Tuning In to the Whisperings

IMG_1010opt

Kaheka was running frantically around the pasture. He is a graceful, long-legged thoroughbred with great energy, but this time I knew something was wrong. I started to panic (often my first response) but stopped myself from going there. Mentally I ran through my supportive script that I’d collected over time reminding myself of truths that had been brought to me: Nothing will be given that we can’t handle. Check. We’ve been through this with Kaheka before and experienced a dramatic healing. Check. If this is colic I know what to do. Check. Face it head on, breathe and tune in. Check. Sigh.

A quieting confidence blanketed me. I stood still and observed Kaheka as I tuned in. There is such a comforting surrender in stepping courageously into a situation rather than running away into fear.

I invited him to come near me so we could interact. He went the opposite direction. Having learned that sometimes my horses prefer to take care of an issue on their own, as Kaheka had done a couple of years ago, I accepted it. Furthermore, in his agitated state, my chasing him all over 40 acres of pasture, his youthful 4 legs to my eldering 2, would have been an act of a crazed woman. I prepared to go back to my cabin across the road and decided I’d check on him in awhile.

Before I could leave, Kaheka appeared at the gate close by. He was still hypervigilant. I walked over to him and put my hands out and did 60 seconds or less of energy work. He seemed restless and unreceptive but tried hard to accommodate me when everything in him wanted to run again.

At last, words were brought to my lips. “What energies are you intercepting and for whom?” I heard myself speaking. With that acknowledgement, identifying what was going on with Kaheka, he turned and walked straightaway to a spot some distance away where he stopped on some kind of invisible cue. There he stood as if before the throne of God as the heavens descended and cloaked him with a divine calm. He lowered his head to receive the crown for his work as a divine surrogate messenger ** He then fell into a trance-like sleep while the angels sang a lullaby softly around him. Well done, good and faithful servant. Yes. Well done.

He continued to sleep and awakened later. He peacefully grazed on pasture grasses with the good company of his herd around him as if nothing out of the ordinary had transpired. Such is the mystical life of a horse.

The next day, I learned that my friend had indeed gone through a troubled time the day before. She was not alone. Kaheka had intercepted for her once again. Well done.

**Surrogate Messenger Parts 1- 5: https://themystichorsechronicle.wordpress.com/category/surrogate-messenger-parts-1-5/

Surrogate Messenger, Epilogue: Synchronicity

  balloons                                                whimsical watercolor by bev

As Kaheka recovered I started letting him back out on the spring pastures for short periods of time until he adjusted. We seemed more attune than we had been. I noticed that he and I were experiencing a new synchronicity between us. Kaheka is the one horse I’ve had those experiences with more than the others. Tucked inside of me like a special note placed in an inside suit pocket, I believe that ultimately our interactions with animals can become synchronous more often than not.

The first day back on the green grasses, I felt that half an hour was right…I think it was Kaheka that decided on that. At the end of the half hour when I came to check on him, he came back into the paddock on his own. I was intrigued with the concurrence. And this pattern continued. The next day I let him out in the pasture again for about a half an hour. In 27 minutes, he came swinging his tail behind him as he returned to the paddock area.

When I was doing chores in his paddock area one day, Kaheka was lazily hanging out. His times in the pasture were not at any scheduled time. This day, simultaneously we both had the same idea. I had thought he could go out in the pasture for another 1/2 hour meal. I  looked up and felt a little shot of joy as Kaheka was walking toward the gate that leads to the pasture. Perhaps he communicated it to me, or I to him, but I’d rather think we both came to it together. Whatever the case, there was a lighthearted feeling of moving in sync with each other. An effortless flow, smooth like satin.

The following day, the 1/2 hour came and he didn’t come in on time as he had the past two times. I was looking for that harmonious timing between us. However, I wasn’t absolutely sure about the time limit because most likely he could have tolerated a longer period of time. I decided to trust him. Being especially nervous about his clover intake, I would check on which pasture grasses he was eating. What I discovered in support of what I believed to be true of Kaheka, is he knows how to take care of himself. At first he nibbled in the clover patch, then moved to a mix of grasses with some clover, and finally to grasses that had no clover. After an hour came and went. I began to get nervous. I was hoping for true cooperation, not one of us always accommodating the other. My tendency was either to accommodate too much, or the opposite, being too authoritarian and controlling. Today I listened to what I felt, and I valued it as important as his. I went for the halter. With that shift in energy, by the time I got the halter, he was back in the paddock. Another lesson in finding balance.

After his first full day in the main pasture with the herd, Kaheka didn’t want to come in, nor if in his place would I have wanted it. Even the supplement didn’t seduce him. He ran away when I got the halter. I pondered the lack of synchronicity which had become the norm with this horse during this period of time.

With this quiet time of looking inward, I heard him telling me he wanted to stay out all night. I vacillated between overriding him, or allowing him to stay out even though I wasn’t happy about it. I sighed and released the either/or decision. Breathing more freely, I told him I was sure he was able to do that but it was too big of a stretch for me. I wanted to believe it, but just couldn’t act on it. I stood there holding the halter as I talked. He moved away from me and just as disappointment and frustration were surfacing in me, he circled back around to the stall and went right in… on his own, and purposefully without the halter. Remarkable. I felt the love welling up inside of me, that he was willing to work with me, to honor my own limitations (or perhaps my wisdom) and to accommodate me this time. But first I had to acknowledge my own desire.

At last Kaheka was full of life again. Running, bucking, crow hopping, and happy (me, too!).  It was the first vigorous movement he had shown since his recovery! His animated and dramatic communication was exhilarating. Later Kaheka came to me in the studio and kissed me.

The vision of the colorful balloons I’d had from the start of this journey with Kaheka, reminded me of a watercolor painting I had done years ago. I looked for the painting for the prior post but couldn’t find it. I was so disappointed because days ago I’d planned to use it when I came to my prior post. Yesterday while standing in my studio, I noticed an old crinkled brown bag I’d been ignoring. I pulled out the contents and there was the painting. The timing seems synchronous with the writing of this post, as well as events I’m experiencing with another horse. It has become a symbol of triumph for Kaheka! A celebration of life.

Intro Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Surrogate Messenger, Part 5: Triumph

kaheka                                                                     photo by bev

Standing True

Later in the morning I went to the barn expecting welcomed surprises after Kaheka had moved through his crisis during the night before. Instead I found him with his head in the air curling his lips back again. My heart sank, the icey fear came flooding in, along with the feeling of not knowing what to do. But something was different in me since Kaheka had broken the pattern of crises. What he had been doing for my friend had its releasing impact on me as well. I was able to easily let go of the fear and dwell on those special moments that had unfolded the night before. I stood quietly looking at the beauty around me.

The following day, he ate all his hay, drank water and pooped. My heart leapt…he was walking around and following me. It took a few days for Kaheka to fully recover. I’ve discovered that after we’ve turned the corner, there seems to be residual symptoms in the process of full recovery. I’m learning not to accept it as a relapse but to stand true to what I know in my heart has taken place. When I’m able to do that, most often the circumstances change in alignment with that.

Pantomimes

Kaheka continued to improve. He seemed a little lethargic understandably but when I asked from time to time if he were doing ok, he would pantomime his answer to me by going to play in the water, or engaging with another horse. Thanks to Kaheka I was doing better at focusing on my spiritual connection as a way to deal with my fears and anxieties. I still had twinges of concern, and fears of reliving those tense moments we had been through, and I also started to be concerned about another horse. I stopped again and chose the homeplace. Immediately a magical moment carried me there.

Magical Moment

My attention was drawn to a barn swallow that was doing acrobatics in the air nearby, almost close enough to touch it seemed. When I looked more closely I saw that she was playing with a downy feather! This was something I had never witnessed. For a moment, I thought I was in a Walt Disney animation that had suddenly come to life right there in our barnyard. She carried the feather in her beak and then dropped it and allowed it to float gracefully in the wispy breeze as she flitted around it. Then she would pick it up, fly with it, drop it again, then swoop to catch it, over and over again as I watched. After I was fully distracted from my fears, she flew away leaving me with a feeling deep inside as soft as the feather she carried to her nest… her own homeplace.

Revisiting the Vision

Kaheka was definitely on the mend. As I was lying on the barn porch in the sun, seeing horses in the clouds, I felt all was well. I thought about what Kaheka had gone through a few nights before. He went through it physically alone at his request. I somehow knew that what he had released for my friend, he had also released for me. Relaxing there and  pondering these things, I became distracted with concern for one of my mares. This time it was Mariah. I felt the power in the moment of all things merging, the deliverance Kaheka had done, and the opportunity to apply it. As I stared into the sky above, I revisited the vision I had seen the second day that Kaheka showed discomfort. I had seen a vivid blue sky and colorful balloons floating upward. The memory washed over me anew. I let the vision of celebration encompass me… and in the background coming from a stall, I heard a plop plop plop as Kaheka pooped again after his evening back on feed after two days off, perfect timing to let me know he was doing well. I laughed, and a red tailed hawk flew over with his familiar cry. Kaheka had triumphed. Mariah was fine.

Changes that Last

It has been a year now. My friend whose crises Kaheka had intercepted and overcome has become a different person, a dramatic change. She and I have learned to look at a potential crisis with new eyes, seeing it no longer as a crisis, well, most of the time anyway. The frequency of them has subsided. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear my neighbor mention months after Kaheka broke the pattern, that crises no longer had a hold on her. Kaheka’s work is more far reaching than I had originally realized. Thank you, Kaheka, our Divine Surrogate Messenger. Your triumph has become ours.

Intro Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Surrogate Messenger, Part 3: Unveiling

photo by bev

Staying With It

We’d spent the day together full of ups and downs and near-death experiences… at least in my mind. One of the phrases that kept coming to me when I was with Kaheka was, “Stay with it, stay with it.” I assumed that it was my inspired message to him. As I write, I’m wondering if it wasn’t his inspired message to me. I sensed he was doing some kind of spiritual work but I didn’t know what. But, even so, I finally became exasperated with this ongoing issue.

I called my friend, one of my spiritual soulmates. I told her I couldn’t do this anymore. I felt I was in a vice with the pressure increasing and no way out. I simply didn’t know what to do. I didn’t yet know that the feeling was ok, even though a most uncomfortable place. It was a moment for surrender to “not knowing.”

My friend could not offer any specific help other than her nonjudgmental support, her beautiful gift to me. I had to find my own way. I finally started telling her about the moments of the divine gifts from the homeplace that I had been offered (described in Surrogate Messenger, Part 2: Fenced Out), the simultaneous songs across the pasture of multiple birds, the horses in concert pointing toward us, the dog tenderly licking and comforting, the horses in a semi-circle around Kaheka, and Tal herding Kaheka back to the barn. As I focused on these memories, my frustrations started to dissipate, I felt a calm and a clarity starting to flow as I talked. I had found the homeplace within and this time I was able to do more than observe, I could feel it. I stayed with it.

Inviting Kaheka In

While I was still on the telephone, it began to rain, a springtime downpour. Kaheka stood outside in the rain. My friend, who had picked up on the change in my mood, said playfully, “Why don’t you invite him in?” Such a lighthearted response became my guidance for the next step.

I hung up the telephone and I went out to Kaheka and invited him into the stall, and my heart as well. He came immediately. At that moment we became powerfully connected. He gestured with his head up the hill where the herd was grazing, a definitive reminder of their presence with us. I did some of my own form of energy flow on his body, observing his receptivity as he relaxed. Instinctively I started working on his tail, massaging it, bending it, moving it in synchronicity with my body as if in some kind of flowing dance. I was feeling a deep and fulfilling joyfulness, otherworldly where all things exist as one. Kaheka began to communicate with me.

The Unveiling

He told me that he was intercepting crises on behalf of my beautiful friend who has had more than her share in her life as she has persevered on her spiritual path. Kaheka went on to explain that my role was equally important as a support to the work he was choosing to do as a surrogate messenger.  As I worked his tail, Kaheka, true to the meaning of his name, “tide pool” boy, and true to his character of unveiling hidden mystery, continued to reveal his role and mine through words and feeling.

With his spiritual work being uncovered, I now understood that something much more important was taking place in the mystical realm. I was dwelling in that safe, secure, and delightful homeplace at last. Could it be that the shift happened when I started remembering those special divine moments and sharing them with my friend? Was it that remembering and receiving that opened the door to Kaheka’s communication to me?  Kaheka, the one who unveils the hidden, the camouflaged, the disguised, and now Surrogate Messenger.

Alone

With more rains threatening that night, Kaheka lay down on the ground in the special paddock for such weather. I sat on the doorstep close by after trying more bodywork on Kaheka which he told me was too stimulating and not helpful. My presence seemed to disturb him. No rains at that moment, a sliver moon graced the sky. The night was calm and beautiful and I sat peacefully watching the movement of the moon on the grasses stretched out in front of me as the light rose over the trees behind. As I settled into this scene, his voice abruptly interrupted my serene mood. He wanted me to go. He had important work to do and could do it best alone. There was something sacred about the message and the moment. I knew I must go.

Quietly, reverently, I rose to leave as I would if walking out of an awe-inspiring cathedral. Whatever his work was, it seemed to fill the whole barnyard and beyond. Doing all I could to make him comfortable and having given him his remedies, I had no doubts about leaving him that night out of respect for his spirit. He had spoken.

Before I left, I gently placed some pieces of warm clothing over him so he wouldn’t tangle with a bigger blanket. I had snatched a king-sized pillow from my studio upstairs in the barn and I placed it on the ground about where his head might be when he stretched out. I checked on him one more time as I was leaving. His head was on the pillow as I had hoped, and the red checked wool shirt made him look like something out of a storybook. My heart melted as I took in the sweetness of his body stretched out like a child tucked in bed. He was at peace. And so was I, even though I expected him to be gone by morning and I would find him pretty much as I’d left him. I did know that if he needed to leave his body to finish his work, this last view of him I would carry as a comfort forever.

I turned out the light, closed the barn door and left this powerful sentient being to do his work. Tomorrow morning I would know whether he made it through the night.

Intro Part 1 Part 2 Part 4 Part 5

Surrogate Messenger, Part 2: Fenced Out

photo by chandra smith

Balloons

The following day, it was clear to me that Kaheka was feeling distress again in his belly, but not typical colic symptoms. I went back to the cabin, my cocoon, where I often go to separate myself from anxiety so I can better discern my guidance. As I lay on my bed with eyes closed, I saw in my mind’s eye a vibrant blue sky with masses of colorful balloons floating upward. The feeling was graceful and celebratory, a sense of triumph. I relaxed and felt confident that some purpose was being accomplished through Kaheka, and that all was well. A restful calm enfolded me, at least until my Libra mind kicked in and I started seeing another interpretation. The balloons reminded of my elderly aunt who, before her death, had requested that helium filled balloons be released at her memorial service. “Oh,… death,” came a taunt. I hadn’t thought of that.

With my thoughts coming swiftly back to Kaheka, my calm suddenly shifted into fear and sadness and the balloon imagery brought confusion. Was it prophetic that Kaheka would recover, or that Kaheka would die? I was fixating on life or death, not on triumph. The imagery went by the wayside along with my sense of peacefulness. I didn’t realize at the time, that all I needed to do was to accept the feeling it brought. I did not need to know the end result.

Roller Coaster

As time went by, Kaheka would show signs of having turned the corner, eating normally and showing overall improvement, even playing with another horse, Dollar, over the fence. Then he would regress and put his head in the air and curl his lip back again, become restless, lie down for awhile, then jump up and run. He would stop eating and drinking for periods of time. One time he asked to go out in the pasture. I let him go. He ran and ran, bucked and kicked, then he would plop down on the ground and lie quietly for awhile, then up for a another run. He repeated, and repeated. Interspersed were signs of improvement. It seemed we were on another wild roller coaster ride.

Offers of the Divine

During this period I was somewhat unconsciously learning to go to my homeplace, which is for me a place of remembering in the mystical realm where peace and connection with all of life is strong. This was something that Tal was emphasizing in the Expression of the Divine series which had not yet happened when Kaheka was presenting this challenge to me. I was barely understanding it at this time with Kaheka. Once, when he was lying down in the pasture, I stood close by thinking he might be dying. As I stood there I suddenly became aware of birds singing across the pasture, different songs from different birds but all happening simultaneously. A quick glance back at the barn and I saw the herd standing still in a group, all pointed in our direction. I felt their powerful support along with the bird songs coming all around me. Kaheka was quiet. Peacefully quiet, I now recognize in retrospect.

As Kaheka continued to lie on the ground, my rescue dog, Rocky, an older male Airedale, started licking Kaheka in various places along his spine and his rear. Kaheka still remained quiet. I was feeling a bit apprehensive with dog and horse so close and interacting in a way that was out of character for both, but something came over me and I was able to surrender and trust this dog when I normally would have shooed him away. When he finished with the licking ritual, he took his place near Kaheka’s head and lay down. He looked like a large teddy bear as he curled nearby bringing comfort. Both remained quiet. But my fear kept me from full participation in these moments. I felt like an observer from afar, looking through binoculars held in reverse, vaguely getting the essence.

The following day when Kaheka was on the ground again, the horses gathered near and stood in a half circle around him. I was touched. Looking back, I realize we were not alone during this challenging time. The horses and all of life were breathing on Kaheka and on me all the way through. It was later in the day, nearing time for Kaheka to go back to the barn paddock. One of the horses (it was Tal actually) moved out of the semi circle toward him and got him up, and herded him in my direction. (story continued below photo)

tal and kaheka                                                                    photo by chandra smith

Through these profound moments and many others, I was witnessing a most powerful dance of nature and of the animals. The presence of the divine was being manifested. But still, I vacillated between accepting it, then feeling overcome by fear that my “tide pool boy” was leaving us. Not understanding at that time that no matter what would be the outcome, a beautiful thing was happening whether he was being escorted into death or into healing. I have since been learning that when nothing is being revealed, I don’t need to know. All I need is surrender, and to allow the whole of divine life to participate in me, with me, and around me.

Time marched on and it seemed we were in a holding pattern with no progress nor further deterioration. A consultation with a vet was little help. He did recommend one thing, and I gained a new inner confidence because I was already doing it. Knowing I was on track at least in some areas brought an element of peace and trust in my intuitions.

In the meantime, Kaheka and I were finding ways to alleviate his discomfort, along with appropriate remedies, my writing, and being attune with nature. My writing was as important with Kaheka as it was later with Tal. One time when I was desperate to know what I could do for Kaheka, I, feeling agitation and impatience, asked for guidance with an edge in my voice. My laptop computer which was sitting on the barn floor on scattered bits of hay, grabbed a moment when I was taking a breath from my inner screaming. It made a familiar beep, barely audible but I heard it. I stopped short. It took the wind right out of my frustration. Getting the message in a humorous way, I gave a relieved laugh. Time to write. Kaheka grew quiet.

Fenced Out

As I replay those days, I see that the struggle was within me between going to the homeplace versus wanting results, and feeling fearful that I wasn’t finding the primary solution. What is so clear to me now, was at that time only a blur. I was being offered many gifts of connection to the divine, opportunities of peace and calm which invariably brought quiet to Kaheka as well. But without the manifestations I was seeking, the tension in me was building and beginning to win. There was no hope of triumph in my mind. The vision of blue skies and multi-colored balloons had all but fizzled. I was fenced out, unable to find my way through the gateway of trust.

Intro Part 1 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Surrogate Messenger, Part 1: Beginning of Something?

sculpture by eric moreau

Kaheka, our thoroughbred, wasn’t feeling well. I suspected colic which he experiences to a minor degree from time to time, and usually a little bodywork gets him through it quickly. This time his symptoms weren’t as clear to me.

It was a rainy night and I put him in a large paddock area with 2 other horses for the night. Before I had a chance to settle him in and do some work with him, Apolinaire, the herd leader, decided to chase him around the paddock. I felt conflicted. It seemed so cruel because he was forcing Kaheka to run. Definitely not a gentle walk nor even a trot. On the other hand, if Kaheka was in fact colicky, movement is often the best thing so Apolinaire was in fact helping by keeping him in motion. It also made it easier for me because I didn’t have to walk Kaheka in the dark.

Apolinaire asked if I would trust him. I wanted to, but my fear was surfacing and creating muddy waters for me. Through the years I had learned he was a wise leader and I’d been able to be at peace with his herd behavior. Trust this time, however, was difficult.

I finally made the choice to remember who we are on this journey and decided to take a chance on trust. I felt better. A few minutes later, Kaheka pooped, a good sign if a horse is colicky. My fear was alleviated. Things were moving in his digestive track and all was well.

Off to bed.

The next day, trouble was brewing.

Intro Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5