Just One of Those Things

Life is GREAT
Life is GREAT

This is just one of those moments I have to share…cause it was hilarious.

I get off the plane from Montreal to Miami after two hours of sleep and still recovering from working our farm through the most horrendous winter in recent history.  I am told I have to take a SUPER FAST rail train, which is probably a half mile walk away, through the serpentine corridors of MIA – Miami International Airport – after a grueling 3 and a half hour plane ride where all I did was try not to drool on myself or the distracted businessman when I feel asleep.  I love travelling – but I hate flying.  Not DOING anything for hours on end makes me restless and easily irritated.

Disembarking in Miami is a visceral experience.  The climate change is almost too much for the few seconds.  I could feel my entire body soaking up the sun which was just outside the strange birth like canal they have us walk through to get into the airport.  OK I admit it, I find airports pretty creepy.  There is no airport, except maybe the African ones in Conakry or Boke, that I have ever liked. Those didn’t have walls.   They make me tired and angry.

I’m an energetically sensitive person, and airports are places where everyone is in a rush to get somewhere.  There is no real “enjoy the journey”, as humans are possibly at their worse when travelling.  Tired, bedraggled  overwrought and frustrated humans form endless cattle slaughter like line ups, only to end up having to take off your belt, shoes change necklace, wedding rings, hair thingies…whatever. Get xrayed by an angry looking man with a magic wand in his hand and then get redressed, all the while stressing that your holding up the line from the others who didn’t pass through looking like a hippie making all the customs people triple check me for pot. Seriously..? I’m not a dumb hippie 🙂

Even the guy who has no particular job but to look at your boarding pass after security, waving his dreadlocks prpudly looked at my hippie skirt an dmy guitar and said

“eh mon, I just wanna sit back withchoo and smoke a fatty and play some toooons…”, he smiles at me.

Hilarious.

Upon arriving in Miami we are ushered out of the plane through some weird artsy tunnel that makes me think of a birth canal the way it is all weirdly painted and stuff. Then I realized this was INTENTIONAL. Who does that? Walls laden with some bank doinmg a series visual advert on the tunnel walls finally declaring declaring EMERGINING INTO A NEW WORLD WITH “_____” BANK NAME. I don’t even remember the name of the Bank – that’s how stupid this ad was. Suddenly POOF! You’re out in the middle of golden star studded fish floors an dfish art and things on the walls and hanging from teh cieling. I reminded me of a big terrible museum full of soul-less art.  It’s the most nondescript ambivalent shit I have ever seen, and we are SURROUNDED by it.  My mind begins to wonder what it is I should expect after coming out of life on a 22 acre horse-farm.

Suddenly I am bombarded with advertisements, and smells and people, and pushy people and eye avoiding people and busy hurried and harassed people.  I get pushed around a little as  I try to manage two enormous bags and a guitar. I am running like a penguin up to moving sidewalks to get to the rental car place, to which I have to then take a train to get to. In fact I discover it is a fast moving monorail train. My stomach doesn’;t feel so good.  I am tired, lost, alone, disoriented and my hair has gone suddenly terribly fuzzy – … I remember thinking  “I MUST look like  a Calgon commercial…”

I remember I didn’t pack a brush.

Now I am in the rental car line-up, again we are set up like a cattle field. I am listening to the incomprehensible banter of the people in front of me and behind me. I can’t identify their language. That’s weird.   I have a little “stand in line” game I play to keep my mind from going insane, and that is to identify people’s accents or dialects. I have traveled allot, and I kinda get a kick out of this. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t understand or figure any of it out. Not even the continent. In the past the hardest to identify are ALL the french dialects. I mean, french in Quebec, other parts of Canada, and in Africa and Haiti and Switzerland are all SO different, they could almost be considered their own separate languages.

I finally arrive at “Vincent”, and stout and funny very black man with a wide open smile and honest eyes.  I’m relieved.

He sees my name and all of a sudden he is practicing his french on me…

“Mahree-Jowsaaay Braww…” he says, drawing out the fact that he didn’t call me HOSAY which of course would mean I was a Hispanic man. This has happened repeatedly to me but that’s OK.

“I speak 4 languages fluently”, says the smiling black face and gentle eyes.

“Wow – that’s amazing”, I smiled at him.

“I like when I have the chance to practice.

“Tu sais – si tu ne l’utilise pas – tu le perdreras”. And he smiled and winked.

Oy – If you don’t use it you loose it”

seriously??

I JUST LEFT QUEBEC.

Apparently God DOES have a sense of humour.

So, after much friendly francophone banter, Vincent and I part ways, with a kiss on my hand (…it was adorable) and a friendly wave of his co-workers. I felt like I had entered the Wonderful World of Disney.  I was motioned left some half kilometer from the counter and to an elevator to the first level. Hauling my enormous gear, guitar, knapsack, suitcase etc… dragging behind me panting like a wild animal I am bleary eyed by the time I get to a very friendly fresh-faced young rental agent speaking with another woman who welcome me and says in assumption…

“Are you here for a mini van ma’am?” She asked friendly and compassionate.

OK I have to admit it..I was insulted. It was ALL ego folks.  But she was right. I looked like a bedraggled middle aged mom just hauling gear just heading up a gaggle of kids and red faced husband.  I realize I have looked this way for a few well earned years.

“Um, No”, I said, handing her my contract, “I believe my husband reserved a convertible”, I said smiling at the woman.  The agent looked down at the contract, and the random woman standing t her left asked me

“You’re here alone…no kids?”, like somehow she couldn’t believe it because I looked so bad.

“Yup”, I said a little smugly now, rocking on my heels.

She smiled and winked at me conspiratorially, like we had a girl’s club or something.

Yup, a few days completely alone without my husband or kids.

Her smile widened.  Not that we don’t love our husbands, but time alone to a mother is an extremely precious commodity.

The agent turned and smiled pointing in a completely different direction away from the mini vans and said,

“well then, please go ahead and pick any one of these that you want”.

There in front me me stood a line up of absolutely awesome  sports cars. ALL convertibles.  I don’t really know or care about cars I felt a tingle of excitement kick away my fatigue  and I took my time, savoring the amazing choice I had before me.

Sometimes choices are hard and ponderous. And then, sometimes they’re just fun. 

“Pick any one?”, I said over my shoulder still unbelieving.

“Yes ma’am, keys are in there. let me know and I’ll show you how to work the convertible”.

I have always had a soft spot for all things black, not in a morose way, but because black is a colour that doesn’t mess around. It can’t be, in any way, mistaken for something that it is not. Black is black. I like how it just is what it is. Plus, black is sexy.

So, I picked a sexy black Chrysler 200 with a fully automatic convertible roof.

Oh holy cow did I have fun with that roof!  The weather between Miami and the Keys changed about 6 times and I kept getting lost, so i had to put it up and down and up an d down. It tucked into the truck automatically like the Bat mobile  It was just awesome. AND all the radio stations in the Keys don’t suck like they do here in Montreal. The rain came down in torrential buckets one second and the other it was sunny and clear and then there would be more rain. It was really confused and unpredictable. And something in me refused to drive with the roof up if it was sunny. I had just lived through Hell Winter 2013, and I was not going to waste one bloody second of sunshine on any roof. Oh Hell no.

Let me explain now that getting lost in the Keyes takes a special kind of talent since there is only one way in and one way out through the Everglades.  Absolutely NO ONE walks the Everglades, sober that is.  But  I manged to get lost. Allot in fact. And this caused me to have great adventures 🙂  I met a very nice Hispanic girl at a seven eleven who couldn’t tell me where the highway was.  At all. That was cool. Then outside a woman who told me she was a fortune teller, I asked if she could foresee where I would find the highway, she giggled and gave me great directions. Predictable Win?

These encounters set the stage for the rest of my wacky vacation, meeting people in unlikely places, and sharing wisdom and wonderment.  laughs and parts of which I will share with you.

In this picture,

This was actually taken after my husband joined me and I looked much happier and relaxed…not quite as “cat on a hot tin roof”

Convertibles are fun. 🙂

It’s good to be silly sometimes.

~peace~

SOUL AND EGO: Writing Our Own Stories

This is what Soul Would Say:

Earth has an ego and a soul – just like we do. The massacres in Boston yesterday, were the ego – an ego we are ALL responsible for.  The Ego wants to make a point, it wants to be RIGHT it wants to “win” and it wants to “own” the material.  This makes absolutely no sense at all.  Does it make sense to you?  Ask yourself the hard questions. It won’t hurt.

Often it takes a catastrophic event to remind us that we are all a part of a living cell; a macro-cosmic environment which is our planet.  Just as with our human-physiological selves(the microcosmic version of earth) when one system is out of whack, the whole thing goes a little screwy.  The planet has an ego just like we do…and it has a Soul.  Yesterday Boston saw another ugly display of Ego trying to make a point about something unimportant and completely motivated by fear. This is a difficult time of change.

The fact is that right now  the energetic system of our planet is readjusting, and we are seeing all sorts of strange  happenings personally and globally. Bombs at the Boston Marathon, epidemics of cancer, teen suicide, grown men shooting children in the face for wanting to go to school, mental illness at an all time incredible high.  The planet is sick. Did you know nearly 850,000 people this year alone will kill themselves?

We have incredible strength and power in our thoughts.   What you think will be created.  I not only believe it, but when my Ego is quiet enough, when I am diligent in my spiritual practice, I can even work with this idea directly. We all can. It’s not some special magical power like a super hero or religious leader that only special people get. It is a power which resides equally within each of us.  The choices you make will directly implicate how much of this power you become aware and connected to.

That is why there is so much power in prayer – no matter what your belief system; prayer is universal.

Information and a relatability between each other is also emerging at a furious pace.  We need to both acknowledge and use our “powers” as soon as possible.

Beyond how you eat and and whether or not you do yoga, this power is accessible and available to you. You just have to decide it really. The amazing thing is that once you know how to access your own, then you can directly help the entire planet. We all can.  One person – one light at a time.   Quantum physics is constantly re-proving how far reaching the implications of a simple single thought can be in epic detail.  It’s really an amazing age to be living in.

sun and moonBut we have so much tragedy. That’s the way it is when things change. Similar to the 60’s when an energetic shift in consciousness caused tremendous social upheaval as well.  It amazes me how we still idealize the 60’s in our popular media, with it’s flowers and love, cool beads, music, sexual liberation and civil rights – often forgetting that these great acts of creation, either ideological or artistic, were propagated by tremendous national and international pain and fear.  The 60’s and 70’s were a precursor to what is happening now, and they were chalk full of tragedy and drama and horrifying events.  The death’s of great minds and leaders, social upheavals – again a readjustment period.  We are experiencing a stepped up version of this time in our current circumstance I believe.

Now events are much more powerful and pervasive. We have a physically globally connected singular world mind, in the form of the internet. Its consequences and effects are beyond anything we could ever have imagined and we are just at the very tip of something that is inclining us to learn how closely connected to all of the energies around us that we really are.Thought Process

Some people are starting to understand the implications of this and are hopping on the bus with both feet towards a fearless conscious evolution.  This emergent understanding of ourselves as energetic spiritual beings, connected in every way to and from our creative source, far supersedes anything religion has ever attempted to delve into. Why? Because weren’t ready.  Learning anything, I have been taught with horses, is like learning the alphabet.  You cannot make too many words if you skip learning certain letters.  You need the whole alphabet to make sentences. And so, now, we have access to the whole alphabet, and we are starting to write our own stories.

The only things that will last are the things we attach to the only aspect of existence that doesn’t change – and that is our own personal consciousness. Our energy. Our US-ness. The I AM part of you. Even if you have never heard this, I bet somewhere inside of you this makes some weird kind of unrelatable sense. That’s the way deep truth feels. Intangible but solid.

Boston was a horrible tragedy. But so are the countless deaths in Afghanistan every day.  There are many hundreds if not many thousands of children who have watched their own fathers die there, as did the little 8 year old boy who sadly experienced this with his own father at the Boston Marathon Bombings.  Are those fathers less important to their children?  I don’t think so. We just need to stop killing each other.

Segue…

I am going away for a few days to be alone. It will be good to clear my mind.  I like to meditate and gather my energies back when I have a chance to do this – unplug from technology and remember what I feel like – unhindered.

I am very lucky in my life to have the help and support of an incredible Tribe. My tribe is very special. We have consciously chosen one another.  We choose to be honest and supportive. We help each other be brave and fearless in our life choices, and we mostly spend time reminding each other of who we really are.

Everyone needs a tribe. Ego hates my tribe. When I “hang with my tribe”, in whatever form it is in that day, ego is mighty quiet.

He wouldn’t get a word in edgewise over the cackling anyway.

~Namaste~

ROUND 13: Soul Sings a Song!

There are two things I have come to know for sure in life. The first is you WILL get what you pray for – SO BE CAREFUL!  Maybe (probably) it won’t arrive in the form, shape or colour you thought it would arrive, but I can guarantee you my friends, that if you pray earnestly for something..you will get it.

The second thing that I have learned is that the more we think we know how this life will turn out, the more incredibly wrong we will find we are.  There are surprises EVERYWHERE! At every turn, I have been shown the unpredictability and absolute adventurous magic of this life, and I am in awe.   Sometimes, the story bends and turns darkly.  It can be filled with loss and drama and grief, as much as it can overflow with love and gratitude and joy.

How I experience any event in my life entirely has to do with how determined I am to stay spiritually connected.  Soul keeps me and my overly active mind on the straight and narrow.   Ego is always  busy lifting power weights and gearing up for when I let my presence and awareness slip away.

Ego has a chance to come out and play if I don’t sleep enough, don’t eat well, don’t excercise and meditate. Ego has an especially great time if I forget to set boundaries, go around motivated by people-pleasing and allow myself to dwell in the illusion of guilt from the past or anxiety in the future.  Ego never seems to exist in THIS particular moment.  Where there is a desire to maintain a conscious contact to our creative/creator source, without the encumbrances and limitations of human expectations on that relationship.

But life isn’t all very predictable, and knowing where and when to head off Ego at the pass becomes a challenge of staying present and aware in this moment. I think God keeps it real – so there are curves in the road.  And thank God for those curves!  If we could know the ENTIRE story and how it were to unfold BEFORE hand, we would probably just stand there terrified to move forward at all like deer caught in the headlights.  It’s those curves that give us space and allowance and time to assimilate the next set of challenges on the road.

 

There are always surprises…you never know how anything will turn out really.

******************************************************************************************************************************************************

Soul hears a knock at the door…

She opens it and finds another – just like her…

Loneliness lifts. The sun shines.

Thank God for the curves in the road.  She is surprised that she is not on her knees.

In fact…She is elated.

A song fills the room – a sweet soulful melody, moving in and out of time gently like silk.

Soul begins to sing inside, deep in the place where songs are created.

Ego sends out a muffled barely audible sound from beyond the mind- Soul doesn’t hear him.

“That song sucks”.

Soul smiles and continues her sweet composition.

The stars turn their faces towards the Her and stand still in rapt attention.

The sun and the moon dance lightly between one another in the falling midday sun.

Her song is a breath of relief that she is till here – she feels it deeply in this moment- the one that is her gift to herself.

Soul is on fire. In this moment there is only her song and nothing else.

The sound of something like a summer night compliments the tune. Soul feels like she is writing with the whole world as her orchestra and Love is her muse.

Ego…?

What ego?

 

Round 12: Ego Vs Soul – The Wait

It’s a funny thing that this 12th round of the big boxing match between my soul and my ego is all IN MY HEAD, because if you would look at some chakra charts, that’s exactly where your 12th chakra is, right above your head, way up in the sky.

That’s about how I feel.

Many people don’t give credit to the effects that the moon can have on our general temperaments, but I am starkly aware that a new moon is coming tomorrow, and my soul has gone into ZZZZZZ mode. Ego is up, on fire, and ready to tango.

Some moons have the effect of greater energy and creativity, like the past full moon in Libra. I was a creating MACHINE!  I was painting, sketching, singing, playing, writing. it was a blast.

Then a sort of darkness falls over me, and I lose my speed, chug chug chug down to a slow…and there is no more.

I sit quietly.  Look around. Wait.

I hate waiting.

I prefer Chaos to waiting.

“But you have self awareness…you will not create chaos. ” Soul reminds me.

Phewf. That’s a relief.

I will just sit and wait.

While ego tries and tries to knock me down, over and around.

Soul has a little nap – getting herself ready for the next stage.The next round. The next game.

It’s going to be ok.

She told me she had faith I could handle myself with Ego.  He’s just-a-big-bully. Hmph.

“Just tell him to go to his room”, she said before yawning widely and sauntering off for her nap.

“How?” I asked.

“You’ll know”, she yawned again. “I need to refill”. Were her last words.

Without hesitation, Ego sees his chance.  He comes crawling out of his lair where he had been quite ignored for a long time.  He is dusty, dishevelled and annoyed.  He stretches and yawns, his foul breath filling my nostrils.

“Ugh…not you again”, I feel the tension in my gut.

He gnashes his nasty teeth and growls his nasty roooooaaaarrr…and rasies his eyebrow.

I sit up straight and close my eyes prepared to do what i was told: wait.

So I begin my wait.

Because I know

When soul wakes they will dance under the darkened moonlight.

~Namaste~

HEALING WITH HORSES – THE THIRD CHAKRA

HEALING WITH HORSES – THE THIRD CHAKRA

WILLPOWER – INTUITION – FEAR- GUT FEELING- PERSONAL POWER

Building Spiritual Confidence

Third Chakra Lesson Of the Horse:  “You’re allowed to be afraid – but you can’t let it govern your choices and actions”

 

JJ AND TIARAA horse naturally knows when you are comfortable with being approached as demonstrated here by JJ and Tiara.

The third chakra is considered to be the center of energetic power of a person; it is our “gut feeling”, our intuition and our desire to move forward – our willpower.  If your third chakra is out of alignment or is blocked, then you will experience lack of feeling powerful, lack of willpower, hesitancy in decision making, and an inability to move forward on plans you have for yourself.  You will continuously questions your intuition or gut feelings about things.  You will find that you ignore your gut, and then regret it.  Physiologically, Third Chakra blockage results in digestive issues and sensitivities.

We are encouraged through the study of chakras to become aware that we are both physical and energetic beings – spiritual in nature, and connected to a higher source, in whichever way you conceive of that source.  Through the practices of presence and awareness, we become more in tune with our connection to that divine source and the manner in which it communicates to us directly, is through our “gut instincts”.  Connecting with that source and really understanding where your center of power comes from – is the ticket to the removal of all fear.

Historically we have downplayed our instinct in favour of pure rationalism – today that is changing. Women especially have been taught over the millennia to “tune down” their inner navigational systems. In North America the culture has been created around a belief that “emotional response” is weak and invalid, when in reality, an ability to listen to and make decisions based on a faithful understanding of the “Still small voice” within – is the most powerful choice a human being can make.  Not paying attention to our inner guidance has resulted in the evolution of a culture run entirely cerebrally and materialistically – and that kind of focus is getting us nowhere fast. .  We have entered an age when this is simply no longer enough for what we need to survive and thrive.

By participating in any program which allows you to return to a basic presence and understanding of your “gut”, individuals are contributing to the healthy continued evolution of the planet.  We are finding that reconnection to nature and to animals in general, horses specifically is an effective way of living a more peaceful and energetically connected life, allowing you to rely on your instinct as a real tool in decision making.

There are many ways of perceiving and dealing with our chakras.  Horses are an exceptionally effective way of understanding where your blockages lay and how to manage them.  Horses reflect a person’s interior energy.  They are not aware of what you are trying to tell them on the outside, but rather focus on the true energetic intention you bring into your interaction.  You can be smiling on the outside, but if you are deeply frightened or sad in truth, a horse will know it and will reflect this back to you in no uncertain terms.

PREY VS PREDATOR

A horse is a prey animal. Therefore its only resource for survival is its ability to run. On occasion horses will use a “fight” response when they are afraid, but this only occurs if they feel trapped or unable to escape a perceived threat.  See any similarities to the way you might handle conflict in your life?

In horseback riding, I often teach that the most important part of your body to be aware of during any equine interaction is the third chakra solar plexus area.  It is your center of gravity in the sadlle. If you know where your center is, you will have a more connected safe and enjoyable ride.  By being aware of the sensations in the solar plexus, you bring yourself immediately back to center and into a space of recognizing the present moment in your experience.

When I ask a new nervous rider –

“How are you feeling”?

Often people will unconsciously put their hands to their solar plexus if they are feeling nervous or anxious.  If they are feeling joyful and relaxed, their hands move to their heart.

One of my favourite lessons taught to me by horses is that we are all allowed to BE AFRAID…we’re just not allowed to let that fear govern our decisions.

Horses do not react aggressively if you are afraid. This is a myth. Horses however will not stay with you, stand beside you or feel entirely comfortable with you, if you exhibit signs of insecurity because they will sense this and fear that there may be a real reason for being afraid, putting them in a state of preparedness to flee.

If your mind is scared, which happens to everyone, horses can teach you how to allow that to be, but generate a centered peaceful feeling in your body.  This is a matter of awareness and discipline. Now, imagine if you could take this kind of awareness into your interactions with people in your life? Your body is allowed to be fearful, but your mind is centered and relaxed knowing that the fear is only generated by your thoughts. The results can be quite fantastic.

The third charka can be a response to intuition  – our higher sense of knowing that goes beyond thought and human emotion.  We feel our “gut” when we are going to make a move in our life and are not sure which direction to take.  |We pay attention to our gut with our children.  We pay attention to our gut when we are placing bets on a football game.

Honing the ability to listen to and TRUST your “gut”, is a most important tool in spiritually understanding your life. Horses can be very helpful.

In this chakra exercise, we will work with horses to understand both how powerful our conscious and subconscious intentions can be, and how our intereacvtions with animals can help us to know our personal truth on a more profound and functional level.

Horses are animals which exist entirely off of “gut feeling”. By spending time in quiet observation  of the herd we will come to see how their subtle yet complex system of communication, based entirely on “gut instinct”, serves to keep horses both safe and balanced within their herds.  We will spend time sketching drawing or representing the horses in our own creative way.  Then in the round pen, each participant will be given the opportunity to work energetically one on one with a horse of their choosing.

The activity begins by using your gut to choose your horse.  Then later, once you get to know the personality of your equine partner better, you will come to understand and explain to the group what it is about that horse that attracted you, what it was in their energy that reflected back to you something about yourself which is of key importance in your spiritual development.

Horses make us vulnerable.  They are big, we are small. They are mysterious to most people and yet,  are quite obvious to them.

Being vulnerable and aware of the sensations of your body in a state of vulnerability will allow you to transpose what you learn about yourself, into your “non retreat” world.

Horses are gentle brilliant teachers.

I look forward to the continuing journey with you!

QUESTIONS:

1-      Can you remember some times in your life when you had a “gut feeling” about something and ignored it? What happened?

2-      How do fear, anger and resentment feel in your body?  Where do they arise?

3-      Did your parents and environment teach you to honour your instinct?

4-      Are you afraid of horses? What is it that makes you afraid? List all of the “things” you can imagine happening that are bad in your interaction with a horse.

5-      Finish this sentence… “ When I have a gut feeling I….”

6-      How do you protect yourself when you feel threatened?

7-      State 10 things in your life you have POWER over. List 10 things you are POWERLESS over.

8-      Where does your personal power come from?