Sunday, August 22, 2010

The "New Normal"

I have a beautiful horse named Tegra. She is in her mid-twenties and has a chronic, degenerative health problem. She's had this for some time. An animal communicator (thanks Bridget) told me she has volunteered to demonstrate the end-of-life process, not that I haven't been through this many, many times before! But never with a horse, and seldom with the animal being allowed to "pass" without assistance (i.e. euthanasia). I could have had Tegra euthanized, especially since she's of "no use". However, as you might have guessed, I haven't chosen to do that. Instead, my horse Buddy and I are caring for her for as long as it makes sense, and hopefully, until Tegra is good and ready to go!

Buddy's involvement in this is a whole other story. He's my partner caregiver. Horses can see caregiving and teaching as a job as we've seen countless times. I'm extremely grateful that he's agreed to this role. He's very good at it as long as he gets his alone time :-)

The past few days, Tegra has had some breathing problems. Despite attempts to manage it, it hasn't gone away. Knowing that her condition is going to deteriorate, I've resigned myself to the fact that this breathing thing could be the "New Normal".

The "New Normal" is what I call the state after which you realize there's been a change. Change typically means you can't go back. It's permanent and so you go through the emotions that change bring about. Sometimes these emotions are about joy, elation, relief, jubilation. Often, they are about grief as you come to accept that things will never be that exact way again.

But you do adapt. The key is in the acceptance. In Tegra's case, it's acceptance that she's reached another milestone in her journey. It's seeing if anything else has changed. It's assessing whether adjustments need to be made and so on. It's the "New Normal". Talk about grief. The end is getting nearer. But then you see the horse again. She's so brave, still stubborn, still energetic (sort of), still interested in food, still able to nicker in her beautiful deep voice, still able to see whether Buddy is near, still able to hold her head at the level of my heart and make me feel grateful and sad and emotional and joyous all at once, to feel deeply and to be okay.

The "New Normal". Who am I in the "New Normal"? What does life look like now? How do I orient myself to the "New Normal"? These are excellent questions. It's the essence of change. The key is acceptance that the change has come in whatever form it has taken. To trust that all is well in your universe.

A friend of our family passed a couple of days ago. The "New Normal" is life without her. A friend and client accepted a new job. The "New Normal" is new work, new routines. The "New Normal" is okay. It is just that, the "New Normal". And acceptance of that means that everything once again is in perfection, in that moment, in that place, in that energy.

Thanks for showing me the "New Normal" Tegra, and for still being here.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Amazing Connection

It doesn't make any sense. That's what we say sometimes when we observe interactions between some people and their horses.
On this day, Rachel went to get her beautiful horse Mona out in the herd. They were out of sight when the herd came thundering in from the field to their catch pen. Where's Rachel? Did Mona come in with the herd? Was Rachel trampled out there? That was big horse energy, dangerous even.
Then, walking totally calmly, heads lowered in communion, energy seemingly in balance, came Rachel and Mona. This photo was taken as they came through the gate towards the barn.
It doesn't make any sense. Mona should have come with the herd. Rachel should have come in "empty-handed", shaken even. But instead, this young girl and her very special horse were quiet and safe, in their own world of friendship and respect. Wow. That is unbelievable. The presence, connection, awareness is just amazing.
Thank you for showing us the possibilities!