Monday, March 3

When Horses Talk - No. 4

Often when a horse isn’t handled for a long period of time, they happily remove the memory of human touch from their conscious mind and stow it away in their exceptionally strong memory banks. This one never forgot. He hadn’t been touched by a human for about year. His body arched into my hands, touch hungry. For him, it wasn’t about working on muscles or finding relief from strains or blocked trigger points, it was intentional touch.  My hands weren’t enough. I pressed my whole body against his side. One hand stretched to his shoulder, the other draped over his hip, and my head turned to the side on his bowed back. We stood like that until he felt full, until he looked back at me with gratitude. Intentional touch is how we know we are seen.

Let your horse know they are seen.

Sunday, February 23

Brilliant, Gutsy, Passionate and Purposeful. Just like you.

To all my lady start-ups out there, whether you’re beginning a business with vast resources or just a few close friends that know how amazing your dream is, I believe in you. I’ve started a business alongside friends - brilliant, gutsy, passionate, purposeful women also starting businesses. We’ve worked so hard to bring to our dreams into reality. Sometimes it’s been shitty, and we’ve had meltdowns about money or clients or toilets overflowing. Meltdowns are normal. They break new ground and bring clarity. Don’t resist the meltdown.

Have you ever watched (or been) a surfer heading back out into the ocean, walking or swimming against the waves? The surfers that make it back out the fastest duck under the waves instead of trying to power through them. There is always an easier way. There’s always a third, fourth, or tenth option. Don’t despair. You won’t be overcome by this. Find the way beneath the wave. Find your 10th option. Go haul out your plunger or a call a super handy friend. ASK FOR HELP. People can’t always read your mind. When you need a boost or real concrete help, go get it.

The world would be a much gentler place if we all asked for what we needed, graciously accepted what was offered, and then let our heart (and a hand written note) fill up with gratitude. The whole world is waiting for your dream to blossom and transform us, even in the tiniest way. You are a miracle maker. Get grounded. Wipe those precious tears off your face. Go be your dream.  

Monday, February 10

When Horses Talk - No. 3

Remember those people from college that were always performing? They were theater majors that you could spot a mile away. Maybe you were one of them! Have you ever met a horse like this? One that seems always to be performing and reveling in the attention? How about a horse that is a true theatric at heart, but has no one willing to watch the performance?

I met this gelding early on, when it look me 15 minutes of meditation before I felt centered enough to go into a horse stall and do any good. (Confession: I still have days like that, although they’re less frequent.) He was friendly and danced a little when I approached him. Not in the jittery way that horse dances usually happen, but as an effervescing of excitement.  He nodded and side-stepped, and arched his neck and pawed slowly at the ground. His movements were not the carefully refined calculations of a dressage horse, nor the swift, perfectly timed strides of a show jumper. They were a bit awkward and clumsy, but full of hope and longing. Already he said so much, with the innocence of a child just wanting to be noticed.

I began assessing his body. Running my hands over the contours of his neck and chest. He stamped his foot, full of impatience. He wanted to perform, to move. His body had things to say and those things needed motion in order to surface.  I stopped to think. How could I work on his body and still allow him to feel like he was in motion, performing? Horses’ bodies move the most during a session when I rock and pull, rather than work on smaller, more targeted areas. Perhaps he would appreciate the “bigness” of these techniques. Jackpot. He shivered and shook and rocked as I shifted his pelvis, aligned his tail and spine and loosened his neck. Evidently this was sufficient razzle dazzle for him and he rested, with no prompting from me, on my shoulder for nearly 15 minutes. I walked out of his stall half numb and wholly satisfied.
I could feel him bowing behind me, still caught up in the glamour of show business.

Monday, January 27

On Fear

Fear is tricky business, mostly because it can creep in and control us, even when we're not aware of it. My favorite way to oust fear into the light and take a good look at it is by stating, out loud "I'm scared."

Typically God answers this question much like a play script. We do a little impromptu pep-talk skit.

Here's an example:

Me: I'm scared.
The Holy: Believe in the beauty of this new beginning.
Me: Easier said than done. I'm still scared.
The Holy: Trust that the path is already beneath your feet.
Me: What if I fall down?
The Holy: Your path will rise up to meet you, carrying you forward.
Me: What if I fail?
The Holy: Failure is an illusion. Take action. Swim in the passion that fills your heart and true beauty will inevitably unfold.
Me: What if this dream doesn't come true?
The Holy: Then it was never meant to be. I will abide in the empty space of shattered dreams and show you dreams come true that you never knew were there. Trust. You have it already. That sparkling life, that blissful love is waiting at the bottom of your ocean. Jump, Darling. Dive into the terrifying unknown into a sea of dreams come true. Trust.
Me:

Sometimes you just need to acknowledge your fear in the same way that you offer a respectful nod to a colleague or acquaintance your'e not a big fan of, and then keep right on walking. Your fear points the way. Your fear is a compass. Your fear tells you where to dig deeper, love harder, and summon more courage.

Where is your fear pointing?

xo
Hilarie Mae

Monday, January 13

When Horses Talk - No. 2

Dust whips into little funnels around my shins. The weather is unsettled. The mare in front of me is skeptical at best, but very settled, bored even. She doesn't think I can do anything to help her. She might even resent me a little for implying that she needs help. She's been surviving her life for a long time. Even so, her body is full of tension. Not just tension from a week ago, but tension from a decade ago. It's tension that's been worn into her, like the hollows on old wooden steps. Beneath her boredom is a dare.

I dare you to go deep enough to make a difference.

As always, I ask to step into her field. Upon receiving a wary yes, I lay a hand on her withers and a hand on her sacrum and wait. She holds her breath. I breathe out for her, matching the gusts of wind around me. She trembles and goes limp. Her head droops and muscles strain to relax, pulling against fascia that's masquerading as cement. She turns her head slowly and stares. I smile sheepishly and think a very loving "I told you so." After that, her body sings for me like a cello remembering its long-dormant song. She seems to rock and weep and writhe, slowly aware of the flexibility she once took for grated.

Massage is about remembering how our bodies are meant to feel.

xo
Hilarie Mae