Scar, the horse that changed my life

A few years after my divorce and I was finally feeling pretty good. As I was driving to work on my long commute I was thinking, what do I really want to have in my life that I truly desire? Maybe there is something I have put off that I have forgotten about? Really reach out there and think about what I want that I had denied myself. Make it really big! A few ideas came to mind and then I realized what would be the jackpot. How about a life with horses in it? Something I had wanted my whole life but never attained. Yes. Exactly! I would be over the moon if I could spend my time with horses.

As a child, the idea of owning horses was a rich person’s hobby. It seemed impossible. So, that dream and that yearning went unfulfilled for over 40 years. For some reason the dream of having my own horse as an adult seemed impossible, due to my thoughts and memories as a child. Don’t let that happen to you!

Shortly after my desire to revisit the idea of horses in my life, a popular coupon company had a special on riding stables around town. I started  hanging out every Saturday at a stable all day long. I loved all the girls that worked there, we had a great time, and I became a regular. But I was no closer to getting a horse of my own.

A friend of mine always seemed to have horses coming and going. She knew of my desire to get a horse that would be my speed. She was familiar with my level of experience so I trusted her judgment. One day she said “I have a horse for you that is blind in one eye and lame, but he would be a perfect starter horse for you.” We went out to take a look at Scar. He was probably around 22 years old and was a beautiful, large quarter horse. But his overly long hooves needed a lot of work before he would be rideable.

After three months of farrier work, Scar was no longer considered lame. I was able to ride him and finally had a horse to call my own! I boarded him at the feed store for about a year, and then brought him and Silver, another horse I got from the same place, to my house. Scar and Silver spent a lot of time together at another ranch so I knew they would get along fine. I had purchased $1000 worth of corral fencing, found a spot to keep hay, and built a tack room for saddles and equipment. Keeping horses on my property was what I would consider the ‘jump to light speed’. Totally new territory, and terrifying at the same time to be in charge of such large animals.

scarbonding

Scar had a lot of issues however. He would go bronco at the drop of a hat. And I mean like a bucking broncho, not just a little upset. Saddling Scar was most difficult when the wind blew. And wouldn’t you know it, the wind almost always came up when I started to get Scar ready for a ride. As if the wind was saying, “Hey you can do this!” in a test of my abilities to quiet the fears of my panicky horse. Scar had been in an accident many years previously and still had huge, deep scars all over his body, hence his name.

I suspect the scars were more than skin deep, and he had a lot of fear and panic issues. I had to be so careful putting his blanket and saddle on. Working on his right side where the scars were, was the hardest trigger area to work on. I would be working on him slowly but firmly and then his whole body would shake all over and his eyes would roll back in his head. His body was ready to pop up in the air like a rocket. It’s as if he wanted out of his body. He never went bronco with me on him, he settled right down as soon as I was in the saddle. It took work and courage for both of us to get to that point where we trusted each other and we worked through all the panic triggers.

A girl’s first horse is a right of passage, and he was the best horse I could have asked for! Scar tipped the scales at 1400 lb, with muscles upon his muscles. I called him the Charles Atlas of horses. A Roman gladiator in horse form. He was a standoffish glutton and I loved him! Working with Scar made me very careful around horses in general, as in respectful, not fearful. I loved this horse and we bonded deeply. I appreciated every ride and every experience with him.

Horses are a mixture of opposites. They are extremely powerful animals. At the same time they are totally unaware of their own power, much like I was at the time. Since they are prey animals, they spook and are frightened of almost everything. Even a plastic bag would scare most horses unless they have been trained not to be. They have incredible sensitivity to everything around them, especially energies (and you know my mantra of everything is energy). It’s why a horse can sense if you are scared or not. They can sense your nervousness a mile away, even before you get near them. They are a mixture of raw strength, subtle energy sensors, and are ninjas of graceful movements. They are the only animal I know of besides dogs that are innately eager to please. It’s hard to believe an animal of that size can be so lithe and full of grace and poise. People could take a thousand lessons from being around horses. I did so in my years with Scar.

Scar was not a loving horse, nor affectionate in any way. When I would give him a treat and try and hug him, he’d grab the treat and try and get away from me. He was a moocher, not a lover! But I still loved him anyway. It was his way. He ate anything and everything and would come up to my front door, bang it open, and try and grab the treat pail a few feet away in order to spill its contents and eat the goodies. He continued to do that long after I moved the treat bucket behind the door. He would lift the cover off a metal garbage can over and over with his nose (even if it had a bungie cord on it) until the damned thing opened and he could rummage around in it. Ever the moocher.

I rode Scar for five years and retired him in April to life at pasture. He’d had a hard life before he came to me, and he deserved a good, long retirement. However less than two months into his retirement he got laminitis and was in excruciating pain. I had to quickly find a vet to come and take a look at him. Both my equine vets were either out of town or unavailable for almost two days. Finally my country vet made a special exception in his schedule for me. It was bull season and they were moving cattle around on the mountains working 14 hour days. Plus there are a lot of logistics involved in bringing a horse with painful hooves to a vet in a trailer, etc.

When the vet came to give Scar the once over, I knew what the prognosis would be before he even came. Having put down Soul Dog a few months earlier, this was crushing news. How could I lose Soul Horse so soon afterwards? But I knew he needed to be put down as soon as possible. I had to wait almost another whole day until all the stars were in alignment and we could make it happen.

That last day I had Scar and his brother from another mother, Silver (an off the track Thoroughbred), out in the front pasture. We all hung out with Scar saying our goodbyes. Scar still explored the garbage cans for food! Even in his pain, he was being himself to the last. In life, Scar was very stand-offish, not a lover or affectionate at all. But on his last day he was cuddling, nuzzling and hanging out with me most of the day. I am sure he knew it was the end. I thanked him for the short but amazing time we spent together. He changed my life forever.

Scar

My Native American vet did a wonderful job and put Scar to rest quickly and quietly with prayers and a small ceremony fitting an old war horse. We were even graced with the presence of a large hawk, my vets favorite wild animal, at the end of the ceremony. The large bird was sitting atop a large Juniper tree, confidently surveying her domain. We cheered to have confirmation that all was well on the other side. A sign that we had done the right thing.

My very best and first horse, is laid to rest on a mesa in central New Mexico. Scar, I love you so much, almost to bursting. Long may you run.

Comments are welcome and encouraged! Please click on the title of this blog entry so all you see is this one entry, and scroll to the very end to make a reply. 

When is a good time for a change? Coffee time!

I used to have coffee almost every morning before work with a neighbor. Jokingly I would tell my buddy that I was there for coffee and conversation, but I really didn’t care much for the coffee. Companionship is something most single, older people desire. My platonic buddy and I have known each other at this writing for three years. We go riding on weekends weather permitting, and Saturday night we have spaghetti and watch silly TV shows together. Over the past year I had gotten into the habit of having coffee in the morning with him on my way to work. He used to be next door but he moved four houses down. Since our pups are litter mates, it started out innocently enough as me bringing my pup to play with his all day. Then I’d return to pick up my pup in the evening. It seemed easy enough since he moved so close.

One day we were having morning coffee and I was showing him pictures of a few items on my phone that I had purchased. I thought he’d be interested in them because earlier he had expressed an interest in similar items and he does not have the internet to look things up. As I was telling him about my purchases and talking about the lapis lazuli and coffee jasper I had purchased, he went through a curtain that is between the living room and the kitchen. I assumed he was getting another cup of coffee, so I kept describing the items and was telling him I was excited to be getting these in the mail soon. I ended my sentence by saying…

“…are you even there? No? Ahh I didn’t think so. Oh my.” Sigh.

My friend had gotten up while I was talking mid sentence, went to the bathroom and was gone for a good long time. When he retuned he sat down and just kept staring at the floor, or his coffee cup. He didn’t ask what I had been talking about. In fact it was if I was not even in the room. Sometimes I would end a sentence with a question and he’d just smile at me or stare at the wall as if he were oblivious. It was clear he had not been paying attention, or could not hear me, or both. A clear sign of not caring. Even though my friend’s normal nature is to be reserved and quiet, I felt this was rude behavior. I’d never do anything like that to him. So I excused myself and left for work saying I had to get there early. My feelings were hurt.

Since this was about the 20th time he had done the same thing over the past year. I wanted to make sure I was not at fault. Was I welcome? When it was time for me to leave he would say ‘do you have to?’ which showed me he wanted my company. Was I dominating the conversation? The next day I said almost nothing, letting him have the floor. You could have heard a pin drop the entire time. Over time I had dismissed all those other times I felt ignored. Was I nothing better than a babysitter? Over time I made hundreds of excuses for his lack of caring. But this was not working for me. Casper Milk Toast would have better manners. And in a way I felt I was being used to keep him company…while he was ignoring me!? That’s not good.

Conversations should not be one way. Otherwise you are just playing handball with the drapes. Our conversations had been mostly one way for a long time. My buddy is not the talkative type and can be reserved, and often very needy. But  wanted someone to talk with, not to.  This whole thing made me reflect on the status quo. Is it time for a change on some level? My intuition had been nudging me for some time, trying to tell me that I was spending way too much time there. Between going for coffee, picking up the dog after work, our riding and our Saturday TV night, I think my stop at his home were in the range of between 12 and 18 a week. I have a hectic enough schedule and wouldn’t it be nice to cut that down?

The energy of the current relationship felt wrong. I believe everything is energy and this felt like being mired down in the mud, not being in flow. Time for a change. Doesn’t have to be drastic either, let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water. Immediately after making this decision the energy seemed to be feeling better already. That’s my gut telling me yes, I made the right choice. That night I had a vivid dream of driving onto the wrong pathway. I had taken a wrong turn. I turned the car back around and it was easy to get back on the right path. This is a clear sign to me. Very clear, that I am making the right decision.

Rearranging my schedule to put me more in the center of my own life, taking care of my needs first was key. This would be new on an everyday level and on a life level. I had never thought of me first. I cut my visits back to weekends. Riding was the core of our friendship and that’s the only time I can do it. We’d keep our Saturday evening with spaghetti and fun TV time because we laugh the whole time. Laughter is good medicine. With my extra time, I could do more with my animals and my meditation. This would mean having a leisurely time getting out the door and enjoying the special energy of early mornings, which I love so much. Ah, yes, this was working for me! And it worked for my friend too. He needs to get out and meet other people, and maybe even hook up with a special someone. If I keep going over all the time, he’ll feel no impetus to change things, and that someone special would think he was already taken.

Putting myself first and making healthier habits was new to me. Brand new. But I am a firm believer in being the author of my own life. Check the energy to see if it all feels right. It was hard to make these changes, but part of the old me that felt loyal to a fault was gone. The thought it was okay to take time for myself was new and refreshing. This felt better on a whole new level.

Humans are hard wired to follow habitual routines. So that’s good news in developing a new habit. Just stick with it for between 10 and 15 days and you have a new habit. 🙂 Trust your gut when you have a feeling that you want to do that old thing, but you know you shouldn’t. Resist for a few moments, recognize that you want to change, and do your new thing. I found the resisting part to be the hardest. So I substituted a small activity like pouring a cup of tea or even kicking the ball for the dogs. It only took seconds of changing my activity to get past the urge to do the old thing. If you want to change, it won’t take long. Keep in mind that old habit will not want to die out those first few times you try and change your routine. Stick with it! Believe me, meditation practice will help you with tasks like these even though it doesn’t seem logical.

It’s healthy to make such assessments and change in your life. You don’t need an incident to wake you up. Check the energy. How does it feel? You can make small changes that make big differences any time you feel the need. Make sure you are spending time doing what is good for you, your growth, and then consider others. In a way I was enabling my friend to not get out and experience more of life, and meet new friends. This feels better all the way around. Why didn’t I do this a year ago? Let’s not go there, lol.

Comments always welcome and encouraged. You will have to view this blog entry by itself by clicking on the headline, in order to make a reply at the bottom. 

 

 

 

 

When Things Get Tough: What’s Your Self Care Plan?

In previous posts I have talked about creating good habits, modifying your life as you go, and getting a good self-care plan going. Well now I have one to share. The past six weeks have been difficult but not impossible. I was handling everything okay until one thing sent me over the top. Only then did I realized I needed to take a good, serious look at my self-care routine. Remember no one is bulletproof. Realizing you have to slow your roll actually leads to growth (thanks Al!). If you find this happens more frequently for you than for others, don’t sweat it. You are learning what you need to do to be a Spiritual Being living in the waking world. Constantly modifying your life or your routine is good for you and good for everyone around you. 

The items in this blog post are the things I need to do when I feel super stressed and ready to pop. For me these items are key areas to be given attention. I hope this works for you as well. 

First a note on establishing new habits because that’s the basis of making change in your life stick. Hint: It’s a built-in part of being human. The urge to do things habitually is very strong in humans. In fact I would venture to say it is hard wired in us. Use this urge to your advantage. New things can be incorporated in your life without much thought. With all my animals to care for, my long commute, my full time job, almost anything extra can seem impossible. I make things habitual so they seamlessly fit into my life. Have a routine down. Change it when it does not work. Modify your world to suit you. 

  1. What’s Your Energetic WEATHER REPORT Today? First thing in the morning take note what you feel like energetically. Storms on the horizon? Grumpy with a chance of rain? Giddy with clear skies? Moderate your energy when needed. Even being upbeat and happy to the point where you can’t focus is not good. Plan your day accordingly. Don’t fight the day, find the flow. 
  2. Rely on Your Friends and ask for help when you need it. Throughout this post are tidbits of wisdom I have received from friends. No one lives life alone. We are all in this together. Ask for help when you need it. I tend to forget this until someone bangs me on the head with a 2×4. 
  3. Schedule Daily Relaxation Time as if it were a matter of life or death. R&R is mandatory. It is not extra or to be considered splurging. Relaxation is of paramount importance especially with a grueling schedule. If you have reached rock bottom, or close to it, you must make time for it now. It’s the quickest way to destress. You need your sanity for functioning normally. Do your de-stressing by yourself, not with a bunch of friends. No alcohol either, that will only drain you. As much as I love a glass of wine or a good dark beer, I have found alcohol to be a total energy drain. It’s not something that makes me feel better. If you are at a low point and you need TLC, alcohol has no place. If you are feeling fine, go for it but take it easy.
    Find a relaxing activity: I Read a lot of books and take a lot of hot baths. The baths relax me and reading gets me that entertainment and escapism I need and look forward to. Schedule it into your week, seriously. For me Monday evening is always bath and reading night. My brother watches Antiques Road Show (very low stress and very entertaining), while lounging in his jammies every Monday night. It’s a great way to treat yourself after the first working day of the week. Maybe you like doing puzzles or walking or Tai Chi  or Yoga. Whatever floats your boat and your mood!
    Don’t forget about the restorative powers of water. Recently I was urged by a friend to take a shower or bath when I was exhausted and dead to the world. I started out totally exhausted, but when I was done, I felt so energized. I was amazed.
  4. Find Time to Meditate. Meditate on top of doing other relaxing activities as outlined above. Meditation helps you get to know the real you at your core, and helps you throughout your day in ways you may not be aware of.  I use an application on my computer and phone called Headspace for meditating. A friend turned me on to it. The interface is great, easy,  and intuitive. You can choose the length of time to meditate, and the subject. It is free for a while and then the yearly cost is $79. Well worth it for peace of mind. You can do it before work, or with the phone app, at lunch or during a break. Find something relaxing that you enjoy. I meditate for only 10 minutes a day. Better than not doing it at all!
  5. Get Enough Sleep. The one most important thing to good health is getting enough sleep. If you must have meds, try an anti-anxiety which works for the first few hours to relax you, not a ‘sleeping pill’. Those will only knock you out and you won’t feel well rested at all. In fact, the next day you will feel worse. Naturally consult your doctor. I’m not one and I don’t play one on TV. (That’s an old Marcus Welby joke.) Find drinks like warm milk (or warm coconut milk) just before bed. There is a great paleo drink for insomnia on the internet that went viral.
  6. Keep Electronics Usage to a Minimum Plan two or three evenings per week without these. Turn them off totally and as Bugs Bunny would say “Really and for true!”
    Get the TV out of your bedroom and watch a lot less than you do now. Much of it is mindless activity that does not refresh you. Trust me on this one. I thought I had to have my TV in the bedroom. The day I moved it to my living room I slept so well! I was able to relax instead of binge watching useless, crappy TV. That’s just mindless and not even entertaining. All it did was suck the life juices out of me.
    Stop watching shows or movies that make you uncomfortable or give you bad vibes, even if they are high quality shows. Example: I was watching two different masterpiece theater shows on PBS on Sunday. The running thread through both of them were that women were second class citizens and/or being abused in some way. This show generated a lot of negative, uneasy energy in me. Even if it is ‘historical, has good costumes and actors, and lots of horses, the energy created by the storyline still comes out of the screen, and your body will resonate with that negativity. If it makes you uneasy, you don’t need it. Listen to your body, it knows what you need.
    Watch TV shows you pick on Netflix, don’t just mindlessly surf.
    Phone (if you have to keep it on for emergencies, spouse/kids, at least turn off noisy notifications for chat & email and keep the phone on buzz.) I tell my friends not to call after 8pm. They know I go to sleep early.
    Internet/Computer/Social media Wasting time in front of the computer or your smartphone sucks your good energy out and drains you. Unless you are vigilant about what you are doing online, and few of us are. Keep as free of electronic devices—as tempting and handy as they are—as much as you can once you are home. Home is for nesting and relaxing. If you like to read quality blogs, do so. I can’t because I’ve been in front of a computer all day and I can’t possibly do any more at night.
  7. Practice GOOD Nutrition Don’t eat from stress, this can be a lifelong project, depending on who you are. I eat lots of pasta when I am stressing. I eat Chocolate for a diversion at work. For me food has been a lifelong struggle to get right. Slowly but surely, I’m finally changing my habits from bad to good. I tried being vegetarian and vegan years ago. Didn’t work. Don’t go cold turkey. Try one new thing every week. Don’t beat yourself up. I’m not a vegetarian but many of my meals are.
    Keep it simple and Start Small. On Sunday I roast a whole chicken in the oven and fill the oven with sweet potatoes, acorn and butternut squash. This feeds me for a long time and is easier than pie! 🙂 Slowly incorporate good habits. Use a crockpot once a week for quick meals that are easy, hearty, and filling. I started making morning shakes with a bullet blender. It was $40, not $140 like some are. So it was not a big investment of money and it takes up almost no space.
    If you are urban, find a few good, healthy restaurants with simple atmosphere and go a few times a week if you are too stressed to cook. Keep it simple to keep the bill down, but enjoy and take advantage of someone else cooking for you and doing those dishes! I love Indian or Thai restaurants. Since I live far from town, it’s a treat for me.
  8. Be a Staunch Guardian of Your Free Time If someone invites themselves over, have your canned response ready: “I can’t today, Church of Patty!” That’s my phrase for telling people I want to be alone. Most of my friends are familiar with what Church of Patty means. It means I need or want to be left alone and I will not go anywhere in my car. Or I say, “I would love to but I really don’t have time today. Maybe you can have me over to your home some day soon?” Which puts them in the hot seat and takes you off the hook.  
  9. Learn to Say ‘No’ Confidently and Politely Don’t be tricked into doing something you don’t want to do. This goes with the previous topic of being protective of your free time. Don’t get duped into doing favors for people if you don’t want to. Learn to respond to people who (sometimes unknowingly) manipulate you into doing something for them. Some people do not mean to trick you, but they operate that way. It may not be malicious on their part. The following is a classic exchange:

    The Wrong Way
    Friend: “What are you doing Saturday?”
    You: “Oh nothing much. The usual.”
    Friend: “Great! You can come help with my rummage sale! Be at my place at 7am with tape and markers and don’t forget to bring some coffee and your lunch. I need you to stay till 9pm and help me put all the stuff that didn’t sell in the garage. I have a bad back and I really, really need you. This will be an all day thing and it will be so fun! I am so excited!”
    You: [That Deputy Dog look of, oh no what have I gotten myself into!]

    The Right Way
    Friend: “What are you doing Saturday?”
    You: “Oh I have a full schedule, why do you ask?” (said as politely as possible.)
    Friend: “I have a rummage sale and I really need your help. I am really counting on you.”
    You: “Let me see, I can possibly stop by between noon and two. I am not certain so I’ll have to check. Let me get back to you on that. The rest of my weekend is spoken for.”
    Friend: “Great! Let me know! I really appreciate any help.”
    You: That great feeling of satisfaction that you weren’t roped into doing something unexpected, even if it was for a good friend or a good cause. You have the free time you need, and if you want, you can help out a bit—but on your terms. Your life is yours to run. You feel great!

  10. Learn to Answer Quickly with Confidence in a way that tells the other party your time is valuable. There are many creative and friendly ways to say no. I learned these in a class on handling conflict years ago. Learn where the verbal traps are and have an answer ready. Practice. And I mean in front of the mirror or with a good friend. You will enjoy getting better at polite, to the point replies.
  11. Avoid Busy Bodies Like the Plague. Don’t listen to people who make everything into a drama, or look to stir the pot. Even if their cause sounds good. Think about whether or not they are interfering in another person’s life. Stop listening to them, or change the subject. Often these people are not mean, but they love to get things going. Either cut them out of your life as much as possible, or learn to shut them down when the gossip mill gets going. If you are good at it you can be polite but firm and say “Hey this sounds like gossip and I don’t participate in that. Too much negativity for me! Say, I’ve been dying for your recipe for Chai tea. I’d love it!” Be up front if you have to and change the subject instantly. Boom, you are out of it.
  12. Communicate Clearly. Or as Mom would say, make your wishes known! Don’t mumble. Do speak clearly, and get to the point. Don’t assume. Don’t complain. It’s the worst thing you can do to lower your vibe and your energy. And it only makes you feel worse when you are done. Having clear communication is important to not feeling or being stressed out. Know your mind. Let others know where they stand with you.
  13. Look for the GOOD in Every Situation Look for ‘flipping it’ in every situation. I forget to do this too! My class offers many tools to help live life in the moment.
  14. Urgency is Overrated. Yes. It is. Really. A friend said this to me and when she did, my whole life flashed before my eyes, like that time warp in the  movie Ratatouille when the evil food critic takes a bite of the dish and is instantly transported to his childhood. I realized almost every single aspect of my life I was treating with great urgency. Especially if it had to do with everyone except me! I was living a life of urgency supporting others. I was the last person/thing on my list of priorities. The first rule of giving care to others is, the caregiver (you) needs care first and foremost.

*** Aids for a better life ***

Use a wall calendar specially for anything that does not happen every day. This is great for kids sports schedules. I have a calendar for horse and dog care in the kitchen. When is the farrier coming? When did the dogs get their last heartworm meds? Senior animals and people need special care. It helps to have a calendar in front of you in the kitchen. I could not function without mine.

Use an electronic calendar to schedule your private time, just like it is any other engagement. That way you get your time to relax and unwind. Time to relax is absolutely imperative. Trust me, this is really a great idea.

Have dry erase markers near mirrors, especially in the bathroom for quick, late night notes. You’ll sleep better this way.

Feel free to share any self-care routines you have, that work for you. 

Strange energies abound—How about you?

The following is mostly word-for-word between myself and a long time friend. It pretty much describes the feeling of being in a holding pattern, being involved, yet not seeming to get anywhere despite lots of work. Not quite stuck, but not going anywhere yet. Experiencing some of the crazy energy patterns at this time of great change. My friends response to me was articulate in a way that is clearer than I could have described it. Plus she hit the nail on the head several times. Read on.

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Dear Faye,

I have this feeling of not being able to land….and flying round in the air instead. Yup. That’s the stuck feeling I have been in for a while. Stuck is really too harsh a word. It’s more like a holding pattern. I feel like I’m doing everything right, but things are not aligned yet. Much is happening on many fronts, but I don’t feel like I am moving forward exactly. It does not feel wrong by any means. I can’t go back to where I was, and going forward is not quite ‘a go’ even though I know what I need to do. I also feel exhaustion off and on. Mostly on. What’s your take on it? Are you experiencing the same thing?

Dear Patty,

This energy lately has been hard. That’s the only word I have for it. I can see everyone around me stressed all at the same time. Sometimes interactions are coming out sideways.

I know that every moment there is a choice to buy into the negative expiring energy or relax and find the fresh and new. Sometimes I fall back into patterns and “everything sucks, this isn’t fair, etc.” Other times I am able to take a breath and rise above. Either way it’s hard to stay unaffected.

It’s feels like watching that storm happening outside. You know you are inside where it is warm and dry. You know it’s unlikely a tree will fall on your house or a tornado will tear off your roof, but you still can’t really relax until the storm passes.

Interesting thing is that I am noticing more and more people that seem asleep. I don’t know if that means I am becoming more aware or just that energy changes are highlighting things.

The other day I needed to drive downtown. I was passed by a car going too fast who cut me off. You know the situation: I’m following a car going the speed of traffic, who is following another car ahead of you, etc., etc. There really is nowhere to go faster than the crowd, but yet, this person just “needs” to pass you because you’re not going fast enough. We drove together for 20 minutes. I went the speed of traffic. They tried to pass and weave and get ahead. We arrived down town literally side-by-side, but I think we had much different trips.

I’m trying really hard to not be the person in that car who is not recognizing that they have a choice. They are only making it difficult for themselves and less enjoyable for others traveling with them.

I resonated so deeply with her response. She said it better than I could have. I loved to hear her perspective on things since we seem to have parallel experiences in the Jungles of Time and Space. The storm analogy gave me chills and I felt that was true for me. I feel like I am part of a huge worldwide energy storm, witnessing it in action as I sit on the sidelines in wonder and awe. Sometimes I have to get dressed in my mukluks and macintosh and go out and be in that storm. Sometimes I can sit on the sidelines. One thing is true, no one can get out from under what we are experiencing now. We are all in it. Some feel safer than others and some are more affected by it. Some days are great, some days I’m Dorothy in the cyclone.

The story of the driver of the other car is a great reminder to me to slow down my thinking and return to center when I am in a panic. Being in a panic is not being very grounded or spiritually connected. It happens to all of us. It’s a crazy disjointed way to expend energy since you can’t get to where you want to go any faster than the ‘traffic’ around you. I have to remind myself what is going on in the outer world is not always serving the highest good, and to take note of it, and act/or not, accordingly. I hate it when I have relapses of panic or frustration. They seem to happen almost daily with life’s little ups and downs. It feels a little embarrassing to lose my cool or get flustered. Conversely if I see others in a panic, rage, frustrated or doing other similar activities, I like to be the space for them to do what they need to, and send love. 

This is another way meditation helps. As soon as you notice you are off track, gently return to center without judgment. My image is like moving a bubble with a feather. Gently acknowledge you were off track and return to grace. You can do this anytime, not just in meditation. That’s as graceful as it gets. Every time you return to center is a victory. Even if you feel you were the bull in the China shop. Every time you return to center makes it easier to do it next time. And it energetically helps everyone else.

Make some small movement and things that have felt stuck will eventually shift. Give it time. keep forging ahead in little ways each day. There will be periods of rest that seem like stagnation. Nothing is stagnant. Trust me on this. Every day I do get better and better. Some days I feel the weight of many more years of ‘stuff’ to get through. Some days I feel like I am one of the lucky ones to be on earth at this time. Elated, energized and ready to rock!

If you need inspiration, keep in mind it’s not just all about you, or me, or one individual. It’s not even just about your town, the country or the planet. Spirit is always learning from us. I always think of it this way, Spirit is helping us and we are the ones in the trenches. They admire us for being on the front lines. You are a trailblazer right along with the best of them. So keep on keepin on, and be good to your fellow travelers along the way.

Clutter holds energy, let it loose!

Okay, this is not a how-to guide for decluttering your home or environment, although I could certainly write an article about that. I was born to organize and declutter. However for almost two decades, I lived with a man who was a hoarder. At the time, I had no word for it. It started slowly and grew exponentially as our my spouse and the relationship fell out of center. Every room had a path through it that was about two feet wide. Boxes, clothing, computer pieces, camera parts, papers of all kinds and other assorted flotsam filled rooms to bursting. Sometimes up to the ceiling! There was no rhyme or reason to it, and none of the items had any use or value.Boxes-empty_165169310.jpgI could not staunch the flow, no matter what I tried. I could hardly live like this and combatted it daily. It crept under my skin during the day, and practically exploded out of me at night. It was like a thing that lived with us that was evil. But my spouse would have a week long fit, exploding in rage, if I were so rude as to mention ‘the mess.’ He didn’t see it that way and he felt I was nagging and unfair to him. Apparently I was the bad guy in this scenario.

I begged to clean up on the weekends when we had time. He’d oblige, and then ten minutes into it he’d have this ‘great idea’ to go to the hardware store to get materials for building shelves. Shelves for more junk. Shelves to organize the junk. Or 30 large plastic tubs to store all the junk in. To this day I can’t stand the sight of those big blue plastic tubs. We would spend all day at the hardware store, come home, spend ten more minutes on cleaning and quit. Now not only was there a huge mess, but a mess of building materials on top of everything else clogging up one of the few free areas left to me.

When we moved to a small 350 square foot apartment in Manhattan, I thought for sure we’d downsize. He insisted we take everything. In his absence, I threw out as much as possible. When we arrived, it took two full days to unpack the largest moving van money could rent. It all went up inside my tiny, clean, perfect apartment. There were stacks of boxes now that stood almost 11 feet high! Again there were only small paths between them. Almost no place for a bed. Nothing changed most of the nine years we spent there. Needless to say, we rarely had company.

After Manhattan, we moved to New Mexico. Finally we had a piece of property and some room to stretch out! However the home soon filled up with junk. A second building filled up with junk, soon Continue reading

Eating my problems

For a long time, I have had problems during or shortly after eating. This is definitely in the too much information category so I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say there was a lot of intestinal upset and extreme discomfort to deal with. I spent years trying to figure it out. First with my doctor, then on my own.

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No, I am not allergic to anything, it was not any particular restaurant, food item, cooking oil, it was not dairy, nothing like that. I relentlessly checked and researched everything it could be. I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I knew there was something worth discovering besides the obvious physical relief.

My research involved tracking when I ate, where I ate, how I ate, what was going on in my life that day. The whole shebang. My research showed that meal time was often the only time in my busy day I could relax. So I sat there in a daze, eating my food way too quickly and unconsciously, solving any problems on my plate. Going from being married to divorced and on your own means you are the only landlord, plumber, doctor, electrician, carpenter, bookkeeper, veterinarian, and fixer of problems at your household. There was much to think on. I came to call this unconscious and hurried consumption eating my problems. This was not a good way to take in nourishment! But there is more to it than that. This was the beginning of the solution to a long-term problem.

The realization that my GI tract was super sensitive and had a purpose beyond its normal function unlocked a lot of mysteries from my life. As a child I was swallowing those pink Pepto Bismol pills like candy. Children shouldn’t need to do this! I would run to the medicine cabinet downstairs to get them just in time to avoid an upset. This was usually while my parents were having a blowout. A typical week brought many of these upsetting verbally abusive, violent events. Looking back I must have been in great distress. And since my mother had her hands full dealing with the violence and atmosphere on her own, I could not always run to her for comfort.

If you have read my blog, you know by now my credo of Everything is Energy. A book I read that reinforces this in terms of your body being a large antenna for energy and vibes is The Tao of Equus: One woman’s journey of healing and transformation by way of the Horse, by Linda Kohanov. I highly suggest it as a great metaphysical, spiritual, horse, history and mythology lovers read. One of her main observations about the horse is, their largest, most accurate physical sensing tool is their gut. Their miles of intestines are super sensitive to energetic vibes all around them. Horses are, after all, prey animals and are always looking for danger in their natural environment. This concept can be easily understood and applied to the human as well. I too relied on this large sensing organ. My gut always told me if things were good or bad, safe or unsafe. It was my litmus test for life. It was my most reliable tool.

As a newly awakened, highly sensitive empath and intuitive, I now realize how easily I can be upset by, or in tune with the vibes, the atmosphere in a room, being in close proximity to anger, an argument, or fear. This really affects me greatly, and much more so than I realized. I knew our bodies are great antennas for picking up on all energies because I had my own personal proof. Almost all intuitive communications, for me, are sensed this way first—unless I’m asleep and dreaming. It is a good thing really. I can fine tune where I spend my time, how long I stay in a place of anger or bad vibes. I can sense if I am in good company or really good juju. So, for my new life, this gut sensing thing was working for me. But what was happening to this wonderful sensing tool of mine that I was in such distress? Was I misusing it, misunderstanding it, or on overload?

I knew the energy angle would tell me what I needed to know. As my research progressed, I felt like I was taking in bad energy, or too much disjointed, wiggling, frenetic vibes when I ate. I also discovered that in cases of high, happy energy, eating made me even more sick. I realized part of the problem was beyond being able to sense things energetically. I had to be more mindful what I do with this energy. NOW we are getting somewhere! Almost there!  Continue reading

Be the space for

What does that mean, to be the space for something or someone? For me, it means detaching from the drama, the chaos, and the emotionality of what is unfolding. It also means to hold space for what is occurring to let things be for the highest good for all concerned, without your personal bias. It’s on an energetic, vibe level that you are holding space. That’s holding space or being the space for something or someone.

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Being the space for two people, let’s say two good friend who are arguing, would be to detach emotionally, stay present, send love and don’t hope for any particular outcome. Remain neutral as possible while supporting the space for this to occur. It is very important to make sure you are not biased in the outcome whatsoever. Make sure it is for the highest good of all concerned.  Continue reading

Sending love

What does it mean to send love? It’s an energy thing. Since I believe everything is energy, you can bet your bottom dollar I feel love as a vibration, an energetic force. A force for good, not evil. (You know I had to say that!)

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First you have to understand love (or any emotion) vibrationally. In terms of what I will call the emotional vibrational scale, Love is at the top, and it’s opposite, fear is at the bottom. All actions, all emotions, all feelings, are either love-based or fear-based. Gossip, complaining, prejudice and jealousy are all fear based. Compassion, giddy feelings, joy, happiness, and appreciation are all Love-based.  Continue reading

What is intuition?

The best way I can explain it is to say it’s your gut reaction to things, events, people. That’s how it starts. Your body is a large antenna for All That Is, and all that’s going on energetically. Your intuition is often felt on the Spirit/Universal-level, but experienced or felt somewhere physically in your body. Ever feel a sense of dread in your gut as you walk into a room of people? You can tell when something is ‘in the air’, or when there is something wrong. It’s your Spidey Senses kicking in. Your intuition is telling you, through your body, something is off. That’s the way I discovered my intuition. Always trust your gut. Your gut will not lie to you. Always trust your gut over your logical mind, or even over your heart if in doubt. Your gut reaction is never wrong.

Intuition is of course much richer, and much more complex than the above description, but that’s the best way I can describe sensing the beginnings of intuition. It’s much more powerful that many of us realize. I leave it up to you, the reader to do research, make your own decisions, and experiment on your own. That way once you accept a new concept or thing, it’s totally yours. That’s the best way to proceed if unsure of something new. Always do your own, personal research. Whatever information does not resonate with you, drop it. Feel free to accept what does resonate with you.

When you start sensing and using it to your advantage, you can do much to move your life forward in ways you never imagined before, for your higher good and the good of the planet. Intuition is also one way Spirit/The Universe/All That Is uses to communicate with us. It’s how you are nudged and how hints are communicated to you. Using intuition to live on a moment-by-moment basis doing everyday things is how I have lived my life for many years. I can hardly imagine a time I did not use my intuition, and I can’t imagine how I lived before I started using it.

For me personally, it can come as the usual gut reaction, or feeling like butterflies in my stomach. Or just that sub-vocal whisper in my subconscious, or a red flag feeling/sensing sort of feeling. Think Spidey Senses. Pay attention to those! I have also gotten messages through visuals that pop into my head, much like the old slide projector shows. A slide pops up, stays on screen for a few seconds, and is gone. A song on the radio may be playing lyrics that I should pay attention to, that are meaningful for me at the moment. There are countless ways intuition can be sensed, felt and seen.

Intuition is one of the greatest tools for a self-actualized, self-directed, You are the author of your life way of living. Don’t discount it. Start paying attention. Pay attention to that voice in the stillness. Explore. Research, and start using this wonderful tool brought to us directly by the Universe and All That Is.

I could go on and on about intuition, but I would rather write just enough to get a spark started in you. In a future blog post I will talk more on intuitive hits.

Feel free to comment, discuss and leave me a note in the comments section. Happy research!

What exactly are vibes?

Yes, I use fluffy words like vibes, energy, and intuition. That’s part of who I am after the big change after my divorce. I am a changed person for the better, but man it was hard work and very humbling. Yet a big part of me is the same old Pat. Back to the subject at hand. Vibes and energy are a big part of the new me and my new knowledge and experience. The following is what I have learned through experience.

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Certainly vibes are part of the energy all around us, part of the Universal Flow of energy, and part of having a loving intent. But what exactly are vibes? How I explain it to students is like this: Imagine at your core is one guitar string. Each morning you wake up you pluck this string to activate your inner vibe, your inner energetic hum. What will yours be set to? Happiness and joy, or frustration and anger? Helplessness and feeling trapped, or self-actualized intent? This is another way you can be in authenticity as the author of your life.

Imagine a large guitar string at your very core, the length of your body, going from your head to your feet. Imagine plucking the string even before you get out of be (if this is possible!) Set this vibe to something happy, joyful, inquisitive, helpful, and fun. You decide. It’s your life, your day, your vibe. This will affect people around you, and honestly, the entire Earth vibe picks up on it. You are contributing to a whole. Make it good!  When you pluck this string, Continue reading