Friday, April 30, 2010

The Kentucky Derby

I found myself contemplating the Derby today. It is no secret that I am a horse lover and the Author of a book on proper horse conditioning. It includes a section on techniques for massage and hydrotherapy. I got so tired of watching people take their horses out and running them with cold muscles. It would often lead to behavioral problems or even serious injury. Often, the rider who didn’t warm the horse properly would call the horse “stupid.” Man, that would bother me. I wrote the book to give these riders an idea of how to prevent a cold horse from refusing or becoming injured.

I’ve worked with a lot of horses in my life. I’ve seen the ones that are improperly handled grow to be angry and dangerous. I’ve also seen the ones that are owned by women who spoil them to death. Each horse has its own journey, just like the rest of us.

Every year when thoroughbred racing season comes around, I see the animal advocates hovering around proclaiming “animal abuse.” I also watch the wealthy owners in their big hats wanting to win millions of dollars at the expense the animal. Abuse? Not so much. Some of these people give as much to these animals as they take. Some of them.

I have seen trainers and handlers back side at the track acting like idiots, and I’ve seen others spoiling the horses to a better life than I have. It’s an individual journey. I know some horses that live to compete. When they hear the sounds of the track, they can’t wait to run. Horses run in the wild, it's natural.

Okay, I have to consider the confinement, the conditions (hard ground, lots of travel, overuse, starting too young, fatalities,) and I have to re-consider some of the practices like starting them too young, but many runners that are properly trained are strong and live to have long careers followed by a stud career with lots of grass and grain.

So, to those that are out there picketing this weekend, I am happy that you are a voice in what you perceive as abuse. For me, I think that if someone is abusing an animal, it should be taken case by case, and that person should be prosecuted. Yes, lots of racehorses are drugged and abused, I agree with that. On the other hand, some of these horses are trained athletes that love what they do. They would do it for free. They would do it for a single apple. They LOVE to race.

I had to retire my 27 year old Quarter Horse Buddy a few years back. He was fit and conditioned for his entire life. Believe me, that horse LOVED to run. We both loved to run. Then, we would both get a massage. Animal abuse? I just can’t commit to that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Get What You Want By Building The Path

Socrates was the man of many questions. In his quest for answers and solutions, he would ask question after question that would lead to more questions until he was satisfied that he had gotten to the bottom of the dilemma.

What would the answer be if you were asked about the passion that lies hidden deep within your soul? Have you ever asked yourself what you would be doing if you could change your life and live your passion? More often a person will say; "I could never move there." Or; "I can't do that. My family would never agree to moving there." The problem is that they are speculating that the options are impossible. That speculation is what prevents many people from enjoying their dreams. Why? Sometimes people assume that they cannot afford something, or that it is out of the question before they explore all of their realistic options. I suggest that you go there by asking the questions, and discovering the answers!

Take a chance on your dreams. You've only got this one life. Your dreams might be realized if you would only believe in them. We sometimes feel as though we have no right to pursue our dreams because they might affect those around us, when, in fact, a change in attitude or latitude could possibly positively affect the entire family.

Socratic questioning is a form of coaching that encourages a person to move forward by answering their own personal inquiries. When you begin to become dissatisfied with a job, or a relationship, or even your own behavior, you should take a minute to check yourself. There are six main areas of life that a coach might ask for you to grade yourself. It would be nice to have a complete balance, because this is the sound beginning of deliberate and responsible change.

Ask yourself how you feel about the different areas of your life. If you don't get a clear answer, ask another question, and another. For example, if you could live anywhere, work anywhere, or be with anyone, what would it look like? Try to see it. If you can't see it because you think that it's impossible, humor yourself. Try again. How would it feel? How would YOU feel? If you want to lose weight, how do you see yourself? How would you feel? Would it change your relationships? The best way to get your answers and achieve your goals is to ask these questions. Then, no matter how difficult, start answering them.

The six areas of self exploration are; personal, spiritual, financial, professional, relationships, and wellness. So, starting with your personal self, how are you? On a 100% scale, how centered do you feel? If you wish that you could move to a different state, you need to consider that. What is it about your personal life that might not be right for you right now? How necessary is it to change? Or, maybe things are well. Great!

The next area is spiritual. It's not really necessary to attend a Sunday church service to be spiritual. Being kind to others, animals, and yourself is in itself a positive, spiritual attribute. Do you find quiet time? Maybe some meditation? Where do you draw your inspiration from? On a 100% scale, how spiritual do you think that you are? Having quiet time to talk to yourself and think about yourself is spiritual enough. Just a little time away from email and phones is good. Finding an inspirational source can be beneficial. This can be anything in nature like walking on the beach, or even riding a horse. If you feel as though you don't take enough quiet time, or if you have graded yourself low here, you might find time to reflect in the shower, or while driving. It's good to check in with yourself now and then.

The next area of your life that you should explore is financial. This is such a big one for most people today. So much has been lost, but a recovery plan should always be on your table. When your finances are under control, the other areas of your life seem to be more at ease. If you have graded yourself low here, now is a great time to start the recovery plan. This area will begin to recover on its own when you clear up other issues like your professional health. Remember, nothing is too small when you begin recovering financially. Just think if you had saved five dollars a paycheck ever since you started working. I know that I would be a millionaire. An EBay account where you make a buck at a time can be helpful. Just do something. If you are looking to live your passion and not have to have a job working for others, you should think like an entrepreneur, no matter how small. This is an area that I would ask my client to commit to a plan with a set goal. Finding a way to accumulate financial assets a little at a time can lead to a different way of thinking about money.

Now it's time to talk about the professional part of your life. If your dream is finding a way to make your living without a particular job that you perform for someone else, you will be glad that you have saved that five dollars a paycheck. This is a tough one in this economy. Most people are happy to have a job at all. This doesn't mean that you should keep it if it is not what you want to be doing. Maybe you will take baby steps, but if you are employed in a situation that does not fulfill you, now is a good time to work with a coach to redefine your talents. On a scale of 100%, where do you stand on this one? If you are the least bit dissatisfied, start designing a new plan! Sit down and redefine your applicable qualities. You can design a new resume to attract your ideal profession. Take a class, start part time as a helper, work as an intern, but start making it happen.

If your relationships are not 100%, you will need to start asking questions. Can you change these relationships? What will you have to say or do? Are you prepared to end a relationship if the other person or people are not willing to openly work on the areas that are not working for you? What would it be like if you were able to improve these relationships? Can you picture it?

And the last area of your life that you should take a look at is wellness. Of course there are things that you do like eat a donut on the way home from the grocery store that you wish that you didn't do. Maybe you need to chill out a little. If you refer to your spirituality, maybe getting outside more, meditation, yoga, something else relaxing... Maybe you can get a massage once or twice a month. What can you do to improve your wellness? Be specific, and be willing to set goals and make changes.

Once you have gone through this list of life's components, you will have a clear picture of how you feel about yourself, and your balance in life, or lack of. What an exciting time this will be for you. By making small changes and improvements on the areas of your life that you perceive as out of balance, one by one, they will all begin to tie together.

By writing a positive vision statement, and reading it to yourself each day, you might be surprised at how quickly your life will begin to improve. You need to set goals, and believe that they are attainable. Picture the photograph of yourself at the finish line. You will be happy, successful, healthy, and financially stable. Why not start today?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Conversations With Your Soul

Don’t believe that your soul speaks to you? Your soul is the intuition that has the power to lead you to the deep inner knowledge about your personal fears and desires. When you look in the mirror and ask; “Does my butt look big in these jeans?,” of course, you already know the answer. That voice that says; “Ya think?” is your soul.

You generally go down the line to the next poor sucker for validation. It’s torture for your significant other to have to lie when your intuition, inner voice, soul has already honestly answered your question. If you didn’t suspect that your butt looks big, you wouldn’t have asked!

Your soul is a wise force. It knows all of the answers. All that you have to do is ask. When you have a dream, but don’t know how or where to begin, you need to start asking. What would it look like if I accomplished that goal? How would it feel? What do I need to do to get there?

This is how you can begin to build solutions and results. Your soul, or intuition already owns the information residing in your inner universe. It is at your command. All you have to do is ask.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do Better, But Don't Do Yourself In!

God knows I try. I try not to drink too much coffee. I ate chocolate for Easter. I try to exercise and meditate, or at least take a moment to calm myself every day. It is quite difficult in this world to maintain a healthy, balanced life. Being both a hippie and a cowgirl, I have found myself caught up in the two cultures, as I suppose most people are. I mean, sometimes I'm a Massage Therapist that plays calming music while I work, and sometimes I'm a steak eating cowgirl whooping it up over a shot of whiskey.

A holistic life is one that considers the balance of you, your mind, your spirit, and how you treat the earth and its creatures. We have to consider all of the plastic floating in our oceans. If you can recycle, please do so. Eating less meat is good for your body and the earth. If you can do so, you should. Obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes can all be a result of a poor diet. If you can grow and eat lots of vegetables, you should.

More than 50% of all people who begin a fitness regimen, fail. This is because we make a cold turkey pact with ourselves, then we crave a hamburger. Once we have "failed," the entire plan goes out the window. The plan should be that you will do the best that you can today. If you have that fourth cup of coffee today, try again tomorrow.

Bummer. No chocolate for me today. I deserve a massage.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wayyyyyy To Analytical For My Own Good

I’ve been accused of being far too analytical. I think that all people think things out like I do. If I had been Jesse James, I would have thought that public transgressions might become obvious, then I would get caught and lose everything. I wonder why he would shame his lovely, successful, and famous wife like he did. There was really no rational reason for his behavior.

If I were an elected politician voting on such a huge topic as health care reform, I would take the document to the citizens of my own jurisdiction, decipher the facts, then see what they have to say. That’s what government officials are elected to do. They are elected to speak on behalf of their voters. Instead, they have all made buffoons out of themselves, driven by personal vendetta, and I doubt that anybody in Congress will even be re-elected in November.

I’ve got to stop analyzing and over thinking things. While I’m busy wondering why people do things, the world is changing by the minute. These are the best times to keep up and be educated. Technology is changing, and energy creation and uses are developing rapidly. When jobs open up, people need to have their new and reinvented life plan together. There I go … over- thinking again.

I’ve made up my mind. When the economy opens up, I’m going to be in the garden. Through it all, I’ve re-invented my frugal, hippie self. No more worrying, no more over-thinking. Just free, fresh food on the table every night. Let the buffoons be lying cheaters that fight it out. Peace-out. I’m eating organic.

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