We are celebrating the six-month anniversary for our shared blog and are delighted to announce that we have two exciting improvements.  First we are adding three additional bloggers to our rotation.  Please join us in welcoming Ashara Morris (Harmony’s Heart Coaching), Emily Glidden (The Feeling Rider) and Paula Karen (Hawkflight Coaching).  We also have a guest blogger, Lorrin Maughan (Shamwari Coaching).  Our second change is that since we will have a guest blogger and a longer rotation cycle, we are creating “Bonus Blog Thursdays” so that there is space for the guest as well as additional blogs from the rotation team.  Whenever we have a Thursday post, we will consider it a “Bonus Blog” and hope that you will enjoy them as they happen.

For those following this blog and wondering what it is like to participate in a shared blog, let us recap what we have learned along the way.  Originally, we made a commitment to do six months with a five-person rotation.  When we started, we were in various stages of developing our businesses.  We believed that creation of a blog was a strategy to create visibility into the community.  At the same time, we were also concerned that most of us were not in a position to consistently blog, which is a recommendation for a successful blogging technique.  In addition, some of us had significant reservations about our ability to blog, especially the thought of having something to blog.   We are proud to say that we came together as a team to support each other and kept our commitment and consistency.  One of the many success factors was the ability to blog about whatever was up for us, rather than be categorized into a particular topic.  Among the amazing things that emerged from our endeavors was that we discovered that we actually liked to blog, and having the group to share the experience was very helpful.  Something would happen in our lives and we would make a note for a possible blog.  Our challenge became selecting a blog topic rather than having something to blog about.  There were even a couple of times that we joked about did anyone need to trade so that we could “sneak” another one in.  🙂

For the next leg of our journey, we will have nine people making contributions.  We hold the space that you will find our sharing substantive as well as enjoyable.

Below are introductions for our four new members.

Ashara Morris – Colorado

I’ve always loved animals, and spent a lot of time talking with them when I was young – not when anyone was looking, however, because being born and raised in the Midwest wasn’t real conducive to thinking or acting out of the box. After escaping in 1974, I moved around a bit and then found a spot to really get acquainted with my inner landscape in the warm cocoon created by the Pacific Northwest. 23 years there helped me ground, focus, and discover my true calling – assisting animals in their work with us humans on this planet. I was certified as an Equine Gestalt Coach in 2012, and have studied with my animal communication and energy work mentor, Joy Turner, for many years. I tend to look at things through the lens of whimsy and wonder, and hope to bring those observations to life as a contributor to this blog.

 Emily Glidden – Virginia

I’ve always been a person who followed my own passions–from the age of ten when I first became enamored with the sport and art of dressage, to my studies of biochemistry and cancer biology in my 20s. I don’t wear makeup and I dress a little like a tomboy. I march to my own tune and always have.

And in spite of these choices to follow my own truth, it’s only recently that I’ve grown to feel comfortable in my own skin.

I wasn’t at home with myself when I was researching cancer to make a difference in the world. And just teaching people to ride horses better leaves my heart feeling like it’s stuck in my throat.

When I found my true work, I found me. There were a lot of tears shed to get here and a cacophony of inner demons to face, tame, and befriend.

My work is to listen fully to horses and to people. It’s to create experiences that grow awareness and expand capacities to enable horses and humans to come together as one. It’s creative, intuitive, personal, practical, experimental, expansive and rooted in love.

My discovery of my calling has brought me into my wholeness. As I embark on this fresh new path, I’m eager to share my discovery process with you, that you might take whatever piece of my journey supports you in coming home to your whole self.

Lorrin Maughan – New Mexico

As an activist on behalf of those who have no voice in society, primarily animals, I find myself constantly swimming against the stream like a salmon, desperately trying to reach its birthplace in order to propagate.

That’s not an accidental metaphor:

  • In today’s largely carnist society, I choose a different direction every day – not using animals for food or fashion, often in direct opposition to what society tells me is “normal;”
  • To fully embrace my philosophy of non-judgment, nonviolence, compassion and consciousness shifting, I have to regularly go back to Source – to look at where I came from, who I am at the core of me, and to tap into the universal life force of God, Spirit, Source (however you choose to shorthand what can’t be contained in human language) for inspiration, sustenance, forgiveness and truth;
  • I am on a mission to propagate change for the highest good – it is my great imperative, my life’s purpose.

Swimming against the stream, marching to a different drum… whatever metaphor we apply, living into our passion and our soul’s mission – whether on behalf of a cause, an idea or an enterprise ― can be an exhausting, risky, even dangerous undertaking. We endure resistance, pushback, overwhelm, depletion, even wounding, to see our mission through. To move forward, we have to find a way to sustain and protect ourselves, to keep our eyes on that prize and (in the words of a famous animated fish) “keep swimming, keep swimming.”

I’m honored to have the opportunity to join this amazing group of women to share stories of resilience, revolution and redemption here with you as a guest blogger. For those of you swimming upstream, I hope my posts are a resource to help you reinvigorate your passion for whatever great imperative you have been brought here to serve!

Paula Karen- Colorado

Turning 60 in December seems like a landmark birthday. I find myself pondering the decades of my life. Sometimes it is good to take a look back before moving forward. My life thus far has been filled with transition. And it does not look like the latest smoothies where they blend kale and veggies with fruits to make something healthy and delicious. It seems more like someone chopped onions and garlic and tossed them into a chocolate milkshake. The blending of the decades of my life has not gone smoothly.

My life has been filled with caregiving, responsibility and the mid-west work ethic. You did not play until all your work was done. My work never seemed to be done. My personal work never seemed to be done either. I have spent a lifetime going after every flaw with a pick axe and shovel, trying to fix me and focusing on what is wrong with me and why I am not like other people who actually enjoy life. My focus in the last year has shifted from what is wrong with me- to what is RIGHT with me. I finally embraced ME.

For the next decade, I want to reflect outwardly, the shift I experienced inwardly. This means not only embracing me, but creating and sharing with others what I enjoy about life. It is taking in the wonderful things people say about me and who I am and the ethereal healing work that manifests when I partner with horses and people. Each person and each horse that I come in contact with has something inspiring to offer. Personal life lessons to experience and share. I am and always have been fascinated by people who have the ability to transcend and let their inner light shine. The “Women Move it Forward” blog is a wonderful place to find inspiring women!

As part of my journey, I am currently studying Native American spirituality. I have only begun to scratch the surface, but I hope to be able to share some of the lessons and tidbits of this exploration. I am profoundly touched by the sacred and symbolic oral traditions of these ancient people who believe spirit is in all things, and that we are all related. Consider it as a Vision Quest of where looking back at the past can help create a more satisfying now, and assist in moving forward in your true spirit. AHO.