Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Post Expedition Lingering and Repeating Thoughts

The sweet acquisition of heart and soul on an equestrian journey happens and blades of grass become clear and focused. Crickets seem to start to whisper the secrets of the world at 3-4 miles an hour.  Gives a reason to think about the "why ride" all the time.  It changes with each mile and each memory.

Usually I would arrive at a hosts house as a stranger and leave as family or family therapist. The backbone and spine of America and every equestrian journey no matter the country is woven within the tapestry of each family we have met and all because the nature of the horse opens doors to people.

The person I saddled up with on the way has not been the same person who arrived home.  There is not such thing as going back to yourself on a journey this size.

Sometimes, we arrive as mysterious as the wind and sometimes for those we meet,  we are in some way that "thing" that they have been waiting for, a "miracle" in their lives...and to ourselves, I am just me doing what passionately comes natural to me.. giving hope & love to the world, setting others free from their own emotional hell or giving life to their dreams.

They see we are the embodiment of hope, future and everything else that may manifest their authentic selves... all because of our horses, our journey..

More than anything else, the best part about an equestrian journey is the journey inward toward ourself.

Conventional Life is impossible to get back to once this is over.  Re-acculturation to the world is alot like coming home from War.. has a similar feeling. Once an equestrian journey is over, a conventional life will never return. I have seen this with several dozen equestrian travellers.  For many, The ache to be back out on the road always haunts us for good. It never. goes. away.  For some, one time is enough. For those who ache to get out on the the road, we seem to be always planning another journey and seems to never be far from the surface to forsake conventional living and head out again.  This is the most bittersweet heartbroken-ness one can experience, in my opinion, in the world.

My emotional journey has been profound since I started taking a horse out on the road almost seven years ago.  What is required of us to acquire our own souls out there is patience, determination, grit and perseverance and for me,  a mighty faith in God (especially when I was directed to leave my tent at home).

On an equestrian journey, sometimes we have to take ourselves by the scruffs of our necks and shake our very self to the core remove our own obstacles, short comings and what not so we can see the deeper meaning  of the "why" we are riding or doing "X", whatever "X" is: determination to keep going.   God was always close by..I could hear Him "better" or at least more clearly on my rides.. His mission was "go I am sending you..."

Having serious health challenges,  I have learned that after shaking and taking myself by the scruff of my own neck (with others help) that I have learned that I can do something that I was told I couldn't do, that sometimes I was not willing to do because I was feeling under the weather. Regardless of health or weather.. moving on was a must! Unless my horse was injured.  Daily miles day in and day out became natural. Travelling 18 miles in 6 hours became customary and getting back to normal car travel I have to admit was quite scary after not using one for several months!

We all have our own place on this planet, our own niche, and belonging. Some of us are lucky enough to find that calling and when we do, we hang on to it because love, acceptance and belonging are at the very heart of inspiring hope and connection to others on the planet. These equestrian journeys of mine taught me this at the very least.

I feel that none of us have the right to monopolize and control others by defining their passions.  Our passions and experience are as unique as each human finger print.  Unfortunately, the human condition has paradoxes, rules, standards and that serve, supposedly, as a checks and balances system so that we do not experience chaos within ourselves and among others during our short time on earth.

What does this have to do with horse travel?  This is the stuff that I hope many riders discover on the road, or many adventurers, for that matter.  The adventurers mind is different than those who take up a hobby sport.  I would like to think that we are here for the journey and not the miles, not the membership, not for anything else but what we were designed to do in living our passions while employing ourselves in acquiring our own souls.

At the end of the day, when we are all old and gray (and in my case, grayer), the legacies we leave behind are the memories and lessons we give to other people. People will not remember us by what we did, but they will remember us by how we made them feel.

It’s not about earning the stripes and gaining membership status, or other statuses, or about living by other’s definitions of what they believe is true or not true for us.  When we live by other’s expectations in what we are passionate about, we miss the point.

No matter how many times as a rider I have been out there by horse with this style travel,  I am forever being transformed, and thrown through life’s and God's screen onto the potter’s wheel and re-molded into something different. Sometimes better in some ways and sometimes in ways that are not as nice or pleasant.

The more clarity, I feel, that I have learned about life on these expeditions, in many ways, the more authentic I get with people. Being more dead honest sometimes has taken people by surprise.  Being authentic with my words still means I have to be soft with my heart and constantly speaking the truth in love.

Without our own embrace of what and who we are and our own definitions of what we do – by not embracing  relative truth…but THE truth which is to ourselves- we will not be able to inspire others to do the same and hope the best for them...ultimately thwarting the ability to pass our legacies onward as we pass into the next life leaving behind that which meant most to ourselves and then on to others.

An expedition by horse is not for everyone...the bittersweet ache of the road follows me every where I go now. My last expedition was a two and a half years ago.  I can say this though.. I can never go back to being the same person I was before I headed out.. God has transformed my heart and for this I am grateful..(and to Evangeline my horse) she is the one who inspires me to be more like her.. my equine partner and soul mate. I have a closeness with her that is indescribable....

I can taste the adventure right around every corner and every breathe I take is encompassed with "when can I leave next." I learned to be content in my current circumstances, no matter what they might be at the moment because they change minute to minute on the road.  I have learned to be content that I probably will never set out on an equestrian journey again.  But God forbid I am told the last time I can ride a horse or breathe in their aura of intuitiveness and understanding.

And at the end of all these journeys: I knew who I was and who I was not. I was not shading my own reality or illusion of some altered truth about myself.  At the same time, I can't describe how at easy I became with being totally vulnerable in the elements for days on end.  And at the end, at least for me Dr. Luke had the best orders.. which made it easier.."Go I am sending you. The Harvest is plenty and the workers are few."

The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams...and thankfully, I have made all my dreams come true from the back of a horse who said couldn't be ridden who bears the name "Angel Messenger".

Have an amazing day...and if you can dream it, you can do it!