A “Pegasus” horse affectionately named Leo came into our life two years ago and turned it upside down.
For only a dollar, my trainer took from me my strong, independent and protective black noble Percheron cross, Zeus, and replaced him with her husband’s “young but gentle” horse.
She calmly explained to me that my petite daughter would never be able to ride such a strong mighty soul as Zeus so she directed me to do the right thing and take Leo instead.
So incredibly trusting was I in the “professional trainer” that I barely blinked an eye, except for the hidden tears that flowed because I sacrificed the love of my life, Zeus.
So Leo came into our life. His registered name was Second Timothy, from the bible verse…he fought the great fight. Boy did I think that was the wrong reference for this needy, weak and insecure soul. Only later did I learn what that verse foreshadowed and just how spine tingling appropriate it would become.
From day one Leo looked to me to tell him he was OK. He kept saying, “but I can’t, I am not strong enough, I don’t fit in, they pick on me…even though I try so hard to be good enough.”
I never knew a horse could have such difficulty fitting into a herd. Within the first two weeks of his arrival he had almost died through colic, gotten his front leg stuck on the top rail of a 5 foot fence and later got his back leg stuck in the under the rails of the riding pen. His Pegasus nature was supported by his split blaze on his face. The upper part of the blaze didn’t connect to the lower part just as his connection to spirit didn’t quite translate down to his feet here on earth.
So what was he to teach me? Were his issues just a mirror of my own trappings? Had I literally sold my strength and confidence and replaced it with my deepest woundings and trauma by exchanging Zeus for Leo?
Again I had let someone else tell me what to do instead of checking in with my own inner knowing on the subject. How many times in my 40 plus years had I let an “authority” figure tell me who I was and what I should do?
My abusive, authoritarian father and I clashed throughout my life, yet a part of me always laid in wait, secretly hoping he would tell me he accepted me, approved of me and I was special and good enough. I knew there was no coincidence that these were the same issues Leo was asking me to reinforce in him.
So over the next two years I took it slow with Leo. Supporting him to grow strong in mind, spirit and body. Gradually he put on weight and muscle. He established a sub-herd of “misfit” characters within the larger herd. All the sick, old or rejected horses looked to him as leader. The scene reminded me of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer when Rudolph finely found acceptance on the Island of Misfits.
Leo eventually even got a girl friend, Baby. As he grew in skill, strength and confidence so did his relationship with Baby. (Even her name was a metaphor for healing the young parts of ourselves that lay waiting for some other person's approval.)
After 1½ years of careful “rehab”, the new Leo was unrecognizable from the old. My daughter was learning dressage and even jumping him.
However the turning point came when Leo entered his first event. Eventing is when a horse is asked to do dressage, cross country jumping as well as jumping in an arena. It is the equivalent of a human triathlon.
Leo was a star and got 4th place. The next show he got second place. It was like he had to enter the world and go against a challenge in order to find himself. In the same time period I finished my book and formalized the Mind Energy Body School of Transformation and its certification program.
We both were working our edges in the world and winning! I was no longer afraid to come out with a nontraditional psychotherapeutic orientation that combined the energy of consciousness, spirit and body with the more traditional mental health system’s cognitive therapies. And Leo too had come out of his shell. His “misfit herd” was now integrated into the larger herd and he was one of the leaders.
All the while I kept in the back of my mind the words of his registered name’s reference… he fought the great fight. So by the end of the show season when I began to notice something not quite right with him, I was deeply worried. Had he gone as far as he could? Had I gone as far as I can? My trainer suggested I get him checked out. So I took him to the best vet in town, Dr. Story.
My husband came with me for moral support. Because I read energy fields, I knew Dr. Story immediately saw something terribly wrong even though she wouldn’t say anything. But what?
Maybe if I make excuses for why he is so clumsy and funny with his legs and call him Pegasus she will look elsewhere. “I joked, he just doesn’t always know where his legs are, but he jumps like the wind!”
Two thousand dollars later and a battery of x-rays it was all I could do to talk through the sobs. “Are you sure? It can’t be! There must be some way to overcome this.” All Dr. Story could say was the truth, as kindly as she could.
Leo’s 6th and 7th cervical vertebra were compressing on his spinal cord and creating a miss communication. He really didn’t know where his legs were. Apparently he had been living with this condition since he was born. The Dr. explained that soon he would begin to fall, eventually his spine would collapse and we would have to put him down. The words, “he should never be ridden again” echoed in my ears.
So this was his real fight. A fight for his life and I would be there every step of the way to help him. I found him a great home where I can still use him as a psychotherapy horse and he keeps a young woman company as her unending source of unconditional love and kindness. He is sound, strong and happy.
So many lessons Leo and Zeus taught me. They helped me heal more deeply my wounded and young parts that kept yelling out for some other “authority” to tell me who I am and what I should do. And they gave me unconditional love and support so I had the courage to break the old unhealthy patterns and bring my work out into the world.
Practice the following meditation and find your own self-value and self-authority in the world by connecting to your true self, source, god-self. Use the word that works best for you. I call it my Core Being. It became part of my new book, Explorer’s Mind-A Map to Freedom.
CORE BEING CONNECTION MEDITATION FOSTERS PRESENCE
(Practice every moment of every day)
Ground deeply into your body. You can do 10 jumping jacks, or any movements—such as dancing to music—to balance and charge your energy field. Imagine your energy balanced front to back, top to bottom, and left to right. For instance, imagine feeling the sensation of warmth, tingles and flows equally in the top of your body as the bottom, the front, as the back, the left-side as the right-side. Once you feel more connected and balanced, place your awareness on the Core Being energy vortex located 1½ inches above your belly button, in the center/core of your body.
Imagine a ball of energy the size of a dime glowing with your unique essence. To the extent possible, notice its color, light, sensation, image, smell, taste, and sound. Breathe deeply into that space, and imagine the glowing ball of your unique essence expanding to the size of a tennis ball. Just as a balloon expands, imagine the energy of your Core Being increasing in size. Once again, spend time breathing into its center, feeling its sensation. It is the conduit for the divine source of you. Sense it, know it, and intuit it.
If you want, place your hands on the Core Being area to help it charge and expand. The sensation of it often feels like tingles of wholeness. Begin to feel your wholeness. Melt into the center of your Core Being again, and this time let it expand further—to the size of a volley ball. Imagine it front and back, top and bottom, left and right. With every in-breath, go back to the center of the energy ball. With every out-breath, expand outward until this sphere of light fills your physical body and your outer energy field, an egg-shaped zone of energy extending about 2.5 feet from the body (see Chapter on Energy Fields).
As you anchor into your center during the in-breaths, you may notice negative emotions. You can expand through these outwardly to connect to your Core Being. With every in-breath, go back to the center of your light. With every out-breath, expand further until your light fills all the cells in your entire body and your outer energy egg. Remember, always to return to the center to let your Core Being expand out. Just as an atom splits open and discharges energy, going into your center splits open more of your Core Being and lets it expand outward.