The Way of Self Love

Catherine taking a year to herself in Bali

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.

Continue reading “The Way of Self Love”

Letting Go

Catherine with Utopia and Lee ’18’

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.
Continue reading “Letting Go”

Horses don’t have problems – People do.

Working with the Andalusian Stallion, Gato, in Jakarta, Indoneisa ’14’

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.

Continue reading “Horses don’t have problems – People do.”

Riding – with or without a helmet?

ab5de5a9-1d8d-4b21-ba72-161974b9f07c-originalRiding 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’.
Continue reading “Riding – with or without a helmet?”

The Spiritual Meaning behind the Purpose of Forward in Dressage.

 

1392014_309493629204117_270881939745473352_nLife is like riding, you will only have harmony once you stop fighting it.

Mainly during my first years of riding as a young teenager but also during various places and stages in the past, I attracted often  the ‘bolter’ horse that is sensitive, very electric and always running away. This was a strong connection of who I was at the time. It was a reflection of issues that I was learning from and working through in how I dealt with my own life – flee, run, don’t reflect on things just quickly get to the next place. I was afraid of confrontation, scared and with a belief that I was somehow wrong no matter how much I had come to learn from experience and others.

Continue reading “The Spiritual Meaning behind the Purpose of Forward in Dressage.”

A Universe in Pain needing to be Healed

Limitations quoteI once was plagued with a back pain from injuries obtained throughout a stressful, grueling and difficult career in working with horses.

My path to healing led me down numerous tracks. At first I was in complete denial and searched in whatever medical way I could to escape the pain and continue my beloved work. This did not last and after one day getting off a horse and realising I could not feel both my legs I was pushed to more action. Shortly after this surgeons were telling me I would need to change career and I could not ride again, I kept riding but I also began to search deeper. Accupunture, water physiotherapy, herbs, pressure point therapy, mental coaching and many, many anti-inflammatory tablets!

Continue reading “A Universe in Pain needing to be Healed”

Entering A Prison Of Light

On the 12th of October in Milan, Italy, a day for us all to remember for a very long time was in the making. The night before, after receiving some information as to why the majority of these men were in prison, due to my own inner fears of not being able to be present without judgment, I woke up in a panic at 4am thinking that I really should not go. I did go and I would not be who I am today if I didn’t. Here is a small expression of a day in a prison made of light and its profound healing it brought to us all.

People had been asking me for a long time before my visit ‘Why was I going to a prison?!’ For me it was very simple –

I believe we all have a responsibility in this life to help each other in whatever way we can.

IMG_0005I went into this place knowing nothing of who these men were, their pasts or their futures and only was told statically what most of them were in here for but I did not know individually. I had to go in with an open heart and let go of any judgments or perceptions of who I thought these men were. If you can look beyond your own ego it is easier to look beyond the ego in others and here is where we can see the truth of each others pain. I ended up spending 8 hours there with this extremely wonderful group of inmates, program leaders and their horses.

Continue reading “Entering A Prison Of Light”

Coming Out – Where Dressage Meets Spirituality

gato nov 3
Catherine Louise Birmingham with the remarkable stallion Gato. Photo taken by the talented Nabila Putri Shariva.

Not long ago I published an article with LinkedIn on the ego in our industry and if our love of horses could overcome it. I wanted to share it here but with some more detail and personal additions to it.

Slowly the equestrian world has begun to part waters and form a rift between two worlds – one of professional sport and the other of naturalists and therapy work.

I believe in both.

Continue reading “Coming Out – Where Dressage Meets Spirituality”

FREEDOM

'There is no finish line, life is the experience and fear is the force of growth. Love is waiting on the other side.' Catherine Louise Birmingham with Landetta
‘There is no finish line, life is the experience and fear is the force of growth. Love is waiting on the other side.’ Catherine Louise Birmingham with Landetta

What is Freedom?

The freedom to be who we are. The freedom to soar across the sky untouched and unharmed by anyone or anything. The freedom to exist as we are, the freedom to be loved and to give love. The freedom to live without judgment- from the outside and from within. The freedom to honor your truth and your life purpose. The freedom to BE YOU.

Who is truly free? Do we all exist in this life in a bubble of fear? Who really is soaring within and living the true calling of their life?
Continue reading “FREEDOM”