A Simple Truth

 

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I was out feeding the horses a few mornings ago when I allowed my mind to wander from what I was doing to thoughts of issues that were stressssssing me out and causing me allot of internal conflict.  Before I knew it I was literally having a fight with myself inside myself.

Gratefully it didn’t last too long because two beautiful hummingbirds were drawn to me.  Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you want to look at it, they were drawn to the energy of my inner conflict.  They were busy having their own conflict.  The hummingbirds were zipping around my body at an incredibly high rate of speed and using me as a tool while they postured & fought.  I have never seen hummingbirds do this. They seemed to be in a highly confrontational state.

These little birds moved so quickly that it was mostly just a blurr of brilliant red with a hint of green and grey.  My eyes could not even come close to keeping up with them.  I would just get a split second view before they were behind me and then right back in front of me and then above me.  It was absolutely fascinating and delightful. It brought me straight back to the present moment and out of my state of conflict.  I loved it!!

I wish they could have stayed longer.  When they flew off into the trees I stood there feeling very aware of why they had visited me.

Physically they brought me back to the present moment.  Symbolically they reminded me of who I am and how I truly feel.  Most importantly they reminded me of the effects of the energy that I put out into the world via my thoughts.  The little birds that were in conflict were comfortably drawn to me as I was also in conflict – we all vibrated on a similar level of conflict.

My thoughts and the energy created by my thoughts are my gift or my weapon – the choice is always mine. The little birds reminded me of this simple truth.

The spiritual & symbolic meaning of Hummingbird:         It is the only creature that can stop dead while traveling at full speed. It searches for the sweetness in life. Its long tongue lets it bypass the often tough and bitter outer layer to find the hidden treasures underneath.  Hummingbird brings love as no other medicine can and its presence brings joy to the observer.  If you have Hummingbird medicine, you adapt easily to whatever situation you may find yourself in and make the most of your new circumstances.  You don’t waste time looking back and wishing for “what was” for you are concerned with making the most of “what is”.  To restrict that wonderful, free, loving energy is to suffer great depressions and feelings of uselessness.

 

Some days are about more than just a trail ride

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I decided to take Rose out for a trail ride this morning.  I wanted desperately to ride at Ragle Park in Sebastopol.  The trails are generally closed to horses all winter due to mud but I thought (or really just hoped) that the trails might be open since it’s been very dry for a few weeks now.

As I hooked up my trailer this morning I had the knowing that the trails at Ragle were in fact closed but….the little intuitive voice said go ahead and just check. I thought oh that’s interesting since I know I won’t be able to ride there but I’m supposed to go anyway.  I thought Ok what ever I’ll go, get turned away and then head over to the Laguna – my back up plan.

So that’s exactly what I did.  As I drove up the Ragle Park entrance road I saw the little typed paper sign attached to a saw horse that said exactly what I expected – Closed to horses.  The ranger and I had a nice chat and then I continued on my path to the Laguna.  I did wonder what the detour was all about.  I kind of assumed it was a “timing” kind of detour.  One that would make sure I arrive at the Laguna at the exact right time for something.  I hoped it was something fun as it sometimes is like running into a friend or two.

When we arrived at the Laguna parking lot all was quiet.  A typical weekday morning at the park.  We tacked up and headed out.  No other horses were at the park today.  Everyone on the trail was quite friendly – Lots of smiles, hellos and a few brief questions.

Rose and I rode our traditional loop and then we headed back toward the trailer.  As we rounded a curve in the trail that sits just below a small hill my stomach began to churn and my thoughts went to my husbands words.  He’s said to me on more than one occasion that he would like me to carry pepper spray when I go out on the trail alone, even if it’s a well traveled and populated trail like the Laguna.  I’ve never disagreed with him about it I just haven’t felt the need to pursue it.  I figured at some point it would be easy to purchase some pepper spray and that’s when I would handle it – in the future when it would be easy.

As the thoughts of his words are running thru my mind I realize there’s a reason I’ve just had this thought and I just don’t know what that reason is yet.  Rose and I began to head up the hill and that’s when I noticed a person with a dog walking fairly quickly and with purpose off the paved trail away from Rose and I.  As I looked at the dog and the owner I got the mental image of the dog hanging off of Roses nose and a hideous fight ensuing.  I thought to myself now would be a good time to have that pepper spray.  Not just to keep me safe which is what I think my husband had in mind but to keep my horse friend Rose safe.  My intuitive voice also chimed in that this is why we needed to be here today.  My intuition never leads me into damage so I knew we would be fine but I didn’t yet really understand what this was all about.

We continued up the hill both Rose and I taking deep deliberate breaths – we were in sync.  When we were about 40 feet from the dog and owner the dog began getting worked up and started to bark and then snarl a bit – Scary enough.  Rose was now on high alert which alerted me further.  Rose and I were on the same page about getting out of there but trying to do it in a way that didn’t inflame the situation further.  No gait change, both of us breathing and trying to just stay grounded.

The dog & owner were standing out in the field a good distance off the trail as the dogs behavior started to escalate.  It became very clear that the owner knew her dogs behavior and intended to try and keep us safe – I just hoped she was strong enough to hold onto her dog.  It was not a small dog.  The dog was jumping, barking, snarling and salivating – yes I could see the glistening strands of saliva as the dog threw its head with force from side to side in an effort to get away from her and get to us.  Thank god the dogs owner was in fact physically strong enough to hang on to her animal and that her leash was strong and tight enough to not break apart or come off.

Rose and I just kept up pace, stayed grounded and got out of there.  Once back at the trailer I got her un tacked quickly and loaded her into the trailer so we could get out of the Laguna.

To be clear I never really felt any true peril in all of this. My heart rate was rising but I was paying close attention to my intuitive & feeling self and those parts indicated that this was all part of something bigger.  I felt it was a lesson, a warning, a reminder.

Our detour from riding at Ragle earlier in the day also now made sense.  Had we not detoured when we did we wouldn’t have been in the place we were meant to be at the exact time we were meant to be there.

I suspect there may come a time in the future when I might need to protect myself and Rose out on the trail.  I feel quite strongly that today was about just that – getting prepared and not waiting until the future drops the preparation in my lap.  Lesson heard loud and clear.  Grateful for the opportunity to do something about it with out any harm done today or hopefully in the future.

See him for who you are

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I was visiting with a friend the other day and we were discussing human nature and the irony of the way people see one and other.

It’s so clear to me that every situation and human we encounter is an opportunity to personally grow and get closer to our authentic selves or to grow further away from our authentic selves – the choice is ours.

In my describing to my friend my take on human nature I said – See him for who you are. – It struck her quite funny she laughed and said that’s just like the saying but opposite.  I didn’t understand what saying she was referring too so she reminded me that many a drama filled conversation between girlfriends over coffee at the local starbucks starts something like this – See him for who he is.

It’s so true; the “See him for who he is” statement is rarely a positive one, its generally about seeing the flaws of another and separating yourself from that person.  That person is judged for who he is.

If we could just turn that saying around to seeing him (or her) for who we are, the world would truly be a very different place.

My personal way of moving thru life is to look at those around me and be aware of how I feel about them or how I feel when I am with them.  The instant I feel judgment I know that I am seeing myself in them and I do not like what I see.

I recently had an opportunity to really use my belief to stretch myself and see another for who I am.

I work with sick horses and this means I also work with very stressed owners.  All the owners I come into contact with have some level of anxiety, either stemming from their past traumatic experiences or their fear of the future unknowns – and of course they real issue will their horse get better??

I expect this, it doesn’t bother me I am able to support, understand, listen and help in just about any way they need to help them feel more at ease.  The anxiety usually subsides relatively quickly and we move onto the active part of the healing process for the horse and the human.

So when I began working with this owner and she had allot of anxiety, it was no problem, it was almost expected,  I felt for her and did what I could to help her and her horse feel comfortable.

What came next did surprise me.   The height of her anxiety and the duration was not something I had seen before.  It appeared as though there was never a second with out anxiety for her.  It appeared as though having the anxiety had become as important a part of her life as breathing was to her body.

One day her anxiety was at melt down level, so I suggested we sit down in her horses paddock and observe how her horse was actually doing.  We watched her horse move about the paddock, from my perspective the horse was doing very well.  From her perspective the horse was dying.

I have talked many an owner thru traumatic transitions of all kinds, from shoe removal to letting them pass from this earth so in that way this situation was no different.  What was different was that each time she would have a ‘moment’ of relief from the anxiety, she would start to exhale, but before the exhalation could even be completed she would be gripped with terror.  She would suck in a quick breath with almost a level of violence toward her body and begin shallow short breathing that was hyperventilation worthy at times.    Her body would tighten, her posture would shorten and we would be right back at “the horse is dying”

This went on for hours that day.  At the end of the day I was aware that she didn’t feel any better or any different.  This level of anxiety went on for weeks with no shift.  The horse this entire period of time was doing ok.  Definitely not dying.

As the weeks progressed I started to feel some pretty uncomfortable feelings myself.  I started to have judgment about her level of anxiety and what that level of constant anxiety was doing to her body.  The instant I realized the judgment was there I knew that on some level I did in my own life, exactly what she was doing in hers.  But I could not see it clearly.  I kept telling myself, reminding myself to see her for who I am.  But the clarity wasn’t coming.

At one point I actually began to feel some anger with her while watching her hang on to this anxiety.   That s when I knew I must carry the same level of anxiety as her and in a really big way, so why could I not see it?  It was driving me crazy, I was meditating on it, talking to peers about how I felt, I was looking intently at myself and still no clear answers came.

One day I was feeling incredibly frustrated about the whole thing and said audibly to the universe please help me see where I am the same! And it hit me, like a ton of bricks; I fell back into my seat hard as the realization of where I do this in my own life flooded my body like a drug.  I was dizzy with clarity.

For the past 12 years  I have had cysts all over my body internally, they appeared after a radiation treatment I had to stop an over active thyroid.   When the cysts first appeared of course I thought cancer.  Because in my mind lumps = cancer.  All kinds of tests were performed and it was concluded that the cysts weren’t cancer they were just fatty cysts brought on by the radiation treatment.  The cysts were my body’s way of reacting too and dealing with the toxic substance that was now inside my body.  Knowing that they weren’t cancerous was good but the fact that the cysts existed with in my body was a struggle

My mind was so programmed to interpret a lump in the body as cancer that I would be on a daily basis reminded that cancer is a possibility.  With that said I didn’t feel constant or debilitating anxiety as I had been watching but I was on a daily basis triggered by these lumps in my body.

I would feel a lump then feel a moment of fear.  I would have to remind myself all of the time that I am healthy and to take a deep breath in and let the fear go.  It was truly no different than her being triggered by her horses healing process.

To look at our situations on the outside it would be easy to say we handle things differently and our responses are different.  But to look at the root of what drives us, there was no difference.  It was about fear of loss.  In her case a fear of losing her horse, her closest family member who she loved very much and in my case fear of losing my life, which I love very much.

Her expression of the fear was all on top for all the world to see and my expression of fear was deeply buried under my skin.  I didn’t express the fear externally as she had, but that didn’t stop me from being aware of it almost constantly which in and of itself is relentless and could even be classified as a form of violence against myself.

Once the realization that we were truly the same settled into my body a calmness also settled in.  I felt no more judgment just compassion – compassion for her and compassion for me.  I could finally see her for who I am.