I don’t care what kind of rose-coloured glasses you sport, the reality remains that the world has just about as many assholes as it can handle. The guy that cut you off this morning in traffic AND then gave you the finger, that guy who makes inappropriate comments every time he takes a breath, the lady at Starbucks who spills her coffee on your new shoes and doesn’t even look back and all the power-tripping buggers with mama issues and well, let’s face it, Donald Trump.
We all know them and we all love to hate them, spending countless hours plotting our revenge, our fabulous comebacks, and how to orchestrate that one thing that will hurt them back just as much as they have hurt you. Hold that thought. Because you and I both know that there is no comeback in the world that is going to make an asshole magically turn into something else, like a gentleman or a saint. And this is the most annoying, verging on infuriating, part of it all. So if your revenge plots, wickedly awesome comebacks and semi-serious murder fantasies aren’t going to cut it, how are you going to deal with the assholes in your life in a way that actually works?
Over the last twelve years as an Equine Sport Therapist, I’ve spent the better part of my time diving into what makes the best horse-human relationships tick and how to help horse women everywhere cultivate this kind of stunning connection with their horses. A connection based on trust, communication and relaxation, where the horses are balanced, healthy, willing and full of life, and the rider is intuitive, trusting and having an awesome time.
You might get glimpses of this garden of Eden in equine form, but does it stay? Can you maintain it?
Speaking from personal experience, there are countless factors involved in creating a horse-human partnership that is beautifully harmonious, a dance. My mare Diva and I fought for a good long while at the beginning of our relationship, with tiny glimpses of relaxation and harmony, and you know what? A lot of the time it sucked – I spent a whole lot of time questioning myself, my methods and what I was doing there in the first place. And then, with a whole lot of work and learning, we found our groove and remain besties in and out of the saddle to this day.
In a little less than a month, I board the ridiculously long flight to the big down under. Today, I bought one of those airplane pillows and a very grown up but still cool carry on bag and thought, holy crap this is trip is real. It’s really happening. And by it I mean this: My first time in New Zealand and Australia (a dream come true!), the southern hemisphere launch of my first just-me book, a straight up guide to navigating your pet’s final transition, a first for a brand new 2-day offering – Death Sucks – an essential workshop for animal lovers to cultivate the skills to move through this inevitable transition with their animals as gracefully as humanly possible, a first for a master class with One Spirit’s Laura Bird for animal professionals and practitioners to support those who midwife this powerful and challenging transition.
It’s a sparkle fest in here! On sunny days my house is literally filled with rainbow sparkles. Yes, there is my fair share of disco balls in here…because who doesn’t want a house filled with rainbow sparkles? Isn’t it funny how we tone that sort of stuff down because we don’t feel totally comfortable being “too” sparkly? For today, I give you full on permission to be get your disco ball sparkliness (is that even a word?) on. And I want to remind you just how lovely you are…
This past week was pretty darn surreal. Did you see it? The book that I contributed to, beautifully named Choosing Happiness became an international bestseller. And I became a published author (yep, that’s been a dream for a very very long time) What!?
It’s a big question and one that most of us promptly answer with a big resounding (and perhaps slightly defensive) NO! But, before you give your final answer, hear me out. Because before this week, my answer was no too. What changed? Well, let’s just say I took one of those good hard looks in the mirror of life – an adventure I like to take every so often, an uncomfortable but necessary step in the process of unwinding and revealing. And what was looking back was not the angelic, loving, beautiful, rainbow-sparkle being that I’d hoped for. Instead, I got a chance to gaze on one of those parts of me that I keep well hidden and for good reason – she’s a bit of a bitch and she’s sneaky too.
I don’t have to tell you that life is a very “interesting” adventure. By interesting I mean everything from weird to painful to are-you-kidding-me to downright cruel. And sometimes all we want to do is make it all stop – to cut ourselves off from all of this “interesting”, stick our head in the sand, eat lots of chocolate and watch Netflix for the rest of our days. The general feeling is along the lines of “please stop this train I would like to get off now” and then the terrifying reality that actually, you can’t.
For years, shutting down was my main coping strategy. Can you relate? And it worked like a hot damn. Someone would say something mean, off I’d go into my dissociative fantasy land in the sky. Get a bad mark? Off switch activated. Death? Checking out now. Anything uncomfortable at all? Yep, gone. Well, you get the picture. It seemed like a great idea at the time and it was only when I started working with horses as an Equine Sport Therapist that I realized that it was actually a really dangerous coping mechanism.