Amalia Speaks – Energetic Permission & Your Hidden Power

She turns suddenly from my outstretched hands, the plea in them hanging, unanswered, between us. I can feel the hard light of the summer sun arrowing through the dappled shade. The back of my neck is moist – like my upper lip, my armpits, the backs of my knees. Her dark body rotates past me neatly, the rope attached to her face slipping through my fingers, until I am standing directly behind her at a slight distance. There is a pause, and in rememberance now the moment takes on the liquid shape of dreamtime; it is slow, it is lighting fast, I know everything that will happen and I have no idea what will come. And yet, when her two hind hooves collide with the drum of my delicate breast bone, I am certain of nothing at all.

 

I was seventeen when I met her, the same year I met my first “real” boyfriend. It was a year of unknowns, of learning how other beings’ bodies moved, of navigating the complexity of relationships and consent, of trying to do what I thought was expected of me though none of it made any sense to any of us. Kicking her around a dingy arena, wishing I knew why she was supposed to lope at such and such a speed, riding out her defiant bucks and rears, whispering that I knew something was wrong but until she could find a way to tell me what it was, I didn’t know what to do. My cheeks burned bright with confusion and shame.

I’d had a pony for a summer. He was a small sturdy pinto with feathered feet. We mosied all over the Pemberton valley bottom, crossing rivers and climbing hills, his little legs fast when I urged him to run. At home, I’d drag off his heavy tack and he’d roll in the dry dust. We’d eat my cheese sandwich together and I’d slide back on bareback for another go around the potato fields.

This was not like that. This horse wanted nothing to do with me. When I entered her stall, she pinned her ears. When I lifted the saddle onto her back, she twitched and sidestepped. When I went to her in the field, she wheeled and ran, her long tail thrashing out her silent laughter.

I don’t quite remember how I got my hands on the essential oils, or who told me they’d fix her. So far she wasn’t that keen on my attempts to balance her chakras (which were probably out of alignment), she wouldn’t eat the supplements I’d researched and bought with my summer job money, and she wouldn’t stand still for the TTouch. I was so determined. There was something wrong with her, and when I figured out what she needed and fixed her, we would be able to have that relationship we both deserved. If I could just be wiser and stronger and more focussed, I could help her. I was taking everything in I could find that wasn’t conventional, reasearching and experimenting and writing to every expert I found in every corner of the Horse Internet – I’d found the rabbit hole and thrown myself in head first.

I don’t remember if it was the Sweet Orange (for happiness) or the Patchouli (for grounding) that did it, but I do remember unscrewing caps off little vials and holding them out to her one after the other, something like panic rising in my guts every time she snorted dismissively, or tried to leave. Why was nothing working? I was trying everything! What would it take for this dark little mare to see that I just wanted to help?

When she double barrels me point blank in the chest, I feel the wind leave me. I stand for a second, disbelief and terror and shock and the anticipation of pain blooming through my body rolicking around me like so many unruly creatures. I draw a breath. I screw the cap back on the vial. I stare at Amalia, who watches me over her shoulder, her back to me still. My face crumples and my free hand goes to my chest, which is not broken. Which is not bloody. Which is not bruised. And when the tears come – of betrayal, of embarrasment, of despair – this hard-eyed mare drops her head and comes to me, lipping the hem of my shirt, wiggling her ears and peering up at me as I ugly-cry in the hot sun, my calves quietly cooking in their rubber riding boot prison. It is the first tenderness she has shown me. I feel her apology with my whole body. It is not that she is sorry for what she has done, but that she is sorry for how she has made me feel. She hadn’t known any other way to tell me: no actually means no. And I could kill you. But I won’t.

 

This was long before I knew horses could wallop people over the head to convey a message or fix an imbalance (or both). This was before I knew that everything I did with horses was through a thick lense of conditioning that was there whether I liked it or agreed with it or not. This was before everything.

I told my mom that night, and the next morning as I pulled on my boots and slung my backpack on to catch my bus and train back out towards the barn, she stumbled down the stairs in her nightgown, eyes still half-closed. She said “I just had a dream. Amalia says, ‘back off and heal yourself first’.” This was before our combined dreams would take us to 500 acres in Northern BC together. This was before either of us knew how to listen to horses. This was loud and clear.

It took me many more years of experimenting and learning to listen before I even began to understand what Amalia had been trying to tell me that hot afternoon. Because no matter what tool, technique, or approach I tried with her, no matter how miraculous the results were promised, nothing seemed to be the key to unlocking her darkness and her mystery. Even so, over time, she softened and opened, bit by bit. She moved through health issue after health issue, teaching me how to recognize and deal with rain rot, abcesses, thrush, laminitis, back pain, mineral deficiencies, and all manner of afflictions. Most of the time she refused most of my help and managed it herself. Her “no” became stronger, though never again did she strike me like that. At times she retreated deep into herself, into a zombie-like depression where she seemed to have only one foot in the reality I was rooted in.

Over a long, long time, I learned to let her be. She taught me to back off and find other projects to keep my busy mind out of trouble – most specifically, working my own stuff out, bit by bit. Her rejection became less personal, and I began to see it as an attempt to communicate rather than to shut me down. I stopped riding her. I stopped “working” her. Eventually I learned that she didn’t even want to be touched most of the time – that she didn’t need to be touched to receive healing, or direction, or comfort. During a chiropractic treatment of what looked like the air around her body (because she wanted the treatment but was adamant that she didn’t need to be actually touched), she revealed a deep aching sadness that she couldn’t be what I’d hoped she would be. And when I and the chiropractor helped her release that, since now I didn’t want her to be anything other than who she was, she eventually made a baby with a wild horse on the range who grew to be the bright, brave, willing, loyal friend I’d dreamed of. And still Amalia remained, stronger and stranger and more mysterious than ever.

I started writing about my god-sent Amalia to tie into recent discussions on this blog about energy, permission, and our own unacknowledged power. In truth, I am in so much awe of her that I could write ad nauseum about our time together. But I want to go back to the day she kicked me in the chest for offering her one essential oil too many. At the time, it was enough to learn to pocket the vials along with my dashed hopes, give her some space, and turn my attention inward to what was incomplete in me.

Now, I see another lesson in all this, which is that we humans are far more capable and powerful than we choose to acknowledge. We think we don’t understand energy, that we can’t connect to our intuition, that we’re failing to hear or communicate with a non-verbal being, while all the while we are shooting energetic signals and pulses in every direction. We are made of the stuff, and we have forgotten how to direct it, but the animals have not forgotten how to feel it, and they are not immune to us. While I was trying everything for Amalia’s sake, I believe I was actually bombarding her senses with uncontrolled assaults. And while I wasn’t beating or whipping her, I was still sending the same message: you need to be different. What you are is not acceptable. I had no idea how harsh my “gentle” techniques were – oils and chakras and tuning forks and healing touch are all real and fabulous things, but using them on her rather than with her turned them into more unwanted interference.

We can learn to be more skillful, to listen, and to be careful and judicial. But as “energy work” and “natural healing” become more and more accessible, I wonder if they should come with a warning disclaimer. We are all energetic beings and this is our first language, but as we relearn it we must remember two things. One, we need to be clear with ourselves what our intention is, and two, we must ask for permission before administering energetic touch or healing – because while we cannot avoid our clumsiness at the start, we can easily avoid the collatoral damage by setting intention and asking permission.

Do you see what I mean? We are actually so powerful, so naturally energetically talented, that even when we think we are absolute duds, we are still sending and receiving energy loud and clear to everyone but most members of our own species. It’s embarassing in retrospect, like reading drunk texts you sent the morning after, realizing what you were broadcasting to so many sentient beings before you had the good sense to tone it down. But the more you work with your unseen faculties, the more clear and everyday they become. You’ll become conversationally fluent. It’ll be no big deal. It’ll be part of your movement, part of your glance. There will be very little to write home about, but life will be inexplicably more smooth.

Actually, let me amend my two points to one: just ask permission, even if you don’t know what your intention is. You can do this out loud, or in your head, or in your body. They will tell you yes or no, and you will know, even if you don’t want to hear the answer. And if you proceed anyway, that no will get louder and louder until you finally acknowledge it.

These days, I barely touch Amalia. In fact, I hardly look at her without permission – because that’s who she is, and that’s what she has finally been able to tell me. When we connect, it is through the softest, lightest hint of a touch. But I can lay in the snow behind the feet I have long known could kill me and feel nothing but quiet, and love. Most of the time, she keeps to herself; even within the herd she is often just slightly removed, her soul finally safe to be in dreamspace or wherever she goes, her body strong and healthy enough to hold her in this world while she explores the next. When she needs something, she stares at the kitchen window until any one of us humans catches her meaning. To her, the notion of permission runs so deep that I am surprised and grateful she ever let me write this, and I wonder if she’ll be sharing more. I’m so deeply happy that she has found her self, and through the process, brought me to my own.

Amalia Speaks – Energetic Permission & Your Hidden Power

22 thoughts on “Amalia Speaks – Energetic Permission & Your Hidden Power

  • December 23, 2018 at 7:45 am
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    Kesia, your writing is gobsmackingly wonderful. I was spellbound reading this and you are so right; our challenge is to find our way back to what we are, what we inherently possess…find it,,believe it…live from that place….much love xxxxxxxxxx

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    • December 23, 2018 at 5:00 pm
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      Preach it, girl! 😁

      I was spellbound writing it…it’s been so long since I’ve revisited those times. I feel completely different and absolutely the same.

      Big holiday love to you! 💕

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  • December 23, 2018 at 12:58 pm
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    Thanks Kesia for sharing this experience. I immediately recognised my relationship with my horse Embrujo and feel well realising that not all horses like to be ridden. I learned to accept him as he is after a long journey of self discovery. He was never violent but was strong in his decisions and taught me to be patient and listen to him.

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    • December 23, 2018 at 5:02 pm
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      Ah! Beautiful name for what sounds like a beautiful soul. And yes, I definitely believe that not every horse can or will be ridden willingly. What is Embrujo like? Got any pictures?

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  • December 23, 2018 at 10:56 pm
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    Kesia, dear Mrs Kesia,,, your heart’s writing stuns me. stuns me like a brilliant interrogation light.. ok ok ok,, I do know,, I do know.. i admit it,,, i admit to all these energies unconsciously emanating, and all these metta-senses-beyond-senses that feel like tsunami after tsunami of idontknowwhatitisbut.. sooo much non-identifiable feelings that render me completely, astoundingly , and yes, lucidly, tumbled and smashed around like a rogue wave…. we humans are holding a fire-breathing dragon by the tail. it’s true I admit it.. i’m scared to let go of it,, I keep holding it because it can turn and incinerate me,,, or will it?? Paper Bag Princess shero figured out how to ‘tame’ a dragon… and it joyfully became her ally.. ask Permission of who. of me,,of her..of life.. feel Breath, feel that secret place just under the breastbone where breath is born…. what does it say yesnoidon’tknow.. feel breath, feel now.. feel s-l-o-w,, so hard to s-l-o-w enough to feeeeeelll all these whatevertheyare energies and metta-senses,,,, Be. Still. Breathe, just Trust. Me. me! i know why Girl too says no touchy. NO touchy. human,,, go, over there. human gaze at sunset, human, , beside me , not at me.. like that . yes. ,.. like this . good. Breathe. Be. Love. gobsmacked. Love xoxoxo

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    • December 24, 2018 at 9:18 am
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      🙏❤

      Haha notice it’s not a “how to” article… I don’t know if anyone can truly walk anyone else through the process of taming their own dragons and slowing the eff down…it’s a felt sense and a slippery one at that but it’s there for us when we are willing…oh so democratically easy and hard for each of us…but we are willing… and so we’re already most of the way there… a lifetime can be spent fine tuning endlessly, nowhere to get to but here, and here, and here.

      ❤ love to you and Girl.

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  • December 24, 2018 at 5:16 am
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    Dear Kesia, your writing has magic in it, I don’t know how to express how you make me feel when I read your blog posts, other than by telling you that I believe you hold a talent that has the potential to change the world… A big part of it anyways. The clearness, the preciseness of what you are able to convey in such poetic terms, is astonishing! I am in awe, I feel so much admiration and kinship towards you, thank you for being you and sharing this precious gift you have been adorned with.

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    • December 24, 2018 at 9:46 am
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      Aaah! And the admiration and kinship flow back and forth between us aaall! I am so touched and honoured – to write, to be received, to take it all in and mull it all over and churn it all up and spit it back out again some day. Thank you Capucine! ❤

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  • December 24, 2018 at 12:44 pm
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    The sentiment here in your words and the replies from the others is what nourishes my soul. Capucine really expresses your writing beautifully. You do have such a way that just captures us and sucks us in like a vortex. This writing comes with such grace and of course perfect timing. No surprise. Life has that way of helping you hear the messages you need. Excepting each soul for exactly what they want to be and yet wanting to help them thrive is such a complex perplexing endeavor. Energy and all of it’s capacities you really bring it to a different level. Love this ever evolving horse journey of life …taking me to the deep…in this sometimes very shallow life that I feel can tend to surround me.
    Kesia I am grateful for you. ✌🏼❤️🐴

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    • December 27, 2018 at 10:35 pm
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      I haven’t replied til now because I just don’t know how to! Your words carry their own skill and precision that often stuns me, Michelle. Your love and warmth and support always come through so strongly in your messages and I am so grateful for that, and you. 😘 Glad to be sharing this complex perplexing endeavour of life with you!

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  • December 25, 2018 at 2:12 pm
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    One of my horses – 24 y.o. mare Fraszka hates to be ridden. She is in my animal family for 10 years now, I was actually sitting on her I think 10 times during all this time, mostly because I thought I „should”. But years ago I finally understood that she doesn’t like that. What is more, she doesn’t like people too much either. We connect only when I trimm her hooves and gives her some food and treats, sometimes she lowers her head and gives her ears to scratch. And that is all. I gave up trying to „take her” for walks, playing on line etc. She lives in her herd in her world, barelly connecting to anyone. Now after reading your beautifull text I feel better – gush, maybe it’s simply what she wants NOT me beying not good enough for her etc. I try to not feel bad and sad when I see her next time. Maybe she is actually in peace – because she lives the life she wants, not beying forced to do smth she doesn’t want.
    But this makes me wondering… Does any horse really wants to be ridden?

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    • December 27, 2018 at 10:44 pm
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      I can vouch for the fact that any horse allowed to be themselves and have autonomy over what happens to them is truly fortunate. See what you feel from her when you can take that weight off yourself – I think I always believed that I would break through and “find” Amalia and bring her back to my world, all the while not realizing that she was not the one who needed finding and bringing elsewhere. I thought the story would be finished when I “succeeded” with her – and now that I have lost all need to interact with her in a contrived way it feels like it’s just beginning!

      It sounds to me like Frazska is a lot like Amalia – deeply sensitive and introverted, really needing her space to be with the elements, with her body, with the herd. They are not necessarily “happy” beings but that doesn’t mean that anything is wrong.

      As for whether any horse wants to be ridden – I am open to horses wanting to try something new, being willing to connect with us in this bizarre way, but I do think there is some form of coersion required unless the human and horse are both absolutely, individually empowered to choose, and choose YES. I haven’t experienced that yet with any horse, but I have felt moments of mutual joy…

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  • December 26, 2018 at 9:48 am
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    Kesia, you are not only gifted but a gift to all of us that get touched by your blogs. I felt pain and at the same time enlightenment when I read this sharing from your heart. As others have expressed, thank you for being you. I struggle to express in words what is in my heart. So many people share their word gifts with those of us that don’t have that strength. I thank you for sharing the many different ways to embrace free will, within myself and in my relationship with my horses, dogs and cats.
    Always wanting Peace for all, Paulette

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    • December 27, 2018 at 10:48 pm
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      Oh Paulette, I am still so often lost for words… even this, taking a thousand words to describe a single moment…words are not perfect but they do a pretty darn good job. They are not the moon but they can be a decent finger pointing to it. At least this is what I hope for when I write. Thank you, thank you for being here and being you too ❤

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  • December 28, 2018 at 8:39 pm
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    As always Kesia I am deeply moved by your writing. Thank you Amalia for allowing Kesia to share this story and thank you Kesia for your honest vulnerability.

    I just read about myself. Not just in my ‘learning to be less dense’, that for me is now expected especially when reading anything this community shares. But I found myself in Amalia. The last description of her as she is allowed to be in her herd, could have been a word for word description of the deepest truest version of myself. I have long struggled with self acceptance (like most of us), and I force myself to be a much more ‘normally’ functioning human than Amalia’s description might suggest. I dont really know what my point is. I guess I’ve never valued the antisocial part of myself before. The part that longs to spend my days in the dimension that horses exist in, where communication is rarely verbal and extremely subtle. Where balance exists because of the very nature of this place. Yes, how lovely it would be to be completely wild and untamed in communication within this world of humans.

    Thank you again Kesia and much love…

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    • December 29, 2018 at 9:36 am
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      Tamara,

      I think this version of Amalia is in all of us. I think of her as a manifestation of or connection to the dark feminine – not necessarily of nurturing and creation, but deeper than that. The empty stillness from which comes all things. The unknowable darkness at the centre. The untameable, that which no one else can hold or access unless they too become it.

      The Japanese word Kuu is used in Zen to describe Emptiness, but it also means Sky. In that beautiful kind of linguistic parallel that is so rare in English, Kuu reminds us that our fear of emptiness, of nothing, of that unknowable stillness, is perhaps a fear of utter abundance and endless possibility. I love this. It makes me toes curl and my eyes widen.

      All I can say, Tamara is that this enormous part of you is so legitimate, so essential for your existence. Amalia fought tooth and nail for her right to be what she is. It’s still a cruel world that she needed permission from anyone else, as an owned and subjugated being. I thought once I had to literally set her free, but in our world it seems I can only do so effectively by keeping her in my care. But setting her free has become a choice and a way of life. It is the easiest thing to do and it took me forever to understand.

      We can set ourselves and each other free. We can open to Amalia, who works in dreamtime, weaving the net of existence for our oblivious lives to hang on. We can acknowledge her work, and thereby our own. When you need to go there, she will be waiting.

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      • December 30, 2018 at 2:10 am
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        Could you seriously please write a book Kesia?

        This harsh world that we all exist in, is it not true for all of us then that we must give ourselves daily permission to access our own freedom? Is this the ultimate lesson our horses are here to teach us? To be a living example of where we must continue to strive for…..I wonder?

        I would so love to become a student of some form of energy balancing, self exploration martial arts. Like it’s in this form of inner extreme discipline that our true freedom can be found?
        When you write of these teachings I’m reminded again of how much I don’t know! How much I’m still yet to open to. Instead my horses and my general, very normal world around me will continue to be my mirrors I suppose. Oh this life, I’m constantly questioning my path……

        Thanks again Kesia for taking the time to write back to each of us so thoughtfully. I’m left to ponder your beautiful, deep thoughts….
        Xxoo

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        • January 1, 2019 at 11:18 am
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          Haha well if you do take up some such practice, you’ll be constantly reminded of how much you don’t know until you shake off this mortal coil! One thing I love about my Aikido practice is knowing there is nowhere to get to… just keep swimming…

          Oh gosh though, to stick with a path you are constantly questioning, there is much practice in that! I think all these lessons exist in endless form, all around us and particularly in concert with non-human beings.

          The book….is burbling away in the back of my head. Hopefully it wants to slip out and onto paper soon!

          Wishing you love and light on the way ❤

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  • January 1, 2019 at 8:29 am
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    Keshia….first of all, what a truly lovely read and a wonderful look into your relationship with Amalia. You have reminded me of the days at LA’s when Amalia would walk toward me to share her wisdom with me. I always felt truly blessed by her presence and was always reminded that my need or desire to make physical contact with Amalia was never as important as accepting what she was offering. She was the first horse I felt truly understood my desire to be a part of something while remaining apart. That immersion into a way of being was not about physically being in a certain place but recognizing that place within. Thank you for this reminder as I sit contemplating the year ahead, setting my energy and intention for being true to my own needs….both physical and energetic. Much love to you and your herd….both two-legged and four-legged.

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    • January 1, 2019 at 11:21 am
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      Nicole! I do remember the bright connection between you two. I think Amalia gained so much in her time there, especially the opportunity to share this complex part of herself. That the transmission between you two was so powerful humbles me and makes me happy. Thank you for sharing!

      What’s up for you these days? What does this next year hold for you?

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      • January 4, 2019 at 9:44 pm
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        I continue to learn more about myself and what I envision for my life. I have been feeling very disconnected from horses lately and am struggling to find ways to reconnect and create a way for me to be with horses daily while helping people to learn, heal and grow with horses. I run into all the should’s and must’s placed on me by others and am uncertain about the how’s of what I would like to create. And I am trying to walk through the fear to allow the possibilities to unfold rather than trying to force them into existence.

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        • January 5, 2019 at 3:05 pm
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          “Trying to walk through the fear to allow possibities” – beautifully put! The horses will come to you 🙂 just keep walking and working on it all til those shoulds and musts start to fall from your shoulders…. very best of it all to you Nicole!

          Reply

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