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!

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2018 The year of Possibilities and Promise

Blog post contributed by Barbara B.

2018 seems to be starting like so many years in the past. We are asked to change our outward appearance in order to find  happiness and joy. Already the coupons for “slim” dinners, diet pills and discounts for health spas are filling the mailboxes. If you look great on the outside, than all is well with the world, is the promise.  I don’t know about you, but these schemes have never worked for me. To me, these quick fixes are temporary, limiting and not fulfilling. How often do we work on our outside only to find it is not in alignment with our inner truth?

Early in the morning on the 1st , I sat with pen and paper (i.e. computer) in hand, like many of you, and reviewed 2017. I did this so I can start with a fresh paper for 2018, with as little or no baggage as possible. I jotted down what I started, completed, accomplished and wished I had done.  I stepped backed and took a look. Hmmm… yes there was a lot done and a number of things left undone. But did I feel like I was in a better place? Were my finances better off? Was my spirit a testament to all I read and cherished this last year? Was my home a refuge or sanctuary? Did I care for friends and family with compassion and warmth? Was I wiser? Healthier? Happier? Were others better off by my encounter with them? Was life simpler or more complicated? Did I use my hours and days well? I had so many questions, I had to stop. To simplify, I decided to first check into my mind, body, heart, spirit and hear what my inner compass had to say. The other questions could be answered later. So for now…

I checked into my mind?

Wow I did more than I thought. I planned and completed a number of items. I visited my family, traveled to see a solar eclipse, read  listened to audio books using Libby and RB Digital Library App. I held self help clinics, I learned about my heritage and the book of Runes. I helped others understand their Charka energy. I was certified on a curriculum on how to work better with youth. I set up classes and worked with the local youth and older teens helping them find their own power. I helped women better understand themselves and their horses while improving their connection and understanding. I stepped out and taught Qigong and brought Lincoln, my poodle for visits to aid residents of extended living facilities. I felt good, but knew I could have done more, used my time more wisely and maybe be a bit more focused.

This 2018 I will feed my mind with more positive ideas so I can help it do the work I am met to do. I need a mind that is open, less judgmental and more willing to listen and observe. What does my mind need? I asked it and it said “I would like more rest, be happy with results, not flitter about so much and please feed and care for me as well as I do the horses.” It wants to be able to meet my demands without stress and maximize it’s potential so we can be healthy and happy together.

I checked into my body?

This past year I dedicated more time to practicing Qigong, Yoga, meditation and general wellness. I am very happy with the added flexibility, the cleansing I receive from deep breathing and am more aware of how my body. I can feel the difference when I kayak as my motion and limberness improves. I purchased a new bike and rode it more frequently. The horses and I played on a more regular bases and I ran with them to expand my lungs and leg strength.I really feel a difference and take note how I feel when I become lazy and eat lower octane or sugar laden diet.

This 2018 I will take even better care of my body so I can better serve others. I need it to be stronger, leaner and balanced to radiate light. OK body what do you want, I asked? It almost screamed at me. You know what I need? Just follow thru and do it! Take off the burden of weight so I can move more freely and be lighter on my feet. So I promise, I will not only listen but I will do as it needs. I will continue to be selective about the food I take in and drink 10-12 glasses plenty of water. I will strengthen my body so I can feel my muscles rejoice and not feel them complain when over exerted. I look forward to my body being well so my heart and spirit can soar. This will also help my mind to be clear. I will purchase a “fit” watch so I can monitor my progress and not guess as it. This will help me be honest with me and my body.

I checked into my heart?

I’ve had a tough year holding onto what I cherish. My family has been torn by illness and my dream of a successful business has been altered. Throughout last year,I felt love flowing through my fingers like grains of sand. I so wanted to pause so I could sculpt and shape a masterpiece of love. Something I could hold onto. I know love is never lost, it just resides in a different place and I must find that place. I think back on 2017 and remember wonderful times with my sisters, friends and of course the horses. The times I rode and saw the light flicker through the trees or kayaked down a fog laden river made my heart soar. I also saw smiles and bright eyes shining back at me while teaching which fills my heart with graditude. I have abundance in my heart along with aching.

So I asked my heart, what do you need in 2018? My heart says “I am uneasy. I am not prepared to go another year in the same frozen framework it had been pressed into. To let go is to be free. I want freedom to love and be, not be caged. When I am broke, please take the time to honor it? I may not fill up all the voids may stay with me and concentrate on the parts that are working well, my joy and wonder of it all”  OK I say. I will give more of my time and endeavors so others can experience the joy of being and living. My inner compass will take precedence even while in a fog. Soaring is how we will work on being free and finding joy.

I checked into my spirit?

This year my connection to a higher power, a God and Spirit has grown tenfold. I am honored and humbled to a part of this incredible universe. My spirit has encompassed not only this world but outer dimensions which are limitless, just as universal Love and Kindness.

So spirit what is it you want for us? “I choose to soar and be light for others”,  it responds. This 2018 I look forward to sharing the spirit of community with others and connect to the awesome power of oneness. We are all made of atoms and space and the glue of our humanist being is love and compassion. This is how Spirit and I will transform 2018, by reaching out to others and sharing love, light and wholeness.

How is your 2018 going? What does your mind, body, heart and spirit need to fully resonate with your purpose? Check into your inner compass and listen. Make this year the year of possibilities and promise.

 

 

Barbara is trained in the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method, a retired Professional Engineer and Qi Gong Instructor but mostly she is a woman passionate about horses and sharing their gift of spirit with others. Throughout her life the horses have demonstrated to her how to align her inner compass and become more aware, balanced and joyful. Wayfinding With Horses, LLC, offers women an experiential process where by choosing to move forward, heal and fully engage with life their present indeed becomes a “Gift. Barbara lives with her husband, dogs, cats, horses and cows at Wayfinding Farm, located near Ocala Florida.  For more information about EGCMethod® coaching contact Barbara at Wayfindingwithhorses.com (WWH.biz). Wayfinding With Horses- I invite you to find the wild and wonderful within.

Opening the Doorways to Self-Love

This post contributed by BB Harding.

For years, I have heard the adage that you just need to love yourself.  So much of misfortune, diseases, and other sticky stuff of life emerges out of a lack of self-love.  Ok, I heard that, and felt that yeah, pretty much I did that.  Not a big deal, not something to spend time worrying about.  Yeah, yeah, yeah….kind of like the old Beatles song.  Apparently, I am not alone, as the instructor for the Human Design class that I am taking has said that in her practice, more than 85% of her clients have issues with self-love.

As I write this article, 2017 is coming to a close, and 2018 is waiting in the wings; in fact, in some parts of the world, 2018 has already arrived.  I am reflecting on where I have allowed love to enter my life more in 2017.  Where have some of the opportunities for transformation been presented? 

One of the first things that comes to mind is some work around power.  Two of us who did the Sacred Ambition event in August of 2016 did some extended work around power.  Over several weeks we repeatedly asked the same 5 questions focused on power and answered them in the moment.  It was clear that for me, power was an “evil” thing; not only in the world, also in my hands.  Somehow, power in my hands would not be a good thing – I would hurt people – a message that was given to me in my youth.  So, it would be understandable that I would want to avoid power. Over the weeks, the insight that “power is the love that sets things in motion” came to me.  It was an inspired thought, and it brought about a shift.  The love that sets things in motion.  What does this say about all of what is considered the use of power that is exuded into the world?  Really, the LOVE that sets things into motion?  I could easily grasp that if power were used in a “good way” LOVE was setting things into motion.  Not so sure about power used is so many of the visible ways in our world today. That leads to the contemplation that today’s notion of power is really abuse, rather than power.

Another area – working with the understanding that all parts serve a noble purpose.  All parts are here to serve me – to get the best for me.  The more work I do with the voice dialogue or active imagination techniques to understand where a part is coming from, the more I begin to understand this.  Some parts are easier to accept than others.  It is my judgment that categorizes them as good or bad.  It is my judgment as to whether I will accept them or not.  Moving into acceptance for all has, at times, been a challenge; after all I didn’t want to admit that a “more enlightened” person recognizes that the turmoil that resides in the outside world also resides inside.  When doing the “darker” work, as it is referred to,  to investigate within my own conscious or even the unconscious – the murderer, the rapist, the robber, the world dominator – well, I’m sure you get the idea – wasn’t really what I wanted to look at.  Asking those questions how is it that I kill myself or others off?  Where is it that I would force my will on another?  How do I take the life force from myself and others?  Where do I adamantly see that it should be my way or the highway?  All good questions and the proverbial grist for the mill.  I am not going to claim that I have done all the work that there is.  There are nuances that pop up here and there, and at the same time, I can feel that “progress” is being made.  There is a different sense of well-being and knowing inside that wasn’t there.

Attempting to reach mastery can be a steep hill to climb.  Another saying of popularity is there are only two choices – fear or love.  ANY time I am not choosing love, I am choosing fear.  It seems sooooo black and white; where are my fifty-shades of grey?  I am learning that love generally doesn’t spring from reaction.  That at some level, self-preservation is what springs into reaction.  I want to explain so that you don’t think I am stupid; I want to do good things so that you will love me; I want to solve problems so that you will see my value; and most of all I don’t want to do anything that will result in my being kicked out of the tribe.  At the same time, I feel shielded by the fact that most of my adult life has really been alone so that no one could pierce the not so invisible armor.  It is exhausting to be one guard for one reason or another – what can I do to feel open, vulnerable, trusting, connected?  I am learning that loving who I am, foibles and all, and learning which projection about my actions is mine, and which belongs to someone else.  It is soooo hard to grasp that just BE-ing is enough.  What would the world be like if we were all just BE-ing?  Of course I wonder, what would ever get done if everyone were just being.

And the last thing I would like to share with you is self-care.  One look at me, and it is obvious that I have not spent a lot of time on the kind of self-care that results in a very healthy life.  My body is grossly overweight and racked with pain.  I truthfully have not given it much thought one way or the other and it wasn’t a topic that I talked about.  I felt I simply had to accept the way things were, as I wasn’t likely to be able to change it.  It wasn’t that I hated myself, it was more like a lifetime of not caring one way or another, and now, I would just have to live with it; I was too far gone to really be able to change things at this point in the game.  I am learning that there is a difference between blithely accepting and learning to love the way things are.  After years of doing things to get more healthy and failing, I have a clarity that I am waiting until the momentum comes from within.  I am experimenting with expanding possibilities, choosing one and then feeling into whether I am producing the results that feel good or not.  I am paying attention so that I can recognize where the convergence of the desire to shift and the impulse to action converge in support of the desire.  It has taken a certain amount of work to even allow the desire to emerge, let alone open the door to new possibilities and until that convergence has caught fire within, I am learning to love things just the way they are.  I am also acknowledging that there is pain, and that rest is needed.  Rest to allow healing to take place; rest to take a breather rather than pushing completely beyond the limits; rest to honor that BE-ing has a precedence; to allow my own power to emerge.  This is one where I slip out of alignment frequently because I’m in the middle of something that I like doing, want to know more about, etc.  😉

In this year of 2018, I encourage you to create the doorways in which self-love can gently enter and allowing your love to set things in motion.

A Christmas Carroll

christmas horse

Written by Carroll a member of Women Move It Forward

In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, I was inspired by the Ghosts of Advice from the past, present and future:

On Christmas Eve, as I finished my morning coffee, the Ghost of Advice Past visited me.  To my surprise, it was AE Whitehead.  He took me to my window and showed me my pasture.  In it, I saw a young Carroll frolicking in the grass, riding her dragon and slaying her enemies.  Her cheeks were red and her eyes were glittering with excitement.  Then the Ghost of Advice Past said to me, “Without adventure, civilization is in a state of constant decay.”  And I wondered, where did my adventurous spirit go?  Do I still have it?

Later in the day as I completed my manure meditation, the Ghost of Advice Present appeared.  This time it was a Native American spirit guiding the beings on my sanctuary.  He pointed at my house and showed me sitting in my office, agonizing over past stresses and worrying about future problems.  He then stated, quite matter-of-factly, “Just live.”  Just live?  Was I doing that? Was I taking time to stop and look at what is happening in front of me right now?  Was I living each and every one of my experiences?

As I laid down to sleep, settling in and pulling the covers up, the Ghost of Advice Future appeared.  It was Death, in black robes with a hood, his bony hand clutching a cup of coffee. He pointed to the mirror in which I saw a window of a house. Inside there was a gathering of somber people dressed in black, clustered around the dining room table heaped with comforting food. A woman with a very kind face and a young girl of five sat near the window.  Earnestly the little girl asked her mother, “Does this mean I don’t have to sit quietly while great grandma talks forever, telling me again and again how to grow up?”

Her mother turned red and whispered, “She meant well but her talks did get longer as her arthritis limited her, making her feel useless.” The little girl grew quite serious and then asked, “Is that why you and daddy stay away?” Her mother turned even redder and said honestly, “Yes, we love her very much, but it was very hard to be around someone constantly giving advice on how to live a better life.”  The philosophic little girl announced, “I loved it when she held me and we just watched the horses.” Her mother said, “I know.  If she just realized she was worth so much more than nagging advice, we would’ve been here every week. I loved sitting quietly with her. She had so much love and comfort to give. I am sorry she is gone.” Then she turned and looked out her window, into my mirror, and muttered, “But staying away was the only way to stay sane.”  Was that me? Did I drive my family away trying to prove my worth with my sage advice?  I looked up and asked, “How can I avoid this future?” Death placed a bony finger to where lips should be and then faded away.

I lay awake for some time contemplating my Christmas Carroll events. I resolved that this Christmas, I will follow my Ghosts of Advice.  I will have adventures that let my imagination run free to prevent my stagnation and decay. I will just live in the moments of now, trying valiantly to not stress about the past or the future.  I will live my life with love and joy, striving to let go of “doing” and focus on just “being”. I will come to terms with the fact that my worth is not strictly based on accomplishments and actions. I do not have to constantly do or say things to prove my worth. Mostly importantly, I will keep my advice to myself until I am asked for it.

This Christmas, how will you live your life?

Zero Tolerance For Anxiety

Anxiety. They have pills for that. However, there are no pills for anxiety’s cousins and near-neighbors: worry, stress and, the underpinning of it all, fear.

When I blew up my life nearly three years ago by calling off my engagement, I was sad and relieved. When I blew up my life again last fall by deciding to move my four legged family and myself to Arizona, I was excited, eager, confident, and ready to take on the world.  Meanwhile, my basic operating system was running in the background on the trifecta of fear.

Do you know the story, I’m not sure if it’s about frogs or lobsters, maybe both, in which the poor dear is placed in a pot of cool water and if the water is heated gradually, he simply stays in the pot until he’s cooked? His nervous system never sounds out the alarm to jump out because it adapts as the temperature rises, until it’s too late. Like my amphibious and crustacean friends, I’d become habituated to stress, except that it wasn’t hot water I adapted to, it was a cascading deluge of fearful thoughts.

Around the time of the inauguration, my inner world had become such a perfect reflection of the political world that my skin seemed to exist only for show. It became a daily challenge to live on purpose, to stay focused on my true work and not the world’s ills.

And so, naturally, I became ill. I was thirsty all the time, fatigued and having dizzy spells. I was drinking gallons, yes gallons, of water a day and still my thirst was not quenched. I saw doctors and specialists and had blood tests and brain scans which all amounted, thankfully and frustratingly, to nothing.

One day, in a period of 24 hours, three experts told me they believed I needed to be medicated for anxiety. At long last, I registered the alarm from my nervous system in response to this shout out from the universe through the voices of these three disparate experts: an endocrinologist, a family doctor and a chinese medical herbalist.

My inner world turned and I took back control over the one thing I can control: my thoughts. I went for acupuncture, stopped consuming news, thanked God for my health and calmed myself every time I felt the call of thirst. My symptoms subsided in a matter of weeks.

The pain of this world would kill me, if I let it, empath that I am. And to the extent I allow the political climate to affect my emotional well-being, it will continue to do me harm. And I suppose I could let it. I could martyr myself on the cross of my values as I see so many do every day.

But here’s the thing: I want so much more for myself and I see a vastly bigger picture. I see a world that is shaking itself up like a miner sifting for gold. And I could focus on the shakes and all the dirt and that damned sieve. Or I could focus on the gold. The gold that is you and me and all that is holy in our destiny.

The gold in me is my sacred center. I connect to it through my time with horses, curiosity, adventure, exploration, and joy; through my work with clients and my creative time; through meditation. I connect to it through loving my friends and my family, and through personal work that expands my capacity to open my heart in loving action. I connect to it through trust: trust in self, trust in Spirit, and trusting in the light in others.

My dreams are big. My capacity to serve is enormous. But first I must serve myself by respecting the sacred vessel that is this body I get to inhabit during my time here on Earth.

I now have a zero tolerance policy for anxiety. When anxiety comes knocking, I meet it, interrupt it, redirect it, explore it, experiment with it…I do whatever it takes to stay conscious and to not allow myself to boil in this water.

I believe that if I focus on the gold and empower others to focus on the gold…and if you do the same…and we all act from that place of our best, most expanded selves…I believe that one day the sacred love we cherish in our inner worlds will be reflected in the outer world.

And whether I get to see that change or not, I will live a life of greater joy and meaning through following this gold-flecked path.

Ordinary Miracle

Recently, I was feeling puny from an ordinary head cold. I am not usually much of a fan of TV, but I found myself watching a children’s film, Charlotte’s web.  Based on the children’s novel by E. B. White, the story is about Charlotte the spider, who befriends Wilber the spring pig.  Wilber is more than ordinary, he is a runt. Clever Charlotte spins words into her web, to make the locals view Wilber in a much higher manner than becoming bacon at the smokehouse.  The whole rural community is touched by the magic.  By the end of the story, it makes everyone in the community including the barn animals a little more thoughtful and kinder.  As the credits were rolling, Sarah MacLachlan sings a beautiful song titled “Ordinary Miracle.”

 

Hence the inspiration for this blog, as the song captures just how miraculous everyday life can be. The spider’s web is a symbol of connection.  If we are mindful, we can begin to see how we creatively and intricately weave the webs of our lives.

If we are aware and present, we can often catch breathtaking glimpses in nature of ordinary miracles. Oh yes, I could list them endlessly here- but perhaps it would be better if you pondered some of your own.

Humans, too, can touch our lives with ordinary miracles. Last summer I picked a friend up from Union Station. She came loaded down with luggage.  She is petite and I had an injured shoulder.  We had several blocks to walk to catch the light Rail (public transportation) here in Denver.  I literally prayed out loud for help, because I did not know how we would negotiate with me being injured and all her luggage. Dragging heavy luggage up and down the steps seemed out of the realm of possibilities.  I even chewed my friend out a little.  Miraculously, young strong guys appeared at every precarious place to assist us.  No one even seemed irritated at our slow progress.  The final test was in the parking garage, as even with two of us working on it together, I wasn’t sure we could master lifting the one overfilled large suitcase up into my jeep.  A young man actually ran across the parking deck to assist.  In one hefty swoop he grabbed the bag and had it stowed.  He barely stopped long enough for us to thank him.

I have to say, I was fairly awestruck that day that a simple prayer of desperation led to a team of earthly angels manifesting to help.

During this often stressful season of hustle and bustle take a few moments to experience an ordinary miracle. Better than that, add to your list a way of being an ordinary miracle for someone else this season.  It may even be an invisible act. After all it is the season of sharing.  You never know how you might touch a complete stranger’s life by being a little more thoughtful or kind.  Allow your inner light to shine even brighter as we await the New Year, and the return of ordinary daylight and warmth.  My wish for you is that you give and receive an ordinary miracle.  After all did not an ugly spider and a runty pig become steadfast friends?  Really, wasn’t that extra-ordinary?

As I have been writing this, a spider has been crawling and hanging around on the screen outside the window. Her message is: “Be mindful of the web your words weave.  Use them wisely and constructively, to make intricate connections.”  AHO!

Reincarnation

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Posted by Ashara Morris, one of the writers of this Blog.

I seem to write a great deal about my family. They are a wonderful source of fodder for this blog; I’ve learned so much about myself through them over the years. My childhood was what one might call fairly idyllic; protected, loved, and while I was sent some messages that I’ve had to work through over the years, I was blessed with a general sense of well-being and goodness that has carried me in dark times.

I grew up in a fairly religious setting, and reincarnation wasn’t a topic of discussion at our table; however, my work with animals has certainly shown me the possibility, and I now embrace the concept fully. It is a complex topic, and one about which I have no complete answer. But I do believe that after we are finished with our current body, we DO continue, in one form or another. I’m pretty certain I was a horse in my most immediate past life – why else would I have such a knowing of what it felt like to be a horse? It was so much so that as a kid I walked like a horse, I ran like a horse, and when I competed in foot races I couldn’t just “trot” – I had to canter or gallop. which in a human body is actually pretty slow (with the result that I usually lost the race, even though I may have been ahead at the “trot”). It took me years to let go of that feeling.

I’ve only had a few of what I will call “deep-ish” conversations with my dad. One of them involved his philosophy about where we go after we die. He had decided somewhere along the line that when we kick the bucket, that’s it. He only went to church because it pleased my mom. I’m pretty sure he never shared that with her, and I certainly didn’t say anything.

So imagine my surprise when, a few days before his passing, I got a message through the ether from him, letting me know that he was on his way to the other side. We had a lovely conversation while I removed manure from our horse paddocks. I decided I was either crazy or actually “talking” with my dad, 1500 miles away. He left his body within 36 hours of that little talk. Huh.

After he passed, I came home for the funeral, and sitting in their former master bedroom, the hangers in what had been his closet started to jingle – the door to that closet was closed, and there was no air stirring. When I said it was freaking me out, it stopped. Papa was sending me messages.

Dad passed in 2005. Fast forward to about a year ago. I had a booth as a reader at a Body Mind Spirit Expo, my first, and a lovely couple stopped by my booth. After much trying and being told it would never happen, they were pregnant with their first child, a girl who was already named: Juliana. They wanted to make sure their two dogs understood that the birth of Juliana a few months in the future would impact everyone, but would not lessen their love for their canine friends. They were hoping the dogs would embrace their new human sister as she became part of the family. The dogs were of course thrilled to be involved in this process and said they would greet her with open paws.

I read for a lot of people and their animals at the expos, and very often someone will sit down in front of me and I don’t remember them. That was the case with this

Dad

My Papa

family, who stopped by my booth again at the fall event. This time there were three of them; mom, dad, and their little girl. We chit-chattted a bit, I asked when their daughter had been born, and they said in January. “Oh, how sweet,” I replied, “I have two puppies who were born in January, so she must be about 9 months old. What is her birth day?”

January 13.

“Wow,” I said, “that’s my dad’s birthday.” It was then I noticed that this 9-month old child was doing an inordinate amount of staring at me. I paused. “Nahhhhh,” my brain whispered. “That’s just a coincidence.”

She stared harder, little Juliana. Her eyes looked brown. My dad’s eyes were brown. The more we gazed at each other, the more the layers peeled away. I saw my dad’s face in hers. I know that Spirit always makes it easy for us to connect the dots, if we will just let go of our notions of “how things work” and allow the magic. There he was! This beautiful little girl was the essence of my father. I started to cry.  Miracle child, indeed.

Her parents were thrilled, and told me that although their dogs were doing great with Juliana, they had been compelled to seek me out and say hello. I felt twenty times blessed.

As they prepared to leave, they handed Juliana to me. I have never been comfortable holding small children, but I embraced her as the friend and teacher that she always has been, and always will be. I noticed that her eyes are not brown at all; they’re blue. The spirit she is showed me what I needed to see to connect the dots, and then settled back into her Juliana body, which doesn’t actually look like my dad at all.

As I’ve opened my heart, it has opened my eyes and my entire being to possibility. It is a journey I never thought I would take, and one that I wouldn’t miss for anything. What next?

If you would like to know more about Ashara, visit http://www.harmonysheartanimals.com. If you want to explore how she can help you have the Best Life Ever with your Pet, register for a free 30-minute consultation at: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=13755877&appointmentType=4343895

Lessons in Communication

When I had the opportunity to add horses to my life at the age of 30, I jumped at the chance. I had always been a farm girl at heart although I grew up in the city. I think I got the “animal lover” gene from my mother’s father. When he married my grandmother, he drove the wagon for the local creamery and had three draft horses. When he married grandma, he couldn’t afford her and three horses, so he had to sell one.

When I married a rancher’s son and was given my first horse at around 30, I felt as if a piece of my soul had come home. I learned that my way of slamming through life was no longer going to work. I needed to find a way to communicate with a sentient being that did not speak English. I needed to create a connection between us that overrode the differences between us.

I learned to slow down, to become more observant. To pick up the clues that something I was doing was affecting someone else negatively. I took those lessons into the workplace and became a much more effective team leader.

I learned lessons about authenticity. There isn’t a horse alive that worries that its saddle makes their butt look big. They may spook at a piece of paper, but don’t pretend it didn’t bother them, and quickly get back to grazing calmly rather than revisiting the momentary fear.

I learned lessons about clarity in communication. When the boss mare flattens her ears, shows her teeth and shakes her head at another herd member, they move. If they don’t, she may turn her back end and threaten to kick. If that doesn’t work, she may kick. But she doesn’t start with the kick.

If you look around, you will see communication everywhere. I invite you to watch for methods that work for others (either two legged or four), and experiment with how those methods might work for you.

Jocelyn

 

Traditions

Since this is Thanksgiving week, I feel moved to stray from my normal blog topics. I’ve been thinking a lot about family, traditions and ways of life lately. Not necessarily because of the holidays, although they do bring all of those thoughts up. Much of it is because of where I live and the choices I have made in the WAY I live.

I live on a 20 acre ranch in the high desert of Wyoming. We heat our house with a wood burning stove because we choose to. Don’t worry, we do have a furnace as a back-up. The hubby and I enjoy our trips to the sawmill to get wood. We talk, we laugh, we enjoy each others company.  We’ve also collected wood from town and in doing so have helped people who had wood they needed removed from their property. Good deeds! The hubby cuts and splits and I stack. It’s teamwork and time spent together. It may sound weird but in some sense I feel I am honoring and connecting with my ancestors who had no choice but to heat with wood. I am, however, very grateful for running water and flushing toilets and will not be giving that up any time soon!

We’ve had chickens for a few years for fresh eggs, but we recently added a calf to raise for beef. We only have one grocery store and a very small Walmart in town, so choices are limited. I am concerned about what I am putting in my body, not to mention the dent it puts in my pocket book! I don’t feel I am getting the quality of meat I pay for. This calf will be an experiment in cost, quality and how many tears I’ll shed when he goes to the butcher. His name is Charles by the way.  This December I will also be hunting for the first time for real. I’ve gone on several hunting trips over the last several years but I was just along for the learning experience. I got a lot of hiking and horse riding in. I saw a lot of beautiful country but very few animals. This past January I was on a successful hunt with a friend, finally! I learned how to field dress and process an elk. This time it will be all me and I hope I’m successful. Again, I feel connected to my ancestors who raised animals, grew crops and hunted to sustain themselves.

This Thanksgiving I’ll be cooking for my girls and their families. It’s an extensive menu but one that has tons of tradition! I’ll like to share it with you…

Turkey – what more can I say? However, I am trying a brine and if it’s good, it will be my contribution to tradition. Elk Roast – as I’m now a hunter, this is my contribution to our Thanksgiving feast, even though I have one daughter who refuses to eat game. Oyster dressing – my mom always made it and I’m assuming her mother did as well. I just sent my mums a message asking where it has it’s origin, as oysters aren’t exactly a common thing in Illinois where we came from! Sage Dressing – this is the same dressing as oyster dressing, just minus the oysters because again, I have a daughter or two that don’t really care for it. One flat out refuses to eat it now that she’s an adult! Mashed Potatoes and Gravy –  pretty standard. Sweet Potato Casserole – made for Christmas in 1983 from a recipe given to my mom from her friend Peggy Sampson. My mom has tweaked it over the years and that’s how I make it now. Egg Noddles – I’ve used a few different recipes over the years but this year I am using my cousin Amanda’s recipe. It is her Grandmother Mikeworth’s recipe from her mother, my Aunt Karra’s side. Green Bean Casserole – this was added from my hubby’s side but it is my own recipe. Beet Salad – this recipe comes from our Russian neighbor, Tonya, when we lived in Texas. Cranberry Salad – this recipe is from my friend, Kat, in Michigan. She invited us to Thanksgiving one year, the only non-family Thanksgiving we’ve ever done!  Deviled Eggs – this is my mom’s, although I’ve upgraded the presentation. Sweet Rolls – this is my Great Grandma Burcham’s recipe. I usually double or triple the batch so that I can also make homemade cinnamon rolls. This year my youngest daughter will be bringing the deserts, a chocolate cake and a pumpkin pie. I believe she’ll be making the cake from a recipe in the cookbook she got from her Grandma Reta as a wedding present. The pumpkin pie recipe is from the same Grandma Reta, my mom.  To finalize the whole thing I’ll be making “Boiled Can”. This is something I learned to make from my older friend, Sharron, who I met here in Wyoming. She has become a part of our family over the last couple of years and at 81 years young has been a wealth of information, as well as, many amazing stories!

So as you can see this dinner is dripping with tradition. I feel connected to all those people in some way. There are many imaginary chairs sitting around the table this year!

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Picture is from 2014)1461085_10204347846087988_2327172800712071426_n

Learning to Take the Purposeful Pause

Posted by BB Harding, contributor to the Women Move It Forward Blog

I have a friend who is The Personal Pause Ambassador.  Chris frequently focuses people on the power of taking a pause and honoring the moment.  She provides gentle reminders to release the need to drive and push to the finish line.

There is wisdom in this strategy, as research is beginning to substantiate that a person who minimizes stress leads a better life.  They are healthier, able to make more sound decisions, and are more productive.

So, how does one recognize that it is time to push the hold button?  For the type A personality, for which I have been inducted into the “Type A” Hall of Fame, it can be difficult.  The mind says things like “I can’t stop now, just a little longer, and I will be done.”  Never mind that there seems to be these little things that go wrong, and suddenly, it is a LOT longer than I thought.  Changes in emotional state are certainly one key clue.  If I were paying attention as I got frustrated, angry, tired, irritated I would surely see that there is an incoming message from the Universe – “hey you, take a break.”   Says me – “Break??!  You mean like stop?”  Universe – “Yes, like stop.” Says me – “ohhhh.”

So, emotional state would be one way, what are other ways that the universe talks to me?  I’m trying to get a project done, and even though I’m working on being conscious and taking deep breaths, it seems like there is delay after delay; things that don’t quite go right.  I’m doing my best to get things to fall into place and they just aren’t.  Universe: “Hey you.  This isn’t the time.”  Me:  “Ohhhh.”  So, lack of flow is another indicator.

I’ve noticed lately that I have been having a very interesting relationship with time.  Normally, I have no issue with things like scheduling events onto my calendar and translating time zones.  Unlike many of my friends, I am clear that ET is 2 hours ahead of me and PT is an hour behind me.  Suddenly I’m like a deer in the headlights when confronted with the idea of a different time zone; not to mention that appointments are getting onto the wrong day or for the wrong time, and then I am faced with that embarrassing moment of “OOOPS.”   (very good for the ego, btw)

I have also notice that the energy seems to be dropping away around getting things done in general.  Just don’t seem to have the inclination to do much of anything.  I also notice that I don’t seem to be the only one who is experiencing this phenomena.  Universe:  “Hey, you, how about just BE-ing for a while?”  Me:  “BE-ing?  How do you DO that?”  [At this point, I’d like to share a story.  In one of my recent classes, it comes up that the next thing for one of the participants is to spend some time BE-ing and she starts to make a list of tasks.  One of the other participants begins to chuckle.  The first one asks “why are you chuckling?” and the second one responds, “I find it amusing that you are making a TO DO list for BE-ing.”]

You may have noticed that I have inserted a little humor along the way.  At the same time, there really does seem to me a message from the universe that it is time to just BE.  That it is time to put aside the need to push, drive, get things done.  Time to allow the many limiting beliefs about being worthy of support to fall away.  Today, many thought leaders on how to create the life of your dreams are placing the emphasis on creating the heart resonance that is necessary to create what it is that you want.  That your state of BE-ing is the key ingredient in doing that.  Much of this is rooted in The Secret that came out a few years ago.  I confess, that I did not see The Secret – just never called to me to do so.  At the same time, being worthy of support by the Universe, in my mind, dates back a very long time.  I recall that there was a bible verse that went something like “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap yet they are provided for; see the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”  This is a thought that I have reflected upon many a time, never quite surrendering to the notion that I could just BE me, and that would be enough.  Somehow, the plaintive whine was right there, “but what will I DO while I’m BEing?”   “How will I make a living, feed the family, buy the things I need or want if I am DOING nothing?”  An intriguing notion to grasp that BE-ing is enough.  There is nothing that I need to DO.  That I really can hit the pause button.

just-beUniverse to YOU:  “Take a break and BE!  That is enough, and I love you as you are, you bright light.”