All posts by freyaschafer

How do I “Cause as little pain as possible in challenging situations”

Does finding the way of least mental-emotional pain in disagreements with others mean to avoid, hide, step out of our inner alignment, keep peace at all costs?

In my life I experienced that these choices often continue the mental-emotional pain and might even increase it for all involved. We are trying to avoid something we cannot control. I can control my own reactions and thoughts and with this my own mental-emotional pain. I cannot control the other person’s mental-emotional pain. We all have the gift of free will and with this a choice.

Hiding, avoiding, stepping out of inner alignment, keeping peace, do not address the issue and while it might be suppressed for a while it will come up again, most likely in a louder version. This can continue for a while until the situation has become sticky, messy and unbearable. At this point it is much more difficult to clear it up and has created a lot more physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain.

What I can do is align myself as best as I can with what feels right in my heart/soul and then stand in for that alignment with respect, compassion and openness. My alignment might be in contrast to someone else’s, e.g. partner, friend, family… and that is okay. I believe there is always a solution that is supportive of all involved. That does not mean that those involved are not being stretched emotionally, mentally and spiritually. However, this stretch is a lot easier to take than the noisy, chaotic mess that can result in avoiding the issue.

We tend to avoid being uncomfortable or in mental-emotional pain. And yet, personal growth and spiritual evolvement brings often states of un-comfortableness and uncertainty to shake us loose from old habits and patterns. When I started to embrace this concept I found that the beginning stages of discomfort are just a sign for change and that it will pass if I embrace this state and explore the solutions and directions it points me to. If I (and all involved in the situation) resist, the discomfort can grow more painful and it can take longer to establish the new direction and release the accumulated pain.

I am learning to see discomfort as a sign for growth. My approach is to:
•    feel the discomfort,
•    explore the reason for the discomfort
•    observe what solutions present themselves
•    check the solutions with my inner alignment
•    observe some more if nothing feels right
•    make a choice that I sense is in alignment with my heart/soul
•    act with respect, compassion and openness
•    give it my best effort to hold these energies during the process.   

I am also learning that it is okay when others are uncomfortable. They have a choice what to do with it.

I feel that this approach has the potential to cause as little pain as possible for all involved.    

What I do with prayer requests

A friend of mine emails prayer requests for members of her spiritual group to me. These requests used to create a dilemma in my space. Prayer felt like a religious activity from the past where I “begged” God for help. The request was also connected to a “should” in my place.  You should pray for this person or send at least some love.

I learned to look at prayer requests differently. I detached the word prayer from the religious background and gave it the meaning of directed intention from the heart. Then I opened myself some more an allowed myself to approach a prayer request in a personalized way:

I started to take a moment, go into my heart, and send some loving energy to the person and all involved in the situation. This energy coming from my heart has no outcome attached to it. This process works at certain times for me.

When a friend of mine asked me a couple times in a row to pray for her I kept feeling uncomfortable about the request. While I wanted to support her, the request felt still like a should. I decided to clear more of my own beliefs and emotions around prayer and take an easy approach. The next time we came together I told her how difficult it is for me to grant her request. That sitting down and creating a form of prayer felt heavy and full of effort. I explained to her that it would be a lot easier for me to actually do something with her about her fears. She accepted and it felt wonderful to use my coaching skills to help her. 

Another friend told me that her sister had just learned about the reoccurring of a 2014-09-17-IMG_0393-Katara-sisterdisease. She didn’t request anything from me however, we had a conversation about her involvement in the situation. When she left I felt drawn to lay a Multidimensional Energy Grid (MEG) for her and her sister. It felt like I was opening a space of connection for them where they could shift some energy if they wanted to. When I was done I sent a photo of the MEG to my friend telling her what I did. She used the energy she received from the MEG to connect with her sister in a higher dimension and initiate a shift in energy around the situation. Afterwards she learned that a mistake was made and the disease had not reoccurred.

A fellow student of the Mastering Alchemy program sent a prayer request out. This wonderful person had reached out to me when I needed financial help, even though he didn’t know me personally. When I received his request I felt that a MEG could be supportive in his connection with his brother. I was grateful that I could return his kindness is such a way.

Another friend asked me to hold space/pray for him while he was working in a potentially dangerous situation with his friend. I envisioned the situation they were working in, created a bubble of protective light around it and asked Archangel Michael for support. Then I set it in place knowing that it was done. That freed me from moving through my day without having to stay focused on the situation.

Prayer triangle easeWhen a friend asked me to hold space/pray for him while he worked with someone who is emotionally challenging we took a moment and felt into the situation, asking what kind of energies would be supportive. The energies of compassion and love seemed to be helpful and together we created them in our hearts directing them into the situation. During that day a third energy, ease, occurred to me and I felt drawn to create a triangle with these words. Using nutshells I laid out the words on the ground.  It felt like this process anchored the energy and also left a reminder for myself and others. I’ll leave it to nature to erase the words when the time is right.

These experiences taught me to be creative around the request of praying by using my unique talents to connect with others. This approach released the resistance towards “praying”, deepens my experience, and makes me feel good during the process.

Cows as teachers

I am currently shifting and anchoring energy at a retreat in the Black Mountains of NC. One of my teachers here is a horse called Windfall. She teaches me about being present in each moment and how to communicate with animals through energy.

Some days ago her owner rode her up to the top of the mountain where a herd of cows is grazing. They know each other and it was a treat for Windfall to see her friends. Looked like the cows enjoyed her visit and decided to return the favor. Two days later I drove up the mountain seeing five cows and one calf grazing along the gravel road. I decided to bring them back to the pasture.

The conscious way to move cows
I had seen the pasture where they came from but I didn’t know the way from where they were grazing. I decided to let them show me the way. I also was curious how cows react to energy and decided to explore it. To get there attention I had to raise my arms and clap my hands a little bit to get them moving in what seemed to me the right direction. I followed them slowly, allowing them to pick their own pace. I was laughing with delight as they moved slowly up the mountain, sometimes taking a pee brake or catching their (and my) breath.

What to do with adventurous cows
The one in the rear was white and seemed to be the adventurous one. She kept looking for other interesting paths to explore. But a snipping of my fingers was all it took to move her forward. Sometimes I would talk to her, sometimes move a little bit closer behind her to keep her going. I deeply enjoyed how easily and calmly it all went.

Communicating with images
Half up the mountain I heard mooing behind me and discovered that the rest of the herd started to join us. We were at a narrow path, an incline to the left and a steep decline to the right. I decided to stand at the right side and ground myself, becoming very present. A technique I learned from James French. A calf was in front of me, eyeing me curious and nervous at the same time. After a minute it decided to pass me. I kept sending the cows an image of the whole herd passing me calmly. Some hesitated, others rushed but most of them made it past me calmly, joining the six in the front.

Then there was one left and with surprise I saw it was a bull. That created a brief blip in my present and calm state. I too send him the image of passing me by calmly. It helped to know that I was standing beside a tree and could get out of the way fast if needed. The bull seemed undecided. He lowered his head but didn’t seem aggressive. He then decided to make a b-line up the incline to create a bigger distance while passing me.

With lots of hello and other conversations the twenty or so animals moved up the mountain slowly but consistently. The leader in front calling them all to follow, while the white one brought up the rear.

I always find it fascinating that cows never seem to return to the spot where they broke through the fence. So sure enough, we ended up at the closed barbwire gate. The herd started to split and I decided to move slowly through the herd to open the gate. That worked relatively well and with sending them an image of moving through the gate half of them did. I managed to surround the split off group and point them back to the gate. However, the leader started down the mountain again and gave me some extra mileage, but in the end they all ended up in the pasture.

It was exhilarating to see how sensitive these animals are and how willing they were to go back to their home without much prodding. I couldn’t find the hole in the fence they broke through but hoped the owner would.

The unconscious way to move cows
Four days later I heard again a lot of mooing on the mountain. I was sure the herd was roaming again. I went down the trail we had come up before but didn’t see them. I decided to let it go and let the owners take responsibility so that they would be motivated to check the fence. I went to spend time with Windfall.  

One hour later Windfall and I heard human shouts on the mountain and a lot of mooing. Windfall rushed out of her box to listen to the racket. I remembered chasing cows in my childhood and creating a similar racket as we heard that morning. I was grateful for the peaceful experience I had a couple days before.

Sharing a grounded state
Windfall came back into her box anxiously listening to the animal and human voices. I stayed calm and present beside her, telling her what I perceived was going on and that her friends would be okay. She calmed a bit and got more grounded herself, resting one of her hind legs but being alert with all her senses.

The shouting went on for a while and I could feel the chaotic energy fading as the herd moved closer to the pasture and away from us. I was struck how Windfall and I mirrored each other in stance and state of alertness. I enjoy spending time with her and experience her life as a horse. We have come a long way in the last weeks and the cows provided us with a perfect situation to deepen our trust and state of groundedness.

Thank you to the cows for a fun, deeply insightful adventure.

Anything is possible – Ask for what you really want

Asking for what you really want takes courage
Clarity is important: What do I really wantkeeping the playing field wide open Did I receive what I asked for?
Letting go of how
Asking and receiving the easy way

Anything is possible
We are being told by spiritual leaders and light beings that anything is possible. Deep down I believe this and at the same time I can feel the doubt generated by my intellect. 

On my current life journey I keep exploring this possibility that anything is possible. There are moments when I feel frustration or despair because I find myself in intense uncomfortable situations. During other moments I am filled with awe because something I thought intellectually impossible happened. These moments of surprise and awe, when the seemingly impossible is happening, keep me going.

Here are some of my discoveries along this path: 

Asking for what you really want takes courage
I learned that in order to find out what is possible I have to ask for what I really want. If I only ask for what I believe is possible I am not fully true to myself and this introduces interferences in the energy flow.

It takes courage to ask for what I really want. What if I don’t receive what I ask for? I used to think that would mean the end to ever receiving what I asked for. However I discovered that there is a simple answer: refine your request. Nothing is written in stone so to speak. Intentions and creations can be adjusted. 

The other concern that used to linger in my space was: Careful what you ask for. Here too I found that I can always adjust my creation. One thing I asked for is to overcome my fear of money. The result was that I received a lot of opportunities to be with fear around money. It took me a while to really understand what I was doing. Instead of giving up I adjusted my request. I stopped focusing on the fear and asked for what I really wanted: long-lasting, dependable, plentiful currency flow in easy delightful ways. I added the easy, delightful way part to the request because I had heard stories where people received a lot of money but only through personal hardship. I wanted to make clear that I wanted to create this currency flow through ease and delight.

Clarity is important: What do I want?
Asking for what I really want requires clarity. I often can say what I don’t want but finding what I want can take some soul searching. 

After 18 years away from horses I suddenly felt drawn to connect, communicate and learn from them. My intellect stepped in. I thought I should be physically with horses or even have one myself. But that felt overwhelming. The result, I started beating myself up about it. 

I didn’t know how to express this deep yearning I felt in my heart. I finally moved the intellect to the side and listened to my heart. Here I found energies of living words such as connection, communication, co-creation, equal and joyous partnership, that captured the deep yearning. 

This energetic foundation created clarity and certainty in my space. It provided me with reference points I could hold without needing to know details. While holding this energetic platform, opportunities for activities showed up: attending a coaching with horses workshop, reading books that explore horse communication through energy, watching youtubes of some teachers that seemed aligned with what I was looking for, living on a horse farm for half a year, learning about Equine Assisted Learning and doing it myself. The different opportunities showed up when I was ready for the experience. Each allowed me to discover and hone abilities around horses I didn’t know I had.

I have used the living words in many other situations to express what I felt deep inside me and allowed that energetic platform to draw opportunities to me.

Keeping the playing field wide open
The advantage of these energetic platforms is that I have a focus and at the same time can leave the field wide open for opportunities. I kind of step back and observe what shows up in front of me. I let my desire lead me here. When opportunities show up I “run” them through my heart to feel how aligned they are. From here I make a choice: yes, no or refinement of the opportunity. 

Of course I also have a choice to express my desire more specific. If I come across something like a workshop or gathering and I feel a strong reaction in my heart to attend then I set a clear intention to attend this event: I intend to take a coaching with horses workshop to explore the human-horse relationship. Even more specific I intend to participate in the coaching with horses workshop in May with Kathy Pike. 

I only choose to be that specific if it deeply resonates in my heart. Sometimes when a desire feels vast and a little bit overwhelming, my intellect is impatient and tries to latch onto something specific. Once I realize what is going on, I stop myself, breathe for a moment and go back to observing the playing field in front of me. 

Did I receive what I asked for?
There are times I feel frustrated because I think I don’t seem to receive what I am asking for. Sometimes a second look is worthwhile. 

Too focused on a specific outcome
I wanted to learn how to communicate with animals, plants and minerals. My intellect had latched onto one outcome: telepathic communication like the animal communicators seem to do. For years I kept asking for animal communication over and over and at times I got frustrated and started beating myself up. 

What I overlooked was that in my own way I had started to communicate with trees, understood communication through energy with horse on a much deeper level, and had experiences exchanging images and heart-felt vibrations with mountains. All of that I nearly missed to recognize because I was so focused on one outcome of my intention.

Outcomes are possible beyond what I can imagine
I was drawn to go to Egypt to anchor energy with the Magdalene Order. I participated in their preparation calls, got the travel information, saw myself and her having fun in Egypt and set an intention in motion together with my friend who also participated. In the end I couldn’t get the finances together to go physically on the trip. 

What happened instead was that I traveled spiritually, kind of riding on the shoulder of my friend who went on the trip. During the duration of the trip I had several occasions where I felt deeply connected to the group. My friend told me that she and one of the leaders of the group felt my presence in a couple places where the group meditated. I never would have thought that I would participate in trip in this way. Interestingly, while part of me was traveling spiritually in Egypt, the physical part of me went on a parallel adventure to Colorado working with the Rocky Mountains and to Minneapolis to work on financial abundance.   

Since then I experienced this form of participation during other trips. When my friend went to Hawaii to do some energy work I actually felt viscerally a part of me leaving to go with her. 

Letting go of how 
When I find the courage to express what I really want, my intellect immediately screams: HOW? I learned to move that question aside. When I stretch myself emotionally and mentally into a new adventure, the how question feels like lead, keeping me on the ground. I need to soar first, feel the energy of the living words in my heart and my whole body. From there most of the time I step back and observe what opportunities are showing up instead of trying to figure intellectually out how to proceed. 

In Dec 2013 I left Iowa to find a new home. While I knew I wanted to live in the mountains, I had no clue geographically where that home would be or how I would even afford it. I had a strong sense that I needed to let go of most of my stuff, pack the rest into a trailer and drive to Minnesota to spend some time with a friend. 

During the packing I received a pointer to Colorado and decided to fly from Minneapolis to Denver to find out if this is where I needed to live next. This trip turned into amazing work with the Rocky Mountains and the clarity that this wasn’t my next home. Back in Minnesota I kept sensing into the geographic location of my new home. The only place that kept floating around in my space was Asheville. I liked the idea because besides loving mountains I thrive when plant live have plenty of water to show saturated colors and Western North Carolina looked pretty green to me.

I still hadn’t a clue how all this could work out. I didn’t know North Carolina, had no connections and hardly any money. However, there was a strong sense that in the last week of Dec I would be stable. So while my intellect was in overdrive, trying to figure out the how, I took all the courage I could muster and trusted in the sense of stability at the end of the month. 

While in Asheville, I learned that I needed to get into the car and just start driving around. My second trip in this fashion brought me to Mars Hill, NC. I loved that little town, its mountains and its energy. I didn’t want to leave. So on Christmas Eve I moved from Asheville into a hotel in Mars Hill. The problem was I couldn’t afford staying in hotels. On Dec 26 I stopped at a tourist center in Mars Hill to ask if they knew about temporary housing. Sandy, the lady in the tourist center was very kind and after some back and forth she remembered someone who could have something for me.

This is when the magic really became apparent. Sandy called Tom and told him what I was looking for. Tom said that I could have his house in a week. I nearly declined the offer because I needed something right now but I had nothing to lose and agreed to meet Tom. When he arrived he offered me a ride in his car to check out his house. During the drive he asked me where I was currently staying and I told him that I didn’t have anything for the night yet. He said that this was ridiculous and that I could stay in their house. Tom and his wife had moved to another town and where thinking of selling or renting the house. His son wasn’t due to arrive for a week and Tom said that if I could just leave for that one night I could stay immediately. 

When we came to his house my jaw dropped. Two beautiful outside dogs greeted me. The house was built organically into the woods with a great view through big windows. It had eight bedrooms, two of which where in the basement temporarily rented to a family. I thought I was in a dream. We settled on a rent for the month that I could afford and that was nowhere close to what people ask for a vacation rental. What boggled my mind was that Tom would just trust me. When I told him about it he said that he could judge people easily and he trusted me. 

To put the icing on the cake for this experience, I ended up staying in this house for over a year. It was an amazing experience. I learned that figuring things out is can be overrated. What really counts is trusting in your heart and letting go of the “how”.

Asking and receiving the easy way
I wished I would be in the habit of asking and receiving in the easy way I have observed on many occasions. I utter a desire without any attachment – Oh wouldn’t it be fun to have lunch at this place – and then completely forget about it. And sure enough I nearly instantaneously receive an email from a friend inviting me to lunch in that place. These heart moments take my intellect by surprise and express what I really want in that very moment. It feels beautiful, innocent and easy.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be so present in each moment that I just utter a desire and it manifests. Of course it means that I really have to master my thoughts and emotions, otherwise I would have interesting experiences for sure.  

My sense is that the more I keep consciously asking for what I really want the more I will encounter these moments. Practicing alignment, clarity, observing, detaching, and letting go, will speed up the receiving. 

 

Clean water for the Earth

Energy Grid to anchor a vision of clean water for the Earth
My friend Laura wanted to support the water in Yancey County, NC and have the example radiate through all of North Carolina and the rest of the Earth. 

The overall vision was to have clean, pure water in Yancey County. The water supporting the health of the humans and the Earth and being respected by all humans. The awareness of the importance of water and the desire to support it spreading reaching all humans on the Earth.

The grid assembled in three layers.

Water Grid step 1The 1st layer: represented the original blueprint of the water, where it comes from, how life evolved from it. 

We started with the center: The flower of life radiating the energies, on top a glass with water that was charged three days before with energy from a meditation meeting. 

Next we expressed the beginning of water and life on the planet. Lower right corner: The ocean (Mermaid), the ocean card (ebb and flow), the first single cells (moss). We moved on to the upper right corner with plants on land (mint plant)

  • Center: The spiral around the center – evolution of life
  • Left middle: Two crystals on the left connecting to the universe crystallized water
  • Left upper corner: The influence of the whole universe/planets (three balls) and the non-physical world (Angel, Wisdom of the unseen world cards)
  • Right upper corner: Water is essential for our food: The importance of pollinators to help water create vegetables: (Luna moth and vegetables)
  • Top middle: Flowers representing beauty that comes from water – Fairies and magic involved with water and food
  • Left lower corner: Elementals: Undines who are the water creating with salamander, gnomes and sylphs (three pure light elementals)

When this layer completed, the energies I felt were: clarity, origin, purity and wisdom.

Water Grid step 22nd layer: This layer seemed to focus on what humans can do. This was mostly expressed in words or phrases written on paper 

  • Using products that are biodegradable, recyclable, supportive of health for planet and humans 
  • Bringing respect, communication, and awe to the water, the elementals and all of nature
  • Humans in co-creation/partnership with elementals (doll placed beside the elementals) 
  • Joy and connection with fairies (resulted in more fairies were placed into top middle)– 
  • Beauty and harmony with water and all of life (resulted in more veggies in upper right corner).
  • My friend drew the Iceberg card from the Magic Earth Card Set: Iceberg – Submerged: It pointed us into two directions. That the icebergs are melting thereby releasing much of the information stored in the ice. The word submerged reminded us that we know so much more than we are aware of. We felt that through joy and playfulness we can connect to this wisdom with ease. 
  • To the center spiral we added the knowledge of Rudolph Steiner and other humans who know how to grow sustainable, biodynamic, organic – the intention is that we remember and practice this knowledge
  • We placed the icosahedron template from the Gateway into Nature with the vegetables, connecting the Pollinator Garden with this energy grid
  • We placed candles to support this enlightenment

With this the 2nd layer completed, we felt a strong all to connect the energy grid to the universe.

Water Grid step 33rd layer: Connecting the energy on the grid to the universe 

  • Bottom middle: We lit the candles on the Angel to bring in light 
  • Center: Iron structure – Connecting heaven and Earth
  • Center: We hung representations for the four elementals:
    Gnomes: pine cone – trees as antennas connecting heaven and earth
    Sylphs: feather – air/gas on Earth and in the universe,
    Salamander: crystal chain – undifferentiated light,
    Undines – dragonfly  

Earth magic cards placed around the outer edges of the energy grid completed the energetic container to anchor the vision for clean water for the Earth.

Here is Laura’s comment:
I deeply appreciate Freya’s skill in setting energetic templates. Both the work she and I accomplished at the pollinator garden and clean water grid we created on a lovely rainy day contain powerful, beautiful and sustaining energies for Nature.  I’m grateful to be enjoying our collaborations, and curious what comes next.  Laura, Burnsville, NC

Anchoring Energy – Gateway into Nature

Butterfly on FlowersA friend of mine was asked to create a Pollinator Garden in the public Cane River Park near Burnsville, NC. I felt called to open an energy portal during for the Pollinator Garden and the bigger area around it.

www.quietreflectionsretreat.orgBefore my friend started the garden, she took me to the nearby Quiet Reflections Retreat. We went to the chapel on the mountain where I set in communion with the mountain. In the chapel I received energy that was later anchored in the Pollinator Garden. 

Pollinator garden three stone structures cutDuring the first workday at the Pollinator Garden, volunteers prepared the soil for the upcoming planting. When the workday concluded, I felt drawn to build three stone structures and placed stones like antennas in every mount in the Pollinator Garden. This prepared the area for the energy portal. I could feel energy buzzing through my body ready to be anchored. The energy flowing through my heart felt like the energy the mountain shared with me at the Quiet Reflections Retreat a week earlier.Pollinator Garden Antennas

After discussing the purpose of the garden and the park with two of my friends we decided that the overall intention would be to create a Gateway to Nature. 

Icosahedron ParkSacred geometries such as a triangle, tetrahedron, or icosahedron create energetic containers for intentions and energetics in a creation process. I created four paper icosahedrons that expressed the energies we had discussed for the Pollinator Garden, Cane River Park, the humans visiting the park, and for the bigger area around the park. Here is one of the icosahedrons I made for the Pollinator Garden:Pollinator Garden Icosahedron template

Together with my friend and another women I placed the four icosahedrons into the ground, one on three corners of the garden and one in the center. This way the positions of the icosahedrons created a tetrahedron. 

Before we finished for the day, I felt something was off with the path that led through the garden. This particular path stopped near the end without leading out of the garden. My friend and I decided to extend the path so that it led out of the garden. 

The moment the opening was in place, I felt the energy shift and started yawning, a sign of energy release. My friend felt a huge pressure in her head; her way to sense the stuck energy starting to flow. For half an hour I kept yawning, “seeing” the energy being released from that particular spot. I went for a walk in the woods asking the trees to help with this energy release. 

After two weeks of buzzing with energy my body calmed down and I could feel the garden integrating new energy. The Gateway to Nature was in place. 

Pollinator Garden wood structureDuring a second workday we planted most of the plants. I felt drawn to create several new stone structures and one arrangement assembled from pieces of wood I found in the park. They are a reminder of the beauty the elementals create in all parts of nature. Pollinator Garden 2 Wood structure

The Park now is blooming, attracting Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, other insects and birds. I feel honored having been part of creating this habitat for wild life. 

 

Communicating through energy and images

I am fascinated how sensitive animals are to energy and mental images. Paulette Evans  demonstrates how she trains foals using energy as part of her language in her Ribbleton Attunement Online Course.  When she asks young foals to move their hindquarters to the side she faces the foals side and lays her hand gently on the hindquarter, with only the slightest pressure. Next she visualizes the hindquarter to move away from her. The foals pick up both signals and move their hindquarters.

Energy exchange with a wild deer
After watching this particular video with Paulette I happened to meet a wild deer on the trail to my favored green mountain view. It didn’t hear me and I stopped watching this beautiful animal. I recognized the chance to move closer to it and my brain said: Let’s just quickly see how close you can get and then move on so you can sit down at your usual spot and become one with nature. How funny is that! I smiled and made a different choice.

I dropped my energy into the ground to become very centered and quiet. Then I took step by step until the deer lifted its head. Knowing how mental images are picked up by animals I did not look at the deer but rather at a big stone in front of me on the trail. I also stayed energetically very calm and connected to the Earth.

The deer couldn’t smell me and didn’t quite know what to do with me. She looked at me and her tail went back and forth showing her indecision. But the tail didn’t move frantically. Here we stood both curious about each other. After a while of standing stock still and focusing on the bushes and stones rather than the deer, she lowered her head wanting to eat but raised it immediately. I sent her an image of her eating but she didn’t trust me enough. She kept going through the motions of lowering her head to eat but just before she connected with the plant her head would come up. The same happened with an itchy spot. She moved her head to scratch her hind and decided otherwise. Repeating the process twice.

She was still trying to make up her mind about me, moving a little bit to see me better, when a mosquito discovered me. I tried to ignore it but then finally moved my hand to brush it away. The deer, a little bit further down the trail by now kept watching me without running. I left the hand on my face and stood quietly watching her too.

Then she decided to sound some alarm into the forest without running way from me. I am not sure that it was about me or something else. She made two jumps away from me but didn’t disappear. She was probably as fascinated with me as I was with her. I assume my grounded energy, focusing on other things beside her, and putting no pressure on her made her decide to stay. It was an exquisite opportunity to understand more about communicating with a wild animal.

Eventually she moved off, leaving me behind filled with the magic of our connection.

Waterhole Rituals with a twist

 

Carolyn ResnickCarolyn Resnick’s Waterhole Rituals filled a hole in my interaction with horses I have been looking for. Carolyn showed me how to connect with a horse right from the start. 

First she introduces a reed for safety reasons. She moves the reed in front of her to create energy, asking the horse to move away. The reed doesn’t touch the horse. The horse senses the energy created by moving the reed with intention. Once the horse understands the purpose of the reed and respects it Carolyn moves on to the first Waterhole Ritual. 

The first Waterhole Ritual, which is about creating a bond with your horse. To create this bond she sits with a horse in a pasture or arena and allows the horse to come and explore her when the horse is ready. Carolyn explains that this is the way how horses spend time with each other. During this ritual Carolyn is present in the moment and does not need anything from the horse. She says the best way to achieve this is to read something uplifting or journal to keep the focus away from the horse and create a pleasant environment around you. It is a form of communion with the horse.

Interestingly, I took her online class while I had no access to horses. When I read about the communion piece in her online course, I felt drawn to take a chair and sit in communion with those available to me. In my case it was the forest behind the house I was living in at that time. Read more about this experience and sitting in communion with a mountain.

“Introducing the reed” with a bear

I lived for a while with friends in Burnsville, NC. Their house is located on a mountain with a path through woods behind their house. A neighbor had told us that they had seen a bear near the path and I was told to make a lot of noise when walking through the woods. Bears would be more afraid of humans and run away unless I would get caught between a mom and her cup. 

Bear dropping-IMG_0735One morning my friends discovered that a bear had rummaged through their compost pile. He left a nine-inch long foot print in a sand box in the garden and the dropping you can see on the left. (The shoe beside it is size 9.5). It looked like a good size black bear to us.

A couple weeks later I was on my way home when I suddenly saw the black, furry, round butt of a bear to the left in front of me. Luckily I was downwind and the bear hadn’t seen me. So I had time to retreat up the mountain and think. Even though this bear looked smaller than the one I expect left the dropping, bear is bear. 

I had my cell phone and called my friend asking for advice. There wasn’t another path to the house and they told me to make a lot of noise and go back down the mountain. Okay, it is like introducing the reed in Carolyn Resnick’s waterhole rituals. Only instead of a reed I would use my voice. For whatever reason I was concerned but not really afraid. So I started whistling loudly while moving down the mountain. I stayed calm and alert with the intent of asking the bear to move away. When I neared the spot where I had seen the bear, I heard dry branches breaking to my right. Sounded to me that the bear was moving away from me deeper into the woods. I sure was glad that my first attempt of the “introducing the reed” ritual was successful. 

I was very grateful to the bear to give me space in his habitat. After my experiences with snakes in Iowa and hearing about bears here in NC, I have wondered how we can co-exist with wild animals in nature and shared habitats. I keep exploring this question.

A couple weeks later during dusk I ambled down the forest path while the bear ambled it up. When we met I felt a jolt of surprise and fear move through my body. At the same time I saw the beauty of this young adult bear. I clapped my hand and the bear bolted into the bushes. I moved forward clapping and whistling until I past the spot where I saw the bear. Than I decreased the noise and send the bear a thank you for giving way. I took the beauty of this animal home with me and the desire to be able to communicate with the bear and spending some time together.

Sharing territory with a wild billy goat

Walking through the wood behind my friends’ house in NC, I come to a property where I have a wonderful view of green mountains. While there is a beautiful house to the right on that property it seems that nobody lives there. I love sitting on the forest path enjoying the clouds, fog, sun playing with the mountains. It is a beautiful spot to be in communion with nature, the mountains, trees, insects….

One day to my surprise I saw a wild goat near the empty house. He scrambled up the stairs and ran away. I was intrigued and thought this might be a great opportunity to share territory with a wild animal. Next time I quietly approached the same spot and sat down. The billy goat was lying to my right on the porch of the empty house. He got up to better watch me, chewing its last meal. So I kept sitting quietly, enjoying the view, the butterflies and other critters while once in a while looking at the goat. I felt privileged that he didn’t run, just keeping an eye on me as if contemplating who I am. 

Next time I approached quietly he didn’t get up, just looked at me. While we were sharing space in a peaceful fashion, I suddenly saw the head of a turkey hen popping up in the grass. Walking up the hill she was followed by another hen and seven chicks. What a wonderful surprise. It was like a nature theater.

Being downwind they didn’t quite know what to make of me and passed only 20 feet from where I was sitting. What a delight. The chicks heads where floating over the grass, the rest of their small bodies hidden. When they disappeared to the left side another turkey head popped up. This one seemed to be more worried about me and kept clucking while moving to the side. 

Suddenly I realized that the billy goat had gotten up, watching the turkey with great interest. Then I could hear alarm sounding from the whole non-visible turkey flock. The turkey hen ran towards the bushes on the left while the moms hurried down hill towards the right. 

Billy goats-IMG_0795When I looked the billy goat had disappeared only to show up in my front view with a second one. Both watched the commotion, looked at me and then they charged in the same direction the turkey hen had taken. Suddenly the theater in front of me was strangely empty with only some clucking and other noises coming form the left Sitting there I felt into my body, wondering if this would be a good time to go home. After the bear encounter only a few days earlier I didn’t quite know what to make of the commotion. While I didn’t think that billy goats would chase off a bear, I didn’t need to find out. So I send some gratitude to everyone for the nature show and turned home whistling.

In the present moment with a fly
I was sitting at my favored spot looking at the green mountains of North Carolina. The sun was shining, insects buzzing and I started to relax into nature, when suddenly a fly landed on my arm. My first reflex was to shake it off but I was relaxed enough to let it stay.

It was a medium size fly, hairy and seemingly very busy on my hand. I guess it was sucking salt off my skin. I became curious and watched its progress. Fascinated by the flexibility of its vacuum cleaner-like mouth. The sensation on my skin, which was light and only tickling when it walked over a hair.

I was amazed that these thin, fragile looking legs could carry the body. Wondered what all the hairs are for and how these big eyes see. I became very aware of my skin, each cell presented to the outside, their shape, texture, color. I contemplated how my skin might look and feel to the fly.

I felt that my purpose in this moment was to provide a great salt reservoir for the fly. How easy it is to be of service.

The experience I shared with this fly drew me into the present moment and an understanding that we are all connected. I am grateful the fly came for a visit to intimately share territory with me.

Sharing territory with spiders
Back at the green mountain spot I enjoyed the view of the mountains, thinking of the next personal steps in front of me, when I felt a tickle on my left hand. I looked at my hand and nearly jumped out of my skin. An orange daddy long leg spider was sitting smack on the back of my hand busily tasting my skin. 

Being in the process of learning how to stay calm and relaxed I kept my energy grounded and moved into curiosity. I had no idea if this spider is know to bite and I decided if I just stay calm it will be okay. 

Indeed, the spider kept sucking seemingly delicious stuff off my skin. Its legs, nearly weightless, touched different parts of my hand and the underside of its head gave me a cool, scraping sensation on my skin. It was a curious sensation and I felt honored witnessing this peaceful being enjoying its life. 

I love these shared moments. They give me a different perspective on life and an appreciation of how we are all connected.

While the daddy long leg spider was busy with my hand, a tiny jumping spider was coming up my jeans. Isn’t it amazing how easily they jump great distances. To me it looked like the spider jumped seemingly effortlessly from mountain to mountain (folds on my jeans), a distance many times longer than its body length. I couldn’t do that. 

Watching this spider more closely I realized that it would take a moment to judge the distance and then jump. It reminded me of Barley, my friend’s cat, when he sits on the floor and judges the distance to the top of the counter where his food is. I could feel the same concentration and calculation in the spider. How amazing is that?

 

Heart-based fee for coaching sessions

2014-10-19-IMG_0419-heart base currencyMy first steps to determine appropriate service fees
Free sessions feel out of balance
Charging low or high rates
Sliding scales resulted in negotiation
Intuitive rates, a first step into the right direction
Heart-based fee takes everyone into consideration

My first steps to determine appropriate service fees

Since I started my own business in 2006 I have played with different forms or payment because many people told me they couldn’t afford coaching sessions. Trying to find a solution that works for all of us I offered sessions for free, barter, low fees, high fees, and fees on a sliding scale. Nothing seemed to work until I created the heart-based fee.

At the start of my own business I was very enthusiastic, wanting everyone to be able to have coaching sessions. At the same time I tried to make a living. I looked what other coaches charged, anywhere from $0 to $10.000 per hour. I started with a low fee to attract clients, not daring to ask for higher fees in fear that people would not come. If I learned one thing in the last years, it is that it doesn’t really matter how much money you charge. If people are not ready to fully embrace your service they will focus on the money as an obstacle. Here are some of my experiences and insights

Free sessions feel out of balance

People enjoy free sessions with me, they gain clarity, love spending time with me and very rarely come back. Others don’t show up for the free sessions mostly because they are not committed to change. Now it makes sense to me because the energy exchange is not balanced.

For one thing, those seeking free service often miss the desire and commitment needed to do the work that results from my sessions. On a scale zero to ten, with ten they can hardly wait to work with me, they usually are below a seven. It takes courage to stretch yourself and reveal clarity.  Your desire helps you overcome the uncertainty and fear that might be in your space.

Further, I had to ask myself why I was offering sessions for free: Did I want to fix people; was I afraid nobody would pay for my service; did they reflect my fear of money… Walking my talk, I did my own emotional and mental work and stopped offering free sessions because they didn’t felt aligned with whom I want to work with and the often life changing insights I offer to people in these sessions.

Charging low or high rates doesn’t feel right

Offering sessions for a low fee is similar to free sessions. From a marketing stand point, there are a lot of advantages using low fees.  While I understand a lot about marketing, it doesn’t feel good to me to lure people into sessions with low fees. It creates resentment in my space.

As coaches we were taught to step into high rates that reflect our worth. Questions I tried to answer were: How can a money amount reflect my skill and self-worth? What price can you put on an hour that might change your life? Struggling with the answers I tried the high pricing on. It helped me strengthen my self-esteem but had an energy of daring to push the limits. I played here for a while but it didn’t feel right either.

Sliding scales resulted in negotiation

Trying to accommodate the varying incomes of my clients I set a sliding scale. The result was that people tried to negotiate with me to get to lower parts of the scale. It kept my clients in victim mode and didn’t make me feel appreciated. The result was more mental clearing on my side and looking for a better solution.

Intuitive rates, a first step into the right direction

I finally let go of all the marketing strategies and explored intuitive approaches. I started by asking my heart for a number that would be appropriate for sessions. This approach started to feel better and yet people still stayed in victim mode, telling me that they couldn’t afford sessions. How could I accommodate the different life circumstances and share the responsibility of setting the fee. That is when I came up with the heart-based rate.

Heart-based rate takes everyone into considerationheart-9iRREopkT

I believe that our hearts know what is right for everyone involved in a particular situation. When I use the heart-based rate, I help my partner to step out of the brain and into her heart. Here she asks what the appropriate rate for the session is. Appropriate means, considering all people involved, the impact of the session, length of the session, financial situation and so on.

To implement the heart-based rate I had to trust that we are indeed all one and that my partner’s heart would know what would be appropriate for both of us. I had to be willing to accept the number my partner received.

I remember the first person who was willing to play with me in this way. When I led her into her heart she got two numbers, one from her brain and the other from her heart. She was excited that she could distinguish the two of them and could feel how the brain number came from a place of fear. Choosing the dollar amount she received from her heart made her feel physically good on a deep level and felt aligned with her soul. Feeling her alignment brought tears to my eyes. I could feel her beauty and felt deeply appreciated. What a wonderful gift we gave each other. I knew I had found the right way for me to determine the energy exchange for my services.

Since then I have used the heart-based rate for my clarity sessions, energy grids and workshops. Over and over I experienced the beauty and appreciation that results from a deep heart alignment.

I believe that our heart knows what is right for all of us and I am delighted that my partners and I now share the responsibility of determining the money exchange. We come together in a co-creative partnership, open our hearts fully and trust each other deeply.

I love that the heart-based fee not only takes the individual person into account but also the particular session. Circumstance change, sessions vary in length and impact. The heart-based fee determined at the end of the session reflects that.

At first people find the idea of a heart-based rate uncomfortable. They would like to know ahead of time what to pay, worry if the number they perceive might be too high or too low. I understand these worries. I have stretched myself many time into trusting myself and found it very rewarding. I am delighted to provide those who want to play with me with an opportunity to trust themselves. I am here to ease the process, holding a space of love, beauty, certainty and wellbeing.

 

 
 

Horses as teachers

Horses are masterful teachers for personal and spiritual growth. They support us in our quest to reach new levels of consciousness.

When we respect horses as equals and listen to them closely they offer us deep personal transformation. Explore more:
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Communicating in the languages of the horse heightens all your senses
“Communicating, dancing, being, and playing with horses awakens our soul.”

We are so used to communicate with words that we don’t realize how limited this communication is. This limitation is true especially around living beings that do not communicate with words, such as horses. Focusing on words, we not only deprive the horse of a voice, but we also miss out on the communication the horse is offering.

Horses communicate through many different languages, body language, voice, rhythm and energy. When we listen and speak in the language of horse we become more aware of our body and all our senses.

Reading Body Language: A hind hoof placed on its tip on the ground means relaxation if the horse directs its weight/energy towards the ground. However, the horse might be ready to kick, if the body shows tension and the face irritation.

Sensing Energy: Horses can sense intentional energy. We emit energy through our body, eyes, thoughts and emotions. Horses can sense this energy and react to it. This sensitivity gives us an opportunity to practice using our thoughts and body movements intentionally and clearly.

Sensing Emotions: Horses are very sensitive to emotional energy. They can read the emotions in living beings, included humans. This sense is a survival skill and keenly developed. We cannot hide our true feelings from a horse, but we can learn to shift our emotional and mental state into that of calmness and curiosity. Horses teach us to become authentic and focus on the positive.

Authenticity: Because horses can read our emotions, we cannot really hide any feelings. The best way to be with a horse is to be authentic. If you feel stressed, angry, frustrated or any other state you would like to hide, tell the horse about it you cannot fully shift into a calmer state. Acknowledging your current feelings makes you congruent in your emotional and mental body. The horse will feel a lot easier around you no longer receiving mixed emotional/mental messages. It might still choose to move away until you can shift yourself into a more calm, centered state.  Knowing the effect you have on your horse you might also choose not to work with your horse at that time but rather spend some relaxing time together. Horses teach us to be authentic and present in the moment.

Movement and Rhythm: When horses play with each other they often adapt the same rhythm in their movements. It emphasizes that they are equals in play and hierarchy is set aside. We too can dance with horses when we are aware of their language and rules. Dancing with horses is a visceral experience of being in unity with another being.

Exploring the language of the horse heightens our own senses and opens us to a partnership that promotes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of both human and horse.

Soul Connections – Feeling Unity
“When we are in rhythm with nature it is easy to know when to lead, when to follow, and when to be in the pause. Learning from horses the dance we have with them becomes alive and vital.” – Carolyn Resnick

Horses reach a deep place in us that has often been covered with many layers. The beauty, gentleness, power and wisdom of horses open our heart and allow our own beauty to expand and radiate.

When we invite horses to dance with us, the mutual movement creates a feeling of deep connection and unity. Feelings of excitement, joy, and confidence flood through our body. Together we feel the ease and freedom we yearn for.

Happiness spreads through our heart when we communicate in the language of horse and are being heard. We are feeling the willingness of the horse to communicate and connect with us.

Horses draw us into the present moment when we fully focus on them and allow ourselves to be with them. When time is suspended we can feel our souls connecting.

Frederic Pignon Equitana-2013-3-small

It is possible to connect to our horse in a deep, respectful, joyous way.  Frédéric Pignon is a wonderful example of this kind of connection. This deep bond is created by a deep desire to create a respectful and joyous partnership, listening to the horse on all levels and becoming ourselves fluid in horse language.

Equal Partnership – Co-creative Leadership
“A leader is someone who makes a request”. Carolyn Resnick

We often apply old concepts to our interactions with horses. Dominant leadership is one of those old ideas that need to be updated if we want to partner and co-create with horses. Horses give us the opportunity to develop our co-creative leadership skills.

What feels better to you, to have the freedom of voicing your opinion and being respected or being told/forced what to do without being considered? The horse wants to be respected and have the freedom of choice.

When two beings come together to interact, one of them will make a request to communicate, play, work… In that instant that being is a leader. Most of the time the human is the one who requests, asks, the horse to do something. When the human accepts the horse as an equal partner, the horse is given the freedom to consider the request and voice an opinion. As an equal partner the horse is allowed to say no and/or make a different request.

Horses are willing to accept our leadership if we understand that this comes with responsibilities. As a co-creative leader you have safety and the horses best interest in mind at all times. You adapt to your horse’s needs rather than adapting the horse to your needs. Horses are intelligent, hold wisdom, are creative and can do/sense things we cannot.

Imke Spilker

As a co-creative leader you listen to the horse and allow the horse to express opinions and point out new ways. You only ask the horse to do things you know it can do. You create opportunities to play and work with each other that are interesting and useful to the horse. Read Imke Spilker’s book Empowered Horses to find out how this can look like.

To become a co-creative leader, skills such as self-awareness, willingness to listen, clear communication, clarity of mind & emotions, quiet confidence, patience, persistence and consistency are essential. You can practice these skills step-by-step with your horse and in your daily life. The effort spend on your personal transformation will come back to you in many forms, beauty, fun, ease, well-being and deep heart-felt connections are only some of them.

Mark Rashid points us to leadership skills such as self-awareness, willingness to listen, clear communication, clarity of mind & emotions, quiet confidence, patience, persistence and consistency are essential. You can practice these skills step-by-step with your horse and in your daily life. The effort spend on your personal transformation will come back to you in many forms: beauty, fun, ease, well-being and deep heart-felt connections are only some of them.

Want to play with me or have questions? Email or call me – I would love to connect with you.