Finding My Joy Through Horse Play!

Horses really are a joy to work with and amazing teachers!

I know I say that a lot.  I also share stories, pictures and videos of the fun we are having here in Montana with the horses.

However, I am not sure I have done the best job sharing with you just why I think this work is so rich, valuable and worthy of your time, money and energy.

There are lots of ways you can learn, grow and transform.

I, myself have tried many paths:

  • Create an crisis and have to change – be it health, money or relationship related.
  • Decide to get a honest 360 round of feedback (or have to get one) – from working colleagues, friends and family
  • Attend a personal or professional training programs like those offered at The Haven – Living Alive Phase, Come Alive, Couples Alive or a program like Passionate Ease.  (just to name a few favorites of all time) 

Of these paths I have taken, all bought about significant, deep, valuable transformational growth in my life.  Some of them I have done or would do over and over again.  Other paths (like the crisis route), I’d prefer to say one and done. (Although I think I have done that 4 or more times – at least). 

Even the ones I do over – like Couples Alive, Come Alive  or Passionate Ease – are in some ways a conscious effort and some hard work on my part to stay and and really show up.  I don’t regret the effort or the work and the reward is worth it – but it’s hard!

Here’s the thing for me about a workshop or an intensive experience around horses – it’s not hard!

Even when I was terrified of being around them – which was the case when I started in my training.  I definitely drop my armor faster, open my heart and feel joy more than pain in every experience I have.  Even when the lessons were HARD ones.

So what have been some of the lessons I have learned or witnessed others learning from the horses:

  • Boundaries and boundarying – how important it is to be able to show up and be clear in self-defining.  Dealing with push back and staying in.  (Of course a 1500 pound horse is great in teaching that! )
  • What it means to be embodied and not just a walking, talking head.  Yes – there lots of programs about embodiment – but horses live it every moment and they love to provide you feedback when you are thinking too much!!!  ( a little nudge or they simply aren’t inclined to play!) 
  • The joy that can come from another living, breathing being holding a space for you – wanting you to be present and being okay with whatever you show up with as long as you are congruent!
  • The importance of play and sometimes just moving, dancing and finding your jig. (May be I should have said this one first!)

These are just some of the lessons I see that are a regular part of Equus coaching sessions.

All this feedback and interaction occurs and it’s offered in an amazingly warm and nonjudgmental way.

Horses are not story makers.  They come into the moment with each session waiting to see who and what shows up and working to create a relationship that ensures they stay safe and have some fun.

Horses enjoy the sessions and like moving and participating.  Some maybe more so than others and when that isn’t their thing they are usually quite clear in letting you know.

I know I will keep going to programs like Passionate Ease and Haven’s offerings – indeed I’ll enjoy my time in the circle and connecting people.

However, I do want to spend more time with the horses.  I encourage you to try it as well.

Besides discovering the joy in playing with the horses, if you come to Montana you will get an amazing experience – beautiful place, great people and CrisMarie and I bring all the other aspects of what we’ve learned to help you get the most of your lessons from the horses.

Intrigued?

Curious?

Want to experience more joy in your own transformational journey!

Come play with the horses!

Are you local? – Well join us for one of our Come PLay With The Horses Events – here’s the latest link – Come Play With The Horses August 12

Getting Over Your Ground Hog Day!!

I love the movie Ground Hog Day!  That same day, repeating and repeating – until finally – finally – something shifts!

Though I have not lived such a dramatic version of Bill Murray’s day from hell – I sure have had my moments and days of being stuck in an unserving, suffering storyline!!!

Indeed it is a type of hell!  Plus it plays havoc with reaching my dreams, finding my joy, my ability to connect and basically eroding  my relationships!!

I call this a KINK.

It’s like a knotted shoelace or a garden hose that isn’t just twisted put wrapped around itself in such a way – no water comes through!!!

That’s what it’s like to have a limiting belief, it can spin you around and round!

Let me give you an example.  Here’s one of my classic KINKS!

“I’m a horrible speller so I can’t…. write, put things up on flipcharts”

or

“I can’t spell – I’m stupid!”

“I’m stupid so I shouldn’t be thinking of publishing a book”

You see how one belief just plays havoc!!

That one – well it’s been around in my head for years!!  I even have labels for it now – dyslexic, learning disabled.

Well may be I do frequently flip letters, mix up my words and struggle with spelling.

Indeed it’s a kink that doesn’t easily go away!

However, I’m not stupid.  I can write. Plus, there’s always editors – right?

Here’s the deal – we all have our storylines – some of them helpful – some of them not so much!

I am not someone who believes you can just get rid of them!!  However, I do think there are ways to become aware of when a KINK is getting in the way of what matters most to you!

Awareness is the first step to any shift!  Once I notice I am spinning into a KINK – I have some options.

I can do Byron Katie’s, the work on that belief.  (for some this is magic and works great! – it is a great tool but for me needs a bit more breath and emtoion!)

I can breath and see what I am feeling.  Usually there’s an underlying river of feelings that have been trapped or wrapped up in that KINK!

I find for me, it helps to move, dance, shake that story around!

Then pause and check inside.  See if anything has shifted.  It’s not a perfect formula or science.  However, I am getting pretty good at not letting that KINK of mine – send me into full-on  Ground Hog Day!!

I’d love to help you avoid getting caught in a KINK or worse finding yourself stuck in a Ground Hog day!

That’s part of my online program, Get Unstuck.   How to work through Kinks and Leaks! and make sure you are not caught in a Ground Hog Day!

I’d love to help you find a way to reach your dream or goal without to much spinning.

I’m sure there are some typos in this post – but I want to get it out!  Get Unstuck starts – July 25th and it’s 25% off through friday, July 21 at midnight!!

Get out of your own way!  Get Unstuck!!

 

Our Un-United States

Enjoying a bit of downtime after two very full weeks up at Haven.  In just a couples days we’ll be celebrating the 4th of July here in the USA.  I have noticed a number of postings related to how hard this 4th of July will be as we here in the United States seem riddled with uncertainty and divide.

I have to say, I totally get how there is a bit of a challenge in how to best celebrate our country’s freedom with so much devision constantly making the headlines.

I find myself wrestling with my frustration with our current President and what seems like daily headlines demonstrating the irreconcilable differences between decision-making parties and elected officials.

Indeed at times it is heartbreaking to read stories of people’s lives impacted by decisions being made often based on a desire to just overturn policies made by the previous administration. Or creating new policies out of fear or threat.  It seems as though our politicians have lost the connection to the people and the impact of these sweeping changes.

It’s also hard to read almost daily about another shooting involving someone opening gunfire in a public place.

Yes, our country currently seems very wobbly and quite divided.  Not much to celebrate in terms of a United States.

Yet somehow I find myself wanting to connect.  To share why I do love this country inspite of the politics and the current direction.

Deep down I do believe in the people.  Even the people who think very differently than me!

I have sat in circles at The Haven where people from very different lives have found pathways for bridging differences and creating relationships that last through pain, sorrow, anger and joy.

I have worked with leaders and teams where the anger and the frustration was creating division and with support, these teams dive into the mess and new possibilities emerge.

It’s the work I love.  Not avoiding the messy but owning it and working through to new possibilities.  However, those new possibilities won’t come without embracing  both our shadow and our light!

What I’d like to do for this 4th of July is identify and share what I do love about this country and what I find difficult.

I love that I live in Montana – it’s beautiful and somehow even with our differences, people come together here to support each other when there’s a call for help.

I love that even with some horrible political stuff happening – communities across the country are gathering and standing forward together.

What I find difficult.  The current political fighting between the right and the left.  The rising levels of violence and the fact that it is hard to sit and talk about our differences.

I imagine I’ll have more to reflect on in terms of my answers over the next couple days.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear from any of you celebrating this 4th of July – what do you love about this country and what are you finding difficult!  (to my Canadian friends feel free to join in since you just had your big 150 – what do you love about Canada and what’s do you find difficult)

That I can even put this out as a question and almost guarantee I will get some very different types of responses is another reason I do love this country.

I think the 4th isn’t just a time to celebrate what’s beautiful but to also celebrate and reflect on the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

I do think that is the only path to re-uniting us!

Murphy & Me

Murphy & Me

We just finished an amazing weekend in Savannah, GA with Susan Hyatt and 10 other awesome business women. This was the in-person part of our six month long Make-A Scene MasterMind program.

There were many parts of the weekend I could share. It was a great time. Work got done. (You’ll be seeing more how we used that time as we launch Ignite Your Relationship Mojo). We had great food. (I was re-introduced to southern grits and sweet tea – : )!) I had my first facial. Laughed. Cried. Was reminded just how powerful and awesome a group of woman can be when working together to make each of us stronger and feel more empowered. Indeed, it was a great weekend.

However, what I find myself wanting tell you more about in this blog post is my magnificent mirror, Murphy the horse.

Part of our weekend was a day at Norwood Stables with Sheppard Lake and some horses. Now you know how I love horses. I was thrilled when I learned that was our special treat for Saturday. Plus, Shepard is an awesome coach and dear friend. So I was all in!!!

Murphy wasn’t the horse I thought I would be working with. No Murphy and I met when Sheppard needed another horse and Murphy was bought to the round pen early. Since Sheppard knew I had horse experience she asked me to stay with him until she was ready.

Murphy was very happy to wait and just enjoy the grass. I found myself stuck there in the hot, sweltering sun wondering if it wouldn’t be better to move into the shade. Murphy was not so inclined. We had a brief difference of opinion and compromised with me ever so slightly in the shade and him, still holding his sunny grassy spot. Not much was going to move Murphy!

Murphy moved into his round pen sessions. Both were sessions where Murphy mostly stood and held space for each individual to work through some deeper feelings. He looked content to just be present, no judgement, offering only quiet acceptance. I watched and wondered – was this really his nature or was he like the many horses I have witnessed – they’ll be whatever is needed.

The sessions ended and Sheppard had time for one more person. I wasn’t planning on stepping in with Murphy. But I had this curiosity.

Something you probably don’t know about me and the horses is that I often hear music. That’s right, music – sometimes whole tunes sometimes just notes. Different music with different horses. I know it sounds a bit woo – but I love the music of the horses!

So I had this wondering about the music in the background that I kept hearing the whole time I stood with and then watched Murphy. So I said, “I’ll go!”

Sheppard asked my intention for the session. I mentioned how I would really love to get more comfortable and at ease with just being me – all of me.

The next 15 minutes were pretty magical. Murphy wanted to play. He galloped, danced and moved around the round pen. I skipped, galloped and danced myself. It was easy. We were in rhythm, and it was awesome! That music in the background was a wonderful Celtic jig.

I stepped out of the arena feeling very alive and full.

The session really reminded me of my own mastery.  Murphy mirrored so many parts of me. I can be stubborn (or keep eating grass (insert craft beer here) even when I should cut out the calories). I can be present, hold space and go deep with people.

I also can play, dance and find joy and humor.

Murphy was a great teacher.

A stepped away from the coaching session, really the whole day with the horses, reminded:

Sometimes you need to hold space and just be,
sometimes you need to eat grass,
sometimes you need to play and do your own version of a jig!!

Yes, my moments with Murphy were special and he was a magnificent mirror.

Murphy reminded me, I really do enjoy being me. All of me.

Now me loving me, hasn’t always been easy. But I think I’m getting it. I am okay, and I do enjoy finding the joy and humor in all that’s crazy, dark and deep.

Thanks Murphy!
Thanks Sheppard!
Thanks Susan Hyatt and My MasterMind group!

How Do You Feel Joy with So Much Disruption?

I just finished taking a short break to catch up on the latest news.  Coming back from my break I am a little shaken up as I often am these days after reading the headlines.  Today’s news was covering bombing in Kabul and Trump’s latest decisions to pull our of the Paris Climate accord. These are just a few examples of what’s happening in the world.

It’s hard to reconcile the news and my life.  I have had a wonderful couple of months.  I have spent a month at The Haven leading an amazing Living Alive Phase program with 24 participates all very committed to their learning and engagement in life.  The month was very fulfilling and I loved being part of a team committed to holding space for people to explore, discover and be different.

Thank you Carole Ames, JoAnn Kevala, Jan Pullinger, Gillian Chandler and Jan McGinn!

Since returning to Montana, I’ve enjoyed our second run of Find Your Mojo in Montana and it was a huge success.  YAY!! Great people, great fun, great learning — not mention some awesome moments with the horses!

CrisMarie and I’ve worked with two corporate clients and though one is in a more challenging phase, there was dialogue, empathy, connection and care — even amidst the conflict and crisis.

Add a couple days of being a part of the Haven strategic faculty team tasked with ensuring The Haven continues to grow and deliver transformative learning experiences, and I hope you can get the idea that my life is very different than those headlines!

I am so grateful for my life and the work I get to do!

I love the way I get to contribute and engage with individuals, couples, teams and organizations.  I feel fortunate and privileged to do the work.  I have the opportunity to see people work through painful stories, connect and find creative options even in some pretty dark places.

Yet I pick up the paper and wonder, Does not it make any really significant difference?  

Is it is possible to feel good and joy when it sure looks like so many are suffering and our own government is creating so much disruption?

That part is hard.

I do believe the work I do makes a difference.  I also believe when anyone feels joy, connection and fulfillment it’s a strong vibration that carries further out into the world than despair, helplessness and fear.

So I choose to keep playing my game of relating moment to moment, person to person and holding space for our humanity to shine  — even in the face of what seems like tremendous choas, pain and suffering.

I do wonder how you hold on to faith and stay in the game because sometimes it’s hard to reconcile what’s happening out there with what is happening inside.

I want to hear from you: How do you hold onto your faith and stay in the game? Email me: susan@thriveinc.com. 

Reflections From Living Alive

I’m at the halfway point in the Living Alive Phase 1 program on Gabriola and enjoying a break.

This is always a great time to reflect on what I’ve be learning and discovering during this 26 day journey.

Probably for me, one of the biggest joys has been in witnessing a group of people with diverse backgrounds, ages and stories – come together and be so willing to embrace each experience and support each other along the way.

Sure there have been some moments when I have wondered if someone will hang in or come back when it’s been too much or something deep has been stirred. However, I haven’t found myself losing faith in the process or the more importantly the person!

I like that I haven’t found myself pushing or thinking – “They have to get this NOW!!”.

Somewhere along the road of my own journey, I have become less anxious when I don’t have control or the contact I might want with someone.

I have less need to get them on the path I think is best and so have more willingness to let someone do their own thing while I am simply maintaining my location.

I’m thinking a lot of my willingness to stay located inside myself and less focused on an agenda for others comes from my work with the horses.

I think watching and learning from the herd has helped me trust the connections even when there’s distance or differences that appear to be big. I settle knowing the best path through a storm is to maintain my own location and be a beacon, the mare – not pushing or pulling but present and aware.

So far I find myself being less concerned about making sure everyone ‘gets it’ – whatever ‘it’ is – and instead tracking my willingness to be open, curious and clear.

I’m not there all the time, but much more than in the past. As a result, I find myself much more joyful and open-hearted.

Who knows what will be stirring as we step into Part B.

I do love this program because it such a wonderful opportunity to settle in and discover. Discover patterns. Discover new choices. Become more comfortable in my own discomfort and/or uncertainty.

Some may wonder, as a leader shouldn’t I be more certain about what might come next.

I know enough to provide the playing field, the boundaries and a path. I also know enough now to let the each person’s journey unfold from there.

The Lessons of Humpty Dumpty and Horses

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King’s horses and All the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again

As a child this was simple nursery rhyme that was spoken, sung and incorporated into a variety of games.

I imagine I chuckled at the message back then.

Of course all the King’s men (and ladies) couldn’t put Humpty together again!

Why would Humpty Dumpty want to be put back together again?

We get so focused on Humpty being broken as the problem. I am beginning to believe that broken isn’t a problem at all. It’s an amazing opportunity for transformation and re-membering!

I believe we are having a Humpty Dumpty moment here in the States (and most of the planet) and of course all the King’s men are not going put us together again.

At least not in the way we think we should be!

So nursery rhymes are one thing and I know this is serious adult business.

So let’s apply a lesson from nature that speaks to the same message, only even more profoundly for me.

Yes, I am finding my joy working with horses. There are many, many reasons why this makes perfect sense. But there is one piece that I don’t hear talked about quite as much as all the science around mirror neurons and herd dynamics and such and that’s the story of how horses are the fastest species to go from domesticated (broken) back to feral (their true natural state of being in the wild).

You got to wonder – how is that possible?

Horses surrender!

We don’t, usually. But we can and there in lines the potential wonder of allowing oneself to be broken.

You got to wonder why horses ever engaged in their relationship with us. I know many will say they didn’t – we made them.

But let’s be clear – it was a relationship and like any relationship there were two parties playing their part.

Having now watched horse dynamics in many, many situations there is one thing that keeps shining through from the horse and that’s something about their ability to transform broken  into re-membering, returning to their true nature!

That horse in the picture above is Osa, she was broken and she wasn’t very comfortable with people when she arrived at Stillwater Horse Whisper Ranch.  Wouldn’t really now that now would you!!

Makes me think there’s more to the Humpty Dumpty story too. Because you know the truth is we started as an egg and frankly never would have gotten here with being broken.

Those Kings bring a mighty sword to the party and there’s all sorts of stories about why that is good, bad, painful, powerful etc, etc. – but again without that sword – that egg would have never been broken, you or me, would never have entered the picture. There’s something about that moment of conception that is worth considering.

I have been one to say at times, “you are not broken” – and I think I want to shift that. Yes, we are broken and that is a beautiful aspect of being human! It’s also a critical choice point. Will I surrender, will I fight, will I find a way home or make to my feral (natural) state!

I think we stay too focused on trying to stop people, the planet or simply the egg from being broken and that is not a problem to solve!

That is a very old story, that creates great suffering.

Just go watch a horse and discover another story-line that makes broken a beautiful opportunity for creating relationships.

My Fear of Fat

Just recently I stepped onto the scale and discovered that I had gained five pounds. Now I knew it had been a while and that I had been allowing myself some space to enjoy the Flathead Valley’s craft beers and various Whitefish food fare.

I was also skiing regularly, walking or running with my dog Rosie and was diligent with my home yoga routine. As I digested the new number on the scale, I reminded myself that muscle weighs more than fat. Therefore, I didn’t need to panic.

But within a short period of time, panic was in full pursuit, screaming a need to fast immediately. I was ready to apply whatever sum of cash was required to get into a 10-day cleanse, juicing experience, or something that would deal with my surfacing FEAR of FAT!

To distract myself, I turned to social media. As if in answer to my needs, what should appear on my newsfeed but an Ad with an incredibly buff woman in a fitness bra, tights, and doing a move that required great strength and flexibility. What was loudest for me was her rock-solid abs and perfect dimensions. Right there on the Ad was the statement: The 10-day yoga program that will make you look like this!!

You may be thinking I signed up. But no – I blew up! I went into a full-on rage. Bullshit! Her body was not the result of any damn 10-day program!

I really, really hate that type of Ad campaign. It’s possible that with her genes and diet, at some point, she did ten days of intense yoga that shaped her into something even better than she already was. She may even believe her yoga routine maintains her excellent balance between muscle mass and flexibility. Well, let’s not forget her perfect bone structure, great hair and flawless young skin. But I can tell you one thing for sure: no 10-day program – be it yoga, fat camp, fitness boot camp – is going to transform my genes, scars, wrinkles and body into that!

The idea that Facebook decided this advertisement was best for me pissed me off! However, this Facebook Ad did knock some sense into me. I didn’t make any radical decisions based on my Facebook feed or my visit to the scale. Nor did I rant and fire off hate mail to that perfect looking yogini.

Instead, I decided it’s time to face my FEAR of FAT! Not run. Not stop eating. Not do a new intense exercise program. But stop and face my fear.

What you need to know is I was a fat kid. Since the age of 11, I started putting on weight, and can honestly say, with a touch of flush as I write these words, that I weighed more between the ages of 12 to 14 than I ever weighed as an adult.

Not only did I have weight issues, I did nothing to improve my looks. In fact, related to clothing, hair or make-up, I went the other way. I dressed more like a boy than a girl. My shoulder-length hair was either scrappy and full of tangles or cut short like I was wearing a soup bowl on my head. You could’ve read the invisible sign on my forehead that shouted: “Stay the f*ck away from me!”

I know now that kid had a whole bunch of reasons for getting fat, keeping everyone away and doing her damnedest to project “Don’t mess with me!” But I also know that young girl cared very deeply and had simply given up on humans.

Food was something that was comforting and relatively safe. Being called fat was simply a cost factor for a very reliable line of defense: fat, ugly and untouchable.

Then I discovered sports. I was a pretty good athlete – a fat one but a good one. I could play a mean game of tennis, and when I decided to make sports my new refuge – hockey and basketball became favorites. I wasn’t great, but I was determined, and underneath all that fat was some rock-solid coordination and tenacity.

Sports became my lifeline to human contact.

I soon discovered I could, with enough running and working out, stop the rising scales. I found a way to protect and guard myself that did not involve being fat! Exercise replaced food as a way to get far, far away from my fears, my terror and my demons, which made it critical to not get to close to people!

However, back to our perfect yogini. Even at the pinnacle of my athletic career, which involved playing three sports and practicing four to five hours a day, I never ever looked anything close to her – NEVER!

With all my exercise, I ran myself smack into the hospital in my early 20’s. I hadn’t noticed I had lost almost 60 pounds, which tells you about my relationship with my body. At 5’6” I was just under 100 pounds.

You might be thinking, eating disorder, and there’s some truth to that. But the real factor of my weight loss was cancer. Yes, the fight to not feel my fear, my terror and my demons had run its course. There’s a lot more to the cancer story but that’s a book, not an article on my FEAR of FAT.

Let me just say, in losing all that weight and even being very, very ill, I started to get lots of attention. Men suddenly found me attractive. I was boney and skinny and wearing a size 6. I was a piece of nothing, but there’s something about any woman that slender that attracts a certain response from men. I had never had that type of attention!

Sure, the dying of cancer wasn’t so great – but skinny – well, there was something about that I liked.

Seven years later, after a clean bill of health from cancer, I realized I had a new problem.

I was terrified of going back to FAT! This new problem has now been going on for the better part of twenty-five years. I don’t talk much about it. It’s not like cancer. It’s not the thing friends want to support you in facing. It’s a bit like mental illness, which I could write about too, but I’ll stick to fat.

When I saw the perfect yogini Facebook Ad, my rage exploded. I let myself feel fully. The rage turned into a deep grief and I wailed.

Then I realized my fear of fat would never be resolved by being thin.

Being fat was not the problem. I’m not ugly, and I am not even fat. I do, though, have trouble feeling fully. I don’t particularly like crying or feeling deep grief. Yet, life, and being in relationship with people and this world, does offer a lot to feel deeply about, and it is not all happy and positive!

I won’t be going on any radical diets or fasting for now, nor will I go on a Facebook fast. I just need to be kinder to myself and maybe stop running and exercising so much to the point of not noticing when my body, heart, or spirit needs some attention.

I simply need to feel deeply.

My fear of fat is not over. But I am much more committed to turning towards the fear and facing it rather than running to get further and further away from myself and my feelings.

Finding My Pluck!

This week I got to go CAT skiing, a.k.a Snowcat skiing, which is backcountry untracked skiing through trees and powder. So today’s piece  is all about finding the best untracked line,be it in the snow or on the page, and both take PLUCK!

Pummeled and humbled by the mountain and still I rise!

That’s right.  I have no doubt the reason I got the cheers as I skied up to the cat on our last run was because everyone there was just grateful to see that I had survived and was arriving smiling.

Yes – the mountains had humbled and pummeled me but I had completed all ten runs!  I had shown I had pluck! Who knew most didn’t.

Well let’s be clear most didn’t who signed up for a cat ski day at my level of skiing.

I haven’t been skiing that long and frankly have been a touch conservative about where I ski at our Whitefish Mountain Resort.

I have steadily gotten better and this year signed up for the women’s ski program that included weekly lessons.  Now I have made a few black diamond runs and have been feeling pretty good about myself!

So when I got the invite to go ski powder – I took it. I thought I was ready.  Yes, I was scared but I wanted to go.

The thing is if I had thought it all through, I would not have gone.  I would have been rational and realized skiing in powder really meant skiing through trees, very high up in the mountains of Montana.  That skiing where there were no tracks  meant  significant bumps, ledges and (little) cliffs that resulted in taking air!  That once you got out of the Cat and put those skis on there really was no other way down, except to ski and if falling regularly,  to keep getting up again, again and again.   Let me just say here,  though falling in powder is soft – getting up over and over is exhausting.

Rationally it made no sense.  But emotionally – well that is a different story.  My heart wanted to be out in the back-country and loved those moments when I would find some rhythm and even did land a little jump.  I enjoyed learning how to do a  flip through the powder as I was falling so my skis would be in a better position to get back up.  (just to give the full picture – this isn’t an airborne back flip – no this is falling face first towards the snow, throwing both of my skis over my head and sliding ski first so it would be easier to get back up! – nothing graceful about it – but once I did manage to get back up on my skis and continue on down as though I had never fallen!!!)

There were a couple runs that were near perfect through the untracked snow, through the trees and over the bumps.  A couple runs where I did find that perfect line our guide suggested we shot for at the start of each new run. 

I believe I will be a better skier having made this trip. (Yes, I’ll have to get over the stiff and sore muscles – but I will!).  But even if I’m not a better skier, I found my  pluck – having or showing determined courage in the face of difficulties and I’ll take that!

It’s not the first sign of my plucky nature.

Writing has been a bit like powder skiing for me as well.  I struggle with grammer, spelling and find it difficult to stay committed when that great story in my head just doesn’t come out on the page. I have been terrified of feedback (sort of like trees wells and moguls on our mountain!)

Starting my blog took an effort and know I have gone through hearing no feedback from a post , great feedback,  mean feedback – over and over.  I don’t wake with sore muscles but sometimes I wake up dwelling on someone comments.

Still I love to write. My heart sings.  I show my courage, to show up and work to speak from my heart.  It’s especially cool when I find a great story line and ride it through – editing, spell-checking, wrestling with the best way to make a connection.

Yes, be it skiing or writing,  life , or really most any great day, it’s about finding the best untracked line.  Your line and sticking with it.

Bottom-line, that’s life.  We know some day it will end or it’s very possible our heart will be broken over and over along the way  – will we take the risk?  Will we have the spirit and courage to find our best line through – even the rough spots – even when we fall?

Funny thing is, I bet if you asked your own heart – even if it’s been broken many times – the answer would be – yes – I will do it again!

I’m glad I got to ski untracked powder.

I’m glad I write

I’m glad I have opened my heart.

And if I when I have  the chance to to do any of the above again.

I say – YES!

Where’s the powder in your life?  Where have you been invited to open your heart, live full-out,  even when it’s not rational?

Did you say yes??  I encourage you to say yes!

Be Plucky!!

Special thanks to Merrill Lynch, specifically Jamie Carbo and Mike in Whitefish, MT and to Great Northern Powder Guides – you guys are awesome!!

 

 

 

 

Follow Your Heart Day

14542424_1330145196998042_865427924870034475_oValentine’s Day, the day of romance and hearts! Right? Cards, flowers, chocolates and gifts are shared on February 14, either openly or anonymously in the service of romance and following one’s heart.

The first time I even noticed the day I was in an airport in February 1999 and had recently met CrisMarie. I found myself looking at all the cards in the rack. I was smiling and felt the warmth, joy and elation of opening my heart to someone. I was quite thrilled to find just the right card and for the first time write some romantic note that spoke of my feelings.

I had every intention of giving her that card on Valentine’s Day…but it wasn’t until a year later that I found the card I’ d stashed away and finally had the courage to pass it along!

That’s right. I stalled, stumbled and almost walked away from the love of my life because the stories in my head, designed to protect and keep me safe, were controlling the choices of my life!

It’s funny, in my 20’s when I had life-threatening cancer I learned to follow my heart and take a chance, but when I was older and healthy, following the nudges and wisdom of my heart wasn’t so easy or graceful.

I have some pretty strong heart protectors, and frankly, for some pretty good reasons! Those patterns aren’t overcome easily for someone like me! So yes, I stumble, stall, procrastinate on those things that matter to my heart, but I have learned about my tendencies and also how to do it differently.

My Heart and The Horses

In 2011, CrisMarie talked me into taking a Koelle Simpson horse workshop. I was in awe watching Koelle work with the horses. The moment I stepped into the arena myself was life-changing. My heart opened similar to when I met CrisMarie.

There was an invitation to apply to become an Equus coach. Now, I was still terrified of these amazing beings, and had absolutely no background with horses.

Aware of my tendencies, I made note of my resistance and decided to apply anyway, and I got accepted!

Now you might think the path was set, and I would go with grace and ease towards starting an awesome Equus Coaching practice here in Montana, horse country.

No – that’s not what happened!

While in the actual training sessions with Koelle, I was doing great, but back at home I’d procrastinate, stall and not even go and work with the horses. UGH!

Again, having learned about my resistance I have developed strategies to work with my natural tendencies. I turned towards the fear and started using the many pattern-busters I’ve developed of the years. Pretty soon I found just the right ranch close to me and started my practice.

Now I have regular visits with the horses, and I bring my clients and teams out to Stillwater Whisper Ranch. Yes, the dream is happening. Without hiccups and bumps – no – but one thing I have learned is that which makes your heart beat, and even ache, is worth the effort.

So what about you?

I know there are other people like me – who stop themselves: put the Valentine’s Day card in the desk drawer, don’t send their manuscript to the publisher, never apply for that dream job, don’t sign up for the training they long to take.

Because it’s not logical, practical or safe.

That’s why I designed Get Unstuck: Build Your Mojo to help people like you and me!

If you’re like me, you probably have some part of you that protects you for some good reason. But that doesn’t have to keep you from following your heart and inner wisdom.

Build Your Mojo  gives you a proven, step-by-step path to face and work with your resistance.

You will move forward on what matters to you. You will find your way through your procrastination, distraction and avoidance to finally move forward successfully on what matters to your heart!

Sign up for Build Your Mojo  to make this Valentine’s Day a follow your heart day! You’ll get the support you need to make your career, project, relationship dream a reality.

PLUS FOR TWO DAYS ONLY – I’m offering a 50% OFF SALE! That’s right save 50% if you sign up today! It will expire tomorrow so make sure you take advantage now!!

Click here, go to the bottom of the page, hit the button and put in PROMO CODE: valentine2017 to get this special offer!