Hostess With The Mostess

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In today’s Note From The Herd I want to share a situation that happened A couple of years ago with this amazing horse, Cisco.

I was in the corral with the horses and I was having an awesome moment with Cicso. We were talking and I was petting him. There may have been nuzzling. After a few minutes of it, Lorraine, who was observing with the horses and Sherry that day, came out of the house and was entering the corral. I turned around and began to ask her if she needed help and then, when her interest in working with horses had begun.

She and I started chatting and the next thing I knew, Cicso had walked away, basically as far away from me as he could get and turned his rump toward me. Not good.

I knew in an instant what had happened. I knew that because I had gone from being in my body and super present, to completely in my head and playing “hostess” that I was out of integrity and therefore, the horse wanted nothing to do with me.

The horses are so awesome that way. Such great teachers that show us our glaring issues. Mine was that I felt like I had to be “on.” And I know this stems from growing up with a father who was a politician. I always had to smile and make people feel welcome, even when it was the last thing I wanted to do. It wasn’t authentic. Honestly, I didn’t know Lorraine, I was never going to be friends with Lorraine and there was no reason in that moment to be trying to make Lorraine feel comfortable. It wasn’t my job and more importantly IT WASN’T NECESSARY!  She was fine and did not need me ensuring her comfort.

Lessons for a Lifetime

More than anything, this is the point that I want to make about working with horses in this manner. That even these one-minute encounters shine a light, a very bright light, on who we are and the ways in which we might want to change how we move through the world. I don’t need to be the world’s hostess, nor do I want to be!!! And I am much more aware now of when I’m putting on my “political hostess” hat and taking off my Laurie hat. And the Laurie hat is the one I want tot be wearing. I want to be someone genuine and real. I want to extend a hand in help if you need it, but not because I think that is what will win me some imaginary contest that doesn’t even exist! I want to get to know people, but when the circumstances are appropriate for it. Not during my counseling session!

Last Couple of Weeks

This is the last post that I’m going to write about the horses. I have shared a lot of personal stories and enough I think to help elucidate the many and varied benefits of working with them.

I’m going to close registration for my next Everyday Grace Retreat on August 15. There is one spot left and if you feel it calling to you, I urge you to snap it up!  I can promise you this retreat and the workshop with the horses will absolutely change your life.

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Attitude of Gratitude

When I was a kid, we used to have Al-Anon meetings in our house every week for years. I would always be hidden away in my room, but you couldn’t help but hear all of the stories and the chanting of prayers and sayings that went on during these meetings. One of the sayings that I remember hearing is that you should have an Attitude of Gratitude. It always stuck with me. In addition to Sister Mary Brendan telling me that there is Grace in every situation, I spent most of my formative years looking for the Grace in my life and feeling grateful for what I had.

Today’s Share The Love Sunday comes from Goodlife ZEN and is about 8 Grateful Habits That Will Transform Your Life.  From Mary Jaksch of Goodlife Zen:

The part that is often missing or de-emphasized is the importance of developing a consistent gratitude habit.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude does take work, but it also works. The secret of those who’ve successfully used gratitude to transform their lives is their commitment to practicing gratitude on a daily basis – including those days when they don’t feel particularly grateful.

Here are the 8 things:

  1. Thank one person every day.
  2. Keep a gratitude journal (with a twist).
  3. Take deep breaths.
  4. Pay attention.
  5. Track your moments of spontaneous joy.
  6. Carry a symbol.
  7. Give thanks before each meal.
  8. Take a look in the mirror.

To read the full descriptions of the 8 items, you can read the full blog post on her site here.

One of my favorite spiritual practices is to be grateful for three things each morning. Just after I get out of bed, I go outside and raise my eyes to the sky, toward the sun, and name three things I’m thankful for. It’s a wonderful way to begin the day!!!

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