Every time I write a blog post, new levels of vulnerability potentially arise within me. This week’s blog and video has been sitting on my desktop for over a year. The content personal and revealing of the intimate relationship I have with my herd. I have not felt ready to post it.
You would think that after posting blogs for twenty-two years my level of resilience and ability to roll with the comments and feedback would be like steel. This video gave me a run for my money. To test the waters I asked a few select graduates and dear friends to look at the clip. In the process I was able to see where and how my ego got attached to feedback.
Hands down the feedback was positive. I heard comments such as: the connection is palpable, brought tears to my eyes, I truly see who you are with your horses, soft, beautiful flow, felt calming and peaceful, and very special and heart felt. However, one person’s feedback, which now I recognize came less from her heart and more from her critical analytical mind, was what my ego grabbed a hold of hook, line and sinker. I scolded myself for showing others something that was not “perfect.” My ego continued to think of all the negative comments I might receive. I thought of all the ways I would change the clip to make it perfect on all levels. If I took away the pieces I was uncomfortable with so no one could say anything negative, then I could feel safe in sharing it. What a bunch of crap. My ego had taken over.
It has taken me months to peel back the iron grip of resistance and the self-shaming I kept throwing at myself. The gift for me is a new level of resilience and a higher sense of self-worth and appreciation for my courage to put forward the blogs and videos that I feel may inspire or create positive change. In this video I allow myself to be seen in a whole different light.
Every time I write or offer a video clip I expose a part of myself. I have had to learn self-preservation, courage and tenacity. Sometimes I receive heart-based compliments. Other times, I receive nothing at all. The biggest lesson is how to maintain my self-esteem when I receive negative comments. These comments belittle, make wrong or can easily shame. The individual commenting may not understand the energy and impact behind their words. And the ego of the receiver still may buy into it.
I am a human being with an ego just like everyone else. There is that desire to receive only the positive comments. There is value in the negative too. The negative or off-handed comments help me work on my shame and lack of self-worth. An actress may play the part of another’s character and not get that quite on the mark. She is playing a role. It is a much more vulnerable and personal experience to present one’s self, to put one’s true heart out to the public, and wait.
The purpose of my ponderings is not to influence how you respond or leave comments. I wish to support you in knowing that each step you take as a mother, teacher, healer, facilitator, consultant, instructor or any agent of positive change requires the harnessing of your shame, self-doubt, and worthlessness. Getting to know this part of your self can be a heart wrenching, angry making, shame producing and cathartic process. The relationship with these aspects of one’s self is hardly ever over. Each step forward into the true divine authentic expression of one’s self ignites new layers of these aspects that have held us back and kept us small.
So, why bother? I cannot fulfill my life purpose if I stay small. I also cannot affect positive change for horses, mother earth and other humans. One of my favorite quotes is from Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” Nothing positive comes when we shrink and get small so that another can dominate, control or feel better about them self through their activated unbalanced out of alignment ego.
Nothing positive comes when we shrink and get small to keep our self emotionally safe from the judgments of others. The gift in the journey of slaying the demons of shame and lack of self worth is receiving more of who you truly are, for yourself, so that your purpose and passion can come forth in the world, giving way for the opportunity to inspire, uplift and heal those around you.
This video came about when James Anaquad Kleinert, a dear friend, talented artist, and passionate activist for horse and mother earth came to stay with me last fall. I hemmed and hawed all day long about the letting James film me with the horses. I was exhausted after a long season of work and had not even “played” with my horses for months.
When the late afternoon autumn sun offered a warm glow in the round pen I pulled up my bootstraps and told myself, “This is not about you, it’s about the horses. Do it for the horses. Just go DO IT.” I had pondered throughout the day what I might want the clip to be about. However, I had hardly prepared myself to create any sort of organized eight-minute video. James encouraged me to simply be with and play with my horses and to let what wanted to come through in my thoughts to be shared. And, so I did.
James captured truth and authenticity. He took the footage of our shoot and brought it together in a way that I feel portrays the intimate connection that is possible between human and horse. It is not about perfect horsemanship or a perfect marketing message. What this clip is about a talented man capturing the essence of the energy, spirit and glory of horse and the intimacy of relationship with a human. The message? The true heart-connection and spiritual bonding that is possible with horse.
After a full year of grappling with the consequences of sharing, I hand to you my heart, on film, with my dear beloved herd of horses, each in their authentic expression. As you watch the horses you will see that Corazon, Moon and Diva are not grappling with what they looked like, what people might say about them, if they are doing it right, or if they are actually worthy. They are simply being who they are in their world. What might be possible if you and I could live with this egoless inner freedom?
I hope you enjoy this short video. Leave a comment! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated as they grow me in many ways.
My heart is here with Horse. I hope you can see it and most of all you can feel this shared love. I truly hope it inspires you to step up on your life path, to get to your next level of contribution and to harness the demons of shame so you can experience the power and freedom in vulnerability.
Explore New Freedom with Horses
If you are ready to be on the Path with Horse . . . you may wish to explore these options:
Special Thanks to James Anaquad Kleinert for this work in this video and for the work he is doing to preserve our wild horse herds and mother earth. Support his cause here.
Special thanks to Brene Brown, Ph.D. L.M.S.W. and her book; The Gifts of Imperfections: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are.