About PatNewMex

I'm an animal lover disguised as a desert mystic, photographer, and artist. I have two dogs, a horse, a goose, and a duck. I live in the high desert of New Mexico, coming from Northern Wisconsin by way of Manhattan. I am in love with the desert and have made my home here. Welcome!

Surrender Dorothy, and all that implies

Recently I was chatting with a friend. We both felt that we were each experiencing lives of confusion and both of us felt a bit out of control. Our discussion lead us to deduce each of us would best be served by letting go and embracing it all. A phrase ‘stop pushing the river’ comes to mind. It’s not a place you can go to with your thinking brain. You must let go. That takes trust. I feel I have a big ‘something’ coming up. I know I must let go and sink into it to come back to the surface. As I was talking to my friend the phrase “Surrender Dorothy” came to mind from the movie, The Wizard of Oz. It is a perfect reminder to let go when worry starts in. Accomplishing this would have to be at a non-verbal place inside me. It’s hard to explain or wrap my head around, because words don’t seem to adequately express this idea, and that’s okay.

Surrender Dorothy could be my watch phrase for recent hurdles I am facing. Detach from caring about the outcome and surrendering to my true north. Yup. I know I have to do it. But can I? I’m not the kind of person who can easily take my hands off the steering wheel. But I must. This is not something you can intellectualize. You cannot plan for this to happen, or force it. You cannot say…

“I will detach and be in free fall so that I can experience this uncomfortable thing, so that I can have a breakthrough, an epiphany.”

It does not happen that way. For me it is not second nature to let go and surrender to what is happening. Especially when experiencing chaos, illness, or physical and emotional pain. Instead we want to protect ourselves and always be in a happy moving-forward place. Growth takes place in uncomfortable spots. Going outside your comfort zone makes you stronger. Surrendering to what is may be the best thing to do. But I am not sure how to let go enough for that to happen.

Every time I come up against another hurdle, even a small one, I am starting to change how I approach life. Instead of saying “How can I fix this? What is the best path forward? Quickly get a fix in place!” I remind myself to accept what is happening and sink back to that feeling, whatever it is. Let it roll over me. Let it come. Surrender Dorothy. I want to face what is going on, and surrender to the need to be in control and fix things. My experience with Buddhism may come in handy, as the mindset of ‘having tea with your demons’ is a practice put forward by Pema Chödrön. I understand the idea. I love the idea! And I can do that for small fears that come visiting. It’s kind of like saying ‘everything is as it should be’ and ‘this too shall pass”. But the big stuff. The stuff that keeps hanging on and on. The hard stuff. That’s different. It seems like a wall I cannot scale. I must stop asking why, and how, and instead sink down into the comfort that I am finally where I should be, so I can become one with it, and like the peacock, turn poison into medicine, pushing beyond my fears.

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

The New Normal is where it’s at

When life presents you changes, stop trying to go back to normal. If you are trying to get back to the old normal that may not be possible. With all my challenges, I have found a way to get through with some sanity. Ditch the old normal. Find the new normal, the new habit, path, the new way. There is much less resistance there. Stop trying to push the river, instead go with the flow. And be in gratitude!

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

How flipping things can change your attitude

As I was out changing the water for my goose, I was thinking it was Thursday, giddy at the thought that I had one more day to work before the weekend. For years I had a work schedule that allowed me to work from my home two days a week. Recently that schedule changed so I was working different days from home. At first the new schedule tends to slip me up. On the old schedule ear the end of the week, I’d be working at home, and the next day would be Friday. So in my mind, that day late in the week I am working from home is Thursday. I’ve been doing that schedule for years.

When I realized it was not Thursday, it’s only Wednesday, I felt let down. Then in the next second I thought, how silly it is that? I have done this for a few weeks now, mistaking Wednesday for Thursday, the coveted Friday-eve day. Using the tool I call flipping it, I discovered I had experienced not one but two days in the week that felt like the work week was almost over. That doesn’t suck, and it makes me feel so happy to have flipped it in that way. I was able to laugh at myself.

Although this seems like very small potatoes, this sort of thinking is very beneficial to a good outlook on life. Thinking like this makes me a happy person, laughing at myself. It makes me feel like I have a hold of my life in a very positive light. It makes me feel like a positive person at heart. The best benefit is that flipping it in this small way leads to flipping almost everything else. Now THAT is a happy life! It can lead to larger flips and larger happy realizations. Things start to flip automatically in your mind and you feel like you are really on a high wave. You don’t have to think about flipping something because your mind will be so used to it, it will happen automatically. You start looking for the silver lining in everything. It opens your mind to better things.

Next time you feel frustrated by even the tiniest thing, try and flip it in any way possible. After all, its your mind that you are flipping, not the situation. And as we all know, the only thing we really ever have control of is how we react to a situation. Happy Flipping!

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

Experiencing The Now

Oh what a blissful time that was when I found The Now, where no time existed. Due to months of various physical problems (which I am totally unaccustomed to) I was down and out, sicker than a dog. My IBS was in full swing and it was new to me. I also had flu-like symptoms that laid me flat out. Those flu symptoms came ever other week for many weeks. I had other things that were a huge source of worry and it was all too much for my little head to deal with. I’ve enjoyed a lifetime of health.

I was in my guest room, a brightly colored room with ‘mango madness’ paint on the walls, and items from around the world that lent a lovely flair to the room. It is a room I hardly spend any time in, so it was a welcome change. I had a futon that looked out onto my yard and a large portion of the lovely blue New Mexico sky. As I lay there with my dogs, I was so sick I could not move. It is a very rare occurrence in my world that I am unable to physically do anything. My mind is a ‘doing mind’ and forever searching for things to fix, repair, create, or explore. Resigning to the moment was inevitable in my current physical state.

I lay there taking in the warmth of the sunshine in the afternoon sky. This felt good. As I stared out the window time seemed to stretch out on either side of me, to the left and to the right. It stretched out to infinity. Time seemed to stop and there I was. Now. Not elsewhere in my mind. Experiencing the present moment. I’ve had the experience of time stopping in dreams, but I have never had it stop for hours at a time. This was delicious!

I am nearing retirement enough to think about what it might be like as a single person. Will it be fun? Lonely? Will I ache for some ‘purpose’ after my first week of freedom? Or will I embrace the time I have left by exploring more of my world? We never know these things until we get there. People like me thrive on a purpose outside ourselves. I am not a person who watches TV in the daytime unless it is Sunday and I am into watching baking shows or that Antiques Road Show while I bake or clean. Even then it’s rare. I have a friend who does nothing but watch TV in his tiny, dark living room. It feel bad for him, except I know it is what he wants to do. Still, I fear living like that, where all I do is watch the boob tube all day. I have heard that watching TV is like painting your third eye with black paint. Agreed!

As I experienced the Now time, I felt that my retirement, or any time for that matter, would be a wonderful opportunity for me to explore all I have wanted to explore, but have not had the time. I rarely get out or engage with others, due to my needing and desiring to live in nature, in the boonies. It’s lovely but it is far from civilization. Needing nature but wanting to be social at the same time is polarizing. In the Now, I imagined myself going to a nearby city to learn about Shamanism, practice my tarot, join a nearby group, or go to the lovely farmer’s market where they have bands play as you shop for fresh produce. I imagined and could feel to my right and left time stretching out to infinity with me in the middle of this lovely tableau of life, feeling no pressure whatsoever. I finally felt free to do as I pleased and it was good.

The Now Time did not last long, but it was utterly delicious and I had no fear at all of the future. The experience gave me a totally new-to-me perspective. A new set of eyes to look out of. For me the Cosmic 2×4 had struck again. Yes it takes a lot to get me to pay attention. I know when I am experiencing something like this, the Universe/Spirit has been trying to get my attention in order to help me see something. It takes so much to get through to me due to my stubborn nature. This was not meditation, intuition, or insight. This was cosmic guidance. I wish I were a bit more aware so I could see things more easily. Then there would be no need to have me thrown off a horse, laid low with illness, or whatever else needed for me to slow down enough to see the world in a different light. Have you ever experienced time slowing down, or stopping, so you are just in the moment? If you have, I would love to hear about your experience.

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

The need to know why is -not- always a good thing

If you have been following my blog, you know I have been experiencing a lot of odd medical, physical upsets for months. Every morning I have to remind myself to make myself happy and get my mood up. Getting back to normal seems impossible some days.

One of the reasons I feel so low is, I have this burning need to know why everything happens. Why is my body rebelling so much lately? I’ve lived a life almost sixty years with no problems. Lately I have been bombarded with illnesses or conditions that come and go. Did I mention how much I dislike people that complain about health issues? The shoe is on the other foot now and let me tell you, it is humbling. At least I have gained a compassionate view of the flip side of health. I have softened to it.

Much of life can be a puzzle and I love puzzles. So my mind searches for the why of it all. It gives me something to chew on. Is all the upheaval directly due to this crazy life in 3D? Is it karmic and I must pay my dues? Is there another purpose in my life to wake me up to…? Is there part of my old life I need to completely disconnect from? I often feel empathically what is going on in the world. The night of the midterm elections my body was rebelling big time. The physical feelings are disconcerting and uncomfortable, and I cannot get away from it or turn it off.

At work part of my job to be a troubleshooter. To be a person to find out how a process happens, and write out all the steps very clearly so others can learn. This is part of the warp and weft that makes up my persona. I like to be the person that shows others the right path by researching a process, questioning, tinkering. I am responsible for finding the right way to do something, to empower them to flourish. It’s part of my very nature to explore, question, and lead by example. If we were in the jungle, I’d be the person in front, hacking a way forward, leading. Part of this aspect of me must be shut down in order to be guided by this new thing emerging in me. That won’t be easy for me to do. It will be very uncomfortable and I navigate totally new waters without being able to rely on my ‘old’ and comfortable tools/senses/way of operating. This change must come. My old self must die and the new self must come into being. Like a child who does not want to outgrow his favorite pair of boots, that day will come. But won’t the new serve better?

It occurred to me that if I stopped asking why, my angst would go away. I’d be at a new normal, and life would continue in a happier vein. How can I accomplish this? What’s the lesson, the reason, the big picture? Okay, drop that line of thinking and I bet I would be so much more at peace. But how to do that? It won’t happen with a how-to check list. Scratch that. It might be more along the lines of more meditation during the day and in the evening. Slowing down even more. More dropping out of needing to know. Dropping out of rational thought, of needing control. Dropping down into that fuzzy, warm place where there is no need to know what’s coming next, or why things are the way they are. Trust. It’s a big word.

This winter I will hunker down, be closer to Gaia (Mother earth), trust the divine feminine, and let healing occur naturally. For me this will be a paradigm shift. A huge one. But possibly part of the metamorphosis of what I am becoming. I can feel a huge shift coming inside me and I want it to come. I must trust that I cannot see the way forward. Time to roll with motion of the waves and as a good friend says ‘feel your way through the unknown.’

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening.❤ Love and Light, Patty.

 

Hearing words I never thought I’d hear

You may have heard of a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde called Pay It Forward. Recently I was reading The Wake Up, by the same author. In this story we see through the eyes of the lead man what it is like to be a sensitive and an Empath. The fact that the author chose a rough and tumble cowboy for her lead character was genius. No one expects a person who is tough on the outside to be sensitive on the inside. We see him discover new found awarenesses and sensations, and the arc of his life is changed forever. It is awkward for him as he wakes up to this new way of being. Some people in his life cannot deal with the change. But he knows he cannot go back, nor does he want to. He must live this new life making his way forward in a totally new landscape. He finds his true north by surrendering to the new, and going in a new direction.

Much of the book was like reading about my own life in the lead character’s sensitivities. My IBS was going full blower at the time. This was partly due to many different worries eating away at me. I am in my head too much. Part of IBS is in your head. Yes my doctor even told me that. Worries will translate to the ganglia in your gut they refer to as your ‘second brain’. A network of half a million nerve cells and neurons in the gut wall, responsible for controlling the gastrointestinal system. Your gut and your brain are in constant contact. A gut feeling…yes you guessed it. That’s it too. In horses this huge nerve network in their gut helps them survive. Read Linda Kohanov’s, The Tao of Equus—a book that changed how I see the world. I am still in a phase of waking up to this ability of sensing with my gut. I’m in the early phases of finding out how to read these new signals. This uncomfortable experience helps me to open up and be less complacent and has made me hugely vulnerable and sensitive. I am trying my best to surrender to it. To do otherwise would be avoiding personal growth.

During all this internal upheaval I have a dream. In order to better understand the dream, you will need a bit of my history. I went through years of abuse, verbal and emotional, with a narcissistic hoarder who went through 30 jobs in 18 years. I was constantly told I was not good enough, and there was always this invisible, unknowable thing I was ‘responsible for fixing’ but he would never tell me what it was. My every action and sound was harshly criticized. I had no rest from the chaos. This life drove me crazy. He had complete control of my life, as I had given my power away totally. It was to the point I thought I would not get out of the marriage alive. I am eleven years free at this point and rarely think of that life anymore.

In this dream I am with my ex-husband, and the scene is chaotic. I am getting ready for work, trying to be responsible. All the while my ex is trying to buy some huge piece of junk like an old sailboat or an old house trailer. It’s another crazy project we don’t need to complicate our lives. His friends are living with us eating us out of house and home, and acting like children. I’m being run over roughshod again and have that familiar sick feeling of trying to hold everything together while he does crazy stuff. I am the eye of the storm trying desperately not to be overtaken by it. He is totally ignoring my needs, and our situation. I am standing facing my ex husband trying to salvage things so I don’t end up paying for his chaos. Time slowed down to a stop. When time stops in a dream I know what comes next is important. As I try desperately to tell him I need to get to my job! Please! Finally he looks me in the eye and says…

“Let’s get you to work, what I want is not important.”

His words are sucked into me like a sponge gulping up water. I am still. My heart opens for healing. I feel relief. The chaos is gone. I can hardly believe what I hear. The words sounded sincere. Heartfelt. This tiny, momentary acknowledgement in a dream, of my ex actually seeing me for even a few seconds was big. Really big. The person that had been my oppressor stopped what he was doing, saw me, and apologized for his behavior. Wow. Even this small admittance was huge, because I never got that in life.

You cannot get out of the after effects of being abused overnight. It has taken eleven years of happy on-my-own-ness to get here. Did I really hear those words? What a lovely feeling it was! What a gift! I feel a relief I never knew was missing. Maybe that is what I am processing and why my body is rebelling, and finally dumping the debris from these hard years. Maybe that is what all this churning miasma my gut is about. There was something big that was coming and my body sensed it before it became something to intellectualize. It is not something that would have ever happened in ‘real life’ so it had to happen in another plane of existence. It was time.

Writing to the public about this personal experience may help others who feel they will never hear words they need to hear in order to heal. In the dream state, time and space are no longer hurdles to overcome. Therefore it can happen even if your oppressor is deceased. It happened to me even though I had not been thinking of my ex-husband or that old life. On some basic level, I needed to hear those words in a heartfelt and believable way. On some level I created this experience for healing. It is a healing that will most likely take place over the rest of my life. Not to say I am damaged goods or that I feel like a victim. Quite the contrary! I feel very empowered and happy with my new life. Ecstatic even! This experience is more like the Japanese art of Kintsugi where broken ceramics are fixed with gold. Kintsugi makes the scars hard to ignore because now they are beautiful and part of the story of the piece. I felt so lucky I was sent this dream, this scenario, this message. This healing. I am in gratitude.

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is out there listening. Love and Light, Patty

My secret Super Power! The upside of being sensitive.

My writing process involves actual physical feelings that occur as I work on stories. The paragraphs come alive, I have realizations, a-ha moments, and there is growth as I write. By the time I am done, the entire article has a glow felt in my body. Everything comes together and I feel a glow in my chest and abdomen as I write or proofread. It’s so cool. 🙂 I can tell which paragraphs need work because that physical feeling might be absent, or it does not feel good. When ideas are really popping I have a dozen stories in draft form at any one time. As I scan my list of drafts to decide which one to work on next I get a physical feeling—BOOM—and I have my answer. I chuckle to myself because this is not only fun, it’s awesome! It’s like having a secret super power. Eight months ago this was not true. It’s something that has recently developed. Probably due to my recent low points leaving me super sensitive to all that goes on.

In this post I want to talk about the actual physical feeling as I write because it is so new to me, and it is so awesome to have this ability. My previous post, The Crying Man was an experience important enough to write about. As I wrote, the feeling in my body was of nothingness. It felt very flat. This did not feel right by a long shot! I dropped the story and let it sit overnight. After working on it the next morning, the glow feeling started. It was excitement and butterflies in my gut. Now I was cooking with gas!

Often I find nuggets of gold, a-ha moments, discoveries that are uncovered gently as I write. I love it when that happens! That’s real magic. In my gut I can feel the energy of the story come out. This is what I’m talking about.

When I worked on the story about losing my horse Silver,it was difficult to write. Writing is a good way for me to process emotional trauma. As I finished the article, I had a physical feeling in my gut about each paragraph. A good feeling. It’s hard to describe but I can physically feel the story coming together. I can’t speak for anyone else. It’s not an intellectual thing, it’s more of a physical-feel-intuition-gut all at the same time thing. Readers should be able to see a-ha moments on the page because that’s how they happen. They organically happen as I write. What a cool super power! Often there is something in the story I didn’t know was there until I write about it. That’s the real treasure.

As I finish up stories I concentrate on the second half of the story and the juice flows, the feelings get stronger, the story gets clearer. Working further on The Crying Man story there was no longer a feeling of flat nothingness. The story was starting to undulate and come alive, and that feeling translated directly into my body. This is the up side to being a Sensitive and an Empath. The flip side of feeling so much of what is out there. Queue the familiar line from superhero movies “I only use my power for good, not for evil.”

Mainly I write for the benefit of processing information for my mental health. The reason I blog vs. a private journal is, there is something to be said for accountability and pressure, in a good way, to write for others. The writing becomes better, clearer, there is more purpose. Be aware of your body as a Geiger counter to life. You can discover much about yourself as you write, for your benefit and growth. Your body will tell you when things are getting good and juicy. That intangible thing is there, becoming tangible! Perhaps my experience will help one person. Let me know if it does!

Comments and dialogue are highly encouraged and welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is out there listening. Love and Light, Patty

The Crying Man

One day on my lunch hour I went to a large hardware/lumber store. I was in the garden section looking for a pot for a plant. Along comes a tall white haired but hearty looking man. His curly hair and build made him look younger than I suspect he was. He towered over me, a profusion of white chest hair spilling out of his shirt. As he approached me his lovely Aussie accent came tumbling out of his mouth, “Hey you look like you might know something about plants. I got a question for ya.” In fact, I do not take after my mother, The Tomato Queen, who can grow anything. I have ten brown thumbs. I said “Well I am not sure about that but I’ll see what I can do. What do you need?” He proceeded to tell me… “I need something drought tolerant. I am making a memorial….. of sorts…. for….” At that point he burst out crying on the spot! Large loud crying, wracking shoulders, bent over his large garden cart. He continued walking this cart forward all the while crying and bent at the waist. I think he did not know where to go or what to do.

I stood there for a long while so as not to abandon this man in his pain. I wanted to take action in some way to help. In a moment like this you can send love so I did that for a few minutes. Eventually he made his way to the checkout with bags of soil, a container, but not plants. After giving him some space I gently went up to him and told him colorful mums might be a good choice. He apologized for crying, still sniffling and dabbing at his eyes. Apparently he lost someone two weeks ago and the pain was still fresh. Oh my heart went out to him.

IMG-3779

For a long time now, I’ve been experiencing a great deal of cleansing and purging in the form of physical problems. I am out of my element, a fish out of water. This does not make the Capricorn mind sit easy. We need to know what’s going on so we can figure the best way forward. It is hard to simply surrender to what is. For most of my life I have enjoyed excellent health, and suddenly all sorts of things were upsetting my applecart. Problems with the body is a good indicator that Spirit is trying to get through to you. I’m a very firm believer that the body presents you with physical challenges because there is something non-physical that needs addressing. However I also tend to over think things—I am my own worse enemy. I observe, analyze, research, take action, modify, rinse and repeat. To be too action oriented and not go deeply inside enough can block spiritual progress.

I want desperately to break out of this tailspin. I am tired of not having fun. Tired of being tired, of going to the doctor, tired of being sick. My doctor moved across the country in the middle of a months-long diagnosis, but forgot to tell me she was leaving. I was furious about that for a time. That old feeling of being invisible and abandoned, presented at the same time. I thought those old ghosts were long gone. So why was I being shown this man so…in my face? 

Now is the time for me to sink into my heart, forget the outer, trust, and have complete and utter surrender to outer circumstances. I get to the verge of tears and the feeling goes away and I miss my chance to let go. I want that purge. I want to have a watershed moment where I cry and let it all out. But life ebbs and flows, and today I feel better than yesterday. Dang! I was so close a few days ago. I know that sounds counter intuitive, you should feel good that life is better today than yesterday. But I want to be able to move on to the next level. (There’s that action-oriented mindset screwing me up again. Getting in the way of the purge.)

The takeaway for me is, what a beautiful example the Universe has given me in the form of the Crying Man. Someone larger than life, just giving in and letting go, in public in front of strangers, no holds barred. Now, to surrender and find my true north, through the eyes of the Crying Man. I know it is easier said than done, and you cannot force such things to occur. I give thanks to the Universe for showing me one beautiful example of letting go. Life is about ebbing and flowing, ups and downs. Every time there is an ebb or low spot, I feel closer and closer to a breakthrough. It’s just not here yet. As life ebbs and flows, so it goes. Maybe next time.

Comments and dialogue are highly encouraged and welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is out there listening. 

Animals do say ‘hello’ from the other side

The following is a letter I wrote to a local artist last January after my horse died unexpectedly. Eight months earlier I lost my first horse, and three months before that, my best ever dog. 

Dear Debi, I wanted to tell you about how much your painting of a white horse in moonlight, Dancing Moon, affected me when I saw it in a gallery the other day. I had to make the decision to have my white horse put down the day of the Blue Moon on Tuesday.

I believe animals give us the ‘all okay’ after they are gone. Yesterday I went to the vet to see my ‘sleeping’ Silver before he was taken. On the way back my friend and I were spent after two emotionally hard days. Since we had not eaten yet, we stopped at the Range Cafe. After the meal my friend wandered into the attached art gallery. He said “Hey Patty, look at what’s on the wall!” It was a painting of a gorgeous white horse in motion, neck arched and mane flying, blood red ribbon in his mane. He looked almost exactly like Silver would have in his prime. Same shape of the face and nose. We admired the painting, were a little amazed at it, and went home to get some rest as we felt like zombies after the two-day ordeal. 

It’s Wednesday morning 5:40 am and I am standing in my yard watching the full lunar eclipse with deep red moon. I have the image of a beautiful white horse jumping over a blood red moon. Your painting touched me very deeply. I thank you for painting it. I know it was a sign from my horse. Respectfully, Patty.

Three months after Silver left me during a blood red moon, a baby foal was born at my riding partner’s home four houses down. We had teased him about how fat his horse was getting, little knowing she was pregnant. Niña Surprise was born the day of a blood red sun! My heart rejoices! This is Niña on her birthday and she is only an hour old. Today she is a young lady, growing like a weed at six months old. Heart still rejoicing!

IMG-2740

 

Losing a horse helped heal my heart

My horse Silver left the morning after a blood red moon this past January. I had to make the difficult decision to have him put down after two days of pain, confusion, and chaos. His leaving had me totally spent physically and emotionally. I was gutted. My goofy, silly, drama queen horse and loving friend was gone. He was 22 years old and I only had him for four and a half years. I expected him to live to see 30 and be a gentle old bag of bones wandering around my property keeping me company in my upcoming retirement. My soul dog Google died in March 2017 and my first horse, Scar, died three months after that. Only seven months had gone by. This was heavy. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

door

Horse people will tell you that they cannot imagine a day will come when they lose a horse, much less don’t have any horses. It does not seem conceivable. It is a way of life that gets into every pore. My horse dream was not realized until I was in my mid 50s. This was so rich and beautiful a life! I recall every morning before the sun was up I would walk out of my home in the darkness with the yard light on. My two large horses would be standing at the bottom of the steps waiting for me. I’d throw my coat on and walk down the four steps and reach out my arms and run each hand along the side of my horses tracing a line all the way to their rumps. I would think, and sometimes say out loud, “I am such a lucky lucky girl!” I could not believe my luck and my life, with these two huge galoots as partners in crime. Scar, the 1400 lb. overly muscled quarter horse who I referred to as an old war horse, and Silver the 900 lb. skinny but fast off-the-track thoroughbred. They had spent much time together before they came to me. Scar always protecting Silver. They were without a doubt brothers from another mother. Horses are the best of companions! I can tell you, it’s not about the riding, it’s about the companionship and the horse soul you get to share.

A week after Silver died, I was still in shock. Walking to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee I heard myself say out loud, to no one, “I feel like I was slammed to the ground again. Unexpected loss can hit hard. I started writing this post in January and needed until October until I could even look at it again. In fact I quit blogging altogether. The feeling of abandonment over losing him is there, but muted with some distance now. Time is your ally when it comes to loss. When I think of him I still feel a stab of pain. I wish I didn’t feel so vulnerable. So hurt. There are friends of mine that have lost people, and all I lost was a horse. Who am I to grieve so much? So deeply? Why am I so hurt at being left here, feeling abandoned? That is sometimes how the mind thinks, trying to minimize the loss of a pet. No, not a pet, a companion, a kindred soul. Matters not if it be clothed in fur or skin.

This reminds me of a chant to honor the animal kingdom. Citing: Sable Taylor in her interview in Ellen Evert Hopman’s “Being A Pagan”. You can listen to a lovely rendition of it here. 

Fur and feather and scale and skin,
Different without but the same within,
Many of body but one of soul,
Through all creatures are the gods made whole.

When I lost my dog Soul Dog Google, I knew he was leaving for many months. Over time his aged body would freeze up with arthritis. He wore neoprene hock braces and took pain meds. He would not eat unless I cooked him something soft and hand fed it to him. He gingerly took the offering and politely nibbled it. Then that look of “Gosh I sure do appreciate the home cooking darlin’ but I just can’t do it no more.” Since his decline was natural and slow, there was time to plan his last days. I would snuggle with him in his den outside, a 10×10 enclosure filled with straw under my porch. On his last day many friends came over to say their goodbyes. I had him from almost day one, to the last day—his entire life! Losing him was a natural part of his life, and our time together. Everything about it felt good.

cup

My heart and body have been bombarded with physical challenges, losses and change for many months. It is a time of great personal change. Constant pressure is part of making stiff leather into something soft and pliable. Another example is a caterpillar in its cocoon magically transforming from a worm to a beautiful winged creature, resembling nothing of its former self. Humans and science still marvel at these transformations shrouded in mystery and magic. We don’t know what is going on inside that cocoon. This time of personal change is a time of transformation and opening for me.

Through Silver, I learned that I’ve had a closed off heart to protect myself, and I didn’t even know it. Now I understand I no longer need to protect my heart. But you can’t open your heart by wishing—it is a process. Silver knew exactly what he was doing by leaving how and when he did. He timed his exit just right to be part of helping open my heart and my transformation. You can still see the hoof print and cracks on my heart from his dramatic exit. That reminds me of Leonard Cohen’s lyrics,  “… There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”  

There is much more in this that I would love to explore. Many more paths of healing have opened for me and this excites me greatly! Imagine a lotus with a thousand petals. There is magic yet to come! Silver was a gift I treasure on my path to living much more openly. What a great message and parting gift from my friend Silver. What a lesson! Long may you run!