Healing in the Trees

Sometimes the world of people is an ugly place. Hateful acts are committed every day and the news delights in bringing these horrors into our awareness and into our homes. Fear dances outside our windows and doors, sparking people to withdraw from each other and bunker down, preparing for the end of the world as we know it. We spare little thought to the impact our actions have on the world at large, the day to day actions that are ruining the earth we live on, the division between our fellow humans over petty, manufactured nonsense that will be our ultimate downfall. The future can sometimes look bleak.

In those moments of despair and sadness, I turn to the magic of all that is Nature. The world of humans is often ugly, the Natural world, even in her brutality, is beautiful and something to behold. I take delight in the little doses of nature that sprinkle through my day, my little box of wildflowers still springing up new flowers even in early September, the little basil plant that my love bought us to nurture back to life from its sad existence on the grocery store shelf. I find great joy in the little birds that visit our feeder, their colors beyond anything I ever imagined of common Colorado birds, they’re anything but common the way they shimmer in the sun.

The very seasons themselves offer so much to us, as they move swiftly in and out of our lives. Autumn is a particularly magical time of year for most people, when the colors change and the crisp in the air calls for sweatshirts and warm cups of coffee and tea and time spent with good friends. The light begins to change and shift, bringing with it feelings of nostalgia and something maybe just a little melancholy.

The horses that grace my life are the ultimate magic, of course, the ultimate healing of a fatigued soul. Soft whiskers on a cheek or an excited whinny from the pasture, glistening coats in the dusky evening sun, warm bodies to snuggle up against on chilly mornings. Their magic is pure and good and generous.

When I find myself in need of a lift, the answer is always to get outside and observe the big-little worlds the go on without our noticing, the little squirrels in the trees, the bugs in the grass, the dogs in the yards. Go deeper in nature to the mountains or to the ocean or to the desert until you find the serenity it has to offer you. Get moving, walk if possible, get involved in her magic and see what gifts she has to offer your heart and soul.

What ways does Nature heal you? What are the little magical bits of the day to day that you experience? Take notice if you haven’t before.

In Joy,
Coach Amanda

When Was the Last Time You Frolicked?

As I’ve studied various therapies over the last few years, something that pops up from time to time, is the importance of play. It’s not something I believe we give a lot of thought to as adults. Play is synonymous with children and childhood, but it remains an important part of our growth as adults.

When I was little I played outside constantly, always with a neighbors dog in tow or I’d pretend I was a dog myself on many occasions. There were creeks to splash in, trees to climb, playgrounds to clamber on, swings to swing on. In colder months, puzzles were often laid out on the table, stuffed animals and a box full of clothes and costumes for tea parties and pretend.

As we age these things begin to slip away. Where do they go? Many of us leave behind our imaginations and step into the world of logic and work work work, in a hurry to turn our backs on the stuff of children. When was the last time you had fun? When was the last time you played? When was the last time you had fun and played without alcohol or another substance involved?

For some of us, especially those who are more introverted or anyone uncomfortable in crowds, alcohol is an easy crutch to pick up to loosen our inhibitions. Why do we become so inhibited in the first place? What’s wrong with playing and having fun, letting our hair down, getting on the ground and playing with animals or kids or bugs? Dancing like crazy or throwing your hands in the air as you sail down a slide?

When is the last time you really had some good clean fun? Something that left you tired and exhilarated and happy?
I have a riding lesson once a week, for me that’s extraordinarily enjoyable, even though I’ve been riding for years, learning new skills and flying down the arena on a good horse is fabulous fun; outside of that I really had to pause as I was writing and think about what I do for play and fun and it took me a bit to rule out any occasions with alcohol involved and come to something really joyful.

Play is a form of therapy that is really valuable, but even or especially, in every day life, play can increase your sense of community, your mental acuity, it offers opportunity for exercise and fresh air, release of endorphins and stimulation of creativity, just to name a few of the perks.

Some ideas to get you started on bringing play and fun back into your life: break out the play-dough or clay, find some crayons or colored pencils and draw or color, go to an amusement park and ride some rides, go for a hike, play frisbee with your dog or some friends, play a board game, make a fort, do a puzzle, try a new recipe, try anything new really, ride a horse, join a softball team, get out there and shake things up, kids!

As for me, I think I’ll find a set of swings.

In Joy,
Coach Amanda

All Else Will Follow

Dear Woman,
My wish for you, is that you are able to stop breaking your own heart; Stop seeking out others who are undeserving of you. You look in the mirror and you see someone who is mean and impatient, awkward, unworthy. You listen to the lies of spurned lovers like its the gospel truth while their hate drips into you like poison, slowly eating you alive.

Pick someone in your life, someone you admire, someone you trust, a good friend, a best friend, and take a moment to see yourself through their eyes. See the goodness that is your truth, the sense of humor that lights you up from the inside, the compassion that compels you to care so deeply for the welfare of others, the kindness you extend to small children and animals, the warmth in your smile, the quick wit in your speech, the inner and outer beauty that is uniquely you.

I hope you will learn with a down-to-your-bones knowing, that society’s rules and standards of beauty and perfection are not real. Let me repeat, they are not real. The “standard” changes in the industry with the seasons, the only goal to make us insecure so we buy their products and they line their pockets.

Real beauty comes from accepting your authentic self. As long as you like you, no one else’s opinion matters.
This inner knowing and acceptance sparks in others the permission to accept themselves.

My hope for you, dear woman, is that you embrace your inner spark, your uniqueness, your joys, your sorrows, and all that makes you you, and you commit yourself to a lifelong pursuit of crafting the life you desire.

I hope that you become the person of your dreams. All else will follow.

With deep love from,

The Heart of a Mare


Dear Woman,

I am so sorry that you knew fear at such a tender age. I am sorry that you woke up alone, with nobody there to comfort you from your nightmares. It isn’t right, that the wants of adults were put before the needs of your little soul. It isn’t right that you were left wondering where everyone had gone.

It isn’t right that today you stand as a woman, wondering what it is that you had done wrong. It isn’t right that today you stand as a woman, waiting for the next person to leave, believing that you drive them away, that you are not enough to make anyone stay.

I am sorry that your fear grips you so tightly you can neither let go of or hold on to those around you and you can’t trust the word of those who say they love you.

I’m sorry that displays of affection give rise to suspicions and someone’s word given means nothing, because the actions of your guardians proved all the words wrong.

I’m sorry for all the deceptions and heartbreaks you have endured, for the strict when you deserved the soft.

I am sorry that you haven’t yet heard the apology from the one you needed the most. My greatest hope is that someday it comes to you in the form you can receive it best.

Take heart, little one, you are not alone out there. I see you.

With deep love from,

The Heart of a Mare