The Price of Independence

I grew up valuing independence. I cherished my ability to do things for myself. I would generally refuse offers of help. Somehow in my mind, I saw this independence as proof of my competence and value as a human being. I didn’t want to owe anyone for my success.

When someone would offer to help, I would often refuse. Sometimes I felt like the offer was an implicit judgement on my ability to produce results on my own, although it was really my own judgement of myself.  Sometimes I didn’t want to bother others by appearing to be weak and needy. My words, not theirs.

My independence did allow me to do some things that I may not have done if I needed to create harmony with a partner, but it also created some walls around me. Spirit has a way of offering us lessons that get a little bigger each time until we learn. For me, it took a sledgehammer. Weekly chemo and daily radiation therapy. For seven weeks.

Throughout and after treatment, I was unable to care for myself and my animals. I needed help. I was afraid that being so vulnerable would make people run, and they did – towards me. My friends and family lined up to drive me to treatment (2 hour drive, plus time at the hospital) and I never went to treatment alone. My dogs and horses were cared for.

I learned that when people offer to help, it doesn’t mean they feel I can’t do it myself, only that I don’t have to. They want to share time with me. When I offer to help, it is out of a desire to assist and yet I found it hard to accept that this is true of others.

Relationships cannot be a one way street. I am happy to contribute to community events in addition to helping my friends out with their tasks. Collaboration is much more rewarding than too much time spent alone.

There is satisfaction in having the competence to manage things on my own, but there is joy in sharing even the mundane tasks with family and friends. As we give, we shall receive. I am so grateful for the network of family and friends that allow me to celebrate my independence while contributing their support.


Investing in Self

I’ve always had trained farriers trim my horses’ feet.  As a new horse owner, 18 years ago, I simply used the farrier my friends used.  My main concern was that they were kind and patient. As my knowledge of horse anatomy and gait grew, I became more particular about the farriers I chose.  I have been lucky to find fairly good farriers over the years, until I moved to Wyoming, that is.

Many of the farriers here have no real schooling. They are self taught or learned from another old cowboy.  This isn’t always a bad thing but not what I’m looking for when it comes to my horses.  A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to find a local Farrier who was trained in the Barefoot Method.  He was very knowledgeable, patient and kind and then he moved!  He had family close and would coordinate visits and coming to trim but those visits got farther between and inconsistent.  Most of my horses have done “okay” with the inconsistent trims but not Little C.  Over the last year her feet have gotten really out of balance.  He was never able to fully correct her when he did come, as it would be too much and make her worse.  Since it would be months before he came back any head way he had made to correct her would be gone. What she needed was weekly or biweekly check ups to get her fully corrected and balanced and that wasn’t happening.FB_IMG_1520874697398  In late January she became fully lame,  barely walking and in horrible pain.  She stood rocked back and limped horribly. It broke my heart.  I had to do something.  My fear was that if I tried to trim her I’d make her worse. However,  I wasn’t willing to just “settle” for any Farrier either.

My friend had added me to a Barefoot Discussion group on Facebook about a year ago.  I had followed many of the posts but not with any real intent. In desperation, I reached out to them.  They were very supportive and suggested I contact Lana Comeriato with the Apex Trim Method.  I looked her up, read about her and messaged her.  I am so thankful I did!  Lana provides one on one training with pictures and what she calls “markups.” I start by taking pictures of the horse’s feet from several different angles.  She then uses different colors to mark on the pictures where I need to nip, bevel, preimeter rasp, cut etc. She also provides written instructions explaining the markups.  FB_IMG_1519442889183-1She has videos on how to use the different tools, as well as,videos of clinics she has done.  Little C will take months to fully rehab and I trimmed her every couple of days the first 2 weeks.  We are now watching growth and doing a recheck weekly.  She is still very ouchey when she walks but she’s standing more upright and walks longer distances than before.  She even ran with the herd the other day!

I’ve trimmed 2 more of my horses under her guidance, only 5 more to go!  These first trims are going to be the toughest as their feet are so overgrown.  By tough I mean it’s quite a workout!  I pride myself in being in pretty good shape with good muscle tone at my age,  but I’m finding and building muscles in different places. Bonus side effect! Each time I trim, I gain confidence in using the tools and actually seeing and understanding where I need to trim. I have gotten some amazing feedback from Lana. I’ve invested roughly $300 in tools and training thus far. There will be an additional $300 as I add the rest of the herd but in the long run I’m saving money.  What I’m truly investing in, though, is the health of my herd, my peace of mind and myself and that is PRICELESS!


Through the Horse, LLC


Navigating Limbo

Contributed by BB Harding

Have you ever experienced that feeling and understanding where you want to make some changes, know you are in the middle of a shift, and it really isn’t time yet to move in a new direction?

For me that is a really uncomfortable feeling.  It is a balancing act between getting out there and doing something to move things forward, and being and allowing things to emerge.

So, how do I know that I am in a shift?  For me the cues are having an awareness that what I have been doing no longer holds the interest that it once did; and something new hasn’t quite come into focus for what is next.

I find that in these time, I really resonate with the saying that my mother was noted for – enough that it was printed on her remembrance card – “Dear God, grant me patience and do it NOW.”  In fact one of my fond remembrances of my mother was when she died.  My sister who was the initial point person as we traveled to her side, arranged for our mother to receive the Last Rites (Catholic ritual).  She said that mother got very peaceful, even a hint of a smile on her face and went to sleep.  A couple of hours later, she awoke from her nearly comatose state and yelled “why am I still here?” then slipped back out.  As you can see, I come by this naturally.  😊

In my “future” I have these awarenesses – I will be moving, and I will be doing more in line with my mission, even though I am not totally clear about what that looks like.  I have been looking for a place to live for coming up on a year now.  I have been looking in areas between 3 and 4 hours from where I live now, so it requires at least a day trip to go check something out.  I have seen more than 60 houses in person, and looked at pictures of 100’s of others online.  I am also surrendering more and more into the knowing that the message that I received as an inspiration from my own guidance is not a mistake.  I really am meant to share with the world that there is consciousness in all things, whether I (we) choose to recognize that or not.  That somehow, this will be my contribution towards “heaven on earth” or bringing all of creation into communion.

It is during times like these, that I am aware of the inner parts of self that start to weigh in on these situations.  Last week, a colleague facilitated me in a Voice Dialogue session with my “Angry part.”   It became clear that my angry part wasn’t on board with doing something that allowed me to “be my authentic self” and buying a house that “felt right.”  From its perspective, it was clear that the pareto principle would be a good thing.  Find something in both situations and make it work.  Well, having spent a lifetime of making it work, I know something about that.  And everything within me says, nope, not the “right way” now.  It really is time to move into a place of allowing and receiving.  A place of doing what “feels good and right to me.”  Great, now quiet the voices, both internally and externally, that doubt that I am approaching things the “right way” and want me to recognize that what I want doesn’t really exist without compromise.

So, how does one navigate the world where the direction is not clear?  Holding out for what others call a “pipe dream” and just “go do it?”  I am reminded of how an international speaker friend of mine shared in his speeches that the leader of a Japanese company was interviewed and shared that the company had a 500 year plan.  One of the people in the audience asked the question “what does it take to implement a 500 year plan?”  The response was “Patience.”  Ah, that word, again.

Holding space for the what is emerging is becoming the new norm for me.  Leaning into what I want and allowing it to come forward.  Then paying attention to what feels right for me.  This has been a huge shift for me and has created many new experiences.  I find that I am beginning to trust myself more – that internally, there is a consistent sense of well-being that is present.  Something else that is shifting is allowing myself to be informed by what “feels right for me.”  House hunting has been a huge teacher for me in this area.  The single largest thing has been watching how what “I want” is being informed by my experiences.  For example, I thought a long-view was essential.  I learned as I looked at houses with long-views over wide open fields and prairies that I was missing trees.  I was adamant about having a place with 3 bedrooms – one for me, one for my office and one for a guest.  I have learned that 2 bedrooms and 2 living spaces will work too.  I want a place with some space around me.  The question is learning about how much space around me.

As I step more into allowing the emergence, I also get to become aware of the beliefs and fears that are present.  What will it take for me to trust that the universe wants for me to have exactly what I want without having to compromise?  How can I move into a place of worthiness that I deserve to have what I want?  How can I surrender to the timing of the things that are unfolding?  How can I become even more comfortable with the uncertainty of not knowing exactly what will happen?  How can I bring more love to this situation?  As I explore these questions, there is a stronger sense of self that is emerging.  One that is looking less and less to the outside world to get the validation that I am an OK being.  This in itself has been liberating.

What do you need to allow/receive to navigate your life more easily?

Peace in Motion

Blog post contributed by Barbara B.

One of the prayers my church recites each week goes like this. “We pray to you, O Lord, for the peace of the world, that a spirit of respect and forbearance may grow among nations and peoples.” As I recited that litany last week I thought about the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea and how their goal and mine seemed to have a common theme. The goal of the Olympics is “to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

For me, prior to Feb. 9, such a idealistic goal seemed almost impossible. The current state of political divisions in the US is the worse I can remember during my lifetime, yet I believe we are in the best of times. Our culture, economy and social fabric has been torn into pieces with no one at the helm carefully picking up the fragile fabric and mending it back into a cohesive construct. At the local level, we seem more cohesive and intact, but at the national level, it seems so divisive. Our mission as a nation seems to me to be more about displaying strength instead of being strong, about building wealth instead of character, focusing on our differences than our similarities and concentrating on misunderstanding than understanding.

I remember a time when we discussed “politics” (and religion) around the dining room table, with friends and family. Sometimes it was difficult but we had a way of valuing each other’s principles, thoughts and beliefs. There may have been “red” and “blue” divisions, but at the end of our discussions we often were purple. How? Back in the day, I believe we believed we had more in common than not. Life was centered about caring for each other, our elderly, and protecting, educating and assuring a bright future for our children. We did not insist someone lose in order for another to win. I believe we were a stronger, more unified nation because of our differences and our willingness to listen to each other.  And now with the Winter Olympics approaching and the discussions about the ability of North and South Korea to tolerate each other or get along, I wondered what was going to happen. The media hyped their problems and concentrated on their critical differences. Even I, the optimist, began to wonder if a potential disaster would be the outcome of the Olympics.

olympic ringsThen the opening ceremony started with the motto of “Peace in Motion”, and there it was, a giant dove of peace as John Lennon’s “Imagine” was sung. The ancient Bell of Peace rang out in the opening ceremony. The “human spirit of perseverance” was in full display. The understanding that “Peace” was to be the prevailing thought and action in the coming days was uplifting. The young participants walked out, full of smiles and hope. Then, for the world to see, the South and North Korea athletes entered the stadium in unison, under the Korean Unification Flag. A divided country, much more divided than us, displayed professionalism, compassion, commitment to peace and harmony and courtesy to each other. I breathed a sigh of relief. Was it possible, peace had a chance on this tiny blue globe? As the games played on and people of all nations gathered to compete, they displayed amazing strength, fortitude and courage. Side by side they exhibited compassion thru exhilarating feats and defeats. I saw hugging, supporting, congratulating and empathy for the fallen. Then as incredible as that was, the Olympians continued to astonish and inspire me as the Korea national women’s ice hockey team, composed of players from both nations, stepped onto the ice. Their willingness to set aside differences allowed them to not only show their best, but be their best. All in all, true sportsmanlike conduct prevailed but more than that, a genuine civility permeated the air. Respect was fostered and peace and harmony was set to motion.

So I now have a renewed faith that by coming together with a commitment to foster humanity, civility and peace for our nation and her people, the USA can be re-united. And why not? If a small divided nation, the size of Utah, can show us how they set aside their differences for 17 days by agreeing on a common goal, commitment and clear guidelines, then there is hope we too can unite for the betterment of all. Let’s set peace in motion.

Barbara is the president of Wayfinding with Horses, Inc. trained in the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method, a retired Professional Engineer and Qi Gong Instructor but mostly she is a woman passionate about horses, their wellbeing and sharing their gift of strengthing relationships. The horses teach the clients to trust their true nature while interacting with them in the outdoor classroom.  Clients often report a heightened awareness about themselves, their surroundings and others while experienceing a deeper, more profound understanding of their relationships and connection to others.  Barbara lives at Wayfinding Farm, located near Ocala Florida.  

Permission To Fail

Permission to fail

Written by Carroll a member of Women Move It Forward

Take a moment to feel in to the next two statements.

-We maintain very high standards.
-We have a zero-tolerance for failure policy.

For me the first statement is an exciting challenge; I love quality. The second fills me with dread; it is an impossible job.

For a good portion of my military career I worked under an official zero-tolerance for failure policy. And if you take a moment to break that policy into pieces and understand the basics of what it means we will understand that while the intention was good the effect is quite negative. Zero tolerance = no willingness to allow.

Tolerance is very important aspect of being human. A policy that has zero tolerance for failure means every single person in that organization has been convicted prior to the crime. It has left each person arguing with themselves on their own guilt or innocence.

Failure is a critical part of life, some of our best lessons come when we fail and to not be allowed to fail crushes any imagination and desire to move forward.

Visible effects of this policy are watching others and sometimes yourself lie and hide any and every mistake. Watching all initiative dissolve until you are left with an organization that grudgingly does less than what they’re told. It creates an atmosphere of tension and stress.

I have spent the last few years in retirement working through my issues around this subject. I have always striven to do the job correctly (any job). I have been somewhat of a perfectionist looking for details inside of details. Recently, I have come across a technique that is helping me to relax and let go of any anxiety that is created around not just my failures, but any and all possible future failures. It is a very simple and powerful tool.

I give myself and others permission to fail. That does not mean that I seek to fail just that I have permission to when the inevitable happens.

I look at myself in the mirror and say “I give you permission to fail.” When I go into a group I look at them and say silently “I give you permission to fail” because if there’s one place were failure occurs frequently it is in communication. So when miscommunication happens, it is very easy for me to forgive because I’ve already given permission. I believe the statement “the only certainty is death and taxes” should be changed to “the only certainty is death, taxes and miscommunication.”

An example of how this tool worked. I’m a member of a Toastmasters group I prepared for a week to present one of my speeches. Prior to the speech, I looked in the mirror and told myself several times “I give you permission to fail. If you fail this speech, no one will die, the economy will continue, and the world will turn.” I started the speech and I felt comfortable and confident. Then presenting the first point I forgot a critical piece; I skipped right over it and of course the rest of the speech referred back to this point. As soon as I realized what I had done I knew I could not recover and just throw the information in where I was. I did an internal dance of keep it, toss it, keep it… for the rest of the points. Many could say that the speech had failed completely. However, I considered it a great success, because I did not panic in the middle of my mistake. My emotions were quite calm even in that world-wind of a dance. My inner critic was out to lunch. I completed my speech. I acknowledge that it was not complete with what I had prepared; yet, I provided information, I gave a valuable demonstration and I received very good feedback.

Yes, as you can see the world is still turning.

Do you have anxiety around failure? If I may make a suggestion: repeatedly give yourself permission to fail and see how your anxiety dissolves.

Feeling Lost? Act Anyway

Contribut Emily Glidden of The Feeling Rider

I was lost. Sometime in mid-December, I awoke to the realization that after schlepping myself and my horse across the country, co-adopting a mule and a mini-donkey as companions and nurturers for my healing center, launching a new website and a new series of programs in 2017, I actually, truly, had no idea what I wanted to create for 2018. I was still enjoying my teaching and coaching, but I wanted to expand my work to a larger audience. Yet all my ideas for this expansion had lost their juiciness. I brainstormed new ideas but they too felt flat and unmotivating. Ouch. [Use your imagination to insert stronger expletives here – many of them were uttered in the unquiet confines of my home.]

After purging my frustration from my body, I went to work. I knew this was the sort of block that I wasn’t going to be able to work through on my own. I needed to look to mentors, to experts in spirituality, entrepreneurship, marketing, messaging, writing, art and leadership. I needed experts on goal-setting and visioning and listening to my intuition. I needed to attack and soothe my uncertainty from every angle until I knew the shape of it with precision and could mold it into something of my own.

I entered the world of the podcast. We are so unbelievably fortunate that we live in a world where thousands of experts give out millions of hours of free, high quality advice that is instantly accessed over the internet. The content that is out there is nothing short of astounding. I also availed myself of online videos and audio books through my library (shout out to the library app Hoopla for being another fantastic resource for borrowing e-media).

I cleaned my horses’ stalls listening to Oprah, cleaned my house to Tim Ferriss, watered my plants with Martha Beck and ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Marie Forleo every chance I got. Every day for two months I fed my mind and spirit with these thought leaders while I did my chores.

All this inspiration and direction moved me to new actions. The gist of it was: I needed to feed my spirit to get into the flow of inspiration. I started with making my bed every day. Next was reaching out to new people in my community for friendship and networking. I sought closer connections with friends and family, opening myself to greater vulnerability to give my soul the true heartfelt connections it needed to feel inspired again. I listened to my body – what sensations were whispering to me to give me direction? Under the guidance of a new doctor, I made a major change to my diet. I started going to a women’s boxing gym and pounding out my feelings. I lay down on the ground in my backyard and did nothing but watch birds and clouds. I journaled like a madwoman, pouring my thoughts and feelings onto the page. I started a new meditation practice, then gave it up, hired a business coach and started meditating again.

And while many of these changes weren’t directly connected with the creative aspects of my work, they have all contributed something key to the elixir of my resilience.

Here’s the biggest thing I’ve learned: if you want to grow, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Take action before you feel confident or clear. If you spend too much time visioning and imagining what you want and wait for the alignment to feel just right (my old way), you’ll waste a lot of time perfecting a vision that can just as easily be tweaked on the go. Because here’s the thing – your first steps towards a big vision aren’t going to be giant leaps. They’re going to be little action steps. Getting out there and meeting like-minded people who can support you. Talking to potential clients to learn more about their wants and needs. And as you take little action steps, possible paths will begin to unfold and then, and only then, will it be clear to you which path you want to take, because you’re already in action.

In retrospect, my “lack of clarity” was actually just a very clever way that my inner critic was blocking me from moving forward with my life’s work. Once I got into action and started expanding my comfort zone, my confidence grew, my critic quieted down and inspiration started flowing. Having great self-care practices in place has helped me to pace the inspiration and move forward while caring for my skittish inner critic. I’m finding that if I meditate and take action on my goals every day, my inner critic has less chance of tricking me into playing small.

What key insight or action has helped you to stay inspired? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.



Well, DUH, Moments

Most everyone has those “AHA” moments where the light bulb goes on and one gains a new shift in awareness. Lately, I have been having “well, DUH, moments.”  The kind of moments where you already know something, but do not necessarily practice what you preach.  The DUH, healer heal thyself moments.  The kind where you literally slap yourself in the noggin and say” DUH, really, how did I miss that?” moments.

I have been taking an animal communication course with Ashara Morris of Harmony Hearts Coaching. PLUG- her independent study course Best Life EVER with Your Pet has nearly caused me a concussion from the DUH slaps on my noggin! Her perspective was she did not know what she could teach ME.  My perspective was that I wanted to have a two way conversation with animals.  I knew I had blocks and I often rely on other communicators for help.  Especially when trying to communicate with those of my own fur friends (emotional attachment).  Candy, our most recent last chance rescue horse, is my catalyst.  Her forerunners were however household pets who have annoying habits.  Reaching Candy was a challenge.  She was a puzzle, and it was heartbreaking to know her intense pain was caused by human force. The annoyances are Lula the cat who treats me with absolute disdain and is nearly anorexic in her finicky-ness, and a pound hound with separation anxiety and several gross habits.  I have become so disgusted with Mariah’s problems that her positive attributes became diminished.  Both Lula and Mariah were consigned to my husband as HIS, because I couldn’t deal with them.  They were causing me anxiety.  Tom has a knack of loving them anyway, faults included.  Tom has been Lula’s chosen one all along.  I am her slave.  I am only fit to clean her litter box.

So far I have been through a third of the course, but Holy Guacamole! I have taken the tips and put them into practice.

Conversation with Lula the cat- “Lula, you are aging and in your teens. The longer you go without eating the more damage you do to your aging kidneys.  If you don’t eat, we are going to have to visit the Vet.  Are you sick, do you need to go to the Vet?  If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t go through everything I do to get you to eat. I am so frustrated because I have tried everything and nothing works.”  Lula’s response (her perspective), “No Vet.”  A shift did occur though. As long as I make her small meals at least 5 times a day and stand there with her, she eats.  I also tell her what a good kitty she is.  She has become extremely affectionate, purrs and follows me around and lies on my lap.  I can actually pet her! My energy had been telling her that I was frustrated so she avoided me at all costs. It came out as frustration, but underneath I really do care.  It is concern for her well-being.  I was finally able to shift frustration, help her understand my concern and care and create a connection. She now understands I care.  My husband claims “she now loves you more than me.”  She has improved so much that the trip to the Vet is postponed.  DUH!

I have really had to step out of what I had hoped for (my agenda) and the vision I held and deal with what is. All of my fur friends are rescues with special needs.  My greatest passion is offering healing.  My greatest pain is not being able to see that accomplished to the fullest extent (my perspective, not theirs).

My conversation with Mariah was humbling. She firmly said NO to several of my requests, even though she was aware with how disgusted I am with some of her anxious habits.  We have been able to reach some compromises however.  What became clear to me is that she may take a lifetime to heal the damages from her past.  Do I not also continue to work on my annoying habits and deal with past trauma on a daily basis?  Am I not loved anyway?  DUH!  The path of love is so much more open between us now.  Mariah actually walked into her crate on her own for the first time.  She has to be crated due to separation anxiety.  She creates horrible messes in the house when we are not here.  When I explained why she is crated, for her safety and security not for punishment, she seems more accepting.  She doesn’t like it.  We have compromised so that she can stay in a secure yard when the weather is nice. We have tried numerous things to make life better for Mariah, including adopting a companion dog to keep her company and visits to the Vet.  We are considering anxiety meds and stomach meds to see if that alleviates anxious habits.  Most of the time she seems happy.

My coaching partner and I have been doing self- care retreats and a support group for Care-Givers. The messages about self- care are according to horses, so it is somewhat humorous.  Of course it is the horses in the ECG Method that are truly the expert coaches!  These retreats and groups have been so powerful.  I am so deeply touched and rocked to my core by the sacrifices and services of Care-Givers.  I am blown away by how deeply meaningful this information being presented so simply really is.  Practicing self- care is an enormous task when ones time, energy and effort are depleted.  Healers do not have time to heal themselves.  It is rare they put themselves first.

It took last chance Candy (latest rescue horse) and doing all we could do to ease her physical, mental, emotional and yes, spiritual suffering to finally drive this home to me. Yes- I knew it, but did I practice self-care for me?  Nope.  Her life has completely turned around in six months.  We have done what we could do to ease her suffering.  We invested a great deal of finances.  So much that I kept postponing my medical care and other expenses.  That is how much she moved me. Her quality of life has improved so much.  She is comfortable and happy, no longer defensive, trying to bite and kick, her eyes wild with suffering.  People insist she is not the same horse.  She has become my teacher and my confidant.  She looked at me straight in the face one day and I heard her say- it’s your turn now Mom.  Your suffering can be eased.  Your quality of life can improve.  “See- look at me”.  We have been negotiating priorities for months to meet the special needs of our rescues and clients served.  I am tempted to start a GO FUND ME page on Facebook.  Some days I am overwhelmed, but I believe all will work out in the end.

Just as I slapped myself in the forehead again, DUH, that I could prioritize and negotiate my own medical care, and began to take action we were hit with more news. One horse needed a cancerous growth surgically removed. Then even more serious news.  Our cute little paint mare Eclipse has had problems for the year that we have had her. She has very messy, abnormal, prolonged heat cycles. In the conversation with her, from her perspective, she just loves Spirit and wants to have his baby.  I explained he is a gelding and can’t make babies.  Her response was she wants his baby anyway. She actually hid her left ovary from the Vet during the ultrasound! The ultrasound showed an ovarian tumor, as suspected, once the Vet finally located it.  The surgery for removal will cost thousands.  Friends and professionals are rallying around us.  We will postpone home improvements planned for this year. I doubt the surgery will dampen her desire to have Spirit’s baby.  That is her horsey agenda. We have to deal with the reality of what is.  Much like her what I hope and envision (my agenda) is not quite possible.  There is always compromise, changing perspective and a higher outcome.  Her health will improve, and either way, unfortunately she can’t have Spirit’s baby.  In time love will take the place of what can happen, not the disappointment of what can’t happen.

Guess what, even in all this- I found a way to practice self- care. I took action. My medical care has begun.  It is being prioritized and negotiated- just as I do for everyone else.  It is a great relief to improve my quality of life, even though I am facing possible painful surgery in the future. Calm has settled over me that it will all work out. I am also encouraged by several clients who are taking action in practicing self-care for themselves. Another one of those “Well, DUH, Moments!”


Growth – a Never Ending Process


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From Ashara Morris, one of the bloggers on this site:

Last night I attended a women’s networking group in Denver, sponsored by one of the coaches I’ve worked with over the years. Let me digress for just a moment to say that I own my own business, and it has taken me a while to put on the CEO hat and really own the fact that I own the business. But I still don’t feel that much like a CEO. In my mind, that’s Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, or some other high-powered executive. My little 1 person show often, in my mind, doesn’t seem like it should even require a CEO. But that’s my title – along with Pet Psychic, certified EGCMethod(r) Coach, and Reiki Master. Many hats. The CEO one still doesn’t fit too well, but I’ve recently started embracing it a teeny bit more.

But back to that gathering. It is a group of executives and CEO entrepreneurs who are really making a difference in the world. The movers and the shakers, as it were, at least here in Denver. When I heard about it, I felt like that wasn’t my group of people, and I wasn’t going to go. Then I talked with a few women with whom I’d spent a year in a Mastermind. One has a business that is doing really well. A couple are still in startup mode. One is retiring from her day job the middle of February. All of them were attending. I gave this some more thought. My resistance was really up, and that’s when I realized I actually needed to attend. My inner gremlins were trying to keep me safe by telling me this was not my tribe. Well, let’s just set that gremlin straight. I paid my money, found something CEO-ish in my closet to wear, and headed to Denver.

I was easily the oldest woman in the room. That felt….strange. I’d never given it much thought before, but last night I noticed. (Oh, it’s the old lady gremlin!) When I arrived, I was given my name badge and told about the two stars on the front, that denoted the table I was to sit at to start the evening (color coded, very creative) and the one I would sit at for the break out session. I spoke with my friends, and the strangers at my table. I’m sure my vibe was a little off. After all, I’m “just” an animal communicator. This was, once again, those dang gremlins trying to keep me safe. And getting louder.

The breakout was in two parts. I got a glass of water and sat at what I thought was my designated table. But it wasn’t. Round one was back at the original table. I don’t know what it was about that, probably my “you must be PERFECT” gremlin, but I was mortified. I felt like an old lady who couldn’t keep a simple instruction in her head, and at the same time like I was 5 years old and couldn’t keep a simple instruction in my head. WOW. Thing is, I know what I was told at the door, and it didn’t jibe with what was actually happening. But rather than decide “oh well, it was just a misunderstanding” I folded into myself and was so upset I was almost in tears. Geeeeez.

Then a fairly good thing happened. At our table, we said what we did, what our hopes and dreams are for 2018, and then what the people at the table could help us with. I did that. I explained about how I help people understand their animals, how I wanted to change as many pet/people relationships as possible in 2018 and teach other people to do what I do, and then asked for help around the confidence to step into a lot of money coming my way. A woman at the table started asking about the problems I work on and the solutions I use. What? In the past, I would have been “the good girl” and just let her give me advice I didn’t really need. Last night, I stopped her, told her I did have a problem/solution statement (which was not what we were talking about), and that the help I was looking for was for my INTERNAL dialogue. The CEO in me pushed aside the gremlin who would have just let me sit there like a lump, very briefly raised her head and did what was needed to bring the conversation back to my actual appeal for help.

The bottom line: I will probably go again. It was uncomfortable hanging out with all that power, because I’m not used to it. But I won’t get used to it if I don’t hang out with it. On an empowerment call the next day, someone in the group posted this about someone else lamenting her many gremlins: “They get louder the closer you get to your own greatness.”

I must be getting close.

Ashara Morris is the CEO of Harmony’s Heart LLC, of which Harmony’s Heart Animals is a part. Learn more about her and the way Harmony’s Heart is changing the world at / /

Excellence is Always Adeqate

Excellence is always adequate.

I try not to use the terms “never” and “always”, but in a recent discussion with a friend, I found myself making the statement above. This friend is known for beating herself up and reliving every minor error in her mind over and over. She is also extremely capable and conscientious, and most people see her quite differently than she sees herself.

We often carry unexamined messages from childhood that affect our lives. These may be comments that were made casually by our parents, and have affected our self-image ever since. Many of us strive for perfection and exhaust ourselves, rather than saying something is “good enough”.

Others are comfortable with “good enough” and don’t make the effort to make or do something that they will be proud of. There are times when “good enough” is not “good enough” to satisfy our personal standards, and we may choose to raise those standards from “good enough” to “excellence”.

I have decided that I will give myself a score of excellent if 97% of what I produce is error-free. The Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule states that 20% of the invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. There are diminishing returns with the additional effort. I generally want to do better than 80%, therefore 20% of the effort is less than I choose to put in. To create results I’m satisfied with or even proud of, I am willing to put in 60% to 70% of the effort required for perfection in order to produce an excellent result.

Further, there are projects and tasks that are not important enough to require 80%, and others that require 99% rather than 97%. However, I have scratched my head searching for tasks and projects that require 100%, or perfection and come up with nothing.

Oxford defines adequate as “Satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity.”

Merriam-Webster defines adequate as:

  • “Sufficient for a specific need or requirement”,
  • good enough of a quality that is good or acceptable”, and,
  • of a quality that is acceptable but not better than acceptable.” 

I suspect that the final Webster definition is the one that sticks in the craw of those of us who drive ourselves to great lengths, and suggest that we visit tasks and projects on a case by case basis to determine which require more attention (excellence rather than adequate).

How many times do you drive yourself to distraction trying to be perfect?

After careful consideration, I have determined that for me, excellence is always adequate. There is never a time when perfection is required. If I have put in the effort on a worthy task, and the output is excellent, it does not need to be perfect.

Jocelyn Hastie

P.S. In the first publication of this post, I spelled adequate wrong in the title. It’s not too late to revisit and improve your work!

Jocelyn Hastie is the founder of Unbridled Business Solutions Inc., a company specializing in communications related training and creator of Cutting the Crush of Criticism.



Looking Forward

Contributed by Michelle Sidun…

New Year’s is all about resolutions and setting goals. So often many of those resolutions have already gone by the wayside by the end of January. We’re all ready and rearing to go and then we fizzle.  What happens? Life, life happens. Reality sets in. At least that’s my opinion and what happens for me.  So what can I do to change that?  For me it’s more about looking at what is unfinished from last year. That’s where I start.  I look at my projects and goals that didn’t get finished and then I decide if it’s something I want to drop or carry into the new year. From there I set additional goals.

Fast forward to July, how many of these goals and projects have been met?  Well last year, not many! Arg! What the heck happened?  I didn’t put my goals up in a visible place so that I was reminded of them regularly, that’s what happened. They got shoved in a closet and I ran across them when I was organizing.  Lol, oh look those are zone pretty amazing goals.  I should do that… So this month the white board is going up and big sticky notes too.  Sharing those goals with my hubby is important too.  How can he help me if he doesn’t know what I need help with? Communication is key!

Breaking them down into catagories is another step. Yes, I’m a list girl.  Even my lists have lists.  😁  Many things I can do myself but others I need help with.  Knowing which projects I need a second set of hands with will help me plan as I’ll need to plan around multiple schedules.  Like so many couples these days,  we are often going in different directions and have very different days off.  Finally,  always have a back up plan!  Here in Wyoming the weather often throws us a curve ball so having an alternative project to work on is a key to success!

So here’s to Looking Back and Moving Forward!