There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
20130615_090138 ~Winston Churchill~

Hello my friends,

It feels so good to have a quiet moment to sit and write and share with you.  The summer has flown by, and I have not taken enough time to sit quietly and reflect as I love to do.  But I think that is what summer is all about; taking time to just kick back a little, visit with family, ride your bike, eat ice cream. And I’ve done a little bit of all those things.  But, I can’t go another day without telling you about my experience with horses at the Resilience Retreat

In June, I had the pleasure of visiting Red Lion, PA.  Together with Peace LLC, an equine assisted Psychotherapy practice, we had the best weekend.

Patti, Michelle and I have been talking for  some time about holding an event that combined the work they do with their clients with my message of finding gratitude in grief.  We wanted to have a conversation about resilience, and finding the peace within you even when life is far from perfect.

So, in the spring, I just felt this nudge to reach out and take the leap and make it happen.  Do you know what I mean by the nudge?  Life is telling you to lean this way or that.  And most times, we ignore it.  Thank goodness I did not ignore this one, and Patti and Michelle felt the same way.

With plans made, and an agenda for the weekend set, Brady and I set out on our road trip.  The plan was I would speak at a dinner on Friday night, and then we would spend a day at Patti’s farm with the horses, and then have some group work talking, sharing, having quiet moments of contemplation.

As we made the drive from Charlotte, NC to Red Lion, PA, we happily chatted about the weekend ahead, and marveled once again at the uncharted and amazing path our lives have taken since we decided to grieve with open hearts and share our journey in the hope of helping others.

And then Brady gently said, “Kel, you are going up to spend the weekend with horses.  Do you think you should mention that you are actually afraid of horses?”

Why yes, Brady, I suppose I should.  But for some reason, it did not seem like something I wanted to bring up.  Perhaps I knew that it would turn out to be a non-issue.

Friday night’s dinner and conversation was magical.  Honestly, I met some of the best people that weekend, open and honest, hardworking, with hearts filled with compassion and love.

20130615_085840The next morning was the moment of truth, meeting the horses.  As I walked through the gate to the field, they slowly made their way up to meet me.  Brady quietly reminded me to “fess up” to Patti and Michelle.  And he was right.  So, I explained my past experience with a horse.  I was on a trail ride with Stephen and my horse veered off the trail, cutting my leg.  As I recounted the event, I remembered how happy Stephen was, and how I tried to hide my terror and pain so as not to ruin his day.  And the most amazing thing happened.  The horses came closer to me, sensing the emotion of the memory.  And just like that, I no longer felt afraid.  I felt comforted.  I felt like they sensed more than I could ever understand, and instead of trying to understand the how, I simply leaned into the day and let it take me where I needed to go.

That was the beginning of a fantastic day.  The group was wonderful, the conversations enlightening, and, as the company name indicates, there was a feeling of Peace that was woven through the entire day.

My heart was full as we drove away, with a new-found understanding and respect for Equine assisted counseling and the people who devote their lives to helping others.  Please take some time to learn more about Peace LLC It is difficult for me to put the experience into words, but if you are working through the pains of loss, I would highly recommend learning more about this modality of counseling.  I am already thinking about when I can go back to visit again.

When I asked Patti Schlough if she wanted to add anything about the weekend, she sent me this note.

“I am humbled, blessed and grateful to serve ..when each of us is called by name, and we are…. we are asked to show up with the Divine Gift that was given to us to serve …the horses and the farm are my Divine Gifts. They were and are given in GREAT LOVE but they are not mine they are mine to steward and share back to those seeking the healing they need and maybe they too can be “inspired” “in-spirited” to share the Divine Gift within themselves.”

May we all be inspired and realize our calling and divine gifts as Patti has, and give of ourselves with great love in the service of our fellow humankind.  I am blessed to have been invited to experience this.   I’ve attached some pictures of our weekend, and will leave you with this quote,

My horse’s feet are as swift as rolling thunder
He carries me away from all my fears
And when the world threatens to fall asunder
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis~

Sending you wishes for love and peace in your heart,