A Simple Nudge That Turns My Day Around

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Dollar: a view that caught my eye one day. I love the flowing lines around muscle, and the warmth of his coat in the sunshine.
As I returned home after a Thanksgiving trip to join my son and his family for the holiday, I was feeling depressed that I hadn’t found a place to move the horses yet. As I entered the pasture area, Dollar, the head guy here, came up to me and quietly pressed his warm and soft muzzle into the back of my hand and held it there. It was the most alive, and soothing kiss I’ve ever received and brought me quickly out of my depression. He reminded me of the world of love beyond the material.
He’s so human sometimes. That’s not necessarily a compliment for him except for the fact that he knows how to speak my language.
Tonight, I had another brief moment with him. I’d had a troublesome human to human conversation and had lost my spiritual connection. Dollar sauntered by and gently nudged me on my leg, and as he continued moving past me, turned his head back to look at me and check my response. His equine gesture felt like a reassuring human squeeze that said , “Stay cool. You’re okay.”
The acknowledgments from this sentient being are remarkable. They often come as a surprise to me when I’m too consumed by my own “stuff” to even acknowledge him. Walking past him with my eyes glazed over, he snaps me back to awareness in such a gentle way with his nudges. He draws me deep into the heart of love, and turns my day around.
For those of you who would like to participate in the wellbeing of these 5 rescue horses, and support their healing work, https://www.gofundme.com/kaheka2016

There is a Reason

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There is a reason so many people are drawn to horses even with varying degrees of fear and trembling.  Both the fear and the draw are in part due to their sheer size; but I also think their pure magnificence and spiritual presence is something quite mighty to experience at the soul level and also touches something quite mighty in the unconscious parts of the human being. And that can be a very awesome and a fearful thing.

Even without our knowing, horses may plant a healing that we might not be aware of that will manifest days, weeks, or perhaps years later. I am learning that we can accelerate the process by developing our awareness in their presence.

They are powerful beings wrapped in beauty and grace; gentle enough to walk beside us on a simple lead rope. Their spiritual strength and eternal flow of wisdom can crumble any resistances in our soul by our surrender to it in their presence.

This morning, I am on the cusp of being financially forced to re-home my 5 spiritual healing horses, just as we are coming into our power as a herd after 25 years. As I was pondering my surrender to, and acceptance of that very real possibility, I noticed that my least affectionate horse, and the most mystical, was lingering at the water trough with her head pressed as close as she could get to me near the fence. She was standing quietly, looking softly, but intensely at me with her deep brown eyes. There was a peaceful quality about her.

My memory turned my head back to the day my mom died years ago. She was many miles away when she departed, before I had a chance to go home to be with her. Mariah stepped up to me in the pasture, and presented herself as a physical and spiritual surrogate for my mom. This normally stand off-ish mare allowed me to hug her and caress her for as long as I needed. I knew I was touching my mom while tears of grief intermingled with joy and gratitude for these parting moments through Mariah.

Was it mom visiting a second time today through Mariah? I wonder that as I write.

As I moved to a different location along the fence, there was Mariah again this time with her head lifted high on the fence hovering her peacefulness and flow of wisdom over me like a shower of radiated spiritual light. “I receive,” I whispered to her not yet knowing the full impact of what is coming. “I receive.” Thank you.

No matter the outcome of the next two weeks, I felt a sense of quiet. I sat in an herb garden and watched the honey bees busy with their food gathering from a borage plant, the sweet purple flowers backlit by the sun. Coastal breezes were playing with my hair and keeping me comfortable from the heat of the day. “This is living,”I thought to myself, “It is not for sale.” I’ll always carry that surrender to it deep in my soul. This is the reason so many people are drawn to horses.

Glory Again. The Amazing Things Horses Can Tell Us

Glory. A true equine mystic! He’s that chocolatey thoroughbred I wrote about in my last post. The one who gave up his pasture for my horses.

On a following day, I had stopped by his stall to check in on him. He exudes such personality, a strong presence in body and an enticing lure of those deep brown eyes, I find it difficult to stay away. I was later to discover that on this visit his focus was not on my horses, nor on himself but on me. I didn’t get it at the time.

When he heard me, he pranced in from outside and came directly over to me at the stall gate. I felt quite flattered. With my ego all fluffed up, I prepared to interact. But, immediately, he swiveled around on his back legs in dramatic style and headed away to his automatic water feeder, the little sink that sticks out chest high from a wall at boarding facilities. It reminds me of the old fashioned days at the dentist with the little sink we use to spit into that swooshes water all day long. However, since at the barn I’m use to bright blue plastic water buckets for my herd, I had a memory lapse and thought this cute little sink must be for grains.

When Glory so quickly turned away, I had a very strong sense that he was showing me something…and I had assumed it was food related…that he was telling me he was out of grains. I had the whole scenario fixed in my mind. However, when I heard the hissing of fresh water coming in, I felt confused and disillusioned and decided I had misread his intention to communicate something to me. I negated my initial feeling. All that in one flashing moment.

Glory, not at all distracted by my busy internal clutter (feeling one thing then mentally assessing and ultimately discarding it for something else}, started drinking. And drinking. And drinking. I grew concerned that he was drinking too much especially since the water had been readily available to him all along. Why would he be “catching up,” I wondered. Finally, he stopped and came over to me again where  I was still standing at the stall door. He briefly touched in then quickly curled his body back again to the water bowl and continued drinking!

I found this to be very curious, but had abandoned my original significant hit that Glory was trying to tell me something. I thought nothing more of it except to tell his person.

After saying goodbye to Glory, I headed down the dusty hill to hang out with my 6 horses. It was a hot, dry day. I am use to a more moderate coastal climate. I carried only a small partially filled water bottle. Once I arrived at their pasture gate, I drank the remainder of my water, then set to work greeting, hugging, and grooming my horses. The heat of the day was penetrating but I tried to give it no attention while focusing on my horses.

An hour or so went by quickly and I began to feel faint. I had remembered being in Texas years ago in the heat of summer at an event where bottles of water were distributed readily and we were cautioned to drink whether we felt we needed it or not. Perspiration quickly evaporated so dehydration could sneak up on us unaware. This memory flashed through my mind and I grew concerned. I am an older woman and normally tend toward dehydration anyway. I had no more water with me and it was a small hike up the hill to my car in the heat. I worried that I might not make it but no one was around so I knew I must.

I hiked the hill with my mind focused on the goal. Water. Drinking water. The heat pushed in and fear made ugly faces at me. What if I passed out? Who would find me? When? Water. Breathe. Water. Finally to the gate with my car nearby. I had made it. Thank God, I had made it.

It was later that I melted in humility as I realized what the horse had been telling me. Glory had in fact been giving me a message as I originally had thought. He was warning me to drink water…lots of it. He came to me first, then to the water and gulped and gulped, then returned to me to make sure I was paying attention. Instead of holding on to the sense that he was telling me something I assumed I was wrong. Fortunately some part of his message got through to me subconsciously so I was able to access the memory that made me aware that I needed water before it truly was too late.

He not only saved me from a worse demise, he taught me a powerful lesson about honoring the intuition and not carelessly negating it because of a misinterpretation. How often have we done that…and still do as habit? We must remember that we are not in a rehearsal. Our intuition is real life. It not something to flirt with. The messages our animals bring us are real life. We must rise to the challenge of going higher and deeper in our mystical attributes. Thank you, Glory. You are a true equine mystic who hasn’t had your spiritual nature trained out of you! You were diligent in giving me a life saving message.

The Hug

painting by Beverly Smith
oil painting by Beverly

One of my interns at the ranch was a teenager from a troubled background. She had been guarded with me in the beginning, and a bit awkward with the horses. Often she’d grab a chance to stroke the face of whichever horse was closest when she threw them hay. Then there was always a glance at me to make sure I approved. I would quickly look away always a second too late but with hopes that she would have her own intimate time with the horses without relying on my approval.

Three years have gone by since she first came here, and being with the horses has brought many changes in her. The other day she was working on the pasture side of the fence removing dangerous fragments of barbed wire from a fence post. While she worked on the wire, one of the horses, Dollar, came from behind and put his head on her shoulder making her work a little more challenging. She giggled with enjoyment but said his timing sucked. As she was telling me about it, Dollar wrapped his head and neck around her, hiding her in a hug. I instinctively asked her how it made her feel. She said, “loved.”

I felt a warmth emerging from deep inside. Through our years together, she had grown comfortable with the horses, with me, and most of all with herself. In her own personal time with this horse, she was able to receive love from him and to recognize it. More importantly she allowed herself to feel it. Isn’t that what we all are wanting?

 

The Horse Who Couldn’t Swallow, Part I

I am reblogging this post I wrote 2 years ago. Many of my followers have signed up since then. It is the story of how my horses brought me healing from the impact of childhood (infant) sexual molestation. It was the culmination of many years of their work with me.

The Mystic Horse Chronicle

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This is a day to remember. A miracle with my horse, a black bear with two cubs romping on the hills above the pasture, a king snake lying leisurely on the outdoor steps to my bathroom protecting me from rattlesnakes and rodents, and I, getting on track with living my life!

A few nights ago, Dollar, my dark bay quarter horse, would not eat his supplement. This was completely out of character for him and I soon discovered that he was unable to swallow. Immediate concern poured over me like ice water and that old familiar pattern of fear tempted to grip my chest. Strangely, however, he seemed not too worried.

During the past week I’d been having some fairly profound experiences preparing me for what was to come with Dollar. With my recent recognition that healing is being offered all the time to us through nature even in the…

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Cradle Nightmare

[The following reblog describes an unsettling nightmare. Such is the the nature of childhood abuse; it should make us uncomfortable. I am presenting it here for an additional reason. There was a fascinating synchronicity that happened across the world between two bloggers who did not know each other; a young woman in Hungary and an eldering woman in California (me). It was one of the numerous magical moments that happened to me during the week that I was preparing my last post, “Breaking Out of the Closet: Healing Childhood Abuse.”

I was too young to remember the actual abuse, so how it happened was a missing link for me though I wasn’t troubled by not knowing. But when I was taking a break from my writing last week, I went to the pasture to hang out with my horses. My thoughts aroused a question which I hadn’t considered before. How did it happen? Where were my parents? Was he babysitting me? Within a couple of hours of those wondering thoughts, I serendipitously landed on the blog, “Iridescent Spirits, a shelter for a constantly changing soul.” Both the name, and as I soon discovered, the tagline intrigued me .

After reading the most recent post on the blog and liking it, I decided to explore further. I found a post called “Cradle Nightmare” which drew my attention immediately. In the context of the story I was writing for my post, you can imagine why it called to me. I couldn’t resist a further read. As the story of the nightmare unfolded, I experienced one of those moments where I was transported into another world and could barely believe what I was reading. I knew instantly that it was my own story, the essence of what had happened to me, if not literal. Though the description made me uneasy, I was amazed that the one missing link to my own story was revealed so soon after my question had been raised only a couple of hours before. It was my infant’s horror coming through the writing of another blogger! It was gently wrapped in the healing synchronicity and comforted by the magic of completion. The bittersweet I’ve found, is so much a part of the healing process.

My heartfelt thanks to Adrienn for allowing me to reblog her post. What this nightmare means to Adrienn is not my story to tell. But the rest of “our” story is that she and I have become email friends so many miles apart but so close in our spirits. Iridescent spirits.

Adrienn is Hungarian and is a very delightful and imaginative writer. She is a fairy tale herself. You might check out her blog, https://iridescentspirits.wordpress.com/]

Iridescent Spirits

During dark nights, when everyone sleeps in silence, he, who comes without invitation, wakes the child. She sleeps in the cradle, though a bit bigger already, she wakes up in the middle of the night, for noises unknown. She stands up, clings onto the bars of the cradle, calls for her mom with fear, but she never comes, as she’s sound asleep in the room of the other side of the dark house.

The dark shape enters the house, takes its way to the children’s room. He slowly comes closer, the light of the moon shines through the glass of the front door, enough for the child to notice the uninvited figure but instead of making it clear to see, the moon gives him an even fearful silhouette.  The little girl trembles, cries for her parents but no one hears her.

All of the sudden, it’s silence again, in the…

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Living Beyond Old Perspectives

Kaheka doing his work
Kaheka doing his work

He is a lanky thoroughbred off the race track, and has been known to fly across the pasture or through deep mud when his rear engines kick in. I swear his hooves don’t touch the ground; well, maybe they do a little, though mostly I think not. His name is Kaheka. Lately he’s been laid up with a stubborn abscess that has kept him lame even with daily exercise that helps with recovery. But today Kaheka made it quite clear that he wanted to go out in the pasture to join the other 5 horses. He had work to do I later learned.

Though he has been with the others recently, I was hesitant because yesterday he was not walking well. He seemed to have regressed and I was concerned about the potential for further injury when chased by another horse. He doesn’t always think too clearly when he’s on the escape. Last night I had made a typically fearful assessment that perhaps something worse was going on; but here he was today at the gate defying my doomsday prognosis.

Kaheka manages himself and his healing amazingly well, and he has shown steady improvement consistent with his self discipline. When he was at his worst, he seemed to know how often to lie down, when to get up, and how far to walk. Better than most humans, I suspect. Because of that I trust his judgment. I opened the gate and he walked through without hesitation as I silently railed on myself for being so reckless. Then in fulfillment of my fears, Kaheka’s thoroughbred engine fired up immediately and before I could catch up with my feelings, he was down the runway and across the pasture in a full gallop. He headed directly toward the most dominant horses here, one with a mean gleam who likes to chase hard. What I was witnessing was both awesome and terrifying! Exhilaration and icy carbonated fear engulfed my chest holding my breath in suspension but not in that magical way.

As I was preparing to intervene, these words came clearly to me and I simultaneously sank back into stillness, “Can you allow him to be well?”  I got it like a dart hitting a bulls eye. I was doing the conventional thing, holding him in lameness. Then just as I was recovering, the next pointed question came with proper emphasis for me to really get it. “Can you allow yourself to be well?” Translated that meant, “Can you let go of convention and allow a new perspective on your soul? To be well in that mystical way of living with manifestations of gifts, even mystical gifts of which you aren’t yet aware?” The words pierced through to my heart. The Divine had spoken and my resistance lay helpless at my feet. The horses rolled in the dirt for the joy of it, and a quiet peacefulness settled in over us all.

Kaheka’s name means “tide pool” in Hawaiian. Tide pools are a world of hidden mysteries, beauty, and intrigue all to be explored and discovered. At first these sea creatures appear as rough textures, and may even be uninteresting to the eye, but then the joyful surprise as they come out of their closets and reveal themselves from a whole new perspective. This is a reflection of the human soul, often times a ruggedly camouflaged world of mystery ready to magically unfold, a portal in waiting to be unveiled. That is what Kaheka came to do. That is his work. He unveils the hidden, that good stuff which is tucked away undercover deep in our souls, those parts of the holy grail for which we long, those parts that have been stifled by old perspectives. Today, Kaheka did an unveiling on me. He did his work in the pasture, stretching me beyond my old perspectives. And, the tide pools opened up and danced.