Feature Photo by Identifyed-Khaos
Hello there. So, every week, I bare it all (well, maybe not all!) and let you in on my personal and professional aha of the week. That one thing that seems to be really up, not only for me, but also for my world and all the wonderful people in it.
Sending you a big hello from big sky country! I’m currently ensconced in the living quarters of a horse trailer (check out my photos), on a small ranch just west of Cache Creek, BC sitting fairly squarely in the middle of one hundred thousand acres of grazing land. That is a whole lot of space!
I’m here, you guessed it, riding for the week and am Diva-less which is very odd to say the least. My trusty companion at these sorts of events for the past decade, circumstances combined to make it too difficult to bring her along, creating the perfect learning ground (of course) for yours truly.
You see, like many of us, and as much as I hate to admit it, I love the familiar. It feels incredibly comfortable to ride Diva. I know her inside and out like the dear friend that she is, and it is rare for anything she does to unnerve me at this point. Besides the fact that she has always been inherently slow and quite lazy, preferring to amble or stop than run, a wonderful little safety blanket. It’s like we’re in a lovely comfortable marriage where not too much happens. It’s quite lovely really. So, you might be wondering, Alexa who are you riding while you’re there?
Well, let’s just say I am getting pushed miles outside my comfort zone!
My dear friend Stefanie, who I have mentioned here once or twice, has graciously allowed me to ride her mare Espada, an Andalusion/Lusitano who’s name translates quite succinctly to sword. She is, without a doubt, a warrior, black, bold and athletic. This gal can spin on a dime, gallop sideways and read my energy like a book. And man does she make me nervous!
When we rode out two day ago (we being three top horse trainers and me), I started to become aware of little nigglings inside me, unhelpful voices talking to me about not being good enough and being out-horsed. My temper rose and then, through some deep breathing and releasing, fell. We came out ahead, a little relaxed and a little softening, not too bad.
Then the true test came. Yesterday as we entered the arena with none of Espada’s herd mates, the rain pelting on the roof of the arena hard and thunder pounding in the distance, I was having a hard time getting relaxed and centred. Not surprisingly, so was Espada, spending the first ten minutes of the lesson performing various incredible athletic feats beneath me that I definitely wasn’t asking for. I was tense and she was eating it up. Was feeling some gratitude for my “velcro” seat! My trainer asked me to let him try and I swallowed my pride as he found the connection and softness I was seeking.
I have to say, it took a lot for me to get back on. I was feeling frustrated and defeated and a little embarrassed but I knew that there was a huge opportunity for me somewhere in there! As I stood back up to get on he said to me “You can do this. You just have to believe in yourself.” As I swung into the saddle I let go of the doubt, found my centre, softened my body and rode. And there Espada was, just waiting. I realized she had been looking for me the whole time, waiting for me to show up for her to connect to, to find safety in, while I was waiting impatiently for her to show up for me and make me feel safe. Huh. That’s pretty interesting.
I bet you’re thinking “Alexa, what happened today?”. Well…it was awesome! Something clicked and we had softness and feel right off the bat. My trainer said a few things that hit me like a ton of bricks. First, he said, you have to bring your horse right into your centre. Then, you have to feel worthy of your horse being there. Wow. Cool! When you ride that way, you get to do way less and get way more, just like life. Final epiphany was completely relaxing my back. After years of hunter/jumper training I’ve learned to ride like a iron rod it seems! Not so relaxing for the horse understandably. Relaxed and flexible feels so much better, again, just like life.
So there you go- A whole herd of epiphanies! What are your big aha’s this week and what kinds of opportunities are showing up for you to really get them? Happy trails until next time!
To your utter fabulousness,
PS. Have you had a chance to download my Guidebook to your Lighter, more Wonder-filled Life? It’s a wild ride! Get your copy here.
I grew up on an Arabian horse farm and oh how I know horses sense tension a mile away! For sure, there were some horses I was more comfortable with than others. And it showed in the relationships I had with each of them.
No great a-ha moments for me…just a deep relaxing into summer and going with the flow…creating ease where effort used to be.
Hi Peggy. Yes, Arabians are incredibly sensitive and intelligent…very aware of tension! Thanks so much for sharing – am currently in a hammock doing some deep relaxing into summer too!
Horses , the most perfect creature on earth. They seem to understand so much and your story is inspiring. You did learn something that will last you a life time… being worthy! This week has given me the gift of letting go and allowing honesty into my life.
Hi Mary – great to hear from you here. Yes, worthiness is such a big piece of the puzzle…what a gift horses give us! Thank you for sharing.
Love this…as I grew up riding horses in British Columbia with a cowboy for a dad. Lessons galore and boy do those horses read you like a book. They know your every mood and reflect it right back to you. Cheers to you and your epiphanies Alexa!
Hi Debra – Isn’t riding in BC amazing? We’re so blessed up here. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with horses – they are such incredible teachers. Have a great summer!
“Relaxed and flexible feels so much better, again, just like life.” ~ That says it all very nicely. 🙂
My big epiphany for this week was to speak my truth, and to honour my choices. I love when the Universe sends us signs and opportunities for awareness and learning.
Hi Shelley – thank you so much for sharing here! Yes, that really does sum it up doesn’t it? Aren’t epiphanies great?
Loving your life lessons from simple interaction with nature and these beautiful horses. You’re living one of my dream lives. I’ve had some epiphanies this week (from nature) that have showed me to just let things be sometimes because if we get too involved or controlling, all hell breaks loose. Nice job with this one, Alexa!
Thanks Kellie! And thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful community. What an awesome bunch of goddesses you’ve gathered here. And I just love your epiphany – fits for working with horses as well! If you hold on too tight you’re just going to create more tension and eventually something has got to give. Hugs Alexa