I recently listened to a yoga instructor from Wild Souls Yoga share what has intuitively been coming up for her in regards to intention, ritual, and our soul’s purpose. She feels, that right now on a collective level, courage is showing up for us women. This totally resonated with me! I know that I am in the process of gathering the courage to be who I was born to be.
In essence, isn’t that what we all want? We as women all share the need to gather the courage to face our fears, struggles, feelings of limitations, and the criticism we allow upon ourselves from our negative inner voices and perhaps even some of the people around us. This is why it is so important to practice the art of self-love. It is why I have learned to honor and accept myself as the horse lover that I am—it is why I do horses. It is my gift and I know it is the catalyst of my destiny.
As a women, I know the Universe is asking me to embody my soul’s purpose. I ask myself, “Am I stepping into alignment with my soul?” As I move forward on my journey called life, I can’t help but question why am I here? What I do with my time and energy is so important. How I contribute to raising the vibration of the planet and raising the consciousness of myself is directly related to my soul’s purpose.
What is my soul purpose? I am clear that part of my purpose is to awaken my divine feminine gifts which essentially helps raise consciousness. The divine feminine is the embodiment of heart energy. Heart-centered energy of love. I know that sharing it with the world is how I heal myself and those around me. Love is the most powerful healer and not only did I learn how to love from horses I am loved by horses.
I feel strongly that something is wanting to grow and awaken within me. A part of me that I had to put on hold until I became of age. The age where I learn to be comfortable in my own skin. The age where I learn that the essence of my being is connected and grounded in my own self. I am being invited by the Universe to grow and honor these qualities. My soul’s gift, my genius, and purpose on this planet. My purpose is the essence of my being what am I supposed to be sharing just in my being in my natural presence.
A huge part of this is learning to live with intention. When I live in my purpose and honor my being, my life becomes intentional. My intention is to provide a safe space for horsewomen over 40 where we share our struggles and similar anxieties. A sacred space that transforms our comparable limiting beliefs and helps each other transform common fears into the courage to express our authentic selves.
Horses give me the emotional strength and courage that supports me to fully love and appreciate myself. Every time I start to doubt myself, I go to the barn and breathe. I take in a deep breath. I inhale a deep belly breath through my nose and exhale (through my mouth). After another big inhale, I relax my shoulders, let go of any tension in my body and soften into my purpose. My purpose of loving horses and sharing how this love transforms my life.
Bonus day for my 21-day meditation experience! Day 22, “Achieving Wholeness.” I believe that one of the reasons I am so in love with horses is because of their beauty and this beauty and wonder also live in me. I know I can be as unique and awe-inspiring as these amazing creatures that inspire me every day. Just like people gaze at the night sky and take in the wonder of the Universe or sit by the ocean and take in the rhythm of the waves, I like to watch and be with horses because nothing is questioned and I feel complete. Even though I am constantly changing, aging, and evolving, the real me is constant. I am part of the timelessness of the ever-present moment. My inner light knows no bounds and my inner glory shines. When I am with horses, I am grounded. I pause and breathe into these moments with gratitude and grace. This is when I feel whole.
The Universe is guided by our creator’s infinite wisdom and care. In today’s world, we are skeptical and don’t see the Universe as whole and complete. The Universe is random and I struggle feeling pulled in several directions. Our society does not teach us about wholeness. I have found that I either feel whole or I don’t. Each day is separated into work, obligations, demands, pleasure, commitments, and pains. Wholeness is a process that requires that I learn to perceive something as whole. I find wholeness in horses. They give me unconditional love. Wholeness comes and goes in and out of my existence. However, my constant companion is myself. My true self does not feel whole without my connection to horses. After 22 days of this meditation experience, I have learned that my true self is what I am most grateful for, which I tap into when I am being present with horses.
My ego self has been changing my entire life, however, I am grateful for my true self as timeless awareness. As awareness, I have always been whole, but I allowed external factors and negative voices tell me otherwise. An interesting fact; wholeness, holiness, health and healing all derived from the same root word. As I continue to expand my awareness through gratitude and the practice of meditation, I have the ability to heal myself through my own wholeness. This is when I receive grace. I want my individual self to stop feeling separate and alone. I know I can achieve this when I start feeling thankful for who I am ... the real me. My identity today is temporary. I am always evolving and growing. The real me is my wholeness that I am meant to live with gentleness, love, grace, kindness, and beauty. The gentleness of the 1,200-pound horses who give me love without judgment. The grace of the horse’s way of going as they gallop across the pasture and their feet don’t touch the ground. The kindness my horses extend to me just for showing up for them. And the beauty that I see both on the inside and outside. Where do you find wholeness?
Day 21 of my 21-day meditation experience “Seeing with the eyes of the Soul.” Whew! I feel like I just ran a marathon! Exhausted, exhilarated, and very happy with my commitment to follow-through and complete it. I have learned that there is a sacred connection between gratitude and grace and how that connection creates a foundation for a joyful and awakened life. When I am most open and alive is when I ease into a moment and feel no resistance. This is when I absorb all the beauty around me. My next step is to see everything as alive and accept everyone for who they are more and more until it becomes a way of life. This is when I manifest grace or rather grace has manifested in me. The more I practice the better I will get. I strive to be in a state of the greatest clarity, calmness, and feeling of completeness. As I learn to see with the eye of the soul, this new way of seeing unmasks beauty, truth, and everything that is real. I am awakened to life’s perfection in every moment—especially when I am with horses.
Deepak Chopra taught me that every spiritual tradition has prayers of thanksgiving to the creator. In a secular world, this attitude has fallen away and in its place, we now demand a valid experience. These kinds of experiences try to convince us that we are believing in something real. Grace gives me hints of what is really real. Behind the mask of appearances, there is a realm of spirit that we see with the eyes of the soul. When I am experiencing grace, I can see with the eyes of the soul because I am perceiving the subtle imagery where truth, beauty, and love are undeniable. This comes from my source. Then I feel great happiness of my own being, I feel drawn by an irresistible pull. When my mind and body almost burst with pure joy, that is when I experience the highest state of a gladdened heart. It is that feeling I got when I nailed a lead change for the first time. It was when my first newborn foal ran for the first time. It was that feeling when my abused, rescue horse nuzzled me and nickered at me the first time … pure gladness and love.
In India, this experience is sometimes called, “being mad for God.” But in reality, this is the highest sanity because our perception has become perfectly clear. Probably why we horse lovers say all the time, “horses are our sanity.” When I am being with horses in the present moment, my perception is the clearest. The more I am in a place to see the world permeated by light, the more I experience gratitude. The more I spend time being with horses, the more I become connected to these concepts of higher consciousness.
It is taught that ultimately all gratitude is spiritual. The only difference is how clearly you see the light and know that it is real. For some mystics, this light is as visible as sunlight, but the eyes of the soul see another kind of light which is the vibrancy of creation—the presence of love and the beauty of nature that shines in all things including horses. Meditation has taught me to perceive silence, peace, and the purity of my own being. This meditation experience has assisted me in seeing these things clearer. I am the most clearest when I am being with horses.
I am learning to see others and the rest of the world with the vision of grace and love. This is called "seeing with the eyes of the soul," because when your deepest self recognizes its essence in another person, it experiences love. When your true self sees itself in an object, it experiences beauty. When we see with the eyes of the soul, we find our pure self everywhere even in horses.
Most horse people have heard the saying that looking into the eyes of a horse is the window to the soul. What I know for sure is that horses are definitely the window to my soul and how I receive grace. Today, I bow to you from the divinity of my heart to the divinity or your heart. Now, go to the barn and hug your horse with pure gratitude. Namasté.
It is taught that the highest love is grace. The purest most essential energy is love. Love begins with gratitude and transforms into grace. I am one with the source of creation because I am here on earth. Life loves me. Life gives and takes become blissful. When I love life, life loves me back. This is grace, so simple and yet profound.
Grace is considered divine but comes to us in human ways. When my heart opens to another’s true self, I feel the same divine love. When love flows from my true self to the true self of another—higher consciousness becomes real. Love is the closest experience to the feeling of completeness. When I am on the path of gratitude, that is when I can transfer the responsibility of love from another person to myself. This is no small step and does not happen without awareness. I never learned to give love to someone outside of myself even though it is the key to transformation. I have learned all love is directed to the self, not the ego self, but the shared self which permeates everything. This kind of love is more than an emotion, it is a state of awareness. Not loved by someone outside of myself, but loved for simply being—god consciousness, unity consciousness it is all Unconditional love.
This was deep for me today and some things that showed up for me I am not comfortable putting in my blog. However, the one thing that resonated the most was when it was explained how when love flows from one true self to another true self, higher consciousness becomes real that is when two souls are vibrating on the same level. I experienced that once and I want to experience it again because it is beautiful!
Day 19 of my 21-day meditation, “The Path to Total Transformation.” I love the story Oprah Winfrey shared when Maya Angelou told her to, “Stop crying right now and say thank you because God has put a rainbow in every cloud even if you can’t see it. Be a blessing to somebody.” I am starting to believe in my rainbow even though it hasn’t come to fruition … yet.
It is beautiful out today. Not too hot and not too cold. I am spending the afternoon with my horses and then going to have Friday night dinner with my dear friend. So, today’s blog is going to be a “cheat” day and not very long or in-depth. Because sometimes, being with horses and friends are more important.
This I know for sure. Change is natural and we all want to move in a positive direction. It is easy for me to feel gratitude when my life is going great and things are falling into place, but not every day is as simple as that. That said, the more knowledge and experience I gain, the more my life flows and the better I deal with the not-so-good days. Instead of constantly struggling against the darkness, I choose to see the light—even though sometimes I do end up down the rabbit hole. What is important is that I don’t stay in the rabbit hole. I always manage to bring myself back up and horses are usually there to help me.
No coincidence, I saw a rainbow today! I choose to believe it a sign from the Universe and a little bit of light at the end of my tunnel!
Day 18 of my 21-day meditation experience, “The Rewards of the Higher Self.” Through meditation, I have learned that I can choose to operate from ego and limit myself to the five senses and deprive myself of the deeper meaning to life. Or, I can access my higher self which unlocks the divinity of the Universe. When I am connected to my higher self, this is when my true self is filled with spirit, love, and grace. Gratitude is a portal to my higher self—it yields an intrinsic faith that allows me to trust that all will be well. I take one step and one day at a time.
The higher self and the true self are the same in essence because they go beyond the ego. The higher self and the ego behave differently but they are intimately connected. My ego dominates me when I believe in the material world. My higher self dominates me when I choose consciousness and am aware of what the ego is doing to me. When I focus on the demands of I, me, and mine, that is when I am in the place of ego. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means I am participating in the world. The current world is about surviving and wanting to get ahead in life. I am in my higher self when I focus on self- awareness and the expansion of my being. This is when my story shifts. Tapping into my higher self requires gratitude, love, and truth.
This meditation experience on gratitude is liberating my awareness and now I am ready to shift to my higher self; away from the drama, victimization, depression, and self-pity of the everyday material world. One role of practicing gratitude is to keep me humble about the limitations of what I know and don’t know about the future. I really don’t know the long-term outcome of my life story. When I really stop to think about the future, it causes worry and anxiety. This is not for my highest good. The realization that came to me was that gratitude leads to surrender. Learning to surrender in an attitude of trust is my next step.
It is a journey. A journey that can take me from doubt to certainty. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I am learning the wisdom to get myself where I need to be. As my vision becomes more clear, I will have a deeper sense of gratitude and trust.
I love what Albert Einstein once said about the secret of life, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle and the other is as though everything is a miracle.” How are you living your life?
Day 17 of my 21-day meditation experience, “Making Grace a Way of Life.” Wow, that’s deep! My first thought was, “Is it possible to manifest the power of gratitude every single day?” I have gone from the feeling of gratitude to a way of being in the world. I know as this happens trust, authenticity, and openness will emerge and embody grace in all aspects of my life. The more I practice gratitude the more grace gets easier and flows into my life. I believe it is time to open my heart even wider …
Building a life around grace is very different from most people’s daily life where grace plays little or no part. I have had very few conversations at the local coffee shop or chatting with my friends about grace. As I implement this new way of life, I will no longer question the value of trust, love, surrender, or faith. To make this last, it requires me to establish new habits. My inner work now includes dealing with the conditioned negativity of my past which was based on struggle and criticism. I desire the freedom to feel who I am really. I achieve this when I am with horses and it brings me joy and happiness. When I feel like life isn’t going my way, it is really easy to blame others. This is when I go to the barn and let the horses bring me back to the place of gratitude and into the present moment. This is the place where I can change my personal reality.
Some days, I feel like making gratitude part of all I do is like making sure I don’t ever eat junk food again. For me, meditation is like exercising my mental health. In the same way, I hike, ride, and do yoga for my physical health, I meditate for my mental health. That said, getting to the place of health that I desire and then staying there is challenging! However, through meditation experiences and creating daily practices, I have a foundation. I have tools in my toolbox that I can rely on when the going gets tough. And, I have the self-awareness to know that I am not perfect and I am not going to always feel like being “healthy” every day. I allow myself “junk food” when I crave it, but I make sure I come back to my foundation that I worked so hard to create. It’s okay to have cheat days or take a day off, but always come back to now.
It is just like riding and training horses. When you do all of the foundation work and teach a horse the basics from the beginning, you can give them days, weeks, or even months off. Unless a bad experience has happened, nine times out of ten that horse will pick up right where you left off as soon as you put a foot in the stirrup. Horses don’t forget and neither will you! Just like I have to practice riding to get better, I have to practice gratitude to make it an everyday habit. My ultimate goal is to make the practice of gratitude a natural occurrence in my everyday life, which in turn becomes a life lived in the state of grace.
Day 16 of my 21-day meditation experience, “The Hidden Secret of Being.” To just be means to exist. When I am with the horses, doing even the simplest things like grooming or cleaning poop, puts me in that place of being. I find my deepest thoughts and “ah ha” moments arise from simplicity—watching the sunset, listening to the frogs croak in the distance, and feeling the breath of a horse on my back followed by a nuzzle. These “ah ha” moments I have with horses are always fresh and anew. Inside my existence with horses are the most amazing gifts of love, truth, and beauty.
I now know that those who have criticized my love and devotion to my equine lifestyle have a constricted and narrow awareness aka. They are stuck in their box. Awareness can only expand when we step into a place of gratitude. Whenever I am out in nature and with the horses (every day), my consciousness expands and opens. My time with horses creates awe and wonder. Horses bring me back to who I am really am. Horses take me out of the ego-self and I experience freedom. When I am with horses, there is no judgment. I feel expanded and open to what the world has in store for me. The hidden secret is that grace (which I receive through the horses) brings me back to who I really am. In order to truly experience this, I must be free within myself. I am centered and at peace when I am being with horses. From what horses teach me, I can apply into my daily life outside of horses.
I am so thankful for the gift of horses. Horses fill my soul. Horses live in that moment of constant presence. I pay attention to that moment when my soul connects with the soul of a horse. I wouldn’t change those moments for anything. When I am with horses, I am home and my true self has no limits or boundaries.
Day 15 of my 21-day meditation experience “Seeing the Big Picture, Becoming the Big Picture.” This is the final stage of my journey where I begin to learn how to live every day in a state of grace. What I learned today is that the more complete I am, the more grace resides within me. I was taught that my heart opens when I am in a state of gratitude, which leads to grace and this is supposed to be a natural way of being. It is the interconnectedness of all that is—you, me, others, nature, animals, everything. I have been drawn to horses my entire life. This tie to horses is innate knowing that I am connected to something greater than myself. When I am present with horses, it just makes sense. It feels right. It feels good. Horses open my soul to a knowing that I don’t get from anything else.
Society has led me to believe that grace is only known and given to saints, holy men, and spiritual masters. This meditation experience taught me that grace permeates everywhere in every aspect of my life. This is natural for everyone—especially when living in gratitude. I know grace happens when I am a complete person. I know expressing gratitude is beneficial to becoming a complete person. I also know it is a work in progress.
This meditation experience has allowed some of my personal stories to emerge and enlarge my perspective. It has also brought up some pains from my past. I know we are interconnected with nature, people, and I am definitely connected to horses. But in order for me to fully live in gratitude and grace, I have to change my attitude. I need to learn to show generosity to horses and people. This new role should come effortlessly, but I have to admit it’s not coming easy for me. Being an agent of grace consists of embodying grace in a fulfilling way of life. Right now, I have it totally down when it comes to horses and animals. My next step is to learn to apply this life to the people around me. Patience, practice, and perseverance … and one day at a time!
Day 14 of my 21-day meditation experience. Today I dove into “Gratitude brings Compassion.” This is what I learned: Compassion is supposed to link us together through our humanness. We as humans are more alike than we are different. And yet, from what I see in the world, we humans can’t seem to get along or see eye to eye. Judgment will deny us the connection that ties us together. Persons who practice compassion become a conduit for peace and understanding. Hearts soften and miracles can happen. I am learning to have more compassion for humans. I feel they are tainted from a very young age. Parents influence judgment by telling children what to believe and how to think. I know that is why I am drawn to animals. Animals are so connected to nature that they don’t judge us.
It is taught that gratitude and compassion are linked. The warm feeling of kindness in our hearts is compassion. For me, sometimes compassion feels impossible towards people. My judgment against those who have wronged me sets in and the desire to be right and validate my feelings takes over. I know this creates separation, but sometimes I can’t help how I feel. I am learning that gratitude is the opposite of judgment and one cannot judge and have compassion at the same time. At times, I feel the need to help and not condemn. However, my bruised ego takes over and I feel that the person who hurt me does not deserve my compassion.
Forgiveness is the next step and I find it very much emotionally depleting—especially when I have to do my forgiveness practice over and over for the same person. Even though I know forgiveness loosens the grip of resentment and grudges, it is still a work in progress for me. When I do find forgiveness, I know my awareness becomes all-encompassing. Forgiveness expands beyond me, myself, and I. Forgiveness allows compassion to open up to an empathetic common ground with humanity. In order to purify my soul, I can only offer this without pride or self-regard. When I stop judging others, that is when I can stop judging myself. Once I get to that place, I will be in a state of grace. Getting there is the hard part ...
Only eight days left of my 21-day meditation experience—today is day 13 and I examined the concept of “success through gratitude.” It is taught that we can’t attract more into our lives until we are capable of being grateful for what we already have. I have learned from society that success only comes from hard work and sacrifice. Spirituality says this is not true. The Universe wants to fill my life with blessings. When I feel my life is blessed, my blessings multiply—that is a law of nature. When I believe I am worthy and recognize my worth, that is when I attract abundance in my life. It is a process, but I am learning to recognize my worth, radiate my gratitude, and give thanks from the depth of my being. As I get better and better at this, success shows up for me.
Success and grace are linked together. I don’t believe in evaluating success from my financials but rather what I achieve on the inside. The desire for more is natural and this is constantly changing. I am learning to accept every gift from the Universe with humility and gratitude. This doesn’t come easily from the ego, but I am learning from meditation how to express gratitude from my true self. Grace is the source of abundance—not the ego’s selfish struggle of wanting more. Ego gratification feels like triumph and grace feels warm to the heart. Ego gratification is only temporary because the ego feels empty and wants more. I addressed this ego-based “more and more” idea on day 11 of my meditation experience and how it applies to the horse world. The ego wants more to feel gratified.
Gratitude aligns my intention to receive the support of nature through horses. I accept a deeper truth—especially when I am with horses. I have always been successful in my relationships with horses and animals. How do I know this? Because they fill my soul with a warmth of peace and satisfaction that I have never achieved from anything else. This sensation never came from a blue ribbon or a trophy. I was only able to experience this true connection with the horse on a spiritual level after I learned how to put my ego aside. Now, I am connected with horses on a level I never dreamed possible. And, it continues to get better and better every day as I practice gratitude and self-awareness. And in return, I receive grace.
Today is day 12 of my 21-day meditation experience and let me tell you this is not getting easier. Today’s meditation was themed “Loving with Gratitude.” It was about divine love, the spiritual grace that supports everyone and everything and this was a challenging topic for me in regards to human love.
My Bio-Energy Analysis mentor taught me that we have two choices—love and fear. I can’t have both at the same time. I either choose love or fear. One or the other. Love, from a place of gratitude, can erase fear and with love, I can overcome fear, anger, and rejection. This is really about connecting with the truest expression of myself. My life experiences have shaped me into who I am today. Loving fearlessly through gratitude is one of the hardest things for me to do ...
In every wisdom tradition, grace is connected to divine love and it is something we can have even if we feel we don’t deserve it. Grace isn’t necessarily a choice, but love is. I can choose whether I give a little or a lot of love. I limit the amount of love I express to humans because humans have caused me more pain and rejection than any horse or animals. There is nothing more awful than allowing yourself to be vulnerable and love someone only to find that love is not reciprocated. However, the pain from my past does not stop me from giving and receiving love with horses. The more love I give to the horses the more I become who I am really am and my heart is gladdened. Gratitude assists in love through the removal of my ego … but I am not always successful.
At this time in my life, the only way I feel supported by divine love and grace is through animals. My horses are a huge support system, but I also have some amazing felines in my life. Horses are amazing creatures, however, when you have a cat or dog that lives in your house and shares a bed with you, it changes the dynamic. For me, there are few things more gratifying than a snuggly, purring puddy cat on my lap.
Active steps I take towards gratitude that are helping me overcome my inner obstacles and resistance to divine love with humans is learning the art of forgiveness. It is not easy for me. I know how to forgive and keep it in the past. I have yet to accomplish it in the present. I feel like if someone hurts or wrongs me over and over then I just have to do my forgiveness process over and over. It is emotionally exhausting. Thank goodness for the animals that rejuvenate me! I know as I continue to practice forgiveness (over and over) and keep practicing gratitude and receiving grace, one day the hurt and pain will stay away and I will be able to experience divine love on a whole different level. Today, that’s all I can do but practice makes perfect, right?
Today is day 11 of my 21-day meditation experience and the theme for today is “Nature’s Generosity is Waiting.” What does that mean? I have learned that in a moment of grace, I am supposed to feel safe and worthy. Love is all around me. Nature is infinitely generous and I am supported all the time. For most of my life, I have been criticized for my love and committed lifestyle to horses—mostly by non-horse people, but nonetheless criticized and judged. Over the years, I have learned to embrace my uniqueness and gift of being connected to horses. This inner growth has led me to my truth, understanding, and acceptance of myself. Something I believe I never would have learned to acknowledge and honor about myself without my gratitude for the horse.
The more I grow to appreciate horses the more I receive grace from the horses. When I am with horses, I lose all thoughts of being unworthy or symptoms of contracted awareness. When I recognize limitations in my life, I choose to come back to meditation and open my awareness. I do this when I am with horses. Some people think that meditating requires sitting cross-legged on a pillow chanting the word “om” over and over. Yes, this is one way to meditate, however, being in the present moment is achieved in many different ways. One can even meditate while doing the dishes. I meditate while I am cleaning poop, grooming, and sometimes just sitting and listening to them eat.
The opposite of contracted awareness is expanded awareness and it isn’t passive. Expanded awareness opens me up to the generosity of nature. I see this in my connection with horses. I know in my heart that it is part of my birthright and my God-given destiny. Expanded awareness is normal to me when I am with the horses. It is said that contracted awareness is abnormal and stems from fear and doubt. I am sure we have all experienced that!
Nature is always generous through constant replenishment. It is the flow of life. Even though it is very painful when I lose a horse, it doesn’t stop the Universe from bringing new ones to me. This flow of horses in my life is what keeps me growing and blooming. Horses inspire me and are my mentors for keeping in the present moment. When I am generous and give to the horses my time, energy, and love, I always get something positive in return from them—their energy renews me. Horses are truly a gift to me from the creator of the universe!
There are two domains of life—the inner and the outer. Through my gratitude for horses and the world they live in, it effortlessly links me to my inner domain. I believe our culture and society only know how to link to the outer domain of life. We are taught that more material things are better and more leads to abundance. But what I observe in the horse world, is that more leads to extremes and extremes lead to unhealthy horses. From an inner perspective, I would like to see more love, respect, and appreciation for the health and well-being of the horse that yields longevity. This would require us to put aside the ego and release all attachments to blue ribbons and accolades.
I gave up horse shows years ago. It is not to say that I will never show again or that I condemn horse shows. I say it all the time, “It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” The motive for doing things with horses should not be in a competitive nature. It needs to be about the nature of bonding and connecting with the horse. I desire to see a shift in the horse world. A shift in the mentality that believes the horse is a tool and a means of winning. For this to happen, it would require us to think differently. For example, we need to use the discipline of dressage for the horse and not the horse for dressage. Perhaps this begins with the awareness of gratitude and being in the present moment. When we stop thinking about the next show and the next ribbon, that is when we can truly be in the now and appreciate today’s ride and the love of our horse.
When I feel gratitude at the moment, I can cultivate a sense of acceptance and openness as is. I know that by dissolving differences it allows an opening to a way of deeper connection alignment and energy. That is true love and grace manifested. Heartfelt gratitude enables bonds to flourish and connect with what truly matters. Gratitude can bring us together. But first, we have to be open to it ...
I imagine gratitude is magical—it has the ability to dissolve resentment and remove obstacles. But, it comes down to have a fulfilling relationship and you have to be able to relate to each other. I have learned that what I give and receive is the life of my relationships. Giving is most powerful at the emotional level. I believe the horses are thankful I am in their life and I am thankful they are in my world. World traditions teach that the giver benefits as much as the receiver—I experience this every day I am with horses. I know this is supposed to soothe the heart and allows relationships to flourish, but sometimes I only experience it with horses. However, it is taught that we cannot achieve this without expanded awareness aka. gratitude. My true self knows that grace can accomplish what the ego cannot. My ego self isn’t always ready for it.
I am learning to be grateful for the here and now and not the delusion of an old dream. The real potential is ready to be awakened when I allow gratitude and form a bond that allows two to become one. I totally get this from my relationships and bonds with horses. I am learning that grace can keep the flow open even when I am anxious and doubt the perfection of any relationship. I know my real potential is waiting to be awakened. However ...
I am not going to lie, today’s meditation was a challenge. Perhaps life got in the way, a tax appointment, distractions, and just not enough hours in the day. But as I follow through on my commitment at the eleventh hour, I realize that today’s theme is probably not a coincidence after what I wrote yesterday. If gratitude expands every relationship, then why do I have a hard time finding gratitude in the ex-relationship I spoke of yesterday? Words are hurtful and you can’t take them back. It’s like putting toothpaste back in the tube … it does not work.
Love is nothing without action. Trust is nothing without proof, and sorry is nothing without change. My current emotional state does not allow me to feel the good qualities I once thought I knew of this person. The qualities that used to make me feel good. I have no idea if it would be possible or how it would be possible to feel what I used to feel, but what I know for sure is this, “Right now, at this exact moment in time, horses are the only thing that makes me feel good. That and a cuddly, purring puddy cat sitting in my lap. That is my current present moment and the present moment is all that matters and for that I am grateful.
This meditation experience is assisting me in learning to be aware and appreciate the privilege of the ultimate connection to grace through gratitude. It is my connection to the divine. I am grateful for who I am. It has taken me many moons of being the black sheep of the family and learning about myself. But what I know now is that I am the author of my own story and I choose the chapter I want to write—day by day.
Reality is always personal based on each individual experience. Every one of my experiences is filtered through my core beliefs and attitudes. My emotions are always responding even when I am not aware of them. I know that I am unique in how I see the world and I have control over my individual reality. Only I can reassure myself. Only I can be the author of my own life story and my story can change. Every day is a new world with new possibilities. I am not the same person as I was yesterday and I will not be the same person tomorrow. Gratitude connects me to today’s reality. As part of my true self, the only constants in my life are existence, nature, grace, truth, and love.
When I make this connection to gratitude, hours and days stop feeling like the same thing. Repetition makes life stale. It brings boredom, indifference, and fatigue. When I keep repeating the things I have no real interest in, I can grow numb. Instead, I choose to experience life through the nature of being with horses. The continuity of the freshness in every moment I experience with horses delivers me grace. This is why I do horses. Every day is a new day. Every ride is a new ride. Every moment is a new moment. I never stop learning or growing when I am with horses. Without them, I would be numb and stale.
I have specific memories of an experience I had with an ex-boyfriend regarding my lifestyle with horses. On numerous occasions, he belittled my relationship and my love for horses by saying hurtful things like, “You repulse me because you wear cowboy boots to ride in.” Ultimately, I feel he blamed the horses and used it as an excuse to break up. It is very hard for me to find gratitude from that relationship. I know we had some good times and vibrated together in chemical attraction and at times on a spiritual level. But at the end of the day, I have strong physical sensations of pain and feelings of hurt and betrayal. It always made me question how someone could tell me they loved me, but then devalued the only unconditional love I have ever known from horses.
As a result, I have gained an even stronger love and appreciation for the horses in my life. Horses are not just a hobby. They are the only constants in my life. Horses are my existence. They are my connection to nature, grace, truth, and love. And for that, I am eternally grateful that the Universe brought horses into my life as a small child and that I will leave this planet with horses in my heart and spirit.
Today, I started the second week of my meditation experience. This week explores a deeper facet of gratitude—my overall health and well-being. Science has proven that new pathways open in our brains and change when we practice thoughts of gratitude. The more I practice gratitude the more I want my neuropathways to open up and change for the better.
There are only two kinds of input our brains experience; negative and positive. Obviously, positive input increases our well-being and negative input decreases our well-being. Gratitude is a positive input and aids in the generating of new pathways in my brain. Gratitude also leads to compassion and empathy. When I focus my awareness on positive input, greater health and well-being come my way. But, it is something that I have to exercise—just like going to the gym to exercise the body we have to exercise our brains too! As I continue to exercise my brain with gratitude, compassion and empathy become a little easier.
Gratitude is not a totally new concept for me. One of the first spiritual teachers that showed up in my life was Dr. Wayne Dyer. I have never forgotten how he shared the first thing he did every morning when he awoke was to say, “Thank you.” This is a practice I have incorporated into my everyday life except I say “thank you” one time for every horse and cat I have in my life. I also give my animals hugs and tell them they are loved. Because every time you give a hug, you receive a hug and love is one of the highest vibrating emotions.
Three main factors that contribute to negative input in my brain are the negative voices in my head that stem from negative people in my life declaring things over me like, “You can’t do that” and “You will always be a failure as long as you have horses.” This negativity has led me down a path to insecurity, self-doubt, and fear of standing in my truth. Ways I am learning to eliminate these negative inputs are by eliminating people and things in my life that are not for my highest good. From now on, I only allow people in my life who love and accept me for me—this includes my love of animals along with my passion and lifestyle for horses.
When I practice gratitude, it allows the awareness of what shows up in different areas of my life including health and wellness. The more I practice gratitude the more I can reroute old pathways in my brain and turn them into a positive pathway. From now on, I choose a healthy mind and body and I hope you do too!
CONSCIOUS HOOFBEAT encourages positive conversations based on:
Finding inner peace, joy, and sense of self through horses (and other animals). Anything less will be removed. We appreciate your cooperation!