Unexpected Friendship

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I am struck, fairly regularly, by blinding flashes of the obvious!  LOL!  Good or bad, I take them as they come.  I was struck multiple times yesterday!  We get so caught up in our mundane routines, forgetting to find and acknowledge those little things we have to be grateful for.  Even in the middle of life’s storms, there are nuggets of gratitude waiting to be picked up.  Just when I think I’m as blessed as a girl can possibly be, more blessings flood my awareness.  Yesterday was no exception.

When I bolted out of my marriage and my ex-husband unleashed his assault full fury, both guns blazing, friends scattered like shrapnel.  My best friend of 13+ years literally drove my kids to safety the day I decided to run (to which I am truly grateful) and then ran for cover like her hair was on fire!  She wanted as far away as possible from the impending explosion we all knew was headed my way.  And she wasn’t alone … so many people I counted as close, intimate friends, “POOF” disappeared, even before the charge detonated.  I was heartbroken, devastated and felt utterly betrayed.  I stood my ground, mostly alone, as the bomb detonated.  I pushed back against the heat and sheltered myself and my kids as the debris enveloped us.  It was terrifying, even for those few that stayed in our lives. They were left trembling in the wake of all of the”what ifs” as the family court system began to encapsulate us.

My attorney called yesterday and I puckered as I answered the phone.  After 5 years of unrelenting litigation (narcissists play the courts long after the ink has dried on the final decree), I’d had a year off last year.  When I saw that phone number my initial thought sounded something like, “Damn it!  What “t” didn’t I cross or “i” didn’t I dot that he’s filed motions against me … A-G-A-I-N!”  In reality my attorney was calling to check in … you know, like friends do 😉  After spending so many years in constant communication, we had become friends and it dawned on me (my BFO), whomever represents you in high conflict should become a friend.  He walked a difficult, rocky, 4 wheel drive only trail with me.  Yes, he was being paid however, he was truly out to ensure, to the best of his ability, that my kids and I were fairly represented in family court.  I cannot say that all attorneys operate this way.  We got to know each other, learned to trust one another and came to deeply respect one another.  And, before you think it’s all puppy’s breath, rainbows and unicorn farts, we banged heads too!  I know, in the face of battle, he would suit up to fight alongside me and that’s truly priceless.  We all need those people in life.  Those unexpected friends…

My attorney and I will be having lunch in a few weeks.  I’m excited to share with him the future of my practice and how it will help others learn to weather their own storms with a lot of grit seasoned by grace.  No one should be left to stand alone as the bomb detonates.  No one should be left to shelter in place, pushing back against the heat of the bomb, alone and terrified.  No one should be left to clear away the rubble and debris, alone.  The horses and I offer a sacred, confidential space enveloped in compassion where people can move out of the darkness of chaos, conflict and the hopelessness tied to freeing oneself from a narcissist while navigating the courts; into the light of healing, joy, peace and whole-heart-ness.  My horses and I are here to support you whether you are getting ready to detonate the bomb or you’re beginning to clear away the rubble, untethering your heart and freeing your soul ….

“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”  

Tune In – Drop Out

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Self care is such an important aspect to our daily routines.  We live stress filled lives, even when everything is going well.  When things aren’t going so well that stress increases.  When severing the ties to a narcissist, whether through divorce or other means, stress is at an all time high.  Cortisol pumps relentlessly through the body, adrenals in overdrive and all of the fight or flight mechanisms primed … 24/7.  It will take its toll.  Our bodies aren’t designed to live in such a state for extended periods of time.

I spent years in a state of fight or flight (y-e-a-r-s).  The toll it has taken on my body has been extensive and some of the damage is irreparable.  Prior to bolting out of my marriage to an extreme narcissist (bordering sociopathic) individual, I hyperventilated myself into anaphylactic shock.  The stress had gotten to a point where my body was demanding my attention!  I scarred my lungs and inverted the t-wave of my heartbeat.  I was not taking the time to take care of me and I finally hit a wall…my body could not take on anymore.

As I worked hard to break the cycle of abuse and find my freedom I recognized that unless I figured out a way to tune in and drop out, I wasn’t going to survive litigation.  For me, self care was loading up the guardian of my heart, “Kade” (a copper penny colored thoroughbred) and hauling to a friends for a couple days.  Cattle pens, hay, water and a bed were always at the ready, (no questions asked) and 300+ acres to ride out on.  I’d saddle up, stick headphones in my ears and trust that my four legged partner would willingly unfold his wings and fly me away from it all…and he did ❤

Not everyone has a gentlemanly Pegasus, but I do 😉  I have five willing co-facilitators in our herd, 300+ acres and quiet.  We will offer others, maybe even you, the opportunity to retreat, find solace, peace and the support you deserve and need.  Horses are natural healers willing to take on our pain and leave it in the dirt, once and for always!  Seriously, how  a-w-e-s-o-m-e is that!?!

 

Speak Softly

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What does your inner critic sound like?  If it’s anything remotely like mine, it sounds like a pissed off drill instructor yelling incessantly, pointing out each and every mistake, fault and weakness it sees.  My inner critic has the voice of many, kids from elementary school taunting me, teachers, bosses, my ex-husband … each having interjected a belief about me, their belief about me, that I swallowed whole without question.

I have said many times, I don’t need anyone to beat on me, I do a fine job of it all on my own!  Our inner critic came along with good intentions, originally.  When the critic was drafted it may have been to protect you, to encourage you to improve, or any other myriad of reasons.  Then at some point the critic turned downright mean and overbearing!

I was blessed to be in Arizona several weeks ago for my first set of intensives for the year.  I always have a suitcase full of take-aways and this intensive week of learning was no different.  One of those take-aways was, “Do you speak to yourself as you would a child?”  I pondered this.  Do I speak to myself like I would my kids?  Do you?  If you are anything like me, you likely will answer this with a resounding, “NO!”  Mine was more of a, “Hell NO!  I’d NEVER speak to a kid, my kids, the way I speak to myself!”

I have retired my inner critic to a beach side hammock complete with a cabana boy delivering fruity umbrella drinks.  I’m sure my precious critic will jump out of that hammock trying to come out of retirement periodically.  I recognize that the job that’s been served has been a lifetime worth.  Resting won’t be easy and won’t come naturally for my inner critic, however my new inner voice is primed for the job.  She’s been waiting for so very long to be called upon!  She speaks softly, gently and lovingly.  Her encouragement will be salve to my battered self.  Are you brave enough to allow your inner critic to retire?  Are you brave enough to call forth your inner cheer leader to take the critic’s place?

Not to worry if the task seems too much for your battle weary soul.  When the bell rings (I graduate) and the starting gates fly open (I receive my certification), my equine co-facilitators and I will be fit, trained and eager to support you in the journey 🙂

You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”