On The Other Side of Fear

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Fear and the recognition of the things that I am afraid of has become quite a lively interaction within myself these past few weeks. I’ve never really thought of myself as a fearful person and have always worked hard to act from a place of thoughtful calmness rather than from an anxious, reactive place. Heck, all that I have gone through in the past 3 1/2 years with my commitment to living my life out loud has been about acting towards my dreams rather than reacting from my fears. While that hasn’t really changed some new awarenesses of myself are arising with the entry of Phoenix into my life.

Rising from the ashes indeed with new intentions of living my bravest, most daring life is what I am being called to do. This photo of me with my two horsey loves right now is such a perfect depiction of what they signify for me. And it speaks to the part of my journey right now of moving past comfort, even if that feels shaky and crazy scary sometimes. I will continue to speak my journey out loud as I move through my fears one by one because I must if I am to release the stranglehold they can have over me.

Karoly is all about comfort for me. Just riding him is like riding the comfiest couch – it’s 100 %safe, it’s cozy, it’s like being permanently wrapped in a perfectly heated blanket, it’s about bringing light into my dark days. There is never any fear in riding Karoly. In fact, he can dispel the dark threads of anxiety from me quicker than just about anything. Just grooming him warms my heart and eases my breathing into a gloriously balanced space. This photo of me with him is from a mere 3 weeks after Russell died and it was a day of laughing and joy in the midst of one of the heaviest periods of my entire life.

Phoenix, I am discovering, is all about tapping ever deeper into my inner warrior. I fell in love with him immediately and was drawn to the fact that he is the image of what I have wanted since I was a young girl. A black pony with a desire to explore and connect with everyone and everything around him. He comes when I call. He loves to be groomed. He wants to trust. He’s the perfect riding size for me. And he also has pulled back the curtain of comfortable contentment I’ve had with Karoly to reveal some real fears lurking in the shadows. Fears that I must face if I am ever to be free of them. Fears I must move beyond if I am every to completely become the empowering warrior woman I dream of being. In many ways, Phoenix is symbolizing the dark threads within the light. Fascinating.

Phoenix wants to go and be in charge at all times. He’s super willing to try and listen to me, but definitely has a lot of anxiety hidden behind a mask of confidence. (Hmmm, sounding like me). He is so forward and so quick to react I can too easily see falling if I can’t learn to stay calm and balanced on him. Staying balanced on Karoly is as easy as breathing. Staying balanced on a much smaller and narrower pony is not quite so easy. I often hold my breath as I ride, forgetting that the very act of breathing deeply will help me stay grounded and balanced. So many life lessons being opened up before me to embrace or to ignore. With every moment I feel scared of what might happen if he spooks or bolts and I fall, and then I keep going anyway, I add a small bravery thread to my inner warrior and I’m a little less afraid.

People often comment on how many white animals I surround myself with – my dogs and 4 of my horses have all been white. While I think it’s circumstance, there is also the reality that in all things I try to focus on choosing the light paths of life – hope, love, possibility, joy, positive spins on things. Intentionally buying a black pony speaks to my belief that the dark side of life – pain, despair, grief, fear – all of these hold just as much value and wisdom for me. Walking the place between light and dark is a lifelong commitment of mine to live all of life to the fullest I can.

I am committing to exploring my fears as they pop up then gently yet firmly calling myself to step forward through and past them. I imagine I will be sharing lots about this in the comings days, weeks and months as I seek to lie a brave, transformative, hopeful life. I am so grateful to have 2 horses who are facilitating such a radical part of my rising and transformation. What an amazing, absolutely precious gift that is.

You Will Run

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We spend so much of our lives trying to figure out what is a good fit for us.  We research what car to buy, what trip to take, what movie to watch, what books to read, and so, so much more.  Sometimes we think about things for months and months, worried about making the wrong decision.  And sometimes we get so stuck in our thinking things through that we lose tons time because we are living our lives out of a fear filled space of “getting it wrong.”

I have been there and done that.  Heck, I am still there and doing that several times each week in so many ways.  I wonder if I am “ready” for things and spin my wheels getting trapped in the monkey mind places inside of me.  Those places that it is near impossible to move forward because I just get more and more twisted up the longer I “think things through”.

What I am gratefully starting to learn is that when we finally are ready to change our lives and make them ones we love, we will run to whatever lifeline is being thrown out to us.  In fact, for me, it has stopped being about feeling I am completely “ready” and deciding that I will seek joy, freedom and good things for myself no matter what.  I am grabbing onto those things that catch my attention, even if I don’t completely understand why.

There comes a time when we are so tired of living a life of feeling stuck and just icky, that nothing else matters but making things better.  Cost doesn’t matter. Time constraints that are real or imagined don’t matter.  Staying in a job we loathe no longer matters. Others’ opinions don’t matter. The history of our lives doesn’t matter. Researching things ad nauseum doesn’t matter.  What we’ve always done doesn’t matter.  All of the things that keep us stuck in our bodies, minds and spirits stop mattering because we finally decide something, anything, has got to change.

At this point, all that matters is running as fast and as strongly as we can towards a life that is filled with the hope of freedom, joy, and possibility.  We latch onto that hope like the life line it is to pull us from our lives of pain and sorrow.  We wrap that hope around us like a cloak of love for ourselves, knowing we deserve it; or at least willing to learn to live into that belief.   We run even with the babiest of steps towards something more.

We are all worth living lives of joy, health and hope.   I hope you RUN towards the choices best for you that will open the doors to that kind of a life.