I walked into the paddock area and Montaro briefly smelled my hand in greeting, then tried to nip me. Zorra turned her head away as I came near. Aude stood patiently as I approached, then brushed by my extended hand as she turned to walk to the hay area, ‘Alfalfa now please‘ she pointed with her nose. Jax and Juno just watched me from a distance.
That’s fine. I don’t have much time for canoodling anyway. I’ve been under serious stress and tension these last few weeks:
- My health biz expanding to new product lines and also setting up in Australia.
- Dialoguing with different coaches, testers, etc. to try and figure out why my biz-building program is not expanding as I thought it would.
- Numerous issues with my 3 kids (2 are teens) as they face their own life struggles/issues – good thing I’m an EFT practitioner!
- Selling our house – so 10 years of detritus cleansing/detox, plus it takes SIX hours to get the house ready for each showing/open house – yes, thank god I have a housekeeper, but she doesn’t work weekends and sometimes she can’t make it in, since she’s going through her own very stressful time.
But you know what’s causing me the MOST stress? What is wrapping me up in tangled knots of manky-ass, boiling-cauldron, tense-as-a-bowstring yuckiness?
I still don’t know where OUR LAND is!
As you may recall, my horses are in a semi-hostile boarding situation. Things have calmed down for a bit, but they will no doubt erupt again. So I have to lay low. I need to move them by the end of the winter as their field will be trashed come Spring – because I can’t cross-fence it, or re-seed it without risking another blow-up. So…
I am actively looking for where to locate my horses. This may seem like a simple endeavour, but it is actually more complicated than setting up warehousing and order fulfillment for my health store on a different continent!
First of all, I am blessed with plenty of choice. Which sounds like a good thing, but also exponentially increases the difficulty of making the right choice.
The Paradox of Choice
A couple of psychologists once set up an experiment in a grocery store. In the first experiment, they had a stand with only 6 varieties of jam for people to sample and choose from. Then they set up a stand with 24 varieties of jam. Guess what happened? Yep, they sold ten times more jam when there were only 6 flavors to choose from. Because when people were faced with 24 options, it became really difficult to choose, and most people ended up walking away to ‘think about it’ – no purchasing decision was made. Choice does not necessarily equal freedom.
Because I work for myself and my businesses are all automated, Internet-based companies, I can be anywhere in the world – as long as there’s good Internet service.
My kids are aged 10, 14 and 16 and none of them want to live on a farm – they are all happily ensconced in their schools, community and neighborhood, thank you very much. My husband doesn’t want to live on land here in Canada (due to the weather). He is open to living on a ranch in the U.S., but that can’t happen until my two eldest kids have graduated. So.
I have thus far taken trips to look at land in San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Blaine (Washington), Cave Creek (Arizona), Sedona, Kamloops, Osoyoos, Kelowna, Vernon, and in a couple weeks I fly to Sonoita, Arizona.
Honestly, I can feel the franticness rise up as I type this – because I’m looking back over the journey thus far. The journey with no answers other than, NO. Not here.
I can’t even figure out whether my herd is meant to stay within driving distance of my family home, or, whether I’m meant to go set up a ranch in the U.S. as my retreat place. A place I go to write, paint, commune with nature and hang out with my herd in the sun. A welcome retreat from this land of rain and grey. A place to hold workshops once a month or so.
All I know is that when I said to the divine, “Okay, you know what, this is just way too stressful and I can’t possibly know what will be the best arrangement for all 15 members of this family, so how about I just surrender and wait for you to give me a sign; a dream, an encounter with someone, a book, etc. and tell me where our land is?”
The universe said, “Nope. You must stay in action. You need to activate both the feminine/masculine, yin/yang at the same time. You must be connected at all times to your intuition, yet stay in action and keep moving forward.”
And so as the stressors piled up on me, I could feel myself winding far away from my usual grounded self. To the point where my herd has not wanted me to even touch them this last two weeks. Not one of them has wanted to cuddle, or have their itchy places scratched. If I sat down next to them, they would actually move a few paces away. Sometimes they would walk away entirely.
This has never happened to me before! But when I examine myself honestly, I also cannot recall a time (other than when my babies were young – and I didn’t have horses then) that I have been this off-the-charts stressed before. When I went into my energetic state – my energy body, this is what I saw:
See all the spiky shards pointing outwards? The dark, tangled manky ball in the middle? And yes, that is green slime dripping off the grey/black coils of despair/frustration. So if this is me, flinging spiky shards and dripping sticky gobs at my horses’ face, belly, withers… is it any wonder they want to get the hell away from me?!
This was not a state that could be dissolved through meditation, or EFT Tapping, or solution-focused counseling – not that I didn’t try. Because here’s what I realized about this oh-so-tangled journey I’m on: It’s a complicated, multi-factorial work in process! Let me explain.
When you’re single (i.e. no partners, children, or beings to care for) and those inspirational speakers, writers and gurus tell you to, “Be true to your authentic self, follow your soul’s calling and don’t let anything stop you!” It’s pretty easy to do that, right? Your only block or variable to contend with is YOU.
Then you get married or partnered up or add some significant 4-legged soulmates and now what? What if your soul and destiny is calling you this way, but their soul and destiny is calling them that way… then what?
I’ve got three kids – strong, spiritually-gifted and aware, wise beings – and there’s now FIVE of us humans. Each with a soul calling, a destiny, a gut guiding each of us to this or that. HOW does that work?
Now add a herd of spiritual masters who’ve incarnated in horse form for a specific purpose(s). Add an old Indian soul dog and another dog I’ve had a past life with. And a cat whose energy body is 10 feet tall… I could go on… But now we have FIFTEEN beings in our family. 15 souls and destinies to serve and manifest.
I’ve asked many gurus, authors, etc how to navigate the soul’s quest when there’s more than just one of you. No one has yet given me a good answer, or one that clicked YES in my heart.
And yet this is that path I’ve been walking – intensely – for 3 years now. With lots of tension, dissatisfaction, questing, experimenting, researching, dialoguing and meditating. And no, the solution is not gratitude, for god’s sake. If I hear one more person banging on about how gratitude is the solution to everything, I’ll throw my damn Gratitude Journal at them.
So what IS the answer?
Here’s what I realized after two solid weeks of my herd turning away from me. After three separate dreams of my husband betraying me (not just sexual betrayal), multiple screaming fights with my teenagers, and dropping into bed so exhausted I could cry…
The reason I must stay in action and keep pressing forward is because the PROCESS is the point.
The universe indeed does have a solution, an answer, that will serve the needs and soul’s calling of all 15 beings. BUT. Each of us 5 humans has to walk our own path, must complete our journey to X, before the solution can be revealed.
Perhaps I’ve already walked that journey and I’m standing right next to the solution. But my daughter is only halfway through her journey, and my eldest son is 3/4 of the way there and my husband is 95% finished – the solution cannot be revealed. Because then they wouldn’t finish walking their path. And if they don’t finish their journey, then that solution won’t work anyway!
Let’s say one of them hits a block along the way and refuses to move forward, or chooses to go right, or u-turn. Well then that initial solution won’t work – so it is no longer the solution.
Let’s say the solution is ‘C’ – right now, in this minute – based upon where each of us is headed, and the choices we’re making. But if I tried to skip ahead and actually action, or step into ‘C’, then it would no longer be the solution! Because ‘C’ is not a fixed destination. It is a quantum physics kind of responsive-evolution solution. In layman’s terms: It ain’t over till it’s over.
So I can’t speak to the others’ journeys. I can only speak about mine. And as I travel around from place to place, sinking my feet into the varied earth, walking it, sometimes sleeping upon it, feeling whether it claims me, or not, this exploration feels vital. And liberating. And with each exploration I know more about what I like and what I want.
Each region of land I walk, the herd walks with me (in spirit) and I feel into what they are feeling about this land. They are not as picky as me, but I can tell you my big Belgian girl did not like the crispy fried heat of San Diego county!
Funnily enough, friends new and old are appearing at each exploration. Sometimes to walk some of the land with me, sometimes just to meet for a meal. But it is heartwarming and FUN and I feel like I am connected to so many amazing heart-centered souls who are themselves seeking nature and the horse.
And MY process, my working through of my tangle of frustration, desires, hopes/vision, impatience, anxiety is of course pushing me to grow. To develop aspects of myself further.
The beauty of action
I sat down to breakfast with my hubby, Ian, to try and work through the symbolism of the ‘betrayal dreams’. Together we explored the different possibilities: Where did I not feel he was supporting me, or on my side? Where could I be betraying myself? Am I in need of stronger boundaries with him; in our personal relationship, or in business? And so on.
I shared with Ian my insights about this being a multi-person, multi-factorial process. And I showed him the drawing of my energetic state (see above). A few days before, I had come across Linda Kohanov’s workshop with artist Kim McElroy, Horse As Muse, and emailed it to him, asking, “Do you think I should go?”
At breakfast he said to me, “Why are you even asking me? Why wouldn’t you go? It will be good for you to get some sun, get a break from the kids – I’ll be back from my business trip by then, and your mum will still be around to help – and you can explore the land. If only to cross one more possibility off your list. Just make sure you get someone to take care of the horses while you’re gone!”
And just like that, I felt released, I felt set free from the dark, manky ball I’d been wrapped up in. As I went through the actions of booking the workshop (of course they had room for me), the flights, and the Inns, the remaining strands of slime slid off me.
Because here’s the thing: Sometimes surrender and patience is the right place to be. And sometimes ACTION is the only remedy for what ails us. Our soul may need us to get into motion, because once a boulder is rolling, it’s fairly easy to steer it right or left. But when it’s sitting dead-weight at a standstill, it takes a lot of effort to get it to move even an inch.
That’s when it helps to step into vulnerability with loved ones and trusted friends. To open your heart for insight and guidance, but of course, simultaneously keeping your own gut intuition in charge at all times. Maybe your tangled manky ball is your job, or a relationship, or your lifestyle, or a dream you’ve given up on, or a health challenge, or the book you’re not writing, or the art you’re not making. Sometimes we need a set of fresh eyes to look at our tangled mess and give us permission to move into action – to help the murky way become clearer.
The 3rd Alternative
Stephen Covey – author of mega-bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – also wrote a book called, The 3rd Alternative. The message of this book is that compromise means everyone loses.
Normally, compromise is the solution that’s held up as the way to help everyone get some or most of what they need/want. Covey asserts that this just means that nobody gets what they want! So the solution is not to compromise; where everyone loses and nobody wins. But the solution is to look for the 3rd Alternative; the solution that no one else has thought of. The solution that meets everyone’s needs, where everyone wins. He boldly asserts that there is always a 3rd alternative.
And once you accept that this 3rd alternative exists, and you set your intention clearly and firmly towards discovering it, or allowing it to reveal itself, then the magic happens.
I’ve been playing with this concept for several years in both my business and my family life. And I have to say, it has not failed yet. And yes, sometimes it takes time – for all the reasons outlined above – but usually, it is fairly rapid. And inspiration (solutions) can come in many different forms, but that magical 3rd alternative that is a win-win for all parties involved always emerges.
Of course, as we already discussed, moving into action can be the catalyst needed for the 3rd alternative to make itself known. So if you find yourself similarly stymied, look for where you can give yourself permission to action some piece of your soul’s calling. Not the whole thing, not actioning a solution, just a little chunk of it. Maybe it’s a workshop, or a pleasure trip, or a hike for day, or a book, or time set aside each day to journal and do yoga, or Feldenkrais in your bedroom.
Where can you give yourself permission to action a tiny piece of your soul’s yearning?
I skipped into the pasture, muddy from 28/31 days of rain in October, announced to my horses, “I’m going to Arizona – I’m going to SUN!!” they gathered round me for our usual love, scratches and cuddles. Part of me had been worried they would feel I was abandoning them to the mud pit, but all I felt was support, You go do this thing, we trust you. And we’re with you – go make it happen.
If you want to follow along on that trip (November 18-25), I’m going to post a daily pic on Instagram. And of course I’ll do a blog post later about the Horse As Muse workshop and share any take-aways with you. Here’s a quick blurb about it – art, creativity and horses, what could be better?
P.S. One last thing! I’ve done a teleseminar with Diedre West of the Healing With Horse Collective – exploring the intricacies and pros/cons of Equine Assisted Learning/Therapy. Click here to leave your comment/feedback, or to download the call.
Jini Patel Thompson is a natural health writer and Lazer Tapping instructor. She began riding at age 2 in Kenya, and got her first horse at age 8 in Alberta, and so continues a life-long journey and love affair with these amazing creatures.
25 thoughts on “My Horses Don’t Want To Hang Out With Me”
Hi Jini! I feel so close to you, reading this is such a blessing because I am going through the exact same questionnings and challenges in my life right now. I have 3 sons aged 15, 14 and 10, two horses a cat and a husband, I too am trying to find a perfect ground where my family’s needs meet with my life’s true calling and it’s very difficult to figure out. I feel I could have written this very article because I have reflected uppon the exact same points, and too can’t seem to make sense of the duality between being an individual on a spiritual quest and a member of a family made of people who each have different needs. Keeping the ball rolling is the right thing to do, I agree, but time… That is the scary part right now. I feel like I’ve done so much, explored so much in my life and now, I feel I don’t want to make mistakes anymore (yeah right). Like I don’t have any time left to take the wrong route because in 10 years time, I will be too old to change direction again and again… And like you mention, doing all this while having to take everybody’s needs into account is not easy and demands sacrifices. The only thing I know to do in this time of turmoil is to accept it for what it is: a time of turmoil. I know the path is known somewhere inside, accepting that time has to be involved in the process is hard but inevitable, I know I am too anxious to “get there” (whatever there may be) but the “there” is in fact the process, the journey, I know that but so want to taste more of what makes it all worth it and in the end, this taste which tastes so good is a feeling of deep connection with self, nature, loved ones and community. So thank you for making me feel connected to you; which reflects the me I love.
Wowzers, wow, wow Capucine – aside from having THE best name ever – I LOVE what you’ve written here – and look how similar the ages of our children are! Maybe our urgency to BE on our path kicks into high gear when the youngest child is no longer needing all of us? For my kids, I sacrificed like crazy for them until they felt distinct from me – like they were fully formed enough to self-differentiate and self-determine. And that age was different for each child. But for mine, no younger than 10.
Many women I’ve talked to say, “Oh you can have all you want, but after the kids graduate.” That is their definition of “old enough” for mum to go do her thing, without trying to accommodate the kids. Others have said it’s up to the parents to lead and the children to follow. And there’s the “put your own oxygen mask on first” admonition.
The feng shui perspective is that children are like plants, or trees. Under the age of 18 they don’t have their own taproot, but are linked to yours. So the parents can make the decisions without energetic kickback. But after age 18 they have their own, so then you need to take their soul/destiny/numerology into account when making decisions.
Honestly, I have no idea! It’s obvious I’m still in process with this. But like you, I feel very strongly the weight of TIME pressing against me. Ever since I was a teen, I’ve felt I have very little time on this earth, so I mustn’t waste any dicking around. But that urgency is definitely increasing as I near the mid-way point.
Maybe this is self-inflicted though? Maybe it doesn’t matter how many people I help, how many lives I touch, my stewardship of this soil. Maybe I’ve done enough. And now the point is to just experience enjoyment, peace, adventure and other positive things…
Nope– that doesn’t work for me either. Because I cannot tune out the suffering of others. I was born in Kenya and I know simply by virtue of circumstance that I escaped torture, imprisonment, slaughter and any other number of blights that effect large numbers of earthlings. That I am fortunate just to live in North America! So how can I say, “Well, good luck to the rest of you, I’ll be sipping ice tea on my ranch.”
And here’s my take on ‘mistakes’ or taking the wrong route. There is very rarely a direct, straight path to anything. Think of everything in the universe – you’re looking at spirals, circles. Even wave patterns are not straight – they are rounded off versions of the zig-zag. So why should our existence be any different? And if we can let go of our mental constructs around “should” we can embrace the zig-zags, the roundabouts and know that nothing is wasted. That each part of the journey is vital knowledge, growth, transformation and healing.
My daughter was really hard on herself right from day 1. By age 2 it became apparent that her self-judgment, her “shoulds” were really holding her back. By age 3 we had my version of a “come to Jesus” talk. I gave her a re-frame. Through storytelling of myself learning to ski at age 10, and my first 2 horses when I was 8, I released her to a new perspective that if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning! You’re not moving forward. So the MORE mistakes you make, the better you’re doing in life. Your mistakes are proof that you’re growing, expanding, learning and ARE A VERY GOOD THING. Something to cultivate, something to welcome. Not something to avoid.
As she was a child, she was able to ‘get’ this paradigm shift very quickly and move into it equally quickly. And I honestly believe it saved her from years of pain and disappointment. I also know that you already know this.
Lastly, your lovely message has urged me to add another section to the post above, called, The 3rd Alternative. So thank you for that. And for opening your heart to connect. We have such a fabulous community of Horse Listeners growing into existence here. Who knew there were so many of us??
Jini- you rock! I am consumed with appreciation for your honesty and transparency regarding your life’s journey. Rather than calling it a challenge or dilemma, I prefer to call these weird tangled and knotted up life’s challenges – simply a part of the journey. Like the tag line for my business “The Journey is the Destination”. That doesn’t mean we have to like what is happening but to be present to what is happening and our response to it. Being fully present to confusion, irritation, anger, frustration………….is just as rich as beauty, joy and fulfillment. It’s our aversion and pushing away that creates additional suffering. Stream of consciousness here. I visualize you taking a guided journey where you are untying knots and untangling a ball of yarn and maybe that will lead you to the 3rd Alternative as the seemingly made up in your mind ties that bind you to people and animals unwinds into a completely new and out of the box 3rd Alternative. And like you say, when you are present to your moment to moment experience, many wonderful fun things are occurring as you travel around checking out new possible places. I know Linda Kohanov’s workshops are transformational. Looking forward to the pictoral essays along the way. Much love to you, Shivam
Thanks Shivam! It will be really interesting to see what happens during the workshop – maybe the ball of yarn will make an appearance! And yes, being fully present for days/weeks/months at a time – knowing I don’t have the solution yet and there is nothing more I can do – in between each piece of the ‘next exploration’ being revealed is a spiritual discipline for me. Like meditating, it is certainly getting easier over time. But is so against my essential nature that I wonder if I’ll ever be fluent 🙂
thank you for this post. So happy that you are going to the art/horse workshop. That makes so much heart/sense to take in a piece of soul call even while in turmoil and great mystery!!
Yes Kate, now that I think about it – when is there a better time to make art than when things are swirling?
First off, have fun with Linda in AZ!! My eponaquest sister Helen Russell told me about this post so I was excited to read it.
I’ve been receiving teachings from my mustang Blue this past week. It’s like a 3 card spread. Past, Present Challenge and Future. It really resonates with yours.
First, a few days ago he gave me a lesson in giving to get and doing only as much as you have to, to get the pressure off. I was asking him to walk with me by pushing from behind and he was giving me lots of push back then trotting off then trying all kinds of different locations as if looking for the solution. In the round pen, out of the round pen, in the dry corral, the gates were all open.
Then yesterday, he got himself hung up over a fence. He broke the top rail, lifted his front end over and then was stuck with the next rail up to his belly. He’s done this before. He stands quietly waiting for help and then stays still while I tear the fence out from under him and bounces off happily when I ask him to move. It’s an interesting sequence of being committed enough to break the top rail and lift his front end onto the fence but not motivated enough to generate the momentum to jump it. So I’m asking these questions and I’ll put my current answers in brackets.
What am I really committed to? (create a new collaborative, relational integrative experience beyond duality, specifically work/play, business/home, paid/unpaid, self/other, friend/client)
What am I not really motivated to do? (own and embody my power)
What fence am I stuck on? (surviving on one side, thriving on the other)
Who do I need to come help me? (Divine Mother)
Today I went out to him and at liberty brought him out of the herd and hayfield, across the road, into the yard and jumped him over the remainder of the fence he got stuck on. Then we proceeded to work towards connection through movement. He tried the minimum of push back I think he’s ever tried and settled into a nice energetic connection with less than his usual concern about direction but every time I stopped he turned to face me and I had to really work to get him moving again. So I started moving him off and asking for stop without dropping forward or letting him turn in. I used to pour all my energy into him like a firehose from my belly and instead I started just imagining a broadcast of energy ahead of me with a tributary into him so I could push forward into him and give him something to follow at the same time. Interesting. Totally different experience. He relaxed and we were able to stop and go with clarity and straightness. We did in the end partner walk which is an unusual offering from him. We could stop go and back with syncopation and a beautiful, palpable elastic connection.
I have a huge history of trying really hard. I’ve tried hard to be a better person, to be whatever whoever needed, to be more spiritual, to be worthy, to fulfill my purpose. It was a survival based, adrenal and anxiety driven race to burnout and flatline til recovery existence.
On the fence here, I have been sitting, being, listening and learning, noticing my partner supporting me and believing him when he tells me he has no plans to kick me to the curb for not earning significant income. I check, not often but….I raised my daughter to maturity here in this safety, this warmth, this context of unconditional love that I had yet to experience in this lifetime. I’ve healed hugely and re-created myself, my work, nurtured incredibly authentic, mutually empowering relationships and am having a whole new experience of life. Now my daughter has fledged and I think my turn is coming too.
Having generated so many restorative experiences through developing the capacity for unconditional positive regard that supports self awareness of reactivity and the ability to choose responsibly, I think I’m ready to move on but am a bit stuck. It’s really nice here, I feel like I could stay forever but I’m stuck. I’m also getting hungry for a deeper feed.
I now have the ability to really engage in the process without attachment to outcome and feel the connection of synchronicity and universal flow. I can move out of genuine motivation, without efforting, in an energetically and physically sustainable and responsive way. I want more people around to challenge me in my shit and help me on my property. I want to do everything in relationship and really attend to my singularity, simultaneously. I am really excited to collaborate on anything so I can mine out my habits of competition. I want to embody my power like Marion Woodman and revel in my strength and self regard like Pippi Longstocking. So I will practice understanding when I’m back in my old way of being, compassion when I realize I’m in it up to my belly and keep my eye on Divine Mother as she pries down the first rail. I will practice receiving as she pulls out the nail holding the next one and I will practice patience until she gives me the signal to move on. Then I’ll dance clear of the wreckage until I find myself in its midst again. That’s my plan, anyway.
The challenge is that I don’t have much experience living this way. I have tons of experience getting to here and perhaps that will suffice but I’m scared spitless I’ll lose it. I’m really attached to my non-attachment and this newfound safety and peace feel vulnerable. It’s really hard to trust the fence is actually down and I can move forward. After all, it was there last time I tried.
Hi Thea, There is so much good stuff in your post I had to add some paragraph breaks so I could fully take it in – hope that’s okay! It looks like you tried to add them, but for some reason it didn’t translate. ANYWAY, this is my favorite piece:
“So I will practice understanding when I’m back in my old way of being, compassion when I realize I’m in it up to my belly and keep my eye on Divine Mother as she pries down the first rail. I will practice receiving as she pulls out the nail holding the next one and I will practice patience until she gives me the signal to move on. Then I’ll dance clear of the wreckage until I find myself in its midst again. That’s my plan, anyway.”
What a beautiful, beautiful analogy from you and Blue. And truly amazing that he hangs there quietly, waiting for you to rescue him! I can picture it because that happened with Montaro once – except that he wasn’t doing it on purpose and went bonkers when his belly got hung up on that middle rail.
So I’m going to do your exercise – I think this is something ALL of us can benefit from, so thanks so much for offering it to us. Here we go:
What am I really committed to?
What am I not really motivated to do?
What fence am I stuck on?
Who do I need to come help me?
I’m really committed to finding my OWN piece of land (not boarding or leasing) in an environment that enlivens both my herd and I.
I am not really motivated to be open to land in this rainy, or cold climate.
I am stuck on the fence between my own yearning and the needs of my children.
I need divine inspiration to flow freely.
WOW!! That is so cool. 2 things I’d been dancing around the edges of, or coming in and out of – but until laser-focusing it like this, I did not realize how important it was for me to not lease anymore, and that I really want my land to be somewhere warm and SUNNY.
It doesn’t feel right to have my horses a plane ride away and I have no idea how I’m going to adapt to flying that often (me who hates driving or flying). But. Who knows? Life can change on a dime, and who know what lies ahead?
In the meantime I will enjoy my time of ‘dancing’ in Arizona and we shall see what happens next!
I missed reading your last couple newsletters. They are buried somewhere in saved emails. Interestingly your newsletters have been on my mind the last couple of weeks as I have been planning to find the previous ones buried somewhere and I’ve also been looking forward to a new one. I so resonate with your authenticity!
Here’s a response to your comment “When you’re single and those inspirational speakers, writers and gurus tell you to, “Be true to your authentic self, follow your soul’s calling and don’t let anything stop you!” It’s pretty easy to do that, right? Your only block or variable to contend with is YOU.”
In my experience the answer is “wrong”. I’ve been single for the last 4 years and must say the above quote “re” being single has not been the case for me. It has been my intention to share a property with my horses instead of boarding for at least 7 years. A divorce, a major house renovation, and endless blocks and waiting, waiting, waiting along the way to me purchasing a property has me scratching my head. The latest chapter in my journey being 6 weeks into a possible property purchase and $1,000.00 invested in inspections of a lovely property only to find out after the fact that the seller has an impossible lean on the property.
Same here, I still don’t know where my land is and my four horses continue to be on the journey with me as I notice their strong and interesting responses (as a herd) to each new property venture now getting into the double digits. I LOVE your conclusion that “the process is the point”. Truly, it seems it’s not whether single or in relationship with others, the universe is finding a way to bring to light “the process is the journey” and there’s no escaping it for most.
I continue to resonate with and deeply appreciate your insights. Thanks for the Stephen Covey recommendation and for “Feldenkrais in your Bedroom” and thanks to everyone for taking the time to share as it is such a gift to be reminded that I’m not alone on the journey.
Have a wonderful time in Arizona. What a beautiful and supportive response from your hubby and your horses.
I stand corrected Joan! I should have said, “When I was single…” Although, here’s the thing – when I was single and I did things like move from Tokyo to London UK in 2 weeks, I did not have ANY kids or animals or other beings. SO… now that you’ve got me thinking about it… You are NOT single! 🙂 You actually are in a family of FOUR. And if you have any dogs, cats, etc. then your family is even bigger.
Maybe there is a book here – about all us Horse Women In Transition/Process! I know I would LOVE to hear about your process and then how it all turns out in the end. And imagine if those of us in the middle of PROCESS had a book like this available… what encouragement and balm for the soul that would be right now, eh?
Thank you, thank you, thank you for joining me in this and sharing it with me. Tears to my eyes. This is what I can’t get enough of and look for in my herd. People who dive in with me and play their own process and thus contribute to mine. Felt pretty vulnerable sending it, scared you’d think I was blogging on your blog. Well Worth The Risk! Mucho grateful for the editing as well. I just blorped it in there but it had been simmering and stirring in my journal, so glad it was cooked enough to come across. And Long! Pass on my blessings and regard to Panther for me, and to Linda as well. .
Oh I’m SO glad you took the risk Thea! And please feel totally free to share your gifts with us at all times. As I replied to Joan – maybe there’s a book in here waiting to come out… let’s allow that to simmer for a while…
This is a great piece, Jini. I love the way you use your process to generate a fulsome healing community. Well done and thank you.
The temporal pressure you’re experiencing catches my attention. Here you are with a clear calling, apparently shared by your readers, that’s couched in what sounds like a degree of pressure to perform now. Blocks appear. You struggle. You engage your significant healing skills on this conflicting needs issue, yet still, it blocks you.
Having a couple of decades on you, I can say with some authority that time pressure builds. It speeds up. Temporal acceleration is one of aging’s interesting mysteries. I find that it challenges the encroaching entropy by motivating me to find ways to both say .y piece and accelerate my learning.
One of the magnificent gifts horses bestow on those of us who are willing to untangle ourselves from our Dominion Delusions is the certainty that we will always have more to learn from and with them. And, I am living proof that sometimes, life can ding us up too much to be among them. Though I’ve been lucky enough to have known many elderly active horse women, my time with most was shared from the vantage point of a rocking chair. There are reasons you’re experiencing a temporal imperative.
Another possible source of the time pressure so many feel now is the precarious nature of the time we inhabit. I feel the cold threat of extinction breathing down my neck. The 2-year-long election cycle we just endured has left the world reeling. Change is upon us. My neuronal net feels like your picture looks.
The delicious part of our personal and collective ordeals of the moment are embodied in 2 facts: 1. Horses can help us recalibrate the underlying neurological imbalances that got us to the brink of extinction. 2. The readers of this blog appear to have heard the call to help the horses recalibrate humanity.
It feels like it could be an even bumpier ride ahead. That makes this budding community all the more precious and utilitarian. We carry some impressive skill sets to help Life survive us. It’s time for us to step up whole flights in single bounds– mindfully. A certain amount of twirling is necessary to build up momentum for projects of this magnitude. And, don’t under estimate the energetic headwinds of resistance we face in bringing horse wisdom to humans. There’s the whole 2,000-year history of Armageddon preparations the favorite flavor of western monotheism has enjoyed. The results of the unconscious stress of participation in that paradox on the cultural fabric is profound.
We’ve got work to do.
Love this part: “twirling is necessary to build up momentum” This is so freaky – well, your entire comment is that special kind of Pat-freaking-fantastic, but THAT particular part is extra freaky because it answers a dream I had 2 months ago and wrote down in my journal:
“In the dream I meet this woman who can go through walls by rotating her body like a chainsaw-auger to cut holes through walls and POP she’s out the other side and the hole left is only about 1 foot diameter. She shows me her feet and says, ‘You have to make the feet VERY strong. I started by working in a metal factory and I would pick up all the metal pieces with my feet, like this —. Then, when your whole body is strong enough, you can generate the speed to rotate fast enough to whiz-cut through the wall.’ I was very impressed.”
So thank you dear Pat for interpreting my dream for me! And showing how we’re all so connected in this collective consciousness.
One more thing – I know this is a typo, but what is “.y piece” supposed to say here?:
it challenges the encroaching entropy by motivating me to find ways to both say .y piece and accelerate my learning.
– ‘stay at peace’??
For some reason I read through some of my journal entries last week and read this dream again and mused to myself, “Hmmm… still do not really know what this one is about or how it applies to me…”
And now I know!! SO AWESOME!
I will have to think about your comment for a while… there’s a lot in here o wise one.
Jini, you are truly a gift to horse owners, and to women in transition! When you said the thing about being single, I thought, well, yes and no. Being single does make decisions about moving seem more easy, but when I was single before, I had fewer animals as you say. Also, my divorce left me with no land, the need to close my business for tax reasons, and 14 horses and 3 dogs…and for a while, a million$+ home that was in my name and who knew when it would move off the market–before, or after I was forced to file bankruptcy?
I moved from my Colorado dream home into an Ogden, Utah horse-friend’s small guest bedroom, a military home where it was standard to keep all windows triple covered and 80s hard rock blasting anytime someone was home, even through dinner, unless “The Apprentice” was on. The house was under a huge network of power lines…which is why I could stay, because there were power line easement pastures I could lease for next to nothing, or nothing, for my horses, thanks to the generosity of the Mormon neighbors who owned the rights to the easements. Next to nothing was what I had…money my frugal mother had left me that I’d put into a retirement savings and, when I saw where I was headed, had cashed out in case I was lucky enough to have the house sell and, like our last house, need to pay out tens if not hundreds of thousands. I prayed for it to be tens, as I didn’t have the other option.
The horse pastures (two side-by-side 5-acre parcels) had old, half down, rusty barbed wire fences and tons of trash and weeds. They also had an underground spring that, when the ground got hard in winter, suddenly turned into a stream that only froze on the top layer if the temps didn’t go too low, that I could chop through with an axe and that from there the horses could keep ice-free by pawing–once they learned to do it.
I went from the most beautiful mountain property I could ever have dreamed–with heated water in the small-but-useful barn and a winter setup that I had designed, perfect fences I had also designed, that was more beautiful than I’d ever dreamed, to that.
It was like a constant trauma. On the influential referral of a past client/current friend, I got a home-based corporate job–my first corporate experience. And, I knew these things were gifts, because they allowed me to move forward (and move away before the house sold, which was a strategic move to keep my English ex from leaving the country and thereby skipping out on what would then become a $1.3 mil problem for me, our gorgeous home and horse property in the Colorado mountains). But it took more courage to make such a move, and to stay in it from moment to moment, than I ever wanted to discover I had. As a meditator who was just getting sensitive enough to hear the trees speak, I went under the network of ever-buzzing power lines; took my horses there; put hot wire around fences to keep the horses off the barbed wire; carried hot water to them 5 times a day when, just after we got there, the temps dropped well below 0 F and stayed there for weeks; nursed the whole herd through pigeon fever not long later; and learned how to remain productive and write about technology and internal-culture-cultivating topics while sobbing for hours during work days–to project manage and live by a clock through all that.
Stayed there for 4 months with my dogs were fostered in two different states, lost one foster home to death by cancer (the woman–the mother of my military-career home host–had wanted to foster my dogs because she wanted dogs to comfort her through her cancer but did not want to leave dogs for her husband to care for if she died–the dogs were with her when, even on her last day of life, she would reach a hand for them. A dog head would always find it’s way under her reaching hand). To say this has been my journey alone would be to deny much of the story, as my dogs and horses have all been rehomed, both in temporary and permanent new homes, at least once, often more than once, and have all found their way back to me through their own power, not mine.
Until I found a rental I could almost afford, with five acres for my herd–in a gorgeous little mountain valley, on the border of two small towns called Eden and Liberty. Perfect. And the acreage? No problem. I began building paddock paradises, as I do no matter how much acreage I have. I was in paradise–a run-down, 70s, modular home meant to look like a log cabin, that used to run off of solar panels still on the roof and two big, very old, wood-burning stoves. But all the windows opened out to the most beautiful views either of the mountains or the valley below. This house was on a bench about halfway down a slope, with a ski resort just above it. No level ground on the property, but a barn that with modifications could one day be used to store hay, and another that could be made into a small indoor space for sessions.
I lost two horses that first year of my separating, to a combination of colic and age–one just before moving from Colorado and one 5 weeks after finding my Eden rental. One was my emotional support and the other was my soul mate. Then I lost my husky to old age.
But in Eden, I worked my corporate job while looking out a big picture window that opened to my deck, to a tree that was host to the rainbow of hummingbirds that came to my feeders, and just beyond, my horses in one of their pastures that formed an L shape around the house. I watched sandhill cranes move about the pasture with my horses–got to see a family with a baby and watch the baby grow over the course of months. The valley echoed with the magical, otherworldly calls of cranes and the whirring whistle of hummingbirds. I watched hawks and falcons, foxes and mountain lions hunt in the meadows around my horses. Yes, mountain lions. Regularly, a young mountain lion hunted small game while deer grazed in the other side of the meadow, my horses forming the third bend of a triangle the animals made as they shared the space. I watched bear and moose cross the meadows to reach the heavy tree and brush cover on either side. From my front porch/deck, I could see the sparkle of the reservoir and the valley center of homes below an encircling set of peaks. Neighbors offered their land–all I had to do was fence it, and they welcomed the opportunity to have horses run their meadows for them to enjoy watching and petting without the work. My 5 acres gradually increased to a potential 45, and my to-do list had an increasing number of acres to fence.
Fall began, and down the mountains came the elk, and bugling echoed with the crane trills. The mountain slopes went fiery red and brilliant yellow with changing scrub oak and aspen. In winter, I was told, eagles and swans would replace join the cranes overhead.
This was 2015. I felt a change coming that had nothing to do with seasons. I quit my job to prepare myself…still run down with all the changes as I was. I was in the running for a couple of different local academic jobs that allowed for much at-home teaching work with regular bi-weekly meetings at the universities. I began to plan a series of proposals for the local community that would help me rebuild all I’d lost and make horses a part of the shamanic and catholic spiritual community influences–a once-very-active monastery was on one end of the valley, and a community of shamans had moved there in the past 5 years as well, all mixed in with the people there for the recreation–skiing, mountain biking, and water sports in the creeks, rivers, and reservoirs and the rather atypical, very special, open-to-change-and-diversity Mormon farmers whose families had settled the valley. An international, eclectic, active, environmentally focused mix of people who loved their valley as much as I already did.
As I was working with my horses to envision this new life…they kept showing an “or…”.
I understood this “or” to be another move.
No way. No way. I was never leaving. I’d found my home, my human and larger-than-human community. I didn’t want to explore this “or.”
But it kept showing up.
Finally, I thought, no harm in seeing what this is. Right? “Highest soul calling,” I was told.
Finally I understood. While what I was creating would be supported, my highest soul calling was to move to Texas, a place that seemed like a state-wide version of the home I’d stayed in for four months, to help my brother who didn’t want my help and who I hadn’t been able to stay in the same room with for more than a tense hour or so for, oh, the past 20 years0-ish. His wife had been put on hospice the week after I’d turned in my notice at my corporate job.
After a couple of weeks of “no f-ing way”s, I was willing to explore more of this. Okay. Move near? No. Move in. I had to ask to move in with him. And my horses? Re-home some, permanently. And trust. And the rest will be given a pasture. A pasture an hour away from my brother’s home. A mature that cost almost as much as my home/pasture combo here in heaven.
Sounds like quite a bargain.
It all happened. I had gotten the message of a year. I refused that, said it could only be 6 months.
A year later, here I am, still in Texas. My brother’s wife passed 4 months after I moved here, and I’ve now been here 7 months beyond her passing and counting. My brother’s understanding of life after death has transformed (before, he believed in nothing in spite of our Episcopalian upbringing we’ve both left behind in different ways), as is his understanding of the healing power of horses. He’s now a proving to be a powerful intuitive and is taking his first course with me to learn more about this spiritual path, and how to take the next steps in his life as a single father of two.
All THAT was unexpected. I assumed change was part of my moving. But…wow.
And I am waiting for my next calling, which even last fall I was made to understand would not take me back to Eden, but would first take me on yet another adventure before bringing me home to the valley I know I will live in till I die. The two horses I rehomed, my most cherished black Arabian mare who anyone can ride and feel their skills are being used and my magical, dream-come-true Friesian, are mine again and in Utah being boarded till I can come get them, which I don’t want to do till I know where I’m going next. So…next chapter seems to involve the herd again, I’m hoping, based on current trends.
This in-between journey was my highest soul calling, and it has also reduced my savings to almost nothing as I lived off them and worked only to maintain that which the business I purchased already had–a part-time set of offerings, and a lot of potential to move me forward into a new stage with the soul work I know is my destiny. The Healing with Horse Collective. Potential, but for now, still costs more than it sustains. Still, the Collective has been my lifeline to hope this past year, even if it hasn’t built my income levels so much as it’s contributed in depleting them.
So…being single has not brought me closer to having a capability to buy land, even if it has allowed me to move at will. And I wouldn’t say these moves were easy. The reduced income and my 3-horse trailer means I have traveled tens of thousands of laps from Colorado to Utah and Utah to Texas through high winds past rolled-over 18-wheelers, through blizzards, fogged over icy freeways…these mammoth drives with horses are a novel in themselves.
So…more freedom when single. Well, it’s not that simple….
That’s what I was thinking. Thank you, Jini, for creating a space for me to say what is held inside–a world, a story.
Holy shitkers Diedre – that is a STORY and a half!! I hardly know what to say. Such an incredible stress load. Your journey seems similar to what someone goes through when healing from a chronic and/or “incurable” disease. Just round after round of being slammed, but no other choice than to move forward. I’m sure you are quite a different person now, than you were on the eve of your divorce – and it’s probably all good – except for the PTSD – but that can be healed later 🙂 I hold space for your noble journey and for the beauty and rest of your Eden when you return there – richer, wiser and SO much deeper than you ever imagined. Much love and THANK YOU so much for sharing this very powerful story with us.
I savour every blog post from Jini and ListenToYourHorse. However, I want to try and convey how deeply this post has touched something deep inside me. It seems this is more than a blog post. I would say that reading it and all the incredible replies/stories is like reading a good book. But it’s even more than that. I feel as though I’ve just joined in to sit around a bon fire with embers so hot and sparks so big and as I pull up my chair I realize that I’m surrounded by so many soul sisters that I don’t know and also have always known. To express gratitude seems like a diminishment of what is happening around the fire. I will say it anyway. As a “single” woman, with adult children, aging parents, sisters dealing with deep challenges, a herd, dogs, a cat and more that I seek to tend to, a woman who at 51 just found her land a year ago and finds almost daily that I clearly have little idea of what is really going on with the horses, I am so full of gratitude to pull up a chair with this amazing community.
Hi Tina I just love love love your comment. I don’t know what’s happening in the world lately but I have never felt and been surrounded by such community as is coming from this blog and the community that I’m experiencing at the workshops I’ve been going to. It absolutely blows me away and I am so privileged and thrilled that we can share so open heartedly with one another. So THANK YOU for this as it so perfectly encapsulates what I too am feeling and right back atcha sistah! I head home from my Arizona adventure in a couple days and have a few goodies to share – including a couple of videos shot at the workshop. Big hugs to you and all the amazing horse listeners round the fire!
I’m French, living in the suburb of Paris and I almost cried reading your post as I’m going through exact same live experience
I’ve sold my apartment and I need to leave by the end of February …
I’m looking for a house with land for my 2 horses, not too far from where I live now cause my kids (11,16,19) don’t want to change school, With a bus stop so they can go by themselves, and all that with a budget which makes me feel I’m looking for a unicorn…
And it was a relief and a gift reading your post as I just had the same kind of dream about my husband, same kind of thought about should I wait until they have graduated to live my dream…
I’m very Interesting about the third alternative as A part of me gets angry when I think about compromise
There has to be a third alternative and we’ll find it when everybody’s process in advanced enough…
Oh my God Maryline how spooky is that?? I cannot believe the similarities in our situation! I wonder if the betrayal dreams are because we want something so badly but we don’t feel our husbands are in the same place as we are…? A couple of things have happened since I wrote this post and when I get back home on Friday I’m going to write some more so stay tuned!
Maryline, I’m not sure you’re even at this same email address – or if you clicked the box to be notified of responses to your post here… But just in case you do see this, I would LOVE to know what’s happened since Nov. 2016 and whether you found land, and did you find a 3rd alternative yet??
Incredible post, thanks for letting me know about it Jinii!!! Wow!
So many wonderful replies and such articulate expressions. It shows how passionate women get about their path and how easy it is to express it when we are in a supportive group!
Thanks Jini for starting this. Of course I have been/I am in the same place. It’s now 2017 and I started looking for a physical home in 2010. Ha! But I was looking in the city I am still in (Portland, OR). Then every time I opened the map it “automatically” jumped to a much bigger area…. OK, what is happening? I started looking further and further out…..
Thru this process, of listening, feeling and getting lots of hints (everyone was moving to eastern WA, or living there, or visiting there. There were articles in magazines, and even my husband was told by the grocery store clerk to “check out the i20 in eastern WA”) I started looking where I am still looking at now (the Methow valley), which of course is like heaven to us and so gorgeous I think I died and went to heaven every time I am there.
In the meanwhile, we not only are the guardians of 3 cats (now all over 15 y/o) but 2 dogs, and 2 mustangs…. For me it’s definitely more complicated! I do take everyone’s needs into consideration.
I loved the questions and answers that came from Thea. How revealing! My answers were all relative to the larger picture…for example:
Who am I really committed to?
I am not, that’s what I got. I am not committed to myself, out of fear (of failing?) so I am skipping around a lot. Commitment is scary.
What am I not motivated to do?
I am not motivated to stay in for the duration. Same as above really.
What fence am I stuck on?
I am stuck on the fear of of getting stuck! Ha!
Who do I need to come help me?
My higher self/spirit
A lot to ponder upon here!
What I have been feeling lately (past 2 yrs anyway) is that this move signifies a big shift/transition in my awareness. So it’s not really the physical shift that needs to happen first, but my mental/spiritual/energetic shift. As that happens, naturally my external environment will change. That is clear, obvious, and a daily awareness for me. My husband is extremely supportive of that and he is right there with me, and lucky for us, we have the same desire/taste/needs/lifestyle choices.
But I cannot stop my actions…..DO, ACT, SEARCH, and thank you Jini for mentioning about the masculine and feminine, because that makes sense! I have been trying to stop, but I cannot! :). I am doing a lot of verbal/written surrender “non-actions” 😉
I will mention a very interesting and somewhat amusing bit here. We put offers on 3 different properties in the past 3 months. We didn’t get any of them.. But just recently I realized, the first property was on Snakedance, the second one was on Chewuch (which is a river, looks like a snake) and the third was on Rattlesnake! What the heck??!! When I realized that, I had another great little awareness moment!!! Talk about a little snake medicine…..death, rebirth, shedding skin….OK then!
The last comment I wanted to make is about the 3rd alternative. I loved that and on a mundane level, I know what all the animals in my care want: the cats want some space with trees and grass, they want to feel safe (not exposed). The dogs don’t care as long as they are with us. The horses want space to roam! A water hole would be excellent. Trees to rub their butts against! And more horses to be with (oh dear…)
So Jini, as soon as you mentioned that, I realized I have not been accurate/visionary enough in my search…. I have the sense of also wanting grass/trees (in a naturally dry area, but which has plenty of rivers, irrigation ditches, lakes and trees), but I did not get very specific in my intention… looking everywhere willy-nilly, thinking I can’t ask for exactly what I want.
This “home/land search” for me is a search for something deeper inside of each one of us. We are looking for our true home inside. As we tap into that more and more, the external home will appear. I know that, and because of that, my EAGERNESS is mounting. I can’t wait to discover it!
Much love to all and best wishes for your dreams to come true….
I think you’re right – that being specific is really important. I just read a bit in a fantastic book called ‘Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants’ where Robin talks about her search for a home for herself and 2 daughters after their Dad took off. Her daughters’ list was: a big tree for each of them to climb (so 2 big trees) and build tree forts in, a stone walkway with flowers lining it, a pond to swim in, and a purple bedroom. Lo and behold, after seeing numerous properties (each with a deal-breaker) she came across a home on 7 acres that had EVERYTHING on her daughters list – even a lavender bedroom. When the snow melted in the spring, they saw there was a flagstone walkway leading to the house and they lined it with poppies. So yeah. That kind of blew my mind about the specificity piece!
That’s the piece I’m still having trouble with 😉
And I love the 3-snake story – that is priceless!
Thanks about this reply and the book. I am ordering it! And sending to my sister in law who talks to plants…. ? Yes, the story is pretty amazing. Getting out of the way once we ask is key. I’ll report back!
You will not be disappointed by the book – it is like curling up on the sofa with the best sort of friend.