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!
I have a post it note attached on the bottom of my screen that states “I’ve done it, I Figured it out!” and since I stuck it there I am constantly figuring out the steps I have been missing, didn’t understand fully, or interpreted them wrong when I was learning whatever current thing I am having happening in my life that is not turning out the way I intended in my mind. This morning started out seeming exactly like that when I woke up found it had rained enough last night for water to be standing in all the places to handle, much less ride a horse. My next thought was “wow, sleep in past seven” so I texted my first lesson as I reconstructed the rest of my day off in my mind. Wondering if the threatening for more rain would affect my date later in the day to test drive the truck that has so held my attention for the last week or so.
Figured I would get the simpler things done and make a quick pot of coffee to take the chill off the damp cool morning. To turn on the tap and find no water pressure?? I then went to check outside in case the line to the horses might have ruptured or the outside faucet might have been left on. Nope, so I glance around to see if I can spot water running off or flowing from the ground not caused by the rain. Then glancing down the highway in either direction for signs of city maintenance working on the mainline or an undetected geyser in need of calling them about. I considered calling in case there was a problem out of my sight from up here on the hill, when I kept getting the nudge to check closer to the house. Trusting the feeling, I double checked the water puddles near the front gate, noting a larger amount there than in other areas. So I walked around to the side of the house to find my youngest dog (who is terrified of storms) cowering in his dog house. The water hose pulled within inches of his door, with the attached faucet leaning in his direction and water gurgling up readily from the now shattered connection.
First thoughts, parts, glue, tools and help, as I hollered at my youngest to assist, feed, and turn our horses out since with the rain all lessons are canceled. As he takes care of animals, I fully survey the damage and things needed. Finding a small digging trowel within inches of the sight, amused at the Universe’s help and add to that all needed items minus glue and cleaner. In digging up the area needed to do the repair I find my mind running with a lot of the thoughts as to why this is occurring today. Hearing the replies of “path of least resistance, crack of most allowing” from my Abraham cd’s knowing there is an answer to some question I ask all tied up in the fixing of this broken connection. Which will fix the flow of water to my house and the flow of abundance in my life. Allowing several different possible desires I have on my list wonderfully coming true as we head to the store for glue, coffee, and donuts.
I find myself in the store distracted by the choices of glues, the 4-H’s bake sale at the door, and the large buffet of men trolling the store this early on a Saturday morning, much like the article I had glanced at this last week. To find when I had gotten back home and was set up to put the pieces together…I had bought two types of cleaner and no glue. Which meant going back to the store,with more thoughts of what’s up in my mind as I get in my truck to be inundated in flies, they are everywhere, taking up the open invite with door left open on my truck to find a dry place out of the rain.
I think “okay, wrong items, all these flies, still no water”?? Then it occurs to me. Flies bug me; they distract me if I am not focused. When I went to the store I was trying to figure out why the water leak and I played with several possibilities, men, trucks, horse stuff, trying to “make” the pieces fit together. But it wasn’t till I had to completely take all of the cleaner off twice, trying to show my son how to do pvc repair, that I got it.
All of this was over my asking how to improve my ability to allow the things into my life, open up the flow of abundance in. I have the ability to be in the “zone” when I teach, train, or coach, most of the time. Yet I know it is possible to do it all of the time without giving up any parts of me to do it. And here, wonderfully provided by my question to the Universe it’s way to reply so that I can understand and apply it, was the answer.
Fully focus, so head-ups, idea in mind, the sensation of having it complete, easy, applicable, moving toward the goal, no matter the distractions, or things that try to bug us. It is this paying attention till the last detail is so comfortably in place we can do it without thinking, it’s like dancing, following the flow of the music, allowing our bodies to feel and move with the tune, the sensation…
Never felt this way before, never had feelings that were so strong
To impress, to show, yet instead being impressed upon
To become, to learn, to follow where my instincts flow
To listen and feel, there is so much more I long to know
Have loosed writings, long kept secrets in my mind
To another, so many paths and trails are all entwined
Watching, seeking, all these questions flow and sing
Reminding, teaching me, of the truths each moment brings
Having finally danced, like I always wished and did believe
With another, with who each step to intertwine and weave
Danced each moment, felt the magic that becomes
From matching footprints, where two sets of steps blend in to one.
Cat Friske 5-21-2012
I wrote this several years ago after waking from a dream, thinking it was telling me about the man that frequents my thoughts now and then. Just today I see and understand it differently. It to me means when I am fully connected to all of myself. What I am thinking, why I desire it, and how it will feel when it is done. I love my busted water pipe, for giving me the answer to finding and staying in my zone question. I love the scared dog, for allowing me to recognize my own fears of being in trouble from approaching storms of questions, not knowing how to get away from them, and terrified of being in trouble for not knowing all the answers. Life is awareness, focus, feeling. allowing guidance (God-U-I-DANCE)…manifested!