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.

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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.
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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.

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Owning Your Fear

How do we take control of fear and not let it take control of us?

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.

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Utopia

Utopia 

‘Oh my dear western world, how my heart goes out to thee.

A world living in fear, spirits are drained, talents are corrupted, beauty is disfigured beyond recognition and love is looked down upon and mocked to have no purpose in life.
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Spiritual Guidance Sessions – Empowerment, Healing and Focus

Spiritual Guidance Session with Catherine Louise Birmingham

Just under 8 yrs ago, I sat and watched the shock and horror on the face of a truly gifted woman playing a huge part in my then business and Dressage Training stables, Equinoxe Equestrian, when she told me that I could NOT use the word Spiritual in the new brochures! She was afraid that we would lose all the clients from the equestrian world and sure enough, she was right ;-). I didn’t however lose the clients who were benefitting from me fully embracing the truth of who I am and what I believe my Soul came here in this life to be and do. Those clients are still friends today and have become great teachers and riders themselves.

Have you ever wondered why certain behaviors happen with your horse? Maybe a situation in your life is effecting you or repeating itself?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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The Purpose of Our Animals

IMG00066-20100227-1719Why do we have animals so closely interwoven into our lives?
What are we learning from them?
What are they really trying to tell us?

Some of what you read in this article may be challenging for some. To understand these questions it will help to come to take the view that our lives are a complete mirror image reflecting back to us in detail, showing us to ourselves.
To understand this we need to remember that all of our individual lives – seen from our own perspectives no matter how many people, places, things or events that they consist of, are always a reflection of us.

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