Thursday, March 31, 2011


...continued ...

this was not a show any of us wanted to watch. 

Richard joined our vigil and shortly after that the vet arrived; she was marvelous.  She told Molly that she was very concerned with the situation, especially as Zevon was not a young horse.  She left us with medications and a time line to follow.  At one point in the early afternoon it appeared that Zevon had turned the corner.  Richard, Molly and I commented over and over how much better he appeared to be feeling.  We walked with him, stroked his beautiful neck and Molly gave him sponge baths.  But our optimism was short lived and Zevon grew more restless as his pain intensified.

It was time for Molly to make the hardest decision an animal owner ever faces.  With tears in her eyes she looked at Richard.  Through the years I have heard them discuss this very moment.  She always told him, “I am going to have trouble making that call when it’s time.  I need you to be honest with me and tell me the truth.”  Even though the words strangled her, she squeaked out the question.  Richard studied the toe of his boot and nodded yes.  I drifted back and tried to get a grip on my trembling chin; I had no intention of making this harder for my dear friend.  The call was made, the vet was on her way back over and we each paid homage to this outstandingly gorgeous being. 

As I drove home later that day I thought what a precious gift Zevon and Molly had given me. I will never forget this day, which was to be his last, and the memory of their dignity will be with me forever. When it is our time, I pray that Lakota and I will have friends to hold us up, to ease us through the transition, to answer the question that can’t even be asked.  What a marvelous example they had presented me ~ filled with Love and Grief and Grace and Tears and Tenderness.  Such a gift.

The end ... and the beginning.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ZEVON’S GIFT - Part 1 of 2

Recently I was given an incredible and unexpected gift.  It was not a gift the giver was totally ready to give but the circumstance was not to be avoided.

It began with a phone call at 8:45 in the morning from a dear friend of mine, an accomplished horse woman who has spent her entire life in the company of horses.  There was an edge to her voice that hinted of urgency.  “Zevon is colicky and I can’t get a hold of my vet.  Can you call yours and see how fast he can get over here?”  “Of course,” I replied, already flipping through my day timer.  “Is Richard home this morning”, I continued, wondering if she was dealing with this by herself.  Not that she isn’t competent to deal with the situation; she’s told me dozens of colic stories and helped me out twice with my own horse.  “He’s here.  He’s out riding horses.  He’s not really helping me.”  There was that tone again.  Her housemate Richard knows as much about horses as Molly, but I thought she might need a girl friend.  I told her I would come up for a little while.

On an impulse I threw a tamale in the microwave and took it with me for the short drive to her house.  I prayed between bites as I hurried down the country roads.  I have never seen a full blown colic before and I was as curious as I was worried.

I have known Zevon for several years.  He is a handsome fellow, a tall dark bay gelding with a friendly face and a kind eye.  A few years ago he came to my house to babysit my little mare when I was between house mates and Lakota had lost her herd.  Horses are herd animals, most prefer not to be alone ~ they are too vulnerable.  As Zevon liked the ladies, he took his new assignment in stride.  He was a natural born leader and took control of every herd he was in.  He had been retired by the time I met him so I never saw him under saddle, but I knew that in their twenty-seven years together, he and Molly had covered many, many miles. 

When I pulled into the driveway, Richard, still riding, waved me over to the barn.  Zevon was lying down in his stall with Molly kneeling by his side.  She had finally connected with her vet who was now on her way.  Molly told me how every thing had appeared fine this morning but he had deteriorated quickly.  Zevon would lie still and then kick his legs and swing his head around to look at his stomach.  He would sometimes try to stand and end up sitting with his front legs straight in front of him like a trick pony, but this was not a show any of us wanted to watch. 

.... to be continued

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Winding Path to a Small Ass - Part 3 of ??

New Best Friends

Amazingly enough I got over the flue in record time! I told my mom, who had been down with the same bug for three weeks, that I was “so full of joy it chased the flue germs right out of my body.”

I called a dear friend of mine, Damaris, and told her about my good fortune.  I knew she would enjoy riding with me to meet my new best friends, plus I had to choose between two different pairs and her intuition is important to me. My only dilemma was … when?  In one week I was leaving town for five days and, as anxious as I was to meet them, I thought it would be prudent to wait until I got home. I had already enlisted friends and neighbors to come over while I was gone and feed Lakota and her new buddy, Polly, and had drawn up a schedule for who was going to take the two feedings a day. I wondered if doubling my heard was reasonable.

Damaris, who was coming down for the week-end to house-sit, set me straight. “We are gonna go get those donkeys this week-end” she said in a tone of voice that left nothing to talk about except ‘what time of day works best for you.  I visualized her standing there, hands on her hip, leaning slightly forward to accentuate her pronouncement. The picture made me grin. She was as excited as I to meet our new sweethearts.

A few days later as I drove my truck and horse trailer toward the eastern horizon, I kept drifting away from whatever Damaris was talking about. I was sending a ‘thought’ message to the little beings in eastern Colorado. “I am so thrilled to finally meet you. Please know that I already love you with all my heart and will provide you a wonderful home. Please let me know what pair wants to come and join my healing herd.  And know that Lakota is also very excited to welcome you.”

… to be continued.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winding Path to a Small Ass - Part 2 of ??

Prayers Answered

In December my housemate of three years had to move to be closer to work. She gave me very little notice and I jokingly said "I understand your need to move quickly but you have to give me a few weeks notice to move you your horse."  Being a knowledgeable horse woman she understood, and I offered to trailer her horse, Rainey, to her new home. My sweet Lakota is not the kind of gal who is comfortable being alone, she needs a herd. So I got on the phone to find a 4-legged baby sitter which actually came together easily. The same day that I took Rainey to her new home, sweet little Polly moved in, a kind-hearted young buckskin quarter horse mare. She is not the fox trotter gelding of my vision, but she totally IS a clairsentient being with healing capacities who gently and easily moved into my heart.

A few days into the new year found me flat on my back with a humbling case of the flue. I lost my voice to laryngitis and my will to move, even one muscle, to a debilitating headache. And then my phone rang. For some reason I decided to pick up the phone and it was my neighbor, the ‘mother’ of Polly. “Are still thinking about miniature donkeys?”  she asked.

My heart skipped a beat and I hoarsely squeaked, “Oh yes.”

I lay back on the couch as she told me about a friend of hers that needed to lighten her load. She had been told by her partner that she too many animals and needed to find a home for some of her miniature donkeys.  “But you have to take two, she has a pair of jennies and a pair of geldings ~ and you have to take the pair.”

If I felt any better I would have leapt into the air and clicked my heels together! Another prayer answered. Halleluiah !!  As it was, I finished the conversation, laid the phone on the coffee table, and let tears of joy fill up my ears.

… to be continued.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Simple Spring Story

It’s Sunday, early afternoon, first day of Spring and the day after the Super Full Moon. Wow!  I head to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and pour it carefully into my “to go” cup. As I walk past my living room window to grab my car keys I pause for moment to watch the tiny scene unfolding in my front yard. I have been watering the giant trees around my house all day, supplementing the lack of moisture they have received from Mother Nature this winter. My windows are thrown open finally and the living room is filled with the sounds of happy birds; they too are loving this moisture.  In a few weeks I will ask Walker to help me rev up the lawn sprinkler system, but for now I have a hundred foot green garden hose attached to a long skinny spike that spews out mist through a half moon slit. Very simple and easy to move.

Earlier I saw a flock of red-winged black birds standing in the mist, and then came the chattering starlings. It is funny how the tribes travel together. Right now the lawn mister has attracted dozens of fat bellied red robins. They move in and out of the mist, busy, busy, busy.  But what intrigues me are the two that are huddled next to the spike drinking the drops that fall from the connection to the hose. Apparently only two birds at a time can fit there because as one robin glides in; another bird leaves. He raises his little beak and catches the next drop to fall. I think I can almost see him swallow; and again.  I am not sure what feels so sweet about this but it is a tender moment.

I am sure the trees are enjoying the soak and can almost watch the grass turning green.
I have never seen a bird drink like this and wonder if the “red-wings” are watching.
I am thrilled to share my abundance.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Winding Path to a Small Ass - Part 1 of ?

Donkey Dreaming

The desire for getting donkeys was planted many years ago when I met my friend’s little mini, Nacho! Randy had one mare and acquired Nacho to be her companion. Horses are herd animals and most prefer not to be alone, but Randy had a small acreage and this miniture donkey fit the lot size. The way Randy tells the story, Nacho quickly established himself as King of the barnyard. It mattered not at all to him that he was ¼ the size of his new pasture mate, he knew he was big enough for the job and brayed his way to the top.
He was adorable in his physical diminutiveness. Standing solidly on all four legs he surveyed the world from the level of my hip. Wiry of coat, with large bright brown eyes, he surveyed his kingdom with a calm countenance.

Fast forward ten years and I find myself on my own little farm with my horse companion, Lakota. I have always had housemates who had horses and shared my desire to live with their ponies in the back yard. So Lakota’s herd has shifted with the comings and goings of my housemates. Maybe not the most desirable situation but it really has worked well for us financially and socially.

Although I do visualize another horse in my future ~ a sturdy, large-boned fox trotter who will not only to be a great trial riding horse but, also a steady companion for Lakota. In my vision he is a big gelding, a clairsentient being who will bring a male energy to the dynamics of my healing herd. But, like my new business, my herd will grow organically as I visualize growth at a sustainable rate.

But in the back of my mind I kept remembering sweet little Nacho and how well he did his job.

... to be continued.

An important note to my readers: 
I have been trying for two weeks to find a clever title for this little saga on getting to know donkeys. From the folks that I have met so far whom already have donkeys and mules, I quickly realized they love making "ass” jokes! It is like they have a proprietary right to drop the word “ass” in normal conversation …. they enjoy the reactions of muggles (those who are not graced to have horses and mules in their lives). 
And I am now a member of their club.
However, if you are offended or if you have a clever title, please feel free to drop me a comment and I will take into consideration all alternatives !! 

Thank you for reading, have a fantabulous day!  * annette.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mocha – Part 2 of 2.

.... continued  
I moved away from Mocha for a moment and then stepped back up and asked the pendulum to read his chakra one more time. Nothing, da nada!  I took a small step back from the horse, closed my eyes and asked to see the spirit of his crown chakra. I immediately found myself in what felt like a large, dark hole. There was no light. I had the sense of being suspended in a very dark canister. It wasn’t uncomfortable or scary, but it was very, very dark. I imagined a small light bulb hanging down from above and I could muster up a small amount of light, but I had the definite sense that I was doing it all by myself and for myself; there was no part of Mocha that was participating. “Well this is really a dreary place to be” I said to the spirit of the chakra, whose presence I could feel, but could not see. “I certainly would not want to hang out here myself.  In fact, I have another place that I go to often in my meditation and I would like to show that to you, would you like to see it?”
I felt the spirit did indeed want to go there with me. So I took just a second to visualize the open meadow with my special tree; it is sunny and bright there.  Some small details change when I go to my special place but the green meadow, the large tree and the sunshine are always dependably present. I get there quickly and easily, and in fact had only been there for a second, when I noticed a brown horse running and bucking and expressing great joy at being in this lovely meadow. “What do you think about this place? Isn’t it great!” I called out to the dark horse      .
“Yes, yes, thank you for showing me this meadow. I had forgotten that places like this existed. I have been trapped in that black, dark place for a long time. I didn’t know that I could get out of it!!” he exclaimed excitedly.
“Oh yes, you can come here any time you want and you can even change it to make it all your own,” I answered back. I had the sense that he was running through a vast number of pleasant scenarios, and I felt the presence of other horses that he would soon be bringing into the meadow. I looked at the spirit horse in front of me and noticed that there was a calm, happy look in his eye. We nodded to each other and I left the meadow.
I opened my eyes and looked at Mocha. He had a calm demeanor and was still enjoying having us stand around him. I gently scratched his shoulder, told Martha the vision I had just experienced, and took my pendulum out of my pocket. I placed it above his head and asked the spirit of the crown chakra to show me the direction and intensity of that chakra. It began to move in a large sweeping circle. WOW! Martha and I looked at one another and grinned. For this day, we were done.
Could it be that easy?  I believe that it can, maybe not always, but it can be clean and simple and still be wildly effective. I believe that with all my heart. I have had visions that were a lot more complicated, but it is a step by step process, going where spirit guides me. The emptier I am, the easier the process flows. I do know that.
At this point I did have a verbal talk with Mocha and told him that respect is a two way street. That if he wanted, needed or desired respect from another being, even a human, he had to show some respect as well. Horse and humans are two different species of sentient beings and the rules of behavior between the two are not always the same. I reminded him that his humans were wonderful caregivers who provided a very comfortable life for him, worked hard to bring him good quality food and water, and that this probably deserved a good deal more respect towards them on his part if he wanted to stay with them. And I had the sense that he did.

I have not seen Mocha again, but I have recently heard from Martha that amazing things are happening between the two of them!

The "Happy" end.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I poured a can of beer in my crock pot this morning and slid the corned beef in. I love this meal. I love my crock pot slaving away for me all day! I had aimed to get the red-brined beef on sale for the season but when I got to the check-out stand it didn’t ring up at the sale price. The cashier called the meat department for me and we found out that I had picked up the more expensive cut, the flat cut, it was on sale, but not by as much. I thought for a moment and decided to keep it. Living “high on the hog” for one day instead of so “close to the bone” as we have been.

As I cut up my potatoes, carrots and onions to add to the pot, I thought about what happened last night.  I feed my horse Lakota in the smaller paddock because she gets alfalfa and the donkey’s can have only grass hay. I opened the back door to move Lakota to the north pasture so the herd could be together through the night and marveled at how bright it was. The moon isn’t full but it is headed that direction. As Lakota stepped towards the open gate, her head snapped up and her body was taut with pure focus. I looked where she was looking and saw it moving in the corn field. Quiet, dark, large. The silhouette moved with its nose to the ground, looking for a moonlight meal. I am sure it was coyote, not a threat to a full grown horse and I do believe the two mini donkeys could hold their own, but it looked large enough to be a wolf.  I was urging Lakota through the fence so that I could close the gate when I saw my cat. The large white triangle on her chest glowed in the moonlight ~ like a neon sign advertising the “blue plate special.”

I called to her but she seemed frozen in her crouch. Making an executive decision, I snatched her up and moved toward the house. She was not happy. Even on a good day she doesn’t like for me to carry her around; if I pick her up she wants me to stand still. She squirmed violently to position herself so she could keep an eye on the dark predator. I held her firmly and she growled, low and deep, her unhappiness with me. As I neared the door she made another desperate attempt to free herself, but I only tightened down on her, thankful for the coat sleeves between my arms and her claws. I finagled the door open as she continued to struggle. I told her quietly how much I loved her and how happy I was we were both safe inside. Gently I lowered her to the floor. I know that she would have landed on her feet but I did not want her to leap out of my grip and fall to the ground. I stroked her softness as I bent down; I was sure she would rush away from me as she has done in the past. But this time she got her feet underneath her, sat on the tile and looked up at me.

She recognized the difference. I wasn’t holding her down to push a pill down her throat, past those razor sharp teeth, which sometimes makes my heart beat too fast. My intent was different. I had been holding her tightly, with love in my heart my purpose was protection. Now we could both relax in the comfort of our home. She ate a snack before coming into the living room. She plopped up on the couch and lay on my chest as I took a few minutes to wind down from another busy day. It is all about intent.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mocha - Part 1 of 2.

Martha invited me out to meet Mocha.  He had some behavioral issues that were getting so unpleasant his human family was no longer enjoying his company. He was very impatient when they fed him and not respectful of his human’s space when they came to him with food. They described him as being “piggy” about his food, acting like he was scared to death of starving and gobbling up all of his food. They were worried that if they brought in another horse, Mocha would transfer this piggy attitude to the new horse. He was an attractive gelding with a most unusual mark, there was a straight line down the middle of his face ~ one side was a pleasant brown and the other half was a subtly different, yet darker shade of brown. You could easily miss it if you looked at him casually, but once it was pointed out to you, it was very easy to see.

I introduced myself to Mocha and walked around him to make sure that he was comfortable with me being in his paddock. He was of stocky build but looked comfortable as he stood in front of us. Going to work/play, the first thing I asked was to “see” the overall “spirit” of the horse. I was immediately given a clear and distinct picture. Mocha was leaning back in a lounge chair on a gorgeous beach, with a colorful umbrella partially shading him from the sun. (Yes, he was horse in a human posture!)  I “knew” that there were waiters ready to bring him drinks and snacks if as much as clapped his hooves. He had a haughty attitude and I guessed that when he did clap, he expected immediate attention.

I couldn’t help but laugh as I told Martha what I was “seeing”.  It could easily have been my imagination coming up with a cartoon picture after what she had told me about his behavior. But that was indeed what I visualized the moment I “checked in.”

I did a body scan with an open palm over the top line of his body. Mocha was standing easily and was very excepting of the attention. I encountered small miasms, which are detectable blockages of the energy field which surrounds each and every thing on our planet and maybe in the entire universe.  These can typically be easily removed and I did so this day. Then I got out my pendulum and went to work.  I asked to see the direction and intensity of each of Mocha’s seven major chakras. Starting at the base of his tail I checked the 1st or “root chakra” and then traveled towards his head checking each of the next five chakras and found the first six were moving in a normal way.  So I was startled to get to the 7th “crown” chakra and watch the pendulum come to a complete stop. All on its own, it totally stopped moving. Okay; wasn’t expecting that. I looked at Martha and knew instantly that she had witnessed it as well.

… to be continued.  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gracious Miracle

This was one of my journeys during a shamanic writing workshop that I took a few years ago.

As a group we had been instructed in the afternoon’s process.  Each of the participants began by gently grooming the horse in front of them. As the drumming started we were instructed to step back and begin our journey.  I have never tried journey work standing up before, but, why not ??

Accepting the rhythm of the drum, I moved back away from the horse and closed my eyes. I quickly found myself in total darkness.  I was quiet with the blackness and then it began to take shape.  It somehow felt like I was in a very large tube, the darkness felt soft, like velvet.  It was not something that I could touch because I was somehow suspended in the middle of the tube, easily and gently being supported there. No worries.

I begin to notice a procession. It started way below me, the shapes were small. It looked as if they were slowly walking up black velvet steps that I could not really see, just imagine. The shapes were not close to me, but they further defined the feeling that I was in a large black cylinder. The procession arched around me and as they grew closer I could tell that they were horses, of every color; colors that “real” horses don’t normally come in ~ there were bright yellow horses and pink ones, and green ones.  Some of them looked like carousal horses, but it was also very apparent that they were living, breathing, and moving animals. They were beautiful.  As they grew close, I saw their wings. Some were folded back along their backs but most were standing up, connected at the upper shoulder and moving gently with each step.  It was so awesome I may have stopped breathing.

I have been told for years in different readings that I could work with the horses if I so chose, and help them get their wings.  But I could not visualize it and was totally unsure what to do next ….. and here they were, and they all had their wings.  Sensing my question they said, “Yes, we already have our wings. We have always had our etheric wings. They are a sign of our divinity. Only you humans have never acknowledged them. Some of you are only now beginning to acknowledge our divinity.  It is good and we are thankful.” 

“So what am I supposed to do?” silently formulating another question in my mind.

“There are horses who have forgotten their own wings. You will find them in your healing work. You can help them remember and restore to them their divinity if they so choose. Share this vision with them and they will instantly remember ~ they will re-awaken their own cellular memory”. 

I nodded my head in agreement and continued to watch the procession of amazing creatures, silently climbing, creating now a wondrous spiral around me. I had tears in my eyes as rapid drumming drew me back into the arena and an outside voice instructed each of us to return to our bodies. I quietly whispered my prayers of gratitude for their willingness to be present with me this day. Another gracious miracle received. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

TIME !?!?!

I am not sure what is going on but in the past week time has been playing tricks with me. It started with my desk top home receptionist phone that I have had for many years.  I finished a phone call, hung up the receiver, and was shocked to note the time. Geez, where did it go? According to my phone I should have been walking out the door for an appointment. I rushed toward the kitchen and was brought up short when I noted the clock softly glowing at me from the stove top.
According to the kitchen, I have plenty of time.
I walked back to my desk, which apparently took about 25 minutes to cross thirty feet.  I double checked the time with my wall mounted atomic clock to realize that my telephone was the culprit. I reset the phone, which, as mentioned earlier, I have owned for many years. I went on with my day wondering if a phone was like a tetanus shot; if you can’t remember when you got your last one, you probably need a new one !?!?.

Two days later the same type of event happened but this time it was my computer playing with my schedule. For some unknown reason the clock on my computer was incorrect. It has NEVER been incorrect. Once again I was startled and panicked for a moment thinking I was running late. Once again I double checked with my atomic clock that has hung over my doorway for several years. If you are not familiar with Atomic Clocks I must say that they are wonderful. Mine is battery operated. All atomic clocks are keyed into one giant time-keeping apparatus at the National Bureau of Standards, which just happens to be located in Boulder, Colorado. I have no idea how it actually works but it is said to neither gain nor lose one second in 300,000 years. My close proximity to Boulder, Colorado has not, however, decreased my immunity towards losing time.

The next day I woke up and my bedroom clock radio and the microwave clock were blinking at me, indicating that the electricity had gone off in the middle of the night. I would need to reset time. On its own this would be easily explained, but with all the other freaky things going on ???

And then, my desk phone struck again. I was savvy this time and referenced the wall clock immediately. Once again my telephone had stolen about half an hour worth of valuable time.  Four times in less than a week multiple time pieces have played tricks with me. A coincidence?

I no longer believe in coincidence. When the universe sends me three hits (or more!) I feel that I must pay attention. So I spent time meditating on my relationship with time. Upon reflection I understand that I obsess about time. My truth in the past has been that, much like money, I never seem to have enough.

Apparent (?) Truths:
In my real estate world, “time is of the essence” means that time deadlines are deal makers.
My business life is dictated by other people’s time lines.
For many years my mantra has been, “I have all the time I need”.
I usually repeat this as I drive furiously towards a meeting it appears I may be late for.
So I shortened it to, “I have all the time”
In metaphysical studies it is taught that time is an illusion; there is no such thing as time.
I have heard over and over, “All things happen in Divine Right Timing.”
And yet the same teachers say that “time is indeed speeding up as our physical vibrations amp up.”
Note to self: “Update our illusion of time.”
Like the atomic clock, it isn’t always necessary to understand how it works.
I choose to believe that “All things DO happen in Divine Right Timing.”
This takes the pressure off of me.
I am at peace with time and my respective time pieces.
“I have all the time…….”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Chocolate. What a luscious topic. I love knowing that I have it in my freezer, different flavors from different parts of the world. I either have amazing self control or a really poor memory; it can stay in there for a long time. Actually, I always save it for special occasions. 

Oh yeah, I have chocolate in the freezer … saving it for a special day.
Too bad it’s been there forever, nothing special coming my way.
Poor me, oh yeah, poor little me….

Ouch. Sounds like the beginning of a sad country song.

Moving on. Saturday evening I was waiting in line at Staples Office Supply store and there it was, right at eye level.  Hummm, almost 50% off; a row of Ghirardelli chocolate bars. The box of caramel was already empty but there was one bar left with Raspberry Filling … just sitting there.  The man in front of me had questions about a rebate offer on something he was purchasing. I was not listening to his conversation, just minding my own business when the chocolate started calling my name, in a sweet sugary kind of way,

                        “Hey honey, I’m on sale ~ almost half off.
                        How can you pass up a good deal like that?
                        Remember Ghirardelli Square in good ole “San Fran”?
                        Oh yeah, good times. You know you should buy me.
                        You love raspberries. Did I mention I am dark chocolate?
                        You would have picked me over caramel anyway … !!!”

I was abruptly pulled back from my reverie by the check-out girls nasally twang, “Will this be all for you tonight?”

“Oh no,” I smiled, “I guess that I have to have one of these.”  I grabbed the chocolate bar and added it to my small pile of supplies, none as important at the moment as that little pink box.

Working at my computer on Sunday afternoon, I suddenly remembered it in my purse. I pulled it out and ate half of it in one setting … but slowly, taking my sweet time, savoring the pink gooey center. Heck, working on a Sunday I deserved a luscious treat.
This time is special enough.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


“Don’t let your mind wander ~ it’s 2 little 2 B left alone.”
(Posted on the billboard in front of the Abundant Life Church)

The first time I saw this I cracked up.  The second time I drove by I started laughing before I got to the end ‘cause I knew the punch line.  I was sad when they rotated the bill board as this slogan had made me giggle every time. 

I have been thinking about it lately and it reminds me of an experiment I have been working on.  You see, I have spent an inordinate amount of time in my life daydreaming.  I am the quintessential Queen of Daydreaming.  Especially in my car. I don’t know how many times I have arrived at my destination and I couldn’t tell you a darn thing about the actual trip.  Or those times when I am driving and there are cars all around me ... then I “wake up” and look around ... and the cars are all gone.  Where did they go?  When did they leave?  Do they know something I don’t know?  It is a bizarre feeling.

My issue is I do not always daydream pleasant thoughts.  In fact, my imagination can carry me away, ruin the moment and even bring on anxiety attacks.  I see this as a pretty destructive habit.  I have spent way too much time thinking of the worst case scenario.  Let me give you a few examples. (1) While I am hooking up my horse trailer, I imagine something going wrong with the equipment and losing the trailer down the highway.  (2) I have a meeting set up with a new client and on the drive to their office I imagine that they are going to see me as an imbecile.  (3) I have also spent a lot of time making up excuses in my mind ~ just in case I may miss a deadline.  I have lengthy imaginary conversations with my clients practicing how to tell them.  It goes on and on, ad nauseam.  

I slowly began to realize that these worst case scenarios never evolved they way I imagine them, and my made up conversations are never spoken out loud.   I made a conscious decision that I would not spend another minute making up excuses for my life. 

I am doing the best that I can.  And for the most part, it has worked.  Now, if I catch myself thinking up an excuse for anything I ask myself out loud, “Who are you talking to?”

Since I am the only one in the car or my office, this is a very short conversation. 

As I cannot see a single positive reason to keep up the negative day dreaming, I decided to see what I could do about this (?) addiction.  It is taking precious time away from enjoying life; it is something I believe I can modify.  If I can’t totally quiet my mind then at least I want to spend more time thinking pleasant thoughts.  So I came up with a strict routine.  When I find myself thinking a destructive thought or my heart starts to race with a worse case scenario ~ I immediately stop.  I visually wrap up the thought in a piece of white tissue paper, blow it gently towards the light and offer it up to be transformed into …… a totally positive image.  It may sound crazy, but it is the routine that helps me move out of the moment.

Driving down Boulder Canyon one day, I must have gone through this routine at least a dozen times.  I was flabbergasted but I doggedly practiced my visualization with every single negative scenario. 

Recently I realized that I am not doing this nearly as often.  It’s working.  I may have to play with this the rest of my life, but it only takes a second to run through my routine. I am willing to do this. I am worth it.

So,  “Don’t let your mind wander ~ it’s 2 little 2 B left alone.”    
But if it does, guide it towards a field of wild flowers beside a gently flowing stream and advise it to stay there and enjoy the moment. J

* annette

Postscript.  For what it is worth, I have read several books which helped a lot. Ekhardt Tolle, in his book, The New Earth, does a swell job of guiding those who do indeed want their brain back.  Another one of my favorite books on the subject is, Loving What Is by Byron Katie. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Buffalo Gals

We are sitting in a circle near Old Faithful with our alter items in the center.  We had traveled here to pray for mother earth as the waters in Lake Yellowstone have been heating up to a dangerous level.  It had first come to my attention as I listened to a report on the evening news months earlier, that the fish were dying and there was concern that the earth might erupt to relieve her pressure.  I had also heard that different groups of Native Americans were coordinating efforts so that a ceremony could be preformed at least once a month inside the park. 

We now pass the white sage around the circle.  We are not Native Americans in the traditional way; we are pink Americans that have gathered from our native states of Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio and other places across the land.  Most of us only knew the few folks that we had driven with to get here.  Now we are making new friends as we come together to lend our support and prayers for our dear Mother Earth.  Our spiritual leader, Rev. Kari Chapman, founder of the Namaste Retreat Center in Wisconsin, had sent out an email to invite everyone to join her here at this time.  We had shown up.

It is the middle of May and colder than I thought it was going to be.  I am a tiny bit conscious of other park visitors looking at us curiously, and then most move away without making eye contact.   A park ranger comes over to the circle and whispers that the buffalo are coming in.  “If they get any closer I am going to ask you to move, and you will need to move quickly.”  

 “Holy Crap”, I thought to myself, but Kari never missed a beat.  She graciously acknowledged his presence but went right on with the ritual – singing, chanting, and praying.  A young man that had been standing behind us came quietly and sat down beside me.  He started singing and praying with us.  It felt right and peaceful and on we went.  Kari described the 21 Lakota elders mounted on their spirit horses that were present and standing behind us in an outer circle.  I could not see them, but I could feel their powerful presence.  They were here to support us and give strength to our prayers.

We finished our ceremony and I began to drift back into my body.  I looked outside the circle and saw several groups of buffalo, standing, watching us.  From my position cross legged on the ground, they looked so much bigger and shaggier than the ones we had driven past yesterday.  I watched the park ranger watch the buffalo.  To release the energy of the ceremony we lifted our hands above our heads and started trilling and singing “hallelujah” as we stood up, hugging and smiling at one another.  As if listening to a silent cue, all of the buffalo slowly turned and gently left the area.  They had been our witnesses, our sentinels, offering us protection and validity ~ a mutual honoring.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bought 'er the farm

I have been known to joke about my sweet horse, Lakota, “Well, I bought her the farm!”
But there is a strong thread of truth to that simple statement. When I was a young girl I told my grandpa that I wanted to marry a farmer and he discouraged me, saying his way of life was not going to be sustainable in the future. I might have been sad for a moment but he probably gave me a popsicle and I was happy again. Then, as an adult, I lusted after my sister’s ten acre farm in Missouri. She could sit on her covered patio, drink her morning coffee and gaze out over lush greenness to her sweet ponies. I wanted that.

I had my horse boarded at Boulder Valley Farms and she was pretty happy there, but I kept dreaming of having my own place. I dreamed of a fellow who would desire the same lifestyle, we would meet and the sun and the moon and the stars would shine down upon us … and we would buy a farm. But he didn’t show up even though my desire to live on the land continued to grow ….. so I started without him.

I bought Lakota a little farm and it has been a wonderful adventure. There have ups and there have been downs. I survived that first winter blizzard, shoveling four feet of snow and climbing over enormous drifts.  All by myself,  I kept all the horses fed and watered for two and half days till the roads cleared.  I have learned about electric fencing. I am absolutely appalled at how clumsy I am with my ten-jobs-in-one fencing tool, but I own one and I am happy about that. I have a whole spindle of wire that I bought that is too thick for me to work with, I cannot bend it and that pisses me off. But I bought a riding lawn mower and finally learned how to start that cold-hearted-whore of a weed-eater. I am extremely happy about that.

And my sweet Lakota has been a good four–legged partner. I have learned many things from my horse. She has taught me that “slow” is often times faster.  I am learning about patience and the importance of baby steps.
She is constantly reminding me that conversation is a two way street and that I am not the world’s best communicator. She, on the other hand, is crystal clear with her signals. Her body language may be subtle, but it is never meant to deceive. She is consistent in a way that I still aspire to. She literally has a heart as big as football and a kind eye that soothes the soul.

But even as I dream about a fellow, Lakota needs constant companions as well. So a few weeks ago, I drove to eastern Colorado and brought her home a herd. Two miniature donkey’s, “jenny’s” as the females are called, that are just about as cute as can be. Hilde and Penny we call them. I had told Lakota that I was bringing her friends and when we unloaded them at my house, she was so curious. She stood with her head thrown over the fence, checking them out with all of her senses. She is the same horse that was scared to death of miniature horses when they walked behind us the Boulder County Fair parade a few years ago. We introduced them slowly but it went so smoothly that we let them all out in the north pasture together. Lakota mothered on them and followed them around the pasture, a respectful distance mind you, for Penny told her in no uncertain terms that she did not need a mother, thank you very much. But Lakota didn’t mind, she just gave them space and radiated love to these small creatures.

Yesterday, even though the wind was blowing coldly, I wanted to spend time with them. I bundled up and grabbed my heavy gloves. I did some poop scooping and walked the fence line and actually discovered a place were the top wire was broken. I walked back to the shed, unplugged the electric fence, collected some mending wire and my handy dandy fencing tool. Every body followed me back to the fence and watched me weave the wires back together. Then I walked the remaining perimeter, and my girls followed me. I whistled a happy tune and their ears swiveled in the wind. I grinned. I am home and the fence is fixed.