Dawn roses photo

I identified them first, years ago.

The few special friends (Souls) that seem to stand out, and light up my way in Life.

Like a lamp. Like a lighthouse.

Illuminating beacons — like the bright sparkling lights alongside the landing strips of Life.

Welcoming. Reassuring.

Reminding me that I haven’t lost my way.

We may not have spoken in months. Years. Nothing lost. Still connected. Welcoming. Loved.

We pick up where we left off. Seamless. They GET me. Cut me slack. Wish me well.

Susan Smiling :))

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How many of these Beacon Friends might you have? Who are you set up to meet right now that might become one? What would you need to do, in reciprocation, to allow that special Beacon Bond to mature?

Looking back now, I didn’t always know it when I met them. Oftentimes, they caught me off guard.

Sometimes we drifted way, way apart.

Even, perhaps, they appeared seemingly unwelcome at the time.

But a Beacon Friend will stitch, with serendipity, back into your Life. Often in unexpected ways.

And over time they prove themselves. Solid. True.

And over the decades you come to respect them. Love them. Find encouragement and serendipity in their light :))

Silhouette Girl on Horse

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Yet, like a magical, whimsical Sprite, they cannot be forced. Coerced. They choose who they will, and arise of their own accord.

Sometimes, someone we have high hopes for, who we think would become a Beacon, fizzles. Fades away into the distance. Not to be seen or heard from again.

Sometimes, too, they will by surprise re-appear, seemingly on a larger trajectory. (Not all planetary bodies orbit at the same rate. Some are closer. Others farther out . . . )

So when your Beacon Friends re-appear on the stage of your Life, take note. The Stars are trying to tell you something.

Lani Kai Cloud

Listen. Look. Be ready.

They were put here to bring you a sign.

Don’t miss it!

Remain grateful. Gracious. Open.

Their coming could save you from running aground on some sharp reef. Or crashing into the abyss by missing some important runway.

IMG_9390

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Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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…/< >\ …/< >\ …/< >\

Orb Trees on Pinos

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Copyright 2017

Portrait of Dawn with Blossoms, courtesy of: Beacon Sister, Robin Bobin :))

North Shore Surfers

Friendships. Real friends. Soul connections.

We all need them. Crave them. Like plants crave water and sun.

Yet how do I find them? Connect with them?

What makes them grow? What makes them fizzle?

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Home Away from Home

I’ve worked overseas for the past fourteen years. In Hawaii. Shoeing horses there. Flying to my Island community and working there for two weeks out of every six . . .

Yet when I sent my anvil and all my tools home to California last year, I left one of my most important assets behind: My friends.

My emotional safe havens. (You know who you are :))

With all my travels, I made wonderful. Deep. Friendships. Now 2,500 miles away!

So how do I go about rebuilding here, at home, the bonds of friendship I forged there?

Open Doors — Chance Meetings

We meet people, all the time. But what makes a friendship? What opens a door and makes a chance meeting, a chance encounter, develop farther, deeper — into a friend?

Looking Glasses

Exchange

Something has to spark. To happen. And really, most people seem to hold their energy so tight, so close, there’s little room for exchange to occur.

It’s just not on their agenda to be open to meeting. Interacting. Growing.

Dance card, Life card — full. No room for another friend.

Veiled Shadow

Curiosity

Who are you? What is your Life like? (And. . . what does your Life have to offer . . . me, and my Life? And mine . . . to yours?)

Do we have anything in common? Do we share a basis for growth?

Are you kind? (Or mean!)

Are you reliable? (Or a flake.)

Can you be counted on . . . (Or would you let me down?)

Silhouette X 2

Courtship

Do you wanna dance? See if we even could be friends?

Or is your Life too full already.

Wanna meet for lunch?

Dinner?

Talk on the phone?

Because the next, most essential, element has to happen if we are to be friends . . .

Time — Interaction

We have to actually, really, carve out some kind of time together. We have to share interaction for friendship to exist.

(This is why most of my friendships have come from my clients — I spend time with them. And their horses. And over time, I get to know them. And they get to know me.)

I watch their cycles. They watch mine.

I watch their reactions in Life.

And we see if we can trust each other.

And we choose, or not, to open up to one another . . .

Honolulu Fireworks

Energy

What is the energy created between us?

Growth? Inspiration? Harmony?

Or, annoyance? Angst? Criticism?

Or even, NOTHING! Stalled-out energy that leaves us flat . . .

Tree Face :))

Reciprocation

Is it just me, trying to connect with you? Or do you include me in your thoughts and actions?

Do you call me? Or is it just always and only up to me to call you?

Because if it’s always and only up to me to reach out to you — it won’t work.

Growth

If you do reciprocate. If we do share/create harmonious energy between us, then we have the chance to grow :))

Share insights. Exchange ideas. Perspectives. Enhance each other’s lives.

Create a psychic bond.

Become a support for one another . . .

Together we become like a plant in soil, with sun, air, water, nutrients.

Our blossoms mixing into a colorful bouquet to brighten the day :))

Vulnerability

I think that all of the above paints a description of being vulnerable. Open. Because, as we know from previous friendships, in opening up, we take a risk.

Double Image

We could invest time. Love. Hope in a person.

But they could turn on us, let us down.

Hurt us. Step on us. Spit us out.

(In which case, that wasn’t a true friend, now was it! Stay far, far away!!!)

Yet it would seem most friendships die because they get crowded out — by the weeds,  (activities), of Life. By other competing elements (work, family, friends). By a lack of room for proper growth.

Or they just don’t receive the needed nutrients.

Not enough water (time spent together). Sunlight (interaction, inspiration).

So they wither and die, or just barely survive . . .

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So what kind of friend (gardener) do I want to be? Will I tend to the beautiful blossoms in my friend-garden?

Will I allow myself to be vulnerable. Open. Will they?

Will our friendship blossom? Grow?

Like the colorful pansies in the ceramic pots on my porch. (So far, I’ve kept them alive! In fact, they thrive :))

Or will I forget them, in neglect.

(No!)

And let them wither and die?

 Bougainvillea

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Friendships. Real friends. Soul connections.

We all need them. Yet we have to feed them —

Provide them with soil, water and sun,

So they may, hopefully, continue to blossom.

And if they fizzle, please don’t snivel —

But give them water, and love, once again :))

Plumeria

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Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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…/< >\ …/< >\ …/< >\

Rick on Fae, with Orbs, Pinos

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Copyright 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malibu Lightning 2008

Life presents us with such beautiful challenges.

We start out young. Eager.

“You can do it! You can do ANYTHING!”

(Hopefully we are encouraged by our elders . . . I was :)) Read my Dad’s philosophy on Life and success here: You Can Do ANYTHING! )

So we set out in Life.

We Fake it Til we Make it :))

We search for an interest, a spark.

For something that stands out from all the other options . . .

What on Earth do I want to do???

Sisters and Cousins

(Remember the faces of these little 1950’s kids: What will they grow up to do?)

And how do I make that pay, so that I can live and eat and drive a car and . . . find my true love. And marry.

“Happily Ever After . . . ” Remember?

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Easy vs. Rough

Yet, some sections of what Life dishes us, appear easier than others.

Sometimes the sun seems to shine through every opportunity, like a perpetual Spring. Early morning in July. What could possibly go wrong???

Then the seasonal job ends. The funding dries up. Then comes Summer’s heat. Winter’s cold. Snow. Ice . . .

Some pockets of Life are rough, tough, and downright depressing.

Yet our job is to keep getting back up. Dust off our knee.

Keep learning. Searching. Trying . . .

One day, we’ll get “there”, right?

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Feeling Like a Fake

One of the observations I’ve made over my years, has been a nagging inner doubt — feeling like a fake. A fraud — even after years of schooling; training; success. Even after countless volumes of productive accomplishment.

(Yet I’m not a fake! Honest!!! Even if a small part of me still thinks I need to stomp my foot and glare to get you to believe me:))

One of the things that helped me deal with this, was reading about a very accomplished woman who confessed in her autobiography that she felt the same way.

The gal was a high-falutin Wall Street financial analyst with all kinds of fancy training and university degrees. She had years and years of experience. She was legit and fit for her work as anyone on Earth possibly could be.

Yet she and I shared something in common.

Despite her all training, experience, expertise . . .

Sometimes, she felt like a fake!!!

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Human Foibles

I remember thinking about her description over and over.

It went something like: “I find myself sitting at the conference table with all these men, looking at me, wanting to know what I think. And I look at the pages of graphs, charts, and numbers in front of me, and I think, ‘Why are you looking at me??? What do you think I know???‘”

And I wondered: Is it just women who feel fake in the “Real World”? Or do all humans suffer from this, from time to time.

Maybe it’s a human trait . . . to doubt ourselves.

And I’m human, remember?

So maybe I’m normal after all :))

And maybe I’m not really a fake . . .

And maybe I am really well suited for what I do.

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It Will All Work Out :))

And this has helped me over the years. When I come to an obstacle in my work, in my Life. I tell myself: “I really can get through this. I really can figure this out.”

So I wanted to post this for you younger people out there. Who are struggling.

As a reminder from one who’s gone a similar Life path before.

You’re OK.

Your Life will all work out :))

Be the best person that you can.

Make the very best decisions you know how.

Get back up, dust off your knee when you fall down.

Apologize to those you hurt.

Try, try, try again.

A different approach. A fresh angle . . .

Keep adjusting. Keep trying.

Pray, keep the faith, look up.

And you will get “there”.

The road is long. Hot. Rough.

But you are tough.

And in this Life of yours, you are not a fake.

You are a rich, complex creature. A human!

And you truly can do ANYTHING!!!

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Now look, again, at the family photo of these kids.

Sisters and Cousins

The kids in this photo will go on to have many future accomplishments:

(At least one) self-made multi-millionaire; two pilots; Tom Petty’s recording engineer; several accomplished musicians; several entrepreneur-artists; Getty Museum Gallery Instructor; CPA; Speech Pathologist; two horse endurance trail riders/breeders; and a farrier (horseshoer). All successful. Rich in Life’s adventures. How about that!!!

(Grandma would be proud! See: You Gotta Wanna)

Just remember, when you look at what seems like a dumb little kid, you could be looking at the next ________________ (Elvis, Elan, Edison, Einstein :))

Because if we’re human, we can do what humans do.

We can do ANYTHING!!!

Kissing Cousins

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Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Side Saddle (watermark)

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Copyright 2017

Grandfather’s vintage family photos courtesy of Cousin Andy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lenticular clouds

Oh the precious memories of a Life well lived :)) I think the BIG QUESTION we all have: Will my Life actually work out? Will it all go well? Will I have a house? A job? Will the kids turn out? Can I pay my bills . . . ???

In my Life, it has! Have I had my ups and downs? Indeed! Yet there’s always a Silver Lining beyond every mishap. We fall down, get back up, dust ourselves off — and learn from the venture.

We add the needed corrections to our lifestyle, to our behavior . . . And we find ourselves blessed beyond measure — living here, on this beautiful planet, Earth, that we get to call home!

Malibu Winter Foliage!

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Lately I’m marveling at how beautifully Life has turned out . . . From the ashes and angst of my youth, all is well. I’ve made peace.

And realizing, one day, it will all be gone. In a flash — transformed into the next dimension.

I awoke today with these first stanzas, and the feeling accompanying this:

Bounty for the Soul
By DawnSeeker, July 9, 2017

Years ago a little boat
Set sail on Life’s vast sea —
Alas I’ve come to realize,
The little boat was me!

Searching the shores for treasures
Of all that Life unfolds . . .
Finding, now, my holds are full
Of bounty for the Soul.

Not just lovely belongings
Grace my cabin, dear — but
Friendships wrought from Life’s hot forge:
Iron. Grit. And fear.

Soft, the tender blossoms,
Outside my windows bloom.
From the soil of turbulence
My Soul contains a room

Filled to overflowing
(Feel the inner joy!)
Memories of encounters
With daughters, moms, and boys.

Time, the grand illusion,
Unwinds its iron clasp.
My little ship shifts between
The present, and the past . . .

I see again the faces,
I hear again the voice.
I realize my happiness
Truly is a choice.

And so I end my journey
Much as it had begun.
Searching Life’s shores for treasures,
I realize, I’ve won!

All I really wanted
Lays hidden in my Soul:
Not the things, the friendships,
Truly Life’s Journey’s goal.

Sailboat

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For how this all worked out so well, philosophical posts abound:

My Yoda Story
You Can Do ANYTHING!
Depression Emergency Kit

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Self-shadow shot

Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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…/< >\ …/< >\ …/< >\

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Copyright 2017

 

 

 

El Rancho Viejo

Blue Skies Tagged Ahead :))

How do you thank someone whom you’ve never “met”, but who has enabled you to gain fresh insight into who you are?

Isn’t that the reason we blog in the first place, Self-discovery and looking for those “out there” with whom we can share and connect with?

Self-Reflection is one of my favorite topics. And MrHushHush has ushered in fresh volumes by nominating me for the Blue Sky Tag — thus enabling me to answer his thought-provoking questions :))

Thank you, MrHushHush, so very much!!!

Not only has this been fun, but my own answers to your wonderful list of questions has helped me resolve a recent angst I’ve been dealing with.

Thank you for reaching out. For including me in this exercise. And for making it deep and thoughtful, rather than surface-level BS!!

End Day Cloud

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Quoting from MrHushHush here:

For those of you who don’t know, the rules of the Blue Sky Tag go something like this:

  1. Thank the person who has nominated you.
  2. Answer their questions.
  3. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
  4. Tag your 11 nominees.

(Thank you, MrHushHush, for not stringently stating the rules! We creative sorts can lose our nerve as soon the “YOU MUST” rules arise!)

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Thought-Provoking Questions from MrHushHush

So here are my responses :))

1.Why do you Blog?

I’m a writer. A life-long Journal-Junkie. I don’t just want to write, I MUST write — in order to figure Life out. I created my two blogs as a format to polish my body of work and preserve what I’ve written, what I’ve discovered — (hopefully) for generations to come.

The original inspiration for my blogs came from my daughter, accomplished singer-songwriter and Celtic folk harpist, EllaHarp. In 2011-2012, I watched Ella build and blog Little Yellow, her homebuilt Tumbleweed Tiny House on Wheels. (Frankly, given our family’s aversion to computers and technology, I was more surprised at her ability to BLOG than to BUILD her own Tiny Home — with her creative example, I determined to to start a blog (or two!) of my own :))

2. What is your favorite topic to write/read about?

I love horses. They are the underlying theme of my Life. (Hence, my horse blog, Soul Horse Ride.) I work with horses as a farrier (horseshoer), I’ve raised and bred four generations of horses — I have a fantastic horse library.

But I also love business and creativity and self-employment and entrepreneurship and airplanes and flying and Spiritual metaphysics and all the Mysteries of Life . . . I have a great esoteric library, as well.

3. Are you happy in this moment of your life?

Amazingly so!!! I’m a bit older now, my kids are out of the house. I’m not working as much these days, and I have more time to enjoy the Life that God’s given me :))

My best advice: Keep striving for what you want in Life — you’ll get there! Make the best decisions you can at every junction, and TRUST. (See: My Yoda Story)

There truly are more influences at play behind what we “perceive”  this Life to be. It will all work out . . . find your happiness, do your best, today :))

4. Are you in love?

Yes :)) My husband and I are celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary :)) We are a blended family (as in, we were both married before, had kids, and found happiness this time around, together :)) Life is LONG! Certain parts are difficult!!! But it sure helps to have someone who “gets” you (loves you) to share it with!!! :))

(I think those of us who have succeeded in long-term love have, finally, discovered that someone else can never truly fulfill us — make us happy. That’s OUR job. As humans, here on Earth, it’s up to each one of us to find and fuel our own happiness. When two people are committed to kindness and respect for one another, have shared goals of a great family life, and allow one another to follow and express their Life’s creative passions, it’s a beautiful thing.)

5. How do you cope when feeling lost or empty?

Great question! I either get out my Journal and write, or look up something I’ve already written on the topic for fresh inspiration.

I’ve found that there are many recurring themes in Life, and I can actually plan for much of the emotional ride that Life gives me. By working out a strategy in advance to what’s come up for me in my past — I can ward off much frustration in my present. And it’s  actually worked!!!

(My favorite go-to strategy to feeling lost or empty: Taking ACTION, in some form!)

6. What’s a special memory you often flash back to?

What a sweet question :)) I love to re-live my special horse rides, especially if I’m working out of town and far from my horses. Or in the winter snow season, when I can’t ride. I figure those rides are preserved for me in my very DNA, and I re-live and re-ride the nuances of Nature, the horse, the beauty of the day. I think that’s a wonderful gift of being human. We can re-live either the good or the bad in our lives. At this point of my Life, I choose to re-live the best of my experiences :))

Other memories I think back to are those of my early childhood, growing up on the beach in Malibu, my Disneyland Bandleader Dad, my Mom, Grandparents. After people are gone and certain chapters of Life have closed, it’s a treat to re-visit and still gain insights and wisdom that help with whatever I’m going through today. (See: You Can Do ANYTHING!, and You Gotta Wanna)

7. What are you looking forward to?

I can honestly say I’m looking forward to . . . TODAY :)) I’ve already traveled, lived and worked in the Tropics, acquired all that I want: Horses. Home. Kids. Husband. Health. I’m really at a good place in Life, and I want to do my best, today, with the people and opportunities that arise for me. (Taking the pick-up truck, getting hay. Shoeing a horse this evening . . . sounds like a wonderful day :))

8. Do you see an overall goal in life you’re hoping to reach? If so, what?

Again, I’m very satisfied :)) Blown away, in fact, by how wonderful it’s all turned out. In my Life I’ve discovered that Spirit is the real, the true. What we perceive as real, as the material world around us, actually is made up of consciousness. Energy. And our thoughts, our vibes, change that reality.

My dear friend, Alisa, now 85, has reminded me of what Milton said in Paradise Lost (from the 1600s): “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

I can choose to vibrate with fear, angst. Or I can change that vibration to gratitude and love. Thank God for the second option!! :)) Gratitude Is . . .

9. What is your biggest fear, and how do you rationalize it?

Money, paying the bills, earning enough, was always my biggest fear. But I’ve learned to shift my awareness from lack and limitation to up into Spirit. Wholeness. And I’m relieved to say it’s worked. 100% !!! We really do create our own outcomes in Life by what we focus on. By staying in gratitude for all I have, Past, Present, Future, it all seems to work out :)) (see my Depression Emergency Kit for fear-busting strategies)

10. If you could recommend a book to me what would it be?

Years ago, I was given a great little book by Neville Goddard, Feeling is the Secret, that has really helped me. Basically, whatever you want to have or experience, you change your vibration to FEEL how you would feel when you have it. That feeling attracts what you’re looking for, and creates it in your life. Fantastic :)) Works with health, too.

Next: The Game of Life and How to Play It, by Florence Scovel Shinn (written in 1925). A small Metaphysical Manual on manifesting and living Life to the fullest.

Also, I think you would like: The Stranger in the Woods, by Michael Finkel. Great non-fiction about a guy who dropped out of the everyday world and lived as a hermit for 27 years, alone, in the woods.

11. If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Dawn, don’t worry! Stay in Gratitude :)) Everything will work out :))

Don’t be so uptight about it all! Enjoy your Life :)) Enjoy the folks, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandfather. Take heed the wisdom they give you. Someday, they will all be gone, and you will be the one trying to figure it out. You will cherish the wisdom they shared with you.

Love. And get over stuff that hurts your feelings quickly. Cut people slack. You’ve hurt people, too. Apologize. Forgive. Grow up! Do what Mom said :)) Be kind! Get along.

Enjoy the RIDE :))

My Horse is a River

Get out and RIDE — Dawn’s Rides

It’s OK to Scream!

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What a great list of questions, MrHushHush. Thank you, again, for your depth. It really got me thinking, reflecting. And that’s always a good thing :))

Keep Santa Cruz Weird

My Nominees :))

So here is my list of great Blogs to Tag:

YOU! If you’re reading this, you’re invited (lets bend those rules :)) Please feel free to join in with this insightful exercise, even if your name isn’t on this way-too-limited list!

Wind Kisses

Global Sojourns Photography

The English Professor at Large

The Pilot Wife Life

Life and Random Thinking

Erin Gillespie Cartoons

Heart of a Horsewoman

Horse Wisdom Blog

Dictionary Dutch

Marija Smits

The Motorcycletourer

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My List of Questions for You:

  1. Is your Life, today, half-empty, or half-full?
  2. How have you found goodness from the bad situations in your Life? Example, please :))
  3. Which relationships have been the most challenging for you, and what strategies have you created to improve them?
  4. What causes you angst, and how do you overcome it?
  5. Have you ever written your own jokes???? Memorized them, and tried them out in a long, boring line at the Post Office . . . Did anyone chortle??? (ie — do you have a good joke ready for a sour circumstance :)) (I had a lot of fun writing my Cow Jokes.)
  6. What challenges are you facing in your Life right now?
  7. What do you obsess over? How do you rein in your obsessions?
  8. What strategies do you employ for stress relief?
  9. What other-wordly phenomena have you experienced? (Intuition, dreams, deja vu, ET, communication with lost loved ones, etc.) What have your learned from them?
  10. How do you make new friends, or strike up a conversation with a stranger?
  11. What do you love to create? How do you motivate yourself to do more of what you love to do???

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Now, when you get the time, get your blogging groove on, and enjoy.

I’m looking forward to your answers :)) and viewing your list of Nominees. It’s a great way to reflect, connect, and share.

And, MrHushHush, would you please do me the favor of answering my list of questions, too :))

Dawn

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(If I were to answer my own list of questions, here are my thoughts on conversation starters with strangers: Deep Philosophical Three Minute Conversations. On motivation for doing more of what I like to do: Why Ride?, and Ride for Little Dawn.)

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Round Rainbow

 

Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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…/< >\ …/< >\ …/< >\

Self-shadow shot

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Copyright 2017

Sunset Flame

Making Peace . . .  On Life ~ And Death ~ Part III ~

“We are ALL connected . . . We are not isolated islands. We are interconnected, and we all affect each others’ Lives. Remember . . . Celebrate Sherrie’s crossing over. Celebrate Sherrie’s Life!”  D.T.

When Tragedy Strikes ~ Lessons About Life ~ From Dying

Ten years ago this Spring, one of my best friends was killed while riding her horse. This is the final post in a series of my struggle with the loss of my good friend, Sherrie T.

Take a deep breath. It’s a difficult topic. Yet, one Life demands from us . . .

(Please read previous posts:  Lessons for Living ~ From Dying, ~ On Life ~ And Death ~ Part I ~ and Anatomy of an Accident ~ On Life ~ And Death ~ Part II ~)

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It took a long time to sort through my many emotions, losing Sherrie.

Loss. Grief.

Alongside happiness for having known her.

Gratitude. Elation.

It was difficult making sense of it all.

Not long after losing Sherrie, I talked with a wise client, D. T., and had a conversation with her about what happened. She shared with me her Sage perspective.

Here are my notes: Life ~ Death ~ Lessons

As difficult as it seems, good things — lessons — come through a person’s death. These are some of the biggest lessons in a person’s Life — at the time of passing over. Such as:

* How we cope

* The lessons we learned from their Life

* Reflect with clear eyes vs. sainthood. (We tend to put away faults when a person dies, but not when they are alive)

* We learn: To let go. To LOVE

* Not to dwell on picky-uny things

* To Rejoice in Life! It’s a Grand Gift!

* To prepare ourselves for our own passing

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Canoe off Lani Kai

It’s OK to Cross Over – We will be Fine

* Sherrie accomplished what she needed to accomplish.

* The trick to Life is to listen to our Intuition, our “Little Angels”

* Sherrie’s death started us all in Self-Reflection — raised everybody’s insight . . .

*** She needed to hear the vocalization of who she was — hence, my poem. She heard it. She got it! The acknowledgement. Perhaps there was no need for her to stay any more. Perhaps this was the missing link to her Life Puzzle.

* It’s OK to cross over — we will be fine :))

* Her passing presented the final lesson to many people whom her Life had touched

* Death brings out the best — and the worst in people. That in itself is part of the lesson

* We are not the victim. We fight with reality — but we have free choice. We tune into our higher self, and we make choices . . .

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Plumeria Blossom in Roots

~ We are All Interconnected ~

And in hearing all this I flash on Sherrie at the Endurance Ride when we first met, when she asked me if I would come and trim her horse’s hooves. And I suddenly realize a new lesson, a new connection with my Life, and Sherrie.

I say to D. T., tears in my eyes, “You wouldn’t have me work for you were it not for Sherrie. She launched my Hoofcare career. She started me working for other horses and people, rather than just my own horse herd.”

Ehukai

And D. T. reminds me, “We are ALL connected . . . We are not isolated islands. We are interconnected, and we all affect each others’ Lives.”

“Remember . . . Celebrate Sherrie’s crossing over. Celebrate Sherrie’s Life!”

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Iwa Bird in Flight

The Ultimate LESSON:

And I realize that she’s right! A Life lived is worthy of Celebration!

And she reminds me:

* Family, friends, we’re all OK!

* People slip in, slip out of this Life

* When it’s time to move on — someone else is going to fly on in . . .

* Accept this — Love this —That’s the way it’s supposed to be, Life. An endless chain of lessons

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Hobie Cat

Celebrate Sherrie’s Life!

It is well with my Soul.

I Love you, Sherrie. And I know that you’re happy in your new surroundings.

I know that I shall see you again!

And just as I have learned from your Life, I’ve learned from your death.

Ten years have passed, yet I still feel you with me :))

I see you in my work, and in the people and horses and animals that surround me!

I thank you for reminding me to stay safe, centered, calm.

To look out from myself. And to connect with my environment, and with those around me.

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The coffee I drink today,

         The kind words of encouragement I say —

                 This is My Life

Seize the moment —

       Savor the flavor —                    

              Make my connections.

                         ENJOY!!!

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Lighten up :))

I Celebrate your Life, Sherrie!

And through you, I am reminded to lighten up.

Celebrate my Life. As well as those Lives surrounding me.

And not to be so glum. Not to look for the picky faults in those I love.

For Life is short, and none of us really know how much time we all have here.

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And I’m glad to be your friend.

Please enjoy your travels, ride your horses —Shiloh, Zephyr, and the rest.

And smile your beautiful smile!

And live your after-Life with Zest!

Until we meet again!

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Sherrie’s up —

Up for travel, up for fun.

Life’s adventures just

Begun. She’s a marvel,

She’s possessed with a

Special kind of zest —

Sherrie T.!

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Sunset Beach

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Postscript: Sherrie’s husband,Tom is well. I speak with him every year, around the date of Sherrie’s passing. His Life is full, shared now with a beautiful, loving woman who lost her husband, around the same time Sherrie had died.

I also stay in touch with one of Sherrie’s good friends, and have learned from her that several women have stopped riding their horses that were considered unruly, unsafe — saving many from injury and accident. Thanks to Sherrie. And all that she’s taught us.

Amen!

Round Rainbow

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For insights into the lives of horses, please visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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…/< >\ …/< >\ …/< >\

Starboy in Sunlight

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Copyright 2014, 2017

Liemanna blowing conch shell

Anatomy of an Accident ~ On Life ~ And Death ~ Part II ~

What makes us more vulnerable to accidents, I asked? Beware anything out of the ordinary: distraction, interruption, loss of focus, added or different people, any break in your normal routine . . .

When Tragedy Strikes ~ Lessons About Life ~ From Dying

Ten years ago this Spring, one of my best friends was killed while riding her horse. This is the second post in a series of my struggle with the loss of my good friend, Sherrie T.

(Please read previous post:  Lessons for Living ~ From Dying ~ On Life ~ And Death ~ Part I ~)

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In the previous post, I did my best to come to terms with losing Sherrie. Seeking to go Up, into Goodness, and search for meaning in her loss . . .

In this post, I analyze what happened in her tragic accident, and strive to learn how to stay safe.

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The Anatomy of an Accident

As much as I needed to come to peace with Sherrie’s passing, I also needed to understand:  How? Why? What happened?

What could have prevented this???

Sherrie and I were both horse professionals. She was an excellent horse person. What caused Sherrie’s tragic death? How could I learn from this?

So I set out to find out what happened that night.

A short end-of-day ride. A series of unfortunate blunders. But blunders, that on any good horse, would not have lead to her death.

In the long run — my conclusion here — Sherrie died trying to make a bad horse good.

I learned at the Memorial Service, later, that a friend had asked her that morning why Sherrie no longer did Endurance Rides.

“Because I don’t trust my horse,” she replied.

Yet that evening she rode that horse, and she died, crushed by him when he fell on her in slick, steep footing, after spooking and bucking her off.

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What did My Accidents Have in Common?

In trying to learn from Sherrie’s accident, I decided to look over my own. To look at every accident I’d been in — car, horse, and otherwise — and search for a common set of circumstances, trigger’s, or tip-offs that might spell trouble in advance.

(I also learned to cull the bad horses that elude domestication, that can’t be counted on to keep a rider safe. From temperament to visual to other physical limitations, evaluate the prospect for safety and compliance throughout the training process.)

Life is full of risks, and all of us engage in activities that are potentially deadly — all the time.

(How about driving in a car!)

How can we know when something should be avoided? Is there some intuitive warning system that we can learn to heed?

I made a list of everything I could think of.

What did my accidents have in common? Was there any knowing beforehand?

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No Outlet

Red Flags! — Warning Signs!

In looking over the accidents, I found the following similarities:

1)    Strong, Overriding Emotion

Pressed for Time!

Hurry

Distraction

Duty

Anger/Frustration

Insistence

2)    **Broken Routine**

Something out of the ordinary — a series of mistakes or doomed circumstances, any one of which may be benign, but in combination prove to be deadly.

Normally I do it this way, but today . . . another

Usually I ride in this saddle . . . but today . . .

Visiting guests, gusting wind, distractions . . .

3)    Intuitive Hit

Gut Feeling

Head’s up Hunch

Dread

Don’t Do It

This Isn’t Smart

Wait!

Not Today!

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Slow Down!

Conclusion: STOP! Wait!

If you have any of the above circumstances, STOP!!!

Take your time. Wait it out.

**WATCH the guiding emotion!!**

If it’s fear, or pressure, or anxiety: It’s not worth it!

Disengage! Slow down!

STOP!!!

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Accident-Prone Combination

I saw that often a series of blunders or mistakes made any activity way more likely to be dangerous.

Like, for example, a carriage incident I had one Thanksgiving when I went to harness Starboy to my Meadowbrook oak cart. I was in a hurry and didn’t really have the time . . . but

* I INSISTED on driving the carriage that day! (Overriding Emotion)

* My horse trailer that I tied to for hitching, was parked, for the first time, in the wrong place, on a down-sloping hill. (Break in Routine   the Ranch owner had moved the trailer because he made a new road to split up his property)

The Incident:

I hitched Starboy, tied to the trailer. He took one step forward. His neck turned like a noodle — but because of the down-slope my trailer was parked on, the odd step he took, and the restriction of the carriage on his hindquarters, he promptly buckled over — breaking the entire leather harness! (Requiring extensive repairs.)

Carriage drive over before it began.

(Fortunately he wasn’t hurt.)

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Although I don’t recall having a feeling of dread (Intuitive Hit) on that incident, I did on some of the other accidents.

And yet sometimes, even when I’ve had a feeling of dread — everything worked out fine. So that emotion alone isn’t always a “given” for determining fate.

Yet a combination of the above seems to pre-determine susceptibility to an accident.

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Signs!

And I’ve learned from this, and I believe it’s saved me.

I’ve learned to listen to my intuition, and to back off when I feel pressured or rushed.

Like the other day, when I was in a funk. And I didn’t feel like driving in Malibu-to-home rush-hour traffic. And I stopped. And I listened.

And instead of hitting the freeway, I drove back towards the beach, parked my car and took a hike up a sweet Springtime canyon.

And I felt the sun on my skin, and I heard the birds chirp. And I smelled the young green foliage.

And I chilled out. And I was Grateful for my Life. And I drove home safely later, when the pressure was off . . .

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Clear Clouds

Anatomy of an Accident:

1)    Listen/Follow Your Intuition

* Quietly seek out Peace and Calm

* Let no Emotion interfere with this

* Move forward When the Energy seems Peaceful

2) Beware of Insistent, Stubborn Emotion — ie: Rushed for Time

* If feeling: frenzied, rushed, “off”, negative, insistent —

* STOP! CHILL OUT! Off-set the emotional spiral

* Wait for the Chill to return . . .

3) Caution: Especially Beware: Broken Routine!

* A series of blunders, poor judgment precedes disaster

* Beware anything out of the ordinary: distraction, interruption, loss of focus, added or different people, any break in your normal routine

4) PRAY! Ask for Insight

* Take a moment to meditate. Pray. Chill out. Breathe . . .

* Look up, out, into Nature. Connect with something peaceful

* Seek angelic help: What should I do? Go? Stay? Postpone???

*** This loops us back to #1)

5) STOP! WAIT! Don’t proceed further until the Energy clears

6) Stay in GRATITUDE

* We communicate with Spirit, God, through feelings, thoughts, desires . . .

* The most potent prayer is a prayer of Gratitude.

* Stay Grateful — Look. LISTEN. Feel.

(See My Yoda Story)

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Molokai Hybiscus

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Considering I work with big, potentially dangerous horses on a regular basis, I can report that this system has worked.

Following the above guidelines has, literally, saved me.

I am much more chill about my actions now. I avoid going forth when feeling rushed or distracted or pressured.

I feel no shame in stopping and walking away from a potentially dangerous or nerve-rattling  setting.

I now take the time to center myself, go up into Goodness and Gratitude — and feel the energy settle before setting headlong into what I’d planned to do.

I have also eliminated certain horses from my riding program, based on their inability to comply with the reasonable wishes and directions of their handler/rider.

And I thank you, Sherrie, for helping me understand all this.

For out of your tragedy, you gave me a beautiful, reflective gift.

And it’s just like you, to think of others, Sherrie. To give. To learn. To teach.

Our friendship continues, beyond time and space. Blessing and growing and continuing in the Goodness it began with, so many decades ago :))

Molokai Rainbow

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Next post: Making Peace . . . On Life ~ And Death ~ Part III ~ Putting the whole experience together, making peace with not just the reality of Sherrie’s passing, but the Celebration of Life we all deserve, no matter which side of the Veil we exist on . . .

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For insights into the lives of horses, please visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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…/< >\ …/< >\ …/< >\

Laddie Looking -- Look Out

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Copyright 2014, 2017