Sitting on the side of the mountain after climbing the Buddhist temple, I had slowly emerged out of another deep meditation when I realized leaves had been falling on my head. As I looked above me, there sat, ate and played a large group of black with white rimmed eyed, monkeys. Not at all concerned with me being there, they only began to move away slightly once I stood to leave and enter back into the mountain for the long stairway journey to the bottom.
During the year and a half before hand, I had been going into longer and longer periods of far away meditations lasting hours at a time, reaching beyond the body and beyond the mind. The wild monkeys in Malaysia were not afraid of me or disturbed by my presence because essentially ‘I’ was not there. My consciousness had merged with the mountain’s. Later the temple caretakers were very surprised to hear that the monkeys had come to me, saying that the black monkeys did not like humans and rarely showed themselves. After going to this temple daily for a month it was the first time I had ever seen them.
I had by this time, tuned into an unbelievably profound sense of peace, awareness of all that was going on in the world, clarity of what laid ahead, both in and out of a meditative state and an immense amount of love for everything. I often explain that during these years I had ‘left this world’ but eventually I needed to came back. My new life ahead awaited me and I was ready to face it’s new challenges but from a whole new perspective. It wasn’t always like this though…..
In the first article about Self Love – The Way of Self Love, I mentioned that having boundaries is a powerful part of creating self-love and I will write another article specifically on boundaries with their importance and how to set them.
I once went to a friend of mine, Jillian Drew, who had begun doing healing sessions with her horses (Equevoke). I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I worked with horses daily and thought that if they had anything to help or guide me on in healing my past abusive relationships, they would have done by now. I knew her horses well as I had been coaching her Dressage for some time already. But this day turned out to be very different than I had imagined. I wanted to heal my past and break the cycle of attracting abusive men.
In a time of global healing and Souls shifting from fear into love, I also understand that the transition into self-love can often be unclear and challenging. There is often a misguided perception of self-love being only soft and a weak manifestation in the physical world or an ego-ness of selfishness and greed. Many associate love with kindness, patience, compassion, happiness, surrender and turning the other cheek but love, above all of these, is strength, self-respect, discipline, courage, will power, boundaries, emotional connection and depth.
Choosing a love based life is never about sacrificing yourself for another, it is about choosing yourself for another. Becoming a martyr in an act of love only drains yourself and the one you love. Empowering your light opens your heart and with it the ability to love another.
How we treat ourselves is a long combination of what we have learnt, dreamed of, feared, experienced and seen throughout our whole life and from many others.
For years I went through my own turbulent relationships. Always the same situation, I would meet a man, become attracted to who he was, always seeing his good but feeling the need to ‘fix’ his problems for him. I was a glutton for punishment until a powerful realization came forth during one of my most abusive relationships. The relationship had progressed from emotional abuse to verbal abuse and had begun the terrible cycle of physical abuse. I was walking down the road to get us both lunch when a thought just popped in from the back of my mind, it said ‘suck it up Catherine, this is love.’ I stopped in my tracks and said immediately to myself, ‘No it is not love!’ From there I began to release this old belief and create a new understanding about love. A week later I left this relationship and went on to a two year journey of healing and self-love. I then met my beautiful partner who is now the father of our beautiful little girl.
Sometimes in life, we just need to breathe and let go…..
The need to hang onto the reins and to control things, is just another way of us trying to find security in what we are doing and what is happening in our lives. It’s when that sneaking inner anxiety and fear about the future is slowly making it’s presence known but you are not aware of it yet. The tension and stress that you may not even notice in you, slowly starts to come to life. You start to notice that you are controlling everything around you and that you are hanging on to the reins.
Unfortunately in riding and in life, if what we are doing is an action driven by fear, it only produces more fear in the horse. This is where no matter what we do, we keep sending signals of insecurity, control and tension and this keeps bringing back to the same response to us from the horse.
I have been working for a while now as a Dressage rider and coach. I went from learning how to ride bareback, no bridle, no helmet and on my own as a young child, to working with animal behaviorist, Andrew Maclean, to living and working/riding under old school Classical Dressage trainers in Germany, to owning my own stables in Australia. I have since been head coach for stables in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and recently in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Throughout all those years, working with all these different horses – young to Grand Prix, Show Jumping, hobby riders, to Western riders, beginners and professionals, different religions, cultures and even in different languages – there is one thing I came to realise;
Horses don’t have problems, people do.
Fear is not always that we are afraid of heights, dogs or snakes. With so many of us now taking on our own companies and businesses, it can be the fear of opening the post. Of reading an email from a complaining client. Not making the months bills or losing your clients. Sometimes the fear of being afraid can override the thing you actually are afraid of!
You cannot help a situation when you are living in fear of it.
For a long time now I have been wanting a way to share with you all a very great man who is not overly well known but deserves the same focus and spotlight as everyone else.
A man who taught me not only the patient building blocks of a Dressage horse and rider but the encouragement and dedication it takes to be a teacher of horses and riders.
Riding is one of the only sports that develop areas of the brain that connect with intuition, awareness, instinct and feel. When you rely upon forms of interference within your own body as well as the horse’s body, you cut off this ability to intuit what is happening. You cut off the most powerful form of growth available to us with horses – awareness.
Today we have a never ending supply of tools that are not only taught to us by our trusted trainers but in many places they are the only option given to us either forcefully or with the use of ‘law’.