches up from between his eyes where he would flinch if a hand got to close, more so on the left side where he would then lock his legs, swing his head as far as possible to the right and stand there.
I have used and tried so very many different methods that I know, have learned, have had suggested, a lot of trial and error, always making small steps toward releasing the image he has so ingrained into his habitual responses. Though on Thursday I noticed his jumping always tied into the minute either hind quarter was trapped into a space he had to pass through. Finding the story I had learned about other foals the previous owner had raised then gives away as 2 and 3 year olds and how he would push them into a squeeze shoot, fumbling with his disability from several old injuries, sometimes falling onto the horses, or off the shoot. This would then cause a horse with the desire to run, left with the only option with their feet so aptly held in the shoot to lean as hard and far as possible to the other side to escape these rough, jerky motions that left the horse with a strong fear and distaste of fences, sudden movement and human contact.
As I played with the thought in my mind, I was aware of how much I dearly love to share and teach, how much I have held back over layers of uncertainty of my rights to be in control of what I can or should be doing with my life. So I rearranged my two barrels that are used to direct a horse in, out, and around them from about six feet from the fence on one side and open on the other. Where this little horse would jump every time he came close to any opening, with a locked, raised neck and the whites of his eyes watching for any and every opportunity to escape, when I recognized he didn’t feel like he had a choice. Even though my hands were light upon the rope as I guided him through, I saw a possible new solution after half an hour with minimal relaxing or even breathing from him, of moving my saddling rail to make a temporary chute to “walk” him through. Get him into a place as small as possible that he could still walk in, walk through, walk out, slowly, then step by step for the next hour I played with him, till I felt him relax, yawn, and let go of the terror of forced enclosure. Aware of the resistance in me to trap myself into fully walking eyes wide open to my fullest dreams of and for me, completely, solidly, comfortably… asking no one if, how, why, or may I.
Amazed at the tension that left both of us about the same time, I just wanted to sit down and bawl, over all of the years of waiting for the support I thought was necessary from outside of me. And yet here it was, my imaginary fears of outside disapproval’s, when it was only me holding me back, trying to protect me from allowing all of me out… to fully live.
I love my life, my horses, my kids, my family, my friends and everything I have ever done or come in contact with. It’s all shaped me, the sharing of episodes and escapades many times helps others see that what they are attempting or afraid of, that someone like me who makes so much of what I do appear easy… has had to wade through the swamps of fears, to climb out on the rocks and logs to find the stream of life always ready to wash us off, cool and refresh us as we float along supported by the Universe in each of ours desires, dreams and passions to be fully uniquely ourselves as we learn, understand and expand to truly live our life to the fullest.
Seems like a such a big or even huge obstacle to so many people. They read books, articles, how to do’s and the like. Yet seem so stymied to find or latch onto what that may be for them. In this last week of sorting through the myriad of stories about my own weekly journey, caused me to really watch, pay attention and notice so many tiny details into what was easy, felt good, and my energy just bounding all over the place. Compared to the times and the day I felt like all I wanted to do was climb back in bed and bury myself deep in sleep.
Only problem with that is… I love my life when it flows, zings, zips and amazes me, enough so that I decided I could unearth this occasional stuckedness. Especially since one of the ladies at the retreat kept telling me how lucky I was, how much she wished she knew what her passion was, and what could or should she be doing to figure it out.
Luckily for her she had already done what I always explain are the simple rules for me working with or helping any one:
1. The only bad question…is the one you don’t ask.
2. Ask for ideas (which create possibilities)… not opinions (which to me box one in)
3. For us to work together it has to be fun for my client, their horse and for me.
4. At the end of each session the client is expected to have improved ¼ of an inch per lesson.
5. They have had to felt like they learned something that is applicable to them and their situation
6. They have plenty to take with them to mull over, and when they are ready, they want to learn more.
7. Lastly they are expected to always ask me or anyone else: Why are they supposed to do whatever is suggested? Then have whoever suggested it to show them how! Be willing to say no if whatever is suggested is uncomfortable in any fashion, though the thought may be stored in their toolbox of possibilities for some other time.
So I paid attention. Noticed the nuances of fun, excitement and energy flowing through me, compared to the contrast of feeling tired, exhausted and even nauseated at the thought of moving just a little. Kept my attention focused on the answer showing itself. When I began to truly notice little things right out of my direct gaze, to find myself being led or guided by my peripheral vision. It is one of the wonders the horses have taught me to be more aware of.
Seems when we look so hard at what is right there in front of us to see… we miss the stuff that is right out of the corner of our eye. Ever walked through a room going to do something, and caught site of something just on the way to where you are headed, that answered some question you had asked earlier and sort of forgot about for that moment. Then as you are easily accomplishing what is now your focus, you spot something else which makes the way to do what you originally intended easier, simpler and more satisfying… thus accomplishing two things at once.
I have had tons of stuff manifesting all over the place as I learn to more and more get out of the way of “having’ to do something, instead just let my intuition, my peripheral vision, and my gut guide me. Which puts me in such an inspirational writing, living, loving, sharing and being just me mood! Then it hit me about the energy ups and downs that so allow me to be so passionate one moment and so blah the next.
I had read and been told that one’s passion is something one can do 24 hours a day, be as enthused to do it when one gets started, as one is when one finishes, ready to start all over at the next opportunity, will do it whether they are paid or not, and always wanting to learn more. My passion is something I have known since I was small… horse crazy since I can remember. Just with only me to pursue the desire, nurture, keep alive away from the naysayers and support my dream in my head…( long story for later, but I did not get my first horse till I was away at college. Not all are that lucky to have such a desire go above and against what others saw me being and hang on to it for dear life.)
But this week I discovered the up places in my energy when I was not playing with anything horse related, just my life related. Give me an idea, let me spy something that needs to be fixed, could be changed to be easier to do or understand,or get a hunger for some particular dish. And I come alive. My mind racing with creativity, desire, passion, adventure… as I allow the creator in me to not settle for what another would do, say or feel. I find this amorous, hungry, sensual creature, who prowls at any event that causes me to just sit… I want to participate… get my hands in the clay… make something, create a new form, find a new way, or eat a favorite dish in a new way. Doesn’t matter, but oh talk about being alive and passionate.
Even in cleaning, I have discovered the passion of order, newness, and simplicity of accomplishment by allowing myself to feel each step and do that which feels easiest and next, or rearrange everything for more ease and flow. Especially after my down evening yesterday, after completing fixing all the fences on the place and I walked into to try to move off the level of the game I have been stuck on for weeks. To find my energy just draining into a pool of yuck, a cold drink, nope not even half, my stretches, nope tired. Finally gave up and went to bed early, though I thought several times of writing but…
That is the long pause, as I felt the trapped in my thoughts of I might not be good enough, that put me to bed early. Thank God for sleep, long hot soapy showers, and my listening to my internal niggling as I readied for and then drove my route. Passion, energy, aliveness is creating something, anything that causes a rush…not a have to or a must. Just wicked, wonderful, recognized for selfsame desire , it is what I am… a capable, crazy, happy, creator … just like God wants us all to be! Free to be…Me, to change, become, create, breathe every moment in. Helping myself and others to find their connection to their dreams, ideas, adventures and life!
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.