July 7th, 2011 Opening MORE

Today I was busy minding my own business….yes, sometimes I do this! when I was approached by a slight man with very few teeth. I noticed this right away and the hungry look he had in his eyes.  I always feel for people with bad dental problems because it’s such a window to their health.  I make no judgements but it is something that resonates with me because I’ve had my own struggle with dental issues and I know how much hard work it takes to pay dental bills.  I feel for those who can’t afford good dental care.  So when this man with no teeth introduced himself, some of my own perceptions were already under way. 
Admittedly I was suspicious but I am always suspicious of strange men. Goes with the territory of “me”. But I also wasn’t alarmed because I had two women with me, the owners of the horses I was working on.  I waited to hear what he had to say.  It’s often that I work with people in a teaching capacity and this is my favorite zone.
It goes without saying that I enjoy my job tremendously. My only frustration is that every second of it isn’t documented. It’s not that I am egotisticial. That was me twenty years ago. It is that I recognize that I have been given an extraordinary life….or rather, I chose it. And that I’ve worked my butt off to master my work and that I am getting to see that manifested every day and being a part of these miracles is nothing short of amazing and I fight the fact that I am not able share it with everyone every day! Yet. It’s coming. I am working on it, albeit slower than I would like. it takes time to earn the money to invest in stuff like cameras, computers, etc…so I keep busting my butt and know that at some point I will have all of the tools and be able to do what I am envisioning. But first, about that life that I chose.
In working through a bag of animal crackers one day I realized that it’s possible that we do come to Earth more than once and that we do choose the life we want to live. I can grasp that too because I know I am too smart to have convicted myself to a life of poverty while in possession of the skills that I have.
I recognize that I am not your average female. I never have been and its kicked my butt since I was little. You see, being extraordinarly comes with its own unique challenges. I’ve been through my “I dont’ understand me” phase and now I am in my “life is what you make of it phase”. This is my most powerful phase because I am thinking clearly and moving at a very rapid pace even though sometimes I feel like there just isn’t enough wakeful hours in the day to achieve all that I am going to achieve.
Working with Michael has been one of the most transforming experiences in my life and he has helped me to reach a clarity that I’ve never had before. Michael is a certified Anthony Robbins coach. It’s the best networking I’ve ever done. And it’s presented its own challenges. Now that I’ve opened up a whole new area of awareness of my life I find it incredibly frustrating to be where I am financially and professionally. These two things are in total conflict to where I am in my obligations to my Grandpa and my responsibilities in every day life. Still, there is also a sense of satisfaction because I wouldn’t have it any other way. Perhaps that is the beauty of hope. It keeps us striving.
So today when Mr. Toothless Skinny walked up to me I sensed right away he had a bug up his ass.
Sure enough, he introduced himself then launched at me.
“I used to trim these horses. Since you can to town I don’t have any more work. I can’t afford to drive a fancy new truck.”
Fortunately for me I’ve been gifted with a smart ass mouth.
“That’s the price of progress, my friend.” I said pointing to my new truck. A truck I had to buy not because I wanted to (we already have a truck and a car payment but those vehicled must stay in use in Colorado.  I have not had access to them and to stay afloat we’ve battled many obstacles with my new obligations here.  It hasn’t been easy but we d ont’ complain because nobody has it easy.  And it could be worse.  But because I had to buy a vehicle it’s put another pressure on me that I must overcome due to the circumstances of juggling the care of a loved elder and the obligation of two families and homes in different states. No easy task, especially if second home came to you at the loss of your Mother and everything about the life and career you had formerly known. Mr Toothless Skinny had sparked my anger. I empathized with him knowing he just knows what he knows. But I have yet to perfect empathy for someone that’s feeling sorry for themselves when their walking upright in obvious good health (save for the teeth…still, could be worse!). That just chaps my hide.
“If you don’t like it then you better get to advertising my friend.” I said. Something told me that he just figured as a local everyone was entitled to use his crappy services. I wasn’t sympathetic because I’ve spent two months straightening out the horses he felt were his.  In those hooves I saw a lack of passion, care and concern…which also irked me.
It’s called competition.” I said.  I withhedl saying “If you want I can show you how to do this right.”
I knew I was already driving the knife in deep just being isolent enough to answer him with confidence, but I have had it up to here (picture me with my hand extended above my head and neck) with males who think women can’t do farrier work better than they can.   I can recognize one of these assholes from a mile away.  This one was standing not two feet from me.
Today was 80+ degrees. I just bought a vehicle I can’t afford because I have to to take care of myself, my business and my Grandfather. I did so only after I knew for certain that his vehicle is no longer reliable and after much hardship trying to build my business with said unreliable 21 year old pick up truck. I did so after a lot of hard work building my business and working my ass off, going the extra mile, working long hours, getting up before dawn, investing my energy and time in things I have no interest in just to earn a buck, planning carefully, living on nothing and still caring for someone much older than myself and sacrificing so that my family and my loved ones can still have a piece of me at the end of the day.  All with a positive attitude because that is how I chose to deal with adversity.
I do this knowing full well that its the right thing to do even if I don’t feel like doing it all of the time. yeah buddy, I do it because I don’t feel sorry for myself. I get off my ass and do something about it! That’s what I was thinking but I clipped my words and he acted like I’d spanked him. He tucked his tail and left.
I admit that I wasn’t as friendly as I could have been to this jerk that was spouting his pie hole to me. But sometimes people just have to know that females can bite. I bite. Now Grandpa says I should watch my back. He’s probable right but I figured out a long time ago that when its your time, its your time so if its by some form of retribution then so be it. I’m not stopping what I am doing to get sidetracked by insecure buttheads.
I can Look between the lines. He can’t figure out how in 6 months I’ve managed to work with his clientelle. He doesn’t want to learn from a female…that’s just not his comfot zone, so that makes him afraid. He feels trapped by ideals he can’t change and paralyzed by knowing there is a different way of working that his former clients have embraced and that leaves him feeling isolated. Fear and self doubt, perhaps even anger and jealousy rule his world.
I can recognize it, I just can relate to it. There’s points in life where you grab your bootstraps and find a way to keep going. I’ve done that so many times I can’t count so I can’t feel sorry for someone whose older than me that can’t do it too.
Perhaps that sounds calloused. I know I am not beyond helping others but doing that means opening them to MORE. You can’t do that and feel sorry for yourself at the same time.

July 1st, 2011 Independence Day

This year Independence Day has a lot more meaning for me than the traditional Fourth of July celebration. This year I am independent from my Momma and independent of many other things that were once a part of my life. Most of all, I am independent of pessimism.
At the beginning of the year it was tempting to be pessimistic about the future and the changes I have experienced. They’ve been many. Quite a lot more than I care to disclose. Suffice it to say that just when I believed I was hitting my stride suddenly many of my securities had been swiped out from under me. In the process of loss there is always a gain though and I’ve never gone down without a fight so this time was no different.
Last week I was trimming horses for a client when he accidentally caught his hand in his lawnmower. It was a gruesome sight and yes, fingers were amputated.
It get’s worse.
As he and his wife were rushing to the Hospital they accidentally ran over their dog.
Growing up on a ranch one of the first responsibilities you learn is to carry and use a weapon responsibly. Animals get injured. It is the job of a good steward to end their misery honorably. Hence the weapon.
On my day with this client not only did I bandage his mangled hand I also had to shoot his dog. There aren’t too many opportunities in one’s life to create bonds like this. Unfortunately I’ve had many. From capturing Jenny the wayward donkey and saving her from being shot to pulling my cow’s calf this week via ropes and using leverage from the bumper of my truck, I ‘ve racked up an uncanny resume of “can do’s”.
In case you are wondering, “can do’s” is the ability to be faced with anything and knowing you can do it.
I am glad I was there for my clients. And I am glad I am here for my Grandpa. He called right after all of this excitement to let me know he had a medical emergency that needed immediate attention.
I threw myself into overdrive and made a 30 minute trip on winding uphill roads home in less than 20. Poor little 4 cylinder truck!
At the Hospital that evening I reflected over the day and pushed away a sense of accomplishment. That felt wrong somehow given the circumstances.
Or was it?
In my coaching session this week I asked my coach this question, “These things happen to me a lot. Am I somehow calling this stuff into my Universe?”
It goes without saying that my emotions and my stress levels can do without all of this excitement!
Pulling my little heifer calf my heart was pounding and tears at the ready so fearful was I of losing her. She struggled through the birth and went into the night a weak little animal unable to protect herself. I stayed up with her and her Momma all night making sure she got up and nursed. It was by gentle guidance that any of that happened. A big calf born to a first time heifer and a difficult birth are all strikes against a successful birth of a calf that survives. But with patience and care the baby is thriving and Momma is doing well too.
That just makes my heart swell.
After my clients accident they sent me a card thanking me for going above and beyond and I cried as I read their appreciative words.
I cried because shouldn’t we all be willing to step up to any situation that beckons us with challenge?
I remembered when I was 18 helping a boy that had been run over by a car as he rode his bicycle along side a road. After the ambulance left I looked down at my uniform, a green skirt and white shirt required of me for my waitressing job and saw bright blood stains. My hands and arms were covered in it. Those were the days of Aids and HIV and I trembled at the thought that I had not thought about protective measures before aiding the boy. I just acted and learned later that my quick reaction had likely helped to save his life.
On another occassion I helped another young man when he stumbled up the highway after being beaten by a group of thugs. I was injured myself at that time. My femur so sore from a draft horse kicking me that I could barely walk. Still, I jumped into action and although the pain was tremendous and I can still recall that to this day, I stuck with the boy until the ambulance arrived and carted him off to the Hospital.
These things are not random and I’ve often wondered why I need these experiences. And then it hit me. THEY needed me.
Speaking with my coach he pointed out that it isn’t wrong to accept a sense of accomplishment. To embrace these experiences for the wonderful events that they are. I’ve been chosen to be in these places. I’ve been chosen to be strong for others in their course of need. And I’ve been granted a gift that not everyone gets. To be able to make them my story and to share them and help others to grow.
Today I took that advice and began working again on my books. I’ve been stumped on the technology of my new software and admittedly bored with the idea of having to learn it. I’ve struggled this week to meet my goals of getting my projects further ahead and then, with the acceptance of my station and the honor that comes with it, I throttled forward today and actually had some technological breacthroughs! This is saying alot for me since I’ve struggled with technology since I was placed in the fourth grade honors accelerated class and tasked with building a computer. Back then computers were not what they are today.
For that project I enlisted help. Hazel eyes, a kiss on the cheek and the promise to be lunch pals got the job done then, but today in my life I am independent.
I am not saying I am alone. I have the support of family and friends and I know I have help. But on a general basis the things I must handle and the things I must decide must be done by me, and me alone.
Used to be that would scare the crap out of me. After this week, I am looking for the opportunity to be strong, handle crisis and be empowered by the experiences. And that’s a wonderful feeling. I think I’ll call it the Independence Effect.