this moment

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Honor

Spring

Acknowledging Earth day in a way that made me want to take a slower pace today

earth day

Finding ladybugs and making a habitat (for 24 hours), reading a beautiful book, creating flowers and then letting my daughter’s imagination and some extra paper create whatever comes to mind

this moment tree climb

Can you find the child hidden in this picture?

dish cloth

A finished basket weave dishcloth at the knitting group…done by my daughter. Just after I snapped the pic, she snatched it away and said that I’m “not allowed to see it again until Mother’s day”.

spring flower

So much to honor in this beautiful little day on our beautiful little earth

Room to make a big mistake

wide open spaces

“She needs wide open spaces, room to make a big mistake”. Dixie Chicks, my friends. Remember? I loved that song. Still do. And these photos I snapped the other day during a bit of a storm reminded me of the lyrics. When I made the decision to move my family into the barn here at the stables, many people were skeptical. Even told me not to do it. I couldn’t fathom why anyone would criticize an opportunity for such an experience. It wasn’t as if I was going away to prison. Or signing my life away. I wasn’t joining the military. Or leaving for a third world country. It’s a barn for crying out loud. It was an opportunity that presented itself so perfectly and with such possibility that I couldn’t pass it up. I knew there would be challenges. I did my usual pros and cons list that I rely so heavily on. I’m not great at decision making. Hard work, yes. Commitment, yes. Changes in life and routines, yes. And adventure that many wouldn’t ever see and memory making….YES! I feel like this has always been who I am at heart. I have jumped on adventure. I have lived all over the world…in England, in Ireland, in Japan and had many unique jobs and experiences. One day, going on around three years ago, I sat down and wrote an “intention letter” assignment for a class I was taking at a spiritual center. I realized that what I would like to see back in my life was adventure. I had settled down, married, had a child and found myself living in this current small town for several years now. I was afraid that I might get “stuck”. But I was also so very happy “stuck” here and raising my family. I longed for something new, challenging and adventurous that could still coincide with my settling down-happy-little-family life. Moving away, traveling, taking a job in another country just didn’t seem to fit anymore. I felt happy. Our business was thriving and growing. My daughter had solid friendships. We loved our spiritual community. Leaving such great things didn’t seem to fit. An adventure still did. It was less two years after writing this letter that I was invited here.

wide open spaces 2

To live, work and play. To dream. And to give my daughter an adventure to remember. “Room to make a big mistake”!!!

wide open spaces 3As I have passed our one year anniversary here, I remember those nay-sayers, the negativity that some projected, the caution that I even had going into this. But, what really stands out in my memory is the realization that life gives you what you need when you need it, if you let go and just accept you can have and do incredible things, to live life with passion, grace and a sense of adventure, to give yourself room to make a big mistake without letting the fear of a “mistake” guide you away from an adventure, a dream, something fun. Nothing is forever. Jump in head first, swim in the opportunity to learn, be and do something great. Enjoy. And, if it isn’t exactly perfect, you can always head for that next adventure. Enjoy it while it lasts. And, then set your next intentions. The freedom sometimes is in knowing you create your reality, your happiness, your place in this life-however it may show up. Cheers to that!

Horses don’t lie and other life truths

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So, I’m reading this book, “Horses Don’t Lie:  What Horses Teach us About our Natural Capacity for Awareness, Confidence, Courage and Trust” by Chris Irwin with Bob Weber. Bear with me while I quote a passage from the book. You see things are on my mind and, isn’t it just the syncronicity of life, that always has us reading just the perfect book, or hear just the perfect words, or stumble across just the perfect thing at the perfect time? Well I am reading just the perfect book right now.

“Horses don’t lie-they always tell the tuth with their bodies. There is no separation between what a horse thinks and what it’s body says. People, on the other hand, bluff and pretend and hide”.

“In other sports, if you’re not having your best day, it doesn’t bother your equipment. Your golf clubs don’t care if you slice and your surfboard doesn’t care if you fall off. Horses, however, care intensely. Remember, they are counting on us to provide clearly consistent leadership-we are the ones who are supposed to know what we’re doing…So an equestrian must possess more than physical skill. The rider’s mind must remain constantly focused on the moment-to-moment application of pressure and weight…constantly aware of the surrounding environment, looking for distractions. The rider’s spirit must calmly and confidently project straightforwardness into the horse. We ourselves must possess these skills of the body, mind and spirit so that we can impart to our horses the attributes of impulsion, balance, flexion, focus, awareness, trust, calm, confidence and willingness. I know. This is a tall order“. Mr. Irwin continues to express how we must be (in my words) our own authentic self, true to ourselves and just keep on trying….

“I’ll get better, but right now this is where I’m at and my intentions are honorable”.

Once again, I find a “horse” lesson is one of the best “people” lessons there is.

Deep Well Ranch2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, back at the barn, there are some possible changes on the horizon; there are definitely many things to think over here in my little land. They are not things I intend to directly address here just yet. At this stage, they are ponderings and possibilities on the horizon. I will think them over, sit with them, feel them, attempt to use the attributes discussed above to know what the best is and to know that whatever may come, “my intentions are [always] honorable”. And if I stray from those intentions, I’m certain my (embarrassing) horse will let me know.

Personal growth doesn’t come from avoiding risk, challenge and stress. We must make peace with it.

well worn boots

 

“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breath, trust, let go and see what happens”

Mandy Hale

Cowgirl luxuries

This is how a cowgirl goes on vacation.

cowgirl vacation

Days Inn. 25 minutes from home. It’s funny how things change. How priorities change. As we change and grow. As we morph into new lifestyles and ways of being. There was a time when a vacation meant a plane, visiting family, or another country, an adventure. All of that still has it’s place. But, let me explain. It had been a week …more like two… of a sick baby yearling horse (better now), working with the new rescue horses, “riding” a couple of those semi-trained ones, pregnant mare checks (she still hasn’t had that baby!), I could go on but you get the point. Basically, it’s just life here at the barn amplified a little bit. We needed a quick and easy get-away. As I was saying, oh how priorities change. Luxury, by definition, now is a quiet uninterrupted night of sleep. No tractors, no hay deliveries, no pregnant mare checks, no sick yearling checks. No 6 AM feedings in the freezing.

vacation 5And lots of reading to catch up on. An indoor pool (in the middle of winter). For my daughter who loves to swim. Myself, a stack of books to read by that pool. For both of us, no stalls to clean, no dirt, no lessons, no boarders, no trail rides, no tourists.

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Other luxuries? Let’s see, I already addressed sleep. Oh, controlled heat. No fire to start. Just set that thermostat and relax. Water pressure. A nice shower anytime we want. It’s hit and miss at our place unless you shower in the middle of the night. At any point in the day, water troughs are filling, horses are bathing…all leads to almost zero water pressure in the barn apartment. Time. Time, for sleep, time for relaxing, time for crafting. We did get those valentine cards done!

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vacation 4

All of those things I’m whining about above, we love them. Honestly. We could move back into our old house. If we wanted to. We wouldn’t. We love our life. But every cowgirl needs a weekend of “luxuries”! Notice, she’s reading horse books even here? We know where her heart is.

vacation 6

 

So we can enjoy the occasional quick couple of days of “luxury” and rejuvenate ourselves too!

vacation 2

vacation

…see you back at the barn…

“We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic”.

–E. Merrill Root