Another Paragraph …or Two

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Above you will find the Hay House Radio Interview I did for Finding Heart Horse

I thought I would post another sneak peek for those that haven’t read it. Remember, the proceeds go to Covenant House, Vancouver, B.C.

There is always hope.

This is from the prolog About A Horse. You can find the first part in my previous post Finding Heart Horse…one year later.

IMG_3673

When my parents took me to visit my aunt and uncle who lived on a farm, I quickly and quietly made my way into the world of the barn where the horse’s lived. I would nestle into the golden straw, inhaling the fragrant honey dust, as hours magically disappeared. Listening to an orchestra of barnyard sounds while enveloped in the dusty air brought me a perfect peace.

It was into that perfect peace that my Heart Horse first made his appearance.

Just as if he were a real horse, my Heart Horse danced and pranced and snorted with joy. Sometimes when he was afraid, I could feel him inside my own heart, racing around frantically, as if to warn me of pending danger. Other times he stood quietly in the grass, munching on crispy red apples and appearing deep in thought, as if to just let me know he was near. And sometimes he galloped wildly free of restraint, tickling me with his unrestrained joy. But those happy and free rides were rare. Mostly he stood guard.

Old Uncle Willy understood my love of horses. He understood my connection to them and my ache to be closer to such a strangely forbidden desire. Uncle Willy always seemed to know where to look for me whenever we went to the farm. And he always seemed to know to look for me, when others hadn’t thought to.

One morning when I was huddled under a mountain of straw in the corner of Ginger’s stall; Uncle Willy came looking for me. He found me hiding there, buried under a pile of golden grass and crying, as Ginger stood over me with her warm breath tickling my neck as if to say, everything will be okay.

I was hiding in there because my cousin had told me, yet again, that I wasn’t real family. It seemed that each time she said that, it hurt a little bit more. Sometimes she even said it front of my mother, but instead of telling her to stop telling such awful lies, my mother would just agree. That really stung. And it made me sad.

I wasn’t sure what they meant by not being “real” family, I was just as real as they were, but I was sad that they even thought such a thing. After all, I had the pictures. My parents holding me when I was a newborn, teaching me piano when I was a toddler, posing me in front of furniture or houses or relatives to take my picture when I was a child. What could they possibly mean that I wasn’t real family? I didn’t understand at all, but I knew that there was something about me that was different. I just had no idea what it was.

Uncle Willy seemed to understand why I was crying, but he didn’t ask me about it. Instead, he told me a story about the Rocky Mountains and the wild horses that lived there. With his soft and comforting words, my uncle told me all about how magnificent it was to see a thundering herd suddenly appear in a lush green valley in the mountains. What Uncle Willy told me that day in the barn gave me the strength and desire to survive the cruel and hurtful comments of my cousin.

“Claire, you wouldn’t believe how amazing these horses are!” he told me. “They sound just like a train going by at a hundred miles an hour when they come galloping out of the mountains. Their manes blow behind them in flashes of black, silver and gold, like flying flags!” I listened to Uncle Willy’s fantastic story, enthralled.

“Tell me more, Uncle Willy! Tell me more!” I pleaded.

“Oh, it’s amazing, Claire, just amazing. You can even hear the different types of snorts and whinnies—they sound just like they’re talking! Then all of a sudden in a gust of wind and dust they’ll be gone. But . . .” and he looked left and right, like he was about to tell me a secret, then lowered his voice to a near whisper, “When they’re gone, you’re left with a feeling of magic. You know what it’s like to be free and wild but still be a part of a family. A really big family!” The images Uncle Willy conjured completely enchanted me, and I’d practically forgotten my cousins’ spiteful words.

“I tell ya girl,” he added, “Someday you have to go there. It’ll change you forever.” I watched as he got a faraway look in his eyes and sighed as if he were there that very moment. I snuggled into the straw and closed my eyes, wishing I were there, too.

“Someday,” he promised me, “when you’re older, you can go there. You’ll see for yourself how beautiful those horses are. And here’s the best part!” He smiled, and then said, “If you can catch a wild horse, it’s yours! It will belong to you and only you for the rest of its life. That’s the rule.” Uncle Willy tousled my hair and pulled me upright with a grin. “Come on, now. Let’s go inside and get some ice cream!”

I couldn’t believe my ears. If what Uncle Willy said was true, and it had to be or he wouldn’t have said it, I could actually have my own horse some day! I brushed all the straw off of my clothes and went back to the house with Uncle Willy for two big bowls of chocolate ice cream. But I couldn’t pay attention to anything else he said. All I could think about were those wild horses.

As excited as I was about pursuing wild horses, in the weeks and months that followed I knew better than to talk to anyone about my dreams. I had learned how quickly people will snuff out your dreams if you say them out loud. So I buried those words inside my Heart Horse, assuring him he would have company some day. He whinnied softly inside my heart, swaying back and forth as if to say, we will wait, we will wait, we will wait.



Day 12 of 40 day Self-Love Challenge

ImageToday, I will practice Gratitude.  I will get in the habit of saying thank you, even for the “problems” in my life because these challenges are valuable lessons I can learn from.  Gratitude is the key that turns problems into unexpected gifts.    

Melodie Beattie

I am behind in my 40 day challenge and I’m okay with that.  I feel no need to catch up.  This Self-Love “thing” is challenging enough thinking about never mind writing about.

I know someone today  in total meltdown, on the verge of giving up and that makes me sad.  I’ve been there many times and in retrospect (now that I’m old ) I see they were times of huge growth and change and were for my benefit.

The picture above was one I took in India several years ago.  He had nothing more than what you see in that picture.  No home, no money, no food, nothing.  To me, he looked on the verge of collapse in the 40 degree India heat and I offered him my water and some rupee’s.  He thanked me and said in his broken english.  “My heart is happy…what you see outside is nothing.” It was as if he could see my thoughts.

I think about him a lot actually.  When problems come into my life and my friends, we tend to blame ourselves.  That we were the one that caused it or the one to blame.  

We speak harshly to that inner child, cruelly at times as so many of us heard as children.  We continue the pattern because we think we have to.  Because we think we deserve to feel hurt, sad, alone, broken.  

We are responsible for our own thoughts and emotions.  We are responsible for our reactions to what others “do or say or act” towards us…not them.  Their actions belong to them alone.  It has nothing to do with us.

So many people aren’t grateful for their lives because they don’t see the miracles that we all are underneath the external trappings.   Gratitude in fact leads to happiness and happiness is an attitude afforded to us all…even my friend in India.

It’s within our power to feel happy through the ways we look at our lives. That’s why I chose to embrace the problems that come my way now instead of fighting with them and being discouraged that there are so many.

If you think of life as a collection of small moments, perfect moments as my friend did with a few rupees and a bottle of water.  A moment of bliss added to the mosaic of our lives here and there, scattered about with abandon in between the problems and uncertainty..we will keep going. 

Instead, most people think they should always feel happy, have it constant and continuous or else it’s not happiness.  One giant piece not little bits scattered around..that’s what is expected.

It’s not possible.  It wouldn’t be happiness.  With nothing to compare it to, how would you know?

You can be having a perfectly lovely day and wham…a parking ticket and the whole day is ruined.  What a shame that we toss out our sacred pieces of perfect bliss because we think they are to insignificant to call happiness.

To let one problem or even several negatives erase the perfect moments we have, creates a pattern and a spiral downward.  It’s okay to have a rough day, a bad day, a sad day.  It’s not the total picture of our lives and its difficult sometimes to remember that.  

Nothing is permanent in this life, neither the good, nor the bad and if we can choose our thoughts, doesn’t it make sense to view things in a different way.  A way that doesn’t cause us so much suffering.

As I write these books of my life I often wonder how I survived such

trauma and pain.  It’s all in how we choose to look at things.  Problems have given me resilience and strength because I faced them head on.  Each one a building block in the foundation on which I now stand firmly grounded.

Don’t let life steal away your perfect moments.  See them as they happen and take a moment to protect them and store them in your heart.  They are your life building blocks and problems you confront are lessons of gratitude in disguise.

Thank you for all of my life lessons. I look at myself now, knowing my strengths and weaknesses.    I am grateful.