Black Horse & the Bodhi Tree
Well, my heart knows me better than I know myself. So I'm gonna let it do all the talking...
The New Year is here! A bright, shiny new year brimming with questions and potential and unknowns. Some of you may disagree- thinking you know exactly what your year will look like. You aren’t planning any big changes and you’re comfortable right where you are. Whatever space you find yourself in, it’s all good! This blog isn’t about resolutions or doing more. Who needs that added pressure?? … Ya, didn’t think so!
Rather, here’s what I believe the New Year truly gives us- an opportunity to pause (even if just for a day) to consider what is of utmost value to you and to recognize if you are living in a way that honors your values. Yes that, and now also consider, what if something changes?
The simple reason? Change is inevitable…. No matter how hard you hold on.
It is this truth 2017 continually delivered to me over and over. In early summer, a very special horse helped me to recognize the beauty and gift in “letting go” which was transformational for me during what proved to be a very pivotal year. If you’re curious about how a horse helped me embrace all the transitions, what I wrote about the experience is attached to the end of this blog
If you’re a less wordy type here’s my best nutshell…
If you’re okay with change and you welcome change then skip the next paragraph (especially if you aren’t attached to the way change shows up)… if the last part tripped you up then check in with the resistance piece. :)
When we don’t want things to change because we are attached to someone, something or we want a situation to stay the same- we become resistant. When we carry resistance, then we cannot be at peace. Therein lies the art to life…
Can you live in the here and now? Can you have faith in the process, accepting and trusting what is? Can you start each day with a grateful heart? Can you be present and purposeful to honor and love what matters most?
As Buddha said, “In the end only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Buddha had a horse under the Bodhi tree with him on his way to enlightenment. ;)
Happy New Year Friends!
Be at Peace, Meg
*6/26/17 Life Lessons from a Therapy Horse*
I said goodbye to one of my very best coworkers last week. I wished her well and shared with her how grateful I was to have worked alongside her these past 5 years. How time and time again she came through for me and showed up perfectly in every way. How she made my life easier and supported me with her gentle steadfastness even when all else in my world sometimes seemed upside down. I hugged her and told her how beautiful she was inside and out - that I wished her every good thing that life had to offer and she deserved it all in retirement. She no longer had to carry anybody- not even me- whether physically or emotionally on her strong back and careful feet. This coworker of mine has a heart so big she has to carry it around on 4 legs. She’s a therapy horse.
I’ve watched her and many other horses over the years heal and touch so many lives in countless ways. Horses bring us to a deeper understanding, connection and humanity. They teach us how to be a team, how to be a family, how to be better human beings.
In the life of a horse, the herd is everything. Each herd member is an individual and as such is at liberty to be and do exactly what they feel in any given moment is best for them. They are their authentic free willed self while also staying completely connected to their herd members. Why? This is how they survive- how they can best flourish. They are a team and family in every sense of the word without ever being told or shown how it’s done. They are deeply connected to their own needs and as each horse is congruent individually it supports the connection of the herd as a whole. Horses seem to understand better than most humans that life is all about relationships, choices, communication, and trust. They know each other’s individual worth. They seek to understand each other’s needs and wants, ever present and working together to find balance.
The horses continuously teach me. They are my herd and I am theirs. We share a mutual respect based on the understanding that we are “of each other, for each other, and with each other.” Life is not a pursuit you take alone. It’s best to take it on with powerful and transformative partnerships. However, there is a hard part about partnerships and that can be the endings.
This is my closing thank you to all the equine mentors who have taught me so many life lessons, and a special thank you in particular to one wonderful Mare named “Coco”. Whose last lesson for me was the “art of letting go.” There is this place called the “heart space”. The space where you are grounded and at peace because you are free to be yourself. This is where true connection to self and others exist. Coco brought me to this space during what most would see as a time of disconnecting or parting ways. At a time, when my head would “think” separate, she gave me the courage to listen to my heart where I knew the “feel” of connection. The truth is we are all connected… all of us and everything. Although, physically Coco and I would no longer be together we are always connected…even still, in this heart space. The only loss is when you cling to what is no longer there… Nature has an inherent wisdom, it weaves a beautiful tapestry. I feel the infinite essence of a collective being all around.
So I came to the letting go of this unforgettable teammate and friend authentically- by embracing the moment, feeling into my heart and speaking in the soft energetic language we had built together with the intent of showing my never-ending gratitude and the most graceful farewell I could muster. She greeted me in her familiar way- with a knowing expression and an allowance of what is. After a contented sigh and swish of her tail, she looked at me as if to say, “my job here is done.” Then as always she took everything in stride and was ready for what was next.
“Make me an instrument of your Peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, Pardon; Where there is doubt, Faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, Light; and where there is sadness, Joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console. To be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive.” ~ St Francis of Assisi