You know how when you follow spirit, your intuition, guidance, the divine… even though it’s difficult, or crazy, or scary… But Source says to you, “Do you trust?” and you answer, “Yes I do” and so you move forward?
For those of you who have been following The Empowered Mustang saga, you fully realize how fantastical it was for my intuition to guide me to take on 6 new wild horses – bringing my herd to a total of 11… on leased land, owned by a guy in Beijing who could kick me out at a moment’s notice.
And those of you who have been through similar crazy-ass journeys will remember how, at the inception, in the crux of it all, your guidance is pretty strong. You’re given clear signs, messages, convictions, synchronicities up the wazoo, and so even though you’re (as my daughter said to me) ‘Crazy… but the good kind of crazy’ it just feels RIGHT.
And then… the ride is over. The wave which has been gathering strength and force and rising to a mighty height, crashes upon the sand and dribbles away to rivulets. And now, you’re left with the mundane, back to routine, and all the hard goddamn work to actually live this new reality day after day.
I remember from my Christian days; going to a retreat and being lifted up on a spiritual high, just riding that wave in. And then returning home, or back to school, and CRASH. It was impossible to hang onto. Much as we all desperately wanted to exist in that reality – to have that be our new normal – in spite of our faith, our belief, our longing… the crash always came.
So that’s where I’m at with the Council of 11. It was crazy, and wonderful, and miraculous and huge. And now it’s just hard goddamn work. And some days I find myself looking around at all the mud and manure wondering, “Did I just make all that shit up??” No really, did I just temporarily turn into a manic animal hoarder; like a crazy shopper on boxing day all frantic and grabby and slightly deranged? And now it’s the morning after and I’m staring at my credit card bill and wondering what the hell came over me?
And again comes that still, quiet voice, “Do you trust?” YES. Oh weak and inconstant human that I am! I say to myself, “Did you really not get enough signs? How many miracles do you need? Is your memory actually that short?”
Reassurance from Felines
Well, running alongside the mustang saga, the cats are giving me a mini-version of the same process. Our cat Marbles lost her sister Stitch last year, but we still had our Maine Coon Rupert, and Marbles seemed to be happy and content. Then one day, Marbles started throwing up. The vomiting increased to about once per week, at which point I asked her, “Why are you throwing up all the time?”
She sent me pictures of her and Stitch cuddling and grooming each other – their closeness and the physical, tactile, touching and stroking they shared. She said, “Rupert’s never going to be that guy, I need a kitten.” And along with that thought package transmission was the feeling that Marbles needed to choose the kitten herself.
A few hours later – I kid you not – my 18-year-old son Oscar walked into the kitchen, looked at Marbles sitting on the window ledge and announced, “Marbles needs a kitten.”
Of course my husband thought I was nuts; first I accrue 6 more horses, now one more cat. Of course I really didn’t need or want another cat. And yet, I could totally understand poor Marbles’ need and longing. Who am I to say, “NO, you live a loveless and barren life because I don’t want another cat.”
And so, I put the intention out there – message received, I’m open, I’ll stay alert and see what comes. Just like I did when the herd told me, “There’s a black horse missing.”
About 3 weeks later, Oscar and I ended up heading out to Chilliwack (an hour’s drive away) with Marbles on Oscar’s lap, to see a litter of 3 kittens – so Marbles could choose for herself. I told Oscar that if she didn’t clearly choose one, then we were just going to leave and go home. He agreed.
By the time we got there, it was completely dark. The woman came out on her tiny porch with the kittens in a laundry basket. Her yard at the edge of the city was filled with towering pines, there were 2 other cats darting around the yard, and Marbles leaped clear out of my arms. Then miraculously allowed me to pick her up (!!) and carry her up the stairs to the kittens. My mind was racing frantically with the 50 ways this could go horribly wrong. But first rule of interacting with animals: Calm and deepen your breathing!
So I did. I sat on the porch steps in the icy air with a lone lightbulb illuminating the darkness and Marbles crouched between my forearms. I ignored the woman, ignored the kittens, and just breathed deeply and centered myself. The cutest of the kittens was bold and inquisitive and trotted forward to say hello. Marbles immediately hissed and growled at him. I asked the woman to please move him away from Marbles.
The second kitten came tentatively forward and the third kitten just stayed beside the basket watching everything. As the second kitten got within two feet of Marbles, she again hissed and growled threateningly. I asked the woman to move that kitten away too. At this point, the first kitten leaped off the porch and streaked off – but the woman said not to worry, he’d come back for food.
The woman held and cuddled the second kitten while the third kitten (both female) came around the side of the basket and then lay down calmly, two feet away from Marbles. Marbles and the third kitten continued to watch each other quietly while the woman and I chatted. Oscar and I looked at each other, like we’d both gotten the feeling/message at the same time – or perhaps we both sensed the moment the energy shifted. The third kitten yawned and laid her head on her paws, just watching Marbles calmly. Such peace, such self-possession in one so young! “Yep,” said Oscar, “I think she’s the one, hey mom?” Marbles chose by not hissing and growling. Knowing Marbles’ character, past behaviour, and past traumas – that was the clearest ‘Yes’ she could give.
On the way home, the kitten slept in the basket on Oscar’s lap and Marbles curled up on the floor in the back of the car. As soon as we got home, Marbles jumped out of my arms and shot off across the lawn. She needed to run and be with the earth and discharge all the stress of the evening.
As we drove home, I had asked the kitten the same thing I ask all my animals, “What is your name? Or what name do you want?” All she sent me was a mauve, lilac color. I kept asking over the next couple days, but didn’t get anything else. So I called her Viola. But no one really liked the name, or could come up with anything better. We just could not find the right name for this kitten! Sometimes I would just string together: Viola-Lola-Lila-Lou. Other times I would just call her V. When people asked what her name was, I would answer that we weren’t sure, so take your pick!
The extremely weird thing about Viola-Lola is that she feels exactly like baby Posa (Siyone’s filly). Honestly, it’s like they’re twin souls, but one is in horse form and one is in cat form. The other weird thing is that the woman who sold us the kitten was First Nations. Are you kidding me? So all 7 of our last 7 animals have First Nations origins?
AND then… the crash. Viola-Lola was teeming with fleas. Marbles watched her like a hawk and although she stayed in the house, she hissed and growled at Viola if she came within 3 feet of her. Rupert the Maine Coon was off on his wanderings, so didn’t come home for a week.
But when Rupert finally showed up, instead of attacking Viola (which is what Rupert usually does) the newly plump, flea-free, and healthy Viola-Lola invited him to play. Which totally baffled Rupert because no one – other than our giant dog Kumba – ever wants to play with him.
Just like Posa, I watched this tiny, totally sweet, gentle being show herself to be completely unafraid. Not out of stupidity, or ignorance, but because she just doesn’t live in that place. There is simply nothing in her being that resonates with fear. I had the privilege of watching Rupert experience PLAY with another cat for the first time in his life. Until it all got to be too much and he streaked back out the dog door again.
As the weeks passed and Marbles continued to hiss and even attack Viola-Lola, and occasionally vomit, I found myself in that part of the cycle where I look at myself and ask, “Am I delusional… did I just make all that shit up??”
Oh lord, first the horses, now the cats… honestly… am I having some kind of mid-life crisis, where I just spontaneously start imagining whacky stuff that leads to the accrual of animals?
And again, I hear, “Do you trust?”
Right… right. I remember: things take time. We may be given a vision, or given guidance, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen quickly. It doesn’t mean that lots of other things are not going to happen first. It usually means there’s a bit of a journey before the vision materializes. Right… now I remember.
Then we discover that Viola-Lola-Lila-V is actually a boy! Honestly, you would think I’d have learned by now not to take the previous owner’s word for it and to check myself. Well, no wonder we just couldn’t settle on a name for the kitten! Great – yet another set of testicles to deal with.
My Fate, or my Destiny?
As the days tick by, the horses are integrating more and more. They are now starting to form mixed groupings as they eat – instead of dividing up into the two original herds. Kaliah almost always meditates with the original four. Xadaa trails Montaro around and eats with him – I think she’s decided he’s her Dad.
Cobra becomes more and more curious about these humans who never try, or even want, to touch him. Now he gets me to stand sideways, or with my back to him, while he explores my body, clothes and hair, thoroughly with his lips. My hands stay by my side and he doesn’t want me to look at him.
As the weeks go by, his exploration gets more bold, until the day he nips at my jacket, “No bite” I say, stiffening my body. He draws back and then resumes his exploration… and then bites my jacket again, “No,” I raise my hand – which causes him to startle back – “no bite.” He thinks for a while, I continue to stand quietly, my body offering him permission. He comes in again and explores with his lips a bit more, then I want to go do something else, so I say, “Thanks Cobra” and walk away. I’m not manipulating him, or trying to prove a point – my attention/desire has simply shifted to something else.
Güliz and I stand there a few days later, chuckling at how puzzled Cobra is that no one ever tries to touch him or get close to him. We can tell from his behaviour that humans have tried a lot of tricks to try and manipulate him and he just cannot figure out why we are not interested in getting our hands on him.
And yet, these former wild mustangs who clearly do not want to be touched, also show tremendous trust – like Makah here, lying down with baby Xadaa, five feet away from me, as I scoop poop.
Meanwhile, Marbles and I have had a bit of a chat, or rather, I’ve given her a stern talking-to. Along the lines of: “Hey, I did what you asked, now it’s your turn to step up. You asked for this, now follow through!” A few days later, the shift begins. Marbles and V begin sleeping in baskets side-by-side. They greet each other by touching noses AND even eat off the same plate together:
As I get over the shock of winter horsekeeping conditions and I order more hay boxes to be made, change feeder positions to work better with the herd’s movements, resign myself to ordering more gravel in a month or two, find out that YES my tractor guy can empty the manure pits once it snows (because no, the extra pit we dug will not be enough), hire extra help to shovel manure twice a day, and set up the hay area so they can deliver without me needing to be there… my tension eases and it starts to feel safe to exhale.
Because this is the thing with following divine guidance, or your intuition. It is rarely comfortable. It is usually challenging, and for sure it’s going to push you to expand your sense of self, to get bigger. In the beginning, in the first push of movement, when the guidance is fresh and all the signs are fresh, it’s difficult and challenging, but the ‘mission’ carries you through. Then, after the thing is done, and mundane reality sets in, and the challenges often increase, and the vision has dimmed, and all you have is the memory of what and why… BUT, there’s no spiritual high to carry you through… oh that’s when things get really tough. That’s when you either fold, or rise. Because those are the only two paths to take when things get excruciating; and you feel you can’t cope, or maybe you get really depressed, or maybe you want to run away. Each of us has our default setting for dealing with painfully difficult challenges. But if we do not listen to our guidance, because we are afraid of the pain that will ensue, if we do not step off the edge of the cliff, how will we ever evolve into our brilliance?
World-renowned medical intuitive, Caroline Myss, says:
“Fate is going with the known. Destiny is going with the unknown.
Fate is what happens to you when you cave under fear.
The Saboteur (archetype) is afraid of our own empowerment. We are afraid of becoming powerful, because we know our world will change. When you do not follow what the tiny little voice says to you, you are sabotaging your inner stamina.
The way of destiny, the way of power, the way of the soul is high-risk and abundant reward. And in the evolution of power, there is always trauma.”
These are wonderful words to keep in mind, as we embark on these challenges that are ‘the good kind of crazy’ – even though, when we’re in the middle of them, we doubt every single thing about our guidance and whether we have the ability to carry out the task, or move into the unknown. It’s okay. Doubt is normal. Second-guessing and not trusting our intuition is normal. There is simply nothing to do but gird your loins and lean in. And trust.
Fold or rise? On this pathway to our magnificence that is paved with pain caused by face-planting into our perceived limitations… fold… or rise?