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

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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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