The Earth

Awareness of the Changes the Fall Season Brings

Posted by on October 13, 2012 in Healing, Health, The Earth, The Horse | 0 comments

Awareness of the Changes the Fall Season Brings

Here at the Jersey Shore, the Purple Martins left on their journey south about two weeks early. We have become aware that seasonal shifts are occurring all over the globe and how it influences the flow of life. If we increase our awareness of how the seasonal changes are directly reflected in our bodies it can help us to move with ease through the challenges of change. With awareness, we can make choices that avoid illness and support the healing and strengthening of our horses and ourselves. The fall is when the expansive energy of the summer season with its long hours of sunlight, high overhead has begun to fade. During the summer, the trees expand to reach for and take in the light. We too expand our activities and are outdoors for longer periods with other people and our horses. Now, noticeably the plants have begun to brown and die back and the leaves of many trees have begun to curl and drop. As mammals we also reflect the seasonal changes of the earth. The lowering of the angle of the sun and shortening length of the day influences our hormones. Our bodies respond: the horses have begun to shed their summer coats and my hair has also begun its predictable late summer/early fall cycle of thinning. In myself, I have also noticed my usual bodily response to the initiation of fall – my body has begun to crave richer foods, my metabolism has shifted in preparation for the cool weather ahead and I have gained some weight. The cooler weather has influenced my horse, too, he is asking for more oats. It is helpful to be aware of the origin of these cravings and to balance them with understanding of why they occur. In the fall, like the spring, the body calls for building up. but also for detoxification. For the horses this is supported by the cooler weather and rain that potents shoots of rich, green grass. This new growth fills in among the brown, burnt fibers of the summer grass. Giving your horse access to this mixed grazing is the natural way to support their increased need for calories, detoxifying sprouts and the necessary fiber to balance this and support efficient digestion. For humans, all of our late summer vegetables and early fall fruits such as apple, figs, pears and grapes support this detoxification process. We can add richer food, such as nuts, seeds and animal protein to support our need to build strength and reserved energy. We also need to consume fiber accordingly to support digestion. Be aware of this need your body has; move beyond the temptation of consuming too many carbohydrates as processed foods. I remind myself each day to eat my fiber as fruits, vegetables and whole grain products and support my health by keeping them around an in view! How do we support the detox process further? For the horse that does not have access to green grass, we can offer a variety of herbs that help detox the body. As humans we can make juice or smoothies at the start our day, the natural time of cleansing. This will help to rest and repair our digestive track before eating the first solid meal. May you enjoy the arrival of fall; feast on the nutrients its beauty and bounty offers you!...

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The Joy of Listening to Your Inner Voice

Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Awareness, Healing, Inspiration, The Earth, The Heart | 4 comments

The Joy of Listening to Your Inner Voice

This morning I was a running couple hours late, so when my heart spoke the request to go for a walk on the beach, I baulked. I had many excuses, primarily the lack of time remaining in the morning for,what I believed, I needed to do today.  Also, I was very hungry and the sun was already too high to be outdoors. I ignored and resisted. The voice was not pacified and quickly had urgency about it. It spoke to heart of the need, for me not to ignore it. It then said, “Go now!” I did, I dropped my narrow focus upon my list of “to dos,” watering the potted plants on the deck and eating. On went my flip flops; my heart and I, now in agreement, headed to the beach. There, as I was taking off my sandals, (yes!) I overheard a woman speaking to a man about seeing something in the ocean. The man, disinterested, moved on; I plunged my bare feet into the warm sand and walked down the dune slope to where the woman sat on a bench. Interested, I inquired as to what she had seen. She pointed offshore where she exclaimed she had sighted a whale. Sure enough, the water blew, unmistakably, out of a whale air hole. We watched more periodic blows and were even blessed with the sighting of her slippery, black back swelling to the surface and then disappearing below. More air blows as she headed south; and then she reached her massive head up out of the water, opened her mouth, and revealed a white chin of… not sure, possibly a Humpback? The show was not over; closer to the shoreline a large pod of dolphins swam by. Their dark crescent shaped bodies revealing fin after fin after fin; feeding as they, too, headed southward. Whenever I listen to that little voice I receive what my heart truly longs for. The key is to honor it, to trust in the greater knowing of the quiet voice and then, to act upon it. For in doing so we become blessed, as I was, by the exerience of an unforeseen event that brings inspiration and beauty into our...

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Opening the Door to Awareness and Healing

Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Awareness, Healing, Health, The Earth | 2 comments

Opening the Door to Awareness and Healing

This morning a Mockingbird landed on the wire outside my door and began its call. Mockingbirds are considered mimics; they repeat the calls of other birds as a means of defining their territory. This bird cried out a loud, series of calls and I began to listen. The calls were unclear to me and I wondered who he was mimicking; so I opened my door wide, stepped into the doorway and gave myself fully over to listening. The calls I heard from this single bird included the: House Sparrow, Robin, Purple Martin, Blue Jay, Carolina Wren, Common Tern, Cardinal, Cowbird, Grackle, Starling, Herring Gull and Red-Winged Blackbird. There has been a Mockingbird outside my door every year for the seven years I have lived at the shore. This morning I wondered if this was a new, more prolific male or had I finally truly listened? I am grateful when I choose to open the door to awareness and take the time to listening deeply and with  my heart. To make this simple choice is an act of love and healing....

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The Horse and Shamanism

Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Equine Healing, Healing, Healing with Horses Workshop, Health, Shamanism, The Earth, The Horse | 0 comments

The Horse and Shamanism

The earth is a major source of our healing. Shamans throughout the ages have intuitively known this; healers serve by becoming a hollow vessel for the healing energies of the Earth. The horse has been, for many cultures, the symbol for the journey a healer takes to retrieve the lost soul of the patient. The horse is the vehicle that transports the healer’s consciousness into other dimensions of reality; a four-footed, well-grounded animal with a spirit that is free. Life within our societal structures inevitably has constraints. It has domesticated us all and this has resulted in the loss of portions of our soul. Many people are drawn to horses for the truth they reflect to us as humans. Being with horses offers us the opportunity to engage in a metaphoric conversation with this living symbol of transformation and power. In doing so, we see ourselves differently, we heal our disconnection to ourselves and to the earth; we become more whole....

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The Healing Magic of Horses

Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Healing, Health, The Earth, The Horse | 0 comments

The Healing Magic of Horses

I love horses; everything about them so that I appreciate when I come to clarity about some particular aspect as to why. Today I had one of those insightful moments while walking down a paved road near where I live. I was taking break from the computer and eager to breathe in some fresh air billowing in from the southwest and to listen to the birds that are beginning to sing some spring phrasing. As I walked my heart began to hurt and pain began to flood my throat and mind. What is this I wondered? It was the opening of my winter heart to my love of the earth; to the increased light stimulating my hormones and to the gift of hope the emerging season offers. As my heart let go I was filled with the thought of one of the herds I have been working with closely this winter. In my mind’s eye I saw the faces and the muzzles of individuals in the herd and their rich coats glistening in the intensifying sun. My heart became full as I felt “the welcoming of the herd.” These words were spoken softly to my mind from the source of truth and they warmed me more than the strong  sun. My being returned to a sense of cohesion and I reconfirmed my gratitude for the horses and the lessons they so often teach me. At this moment I was reminded why horses are so compelling: the nature of the herd is to be inclusive and to extend a welcoming invitation. This openheartedness travels deeply in my body and offers healing to my heart. I am grateful for the horses; their gifts of kindness and acceptance; and the oasis they offer to me on this Earth. I feel blessed to meet them and to be able give back to them in my own, humble...

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Leadership: Lessons from an Alpha Mare

Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Awareness, Healing, Health, Leadership, The Earth, The Horse | 2 comments

Leadership: Lessons from an Alpha Mare

While training horses I often reward them with one of their favorite past times, grazing. Recently I was working with a 14 year old mare that thoughtfully walked past a situation that was challenging for her; so I led her into a cluster of trees where some tasty grass could be found. It is late winter in the northeast, the fields are primarily brown; any green growth has been bitten down low. The horses long for tender morsels of new grass, for its nutritional and detoxifying effects. This mare reached her nose towards the earth, she enthusiastically and audibly snipped the top off a four inch circle of rich grass. We stood together in this small, open space among the evergreen trees; the NJ Pine Barren’s earth beneath us was disturbed and worn. The exposed ground was primarily sand, grayed with ash and punctuated with intermittent chunks of grass: brown with bright green growth in the center – a horse’s delight! The mare greedily leveled all the tuffs within her immediate range. I enjoyed watching her eat and anticipated that she would now move a few yards away to reach another area of untouched tufts of green, just as I had observed two foals and a gelding I had led there on other occasions do. This mare made a different choice and it became clear to me why she is the alpha mare in this herd, the lead mare whose natural role is to find the best food and lead the herd its source. This mare did not walk on in search of more visible stands of grasses, as the other three horses had. Instead, she simply placed one hoof forward and extended her neck beyond the open area. She delicately rooted her nose into a dense covering of fine, brown stalks; into a foot deep ocean of dried grasses that had broken, blown and had collected in the windbreak to become a thick mass amongst the trees. She burrowed through the fibrous stalks, the bound web of brown, down to where her muzzle’s circular motion revealed vibrant, virgin green grass that I had not, until now, been aware was there. This mare had exhibited the behavior of a master survivalist: she obtained more nutrition with less expenditure of energy than the three other horses that I had brought to the exact same location had. This alpha mare reminded me that in order to be an effective leader we need to stand our ground; to look inside versus outside ourselves for our next step. What we seek is often right in front of our nose, just waiting to be uncovered and discovered. Like her we need to be open and willing to feel where a greater source is guiding us to, and explore what is beneath the surface of the limited framework of our logical...

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