Archive for December, 2009

Choosing Peace For The New Year . . . And For A New World

Think what the world would be like if people chose peace instead of conflict. There would be no extremist “anti-” groups, no radical causes to demonstrate on behalf of. No war! It’s a lovely vision, and let’s hope we achieve it some day.

Meanwhile we can each take a step in the right direction by choosing peace, every day.

Choosing peace doesn’t mean everything will be perfect. It doesn’t mean there won’t still be disagreements — that elections won’t be heated or that marriages won’t break up. It means that the WAY in which those things happen can be pretty much opposite the way they happen now. It means  we can make difficult choices and changes in our lives without having to take an adversarial position.

I’ve personally been working on consciously choosing peace for about a decade now and find it requires constant awareness and vigilance.  We are emotional animals and we live in a world of free will where we are faced with choices at least every hour of every day. If not in terms of what action to take next, then at least in what thoughts we are choosing to hold in our minds.

Being a true believer that thoughts create matter, I shudder when I find myself hanging onto negative ones for a long time. But just because I finally see myself doing that doesn’t mean I can change channels in my brain and tune into a more pleasant station just like that, with the snap of my fingers. It can be darn hard to change a mindset, and it takes practice.

And when making a really major, difficult decision — one that involves pain no matter which way you go — whoa, Baby!

Here’s a simple, 3-step, visualization exercise I use myself when making a difficult decision, and that I’ve shared with many friends and students when asked for help. I say “simple.” The steps are; making the decision may not be. But I find this always sets me on the right path.

CHOOSING PEACE

  1. First I lay out all the  options I might have regarding the current dilemma, and even write them down if there are several.
  2. I quiet my mind, close my eyes, and then put myself in each of those optional scenarios, actually experiencing each as if I had already chosen it as my resolution. I take all the time I need in order to really BE in the scenario and to really FEEL, in my heart, what it’s like to have chosen that option. Do I feel angst or anger, disappointment, hope, joy, relief, or what?
  3. I make my choice. Depending on the issue at hand, obviously joy or hope would be great — and fun — options. But usually, when a decision is very difficult, it’s also filled with tension and pain. In that case, it’s when a pictured scenario brings me a huge sigh of relief and some feelings of peace that I know that’s the option  to choose. It may be the easiest choice, or it may not be. It may cause others pain, or it may cause me pain. But if, in my heart, I can feel the rightness of it, and some peace about it, then that’s the way I go.

I know some folks thrive on conflict and would call me a Pollyanna. I’m not. Excitement and healthy debate get a huge thumbs up from me; but situations or relationships that continually create inner turmoil and strife are simply not the context in which I choose to live. Learn lessons from them, yes, but keep perpetuating them by participating in them, no.

I have a friend, Paxton Robey, who talks about these things much better than I can. If you too are trying to create a peaceful life and believe that we each manifest our own reality, you might enjoy his work. He has a free ebook you can download too, called No Time For Karma, which basically addresses how the conflict in our lives is a dead-end cycle and something that only spawns more of the same. I love his name too:  Paxton: “Pax”: PEACE. No accident there!

I hope we all have a peaceful and prosperous New Year. I know we can if we really want to — it’s simply a matter of choice.

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An Easy Way To Save Money On Your Animal Food Bills

Unless you fall into that extremely small percentage of the extremely wealthy in our society, you are very probably feeling the pinch of these tight economic times we’re experiencing.

And if you’re reading this blog, you are most certainly an animal lover and very probably have more than one animal companion in your family. But it may seem increasingly difficult to cover the costs related to their care, right? And cutting corners by buying poor-quality food, or by ignoring important medical issues, or — God forbid — by giving them up altogether, is simply not an option!

Take me, for example. At the current moment I have (I’m counting on my fingers and toes now) . . . 15 animals in my household, barn, or chicken coop. These include dogs, cats, chickens, and horses. These 15 animals translate into a lotta “bread,” if you get my drift. Moolah, “dough,” plain ole hard cash.

(. . . some women have huge shoe budgets; my “shoes” just happen to be animals . . .)

So here’s my best kept secret tip for saving money on the animals:

Whatever supplements you provide them with on a daily basis, just leave off for two days each weekend.

Voila! Easy as pie!

There is even evidence that this can be healthier for your animals than keeping them on the same supplement regimen every day (this goes for you too, re your vitamins and supplements, by the way). For example, Dr. Richard Pitcairn, D.V.M., in his Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, actually advises fasting your dog or cat occasionally, even off of food, to help cleanse their systems. This occurs naturally for their wild cousins who have to hunt for a living, and can actually enhance their overall health.

This fasting approach obviously does not apply to necessary medications. OR if your animal is weak or ill and needs special supplements every single day. And it does not mean you should diminish or cut back on the nutritional value of your animals’ food in any way, shape, or form. All you’re doing is fasting your healthy animals off their supplements for two days a week.

I won’t mention how much my animals’ daily supplements add up to, but let’s say you spend $2.00 a day on yours. That’s $730 a year, right? So if you take out two days a week where you don’t spent that, you save a whopping $312 a year! (If my math is right.) That’s pretty impressive — and maybe enough for car insurance for six months! Well worth considering.

Pocket those savings or put them in a jar and see what they add up to after a few months. I’ve never done that, but just writing this makes me think I should start. Mine should add up to enough for a vacation in Cancun, Mexico next year!!!!

Oh. And buy Dr. Pitcairn’s book. It is worth its weight in gold!

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IF YOU WANT TO GET A LOT OF BANG FOR YOUR BUCK ON THE SUPPLEMENTS YOU DO BUY FOR YOUR ANIMALS, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS:

Is Your Pet’s Food Making Him Sick? Try Adding Blue-Green Algae

What’s the Big Deal About Blue-Green Algae?

An Alternative Approach to Your Dog’s Joint Pain

Blue-Green Algae for Hyperactive or Nervous Animals

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What Would You Be Giving Up If You Got Well?

I know that sounds backwards. Counter-intuitive. Wrong somehow. But think about it.

I don’t remember which of my spiritual teachers asked me this question many, many years ago, or what the circumstances were, but I have thought about it often since and shared it with my own students and clients whenever appropriate.

If you’re sick, or hurt, it’s easy to think of all the things you will gain by getting well again. It’s kind of like a “bucket list” of sorts, and one would think that list would be motivation and inspiration enough to speed one’s healing.

But there’s a flip side to all this — and it’s not easy to look at. And that’s the list of all the things you will be giving UP when and if you get well. After all, when you’re sick or hurt, especially chronically or “permanently,” there are many unique aspects of your life that could be viewed as “desirable.” Like:

  • you get waited on hand and foot
  • you get to stay in bed all day
  • you don’t have to cook, clean, or lift a finger
  • you get to numb your pain or angst with drugs
  • you can sleep as much as you want
  • you have a good excuse for being depressed
  • you don’t have to fulfill all those goals you created
  • if your dreams don’t come true it’s not your fault
  • people fawn over you and send you special gifts and food

Basically, you don’t have to do much of anything you don’t want to do. That’s a pretty insidious influence if you ask me. It’s the path of least resistance, in a way. And, if allowed,  it can be a detriment to healing, psychosomatically speaking.

For a long time there has been a negative connotation with the word “psychosomatic” in our culture. Technically, the word means  “pertaining to physical diseases, symptoms etc. which have mental causes,” but that has been twisted to imply that the mental aspect of disease is “disturbed.” That may or may not be the case, but there is also that little edge to it that says the person who is ill has created his illness on purpose somehow. Thus the quip, “Oh, it’s all in your mind!”

The derogatory way that phrase is used is total caca, but the premise behind it is truer than we ever imagined.

Quantum physics has proved that everything that we manifest in our bodies is, in fact, linked to our psyche. So there is, absolutely, a direct connection between our thoughts and emotions and our physical condition. The two cannot be separated. And, no matter how conscious or unconscious those thoughts and emotions are, they are a paramount influence on our overall health.

I’m rambling. But what I’m really trying to say here is that examining our list of what we’d give up if we got well — and, more importantly, why we might not want to give up those things — can bring great insight into how we view the world (and our part in it) and pinpoint a few beliefs we might like to modify.

This is a hard exercise, believe me, I’ve done it. But it’s worth the delving and can only expand your self-awareness.

Think about it.

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GETTING WELL CAN BE SO HARD SOMETIMES. HERE’S ANOTHER TINY TIP THAT MIGHT HELP IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE HEALING, AND IT MIGHT BE A TAD BIT EASIER THAN THE ABOVE:

The “Window of Normal Emotions”  – How It Can Help Us Heal

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Chihuahua & Chiweenie Christmas Love!

A Bundle of Chiwee Love . . . in New Christmas Outfits! Chiweenie Tucker (bottom), Chihuahua Frida, and Lily

Whatever arguments prevail about which is the better small dog to be the human companion of, Chihuahua or Chiweenie, one thing is certain:

BOTH HAVE THE BIGGEST HEARTS YOU COULD EVER HOPE TO FIND.

And what is Christmas, if not a time for heartfelt love? My two little ones, Chihuahua and Chiweenie alike, offer their love no-holds-barred — to me, to the big dogs in their life, and . . . to our one and only resident feline, Lily. Now THIS is what I call the true spirit of Christmas!

None of my other animal companions interact with Lily like the Chiwees do (“Chiwees” is my nickname for Chihuahuas and Chiweenies in the same household). My three big dogs do not fawn over Lily. They do not cuddle up to her in bed — whether it be my bed or theirs. They do not welcome her into their food bowls.

But Tucker and Frida, my Chiweenie and Chihuahua, respectively, do. All of the above. They lick Lily and cuddle with her and share food with her. And — can you blame her? — Lily has come to prefer their company at bedtime to mine. Not that we aren’t all piled up in my bed together, we are. But the exact spot Lily wants to cuddle down in is somewhere in between the two Chiwees, not necessarily next to me.

Who says animals don’t have emotions like we do?

I don’t know who that is, but one thing I DO know is that they’ve never had a Chihuahua or a Chiweenie. If you want to experience true “heart” in a small package, then these dogs are the way to go. Become their companion and you will never lack for attention, love, and pure-dee devotion — to the point of worship. And that goes for not only you, but for any member of your family, be he or she of the humanoid, canine, or feline variety.

God bless the Chiwees! And Merry Christmas to all!

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Horse Lovers Beware: Your Horse Can Read Your Mind!


Here’s another wonderful blog post borrowed

Stephanie

from my friend Stephanie, the “Zen Cowgirl”. Boy, is she right on the money with this one!

Are you thinking about attending a horse bodywork seminar? Perhaps going to a tack fitting clinic? Or how about participating in an animal communication workshop?

If so, good for you. And also, be forewarned!

Once you have learned something new that will improve your horse’s life, your horse will know. Your horse will read your mind and know what you know. A previously forgiving horse who patiently put up with an ill-fitting saddle will likely buck you off after the tack-fitting clinic.

The swaybacked horse who has always come right up to you in the pasture will now kick up her heels and run the other way when she sees you coming if you don’t plan on doing bodywork that day.

And the horse unhappy in his job but doing it well? He’s likely to make an ass of you at your next horse show … especially since you went to an animal communication workshop but refuse to heed his pleas for a new career.

What the Heck is Going on Here?

Unfortunately, many a horse lover has had to discover the hard way that our horses are telepathic, they can read our minds, and they know what we know. Somehow most horses are willing to forgive us in our ignorance, but the minute we learn something that will make their life better, they expect us to use that knowledge … right now!

So if you are planning on opening the door of knowledge for better horse health care, better horse feed, and better horse management, beware! Once that door is opened, it can never be slammed shut again. Your horse will make sure of it!

A friend of mine is an animal communicator, and she tells me that she often notices that people who communicate with their animals, and then fail to take action based on the resulting conversation, tend to pay a big price. Whether it’s the dog peeing on the carpet to indicate that he’s “pissed off” or the horse going into a bucking frenzy, forgiveness isn’t the picture.

Marcus Aurelius & Stephanie

Marcus Aurelius: A Case In Point
Marcus, my first big-time jumper horse, was hugely forgiving and easy to ride when he first came to me. We did well at shows, won championships all over the place, and I thought we had a great relationship. Unfortunately, Marcus was a cribber, which affected his teeth, spine, and performance. Thinking that cribbing was bad, I used to try all kinds of techniques to stop him from cribbing. Nothing worked. He continued to crib but he never seemed to resent my efforts to stop him.

Then I had the brilliant idea to try animal communication. During the conversation I asked Marcus what it would take for him to stop cribbing. His reply was short and sweet: “How about if I asked you to give up eating?” In other words, he was telling me that cribbing was an essential part of his nature and his life.

Despite hearing this, I continued to try to stop him from cribbing. Now he definitely resented my efforts. He started turning his butt to me when I went to catch him, and broke as many objects in his stall as possible. He issued his strongest complaint, though, by refusing to jump at the shows. Neither my trainer nor I could get him to jump around courses reliably, even on courses he used to love.

Back to the animal communicator we went. Marcus made his demands clear: “Let me crib or forget showing, and count on having to replace everything in my stall often!” Wow, was that clear or what? So thereafter, we let him crib. He started doing his job again and loving it.

He now lives with my former trainer, Sally Francis, in Texas, has his own cribbing tree, and a couple of cribbing buddies. These days he is one happy cribbing camper. He still takes adult amateurs and small children around three foot courses and, as long as he’s allowed to crib, all is right in the world with him. Yes, his teeth suck but he’s very happy!

I’ve had similar experiences with almost all of my horses, especially the mustangs. They are more forgiving to start with (when I’m ignorant) and much less forgiving later. They have elephantine memories, which they use often. But once you give then what they want, they will also work harder and better for you than most domestic horses.

In any case, consider this article a “buyer beware” to the horse lover who wants to learn more about horse health care, training, tack, or you-name-it. I’m all for it. Definitely go for it and learn as much as you can. Just be prepared to use what you learn or you’ll pay, pay, and pay!

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Rose Goes to the Chiropractor – for “Vestibular Syndrome”

What you are looking at here isn’t just Rose being coy and inquisitive, cocking her head and wondering why I’m taking her picture. No. It is the after-effect of her bout with what’s known as “vestibular syndrome” about six weeks ago.

I was out of town and my daughter and son-in-law were taking care of our place and all the critters. When they got home that Sunday evening they found Rose on her bed, unable to get up in her hind end, and with her head screwed on all cockeyed. It had happened very suddenly, so we all thought she had had a stroke.

Rose is 12, and what I know now, after our visit to the vet, is that she was struck by vestibular syndrome with no warning, as older dogs often are, and that it can definitely mimic a stroke. In layman’s terms, what happens is that the little hairs in the inner ear become disturbed and out of whack, which then causes the dog’s sense of equilibrium to go haywire. The world tilts, and the dog has extreme vertigo. And, as in Rose’s case (as if the vertigo weren’t enough), often the axis of the spine, right up under the skull, can become jammed, which interferes with all the signals being sent along the spinal cord to the hind end. Thus the lack of control of the caboose.

Enter chiropractic care. My friend April was visiting a couple of weeks after this happened, took one look at Rose, and said, “Oh, Leta! You’ve GOT to take Rose to my chiropractor,” and went on to describe to me the amazing results she has seen with several of her animals after chiropractic adjustments. One of Rose’s eyes was bulging slightly, which April said in her knowing way is always a sign that the axis is out, and once it’s adjusted the eye won’t bulge any more.

So of course off we went, as soon as we could get in. And lo and behold, Rose’s eye isn’t bulging any more. And she can plant those hind feet and hold a square stance as well as any of my dogs. The head tilt is still there — in some dogs it never goes away — but she is happy and hungry and playful, and only occasionally gets off balance now.

I often work over my animals’ bodies myself, using many different touch and energy techniques I’ve learned over the years. And I think it’s important that we all do that with our animals — not just “pet” them. But sometimes a true expert is required, and if you can find one who is as sensitive and caring in her work as you are, it will pay off big time. We are so lucky to have found such a person in one of our local animal chiropractors — a woman who used to be a “people chiropractor” but changed because she loves animals so much. And Rose is holding her adjustments, and we will now go monthly to make sure she doesn’t backslide.

I can’t urge you strongly enough! Don’t hesitate to seek out this kind of help — if your animal has a cocked head or not. If something tells you things just aren’t quite right, follow your gut and get your animal to a good chiropractor.

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A Horse for Your Child? For Christmas?

THE FOLLOWING POST IS FROM MY DEAR FRIEND AND HORSE VET, MADALYN WARD, DVM, WHO HAS DEVELOPED A SYSTEM OF TYPING HORSES ACCORDING TO THEIR PERSONALITY. I THOUGHT THIS WAS A VERY TIMELY, INTERESTING, AND FUN TOPIC TO CONSIDER SO CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS. CHECK OUT THE LINKS AT THE BOTTOM TO TYPE YOUR PROSPECTIVE KID’S HORSE, YOUR OWN HORSE, OR YOURSELF!

What do you do if your kid asks for a horse for Christmas?

Supposing you say, “Yes,” how do you go about picking one?

How do you choose a good horse for kids? How do you find a horse who is kind, gentle, loving, and willing to please? Just as important, how do you stay away from horses who buck, kick, bite, and have other horrible vices?

These are all important questions to ask when you shopping for a horse for kids. My answer is simple:

To find a good horse for kids, choose one with the right horse personality type.

There are certain horses with personality types custom-made for kids, and other types that should definitely be avoided. When it comes to the safety and fun of your little ones, you definitely want to go with horse personality types that make good children’s horses. Luckily, that’s not difficult. There’s even an online test to help you do just that.

Five-Element Horse Personality Types
If you have been around horses for any length of time, then you know that each has a distinct personality, just like humans. Some are mischievous while others are competitive. Some spend their lives trying to please while others only want to win at all costs. Certain horses are tough as nails, others are as soft as marshmallows. It all depends on their personality type.

The Five-Element horse personality typing system I developed predicts a horse’s behavior and health challenges, as well as the best career and management style for the horse. The system is based on the five elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth. There are five straight types (based on each of the five elements), as well as six combination types.

The Best Horse Personality Types for Kids
So which horse personality type should you choose as a good horse for kids? Based on my experience, the best children’s horse is a horse that has one of the following three personality types:

#1: The Earth Horse Personality Type
The Earth horse is generally sweet, gentle, and has a sweet tooth. His motto is, “Let’s be a team!” The Earth horse loves children and makes a reliable lesson horse. Fond of routine, once an Earth horse learns his job he can be depended on to do it well. He is perhaps a bit on the sluggish side (he likes to stop and graze), but other than that makes an excellent children’s horse. He is usually too lazy to bother with bucking or running, and as long as he is well fed and has a steady routine, he makes a great kid’s horse.

#2: The Shao Yin (Fire/Water) Horse Personality Type
The Shao Yin horse is highly intelligent, fun-loving, and can make an excellent horse for kids. When trained, the Shao Yin horse is a wonderful caretaker for beginner riders and children alike. This kind of horse loves to figure things out. He is also gentle, affectionate, and kind. Shao Yin horses don’t do well under pressure, which makes them perfect horses for low-key events like playdays or gymkhanas. Because they love attention and are very sociable, these horses enjoy hours of grooming, grazing, and “quality time” with kids.

#3: The Yang Ming (Metal/Earth) Horse Personality Type
The Yang Ming horse is a loyal horse who tries his best to please. Once this type of horse has learned his job, he will never forget it. He will perform flawlessly in a number of disciplines, being highly versatile as well as reliable. His only demand is that he be treated fairly. While not as affectionate as the Earth or Shao Yin types, the Yang Ming horse works hard and is a good caretaker. His steady disposition and reliability make him an excellent children’s horse.

Two Other Possible Horse Personality Types for Kids
While Earth, Shao Yin, and Yang Ming horses are my top picks as horse personality types suitable for kids, there are two other types that can also be good children’s horses when well-trained: Metal and Tai Yin horses. If your child is older, more experienced, or wants to be competitive in rodeo or on the show circuit, either of these two horse personality types may work well.

The Metal Horse Personality Type
The Metal horse is extremely hard-working, can stand up to a rigorous training schedule, and, once trained, never forgets his job. Early in his career, the Metal horse must understand his job or he may be prone to bucking, making him a poor choice for children. However, the well-trained and experienced Metal horse can make a good children’s horse. He will do his job well and without complaint. He isn’t the “best friend” type of horse, but is a suitable horse for the kid who wants to do Little Britches rodeo and be competitive in the show ring.

The Tai Yin (Earth/Metal) Horse
The Tai Yin horse can also make a good horse for kids as long as he gets along with the child. This kind of horse is often a “one-person” horse and does not get along well with everyone. However, if this horse likes your child he will try his heart out. Although the Tai Yin horse is not highly affectionate he will often demonstrate caring through hard work and fierce loyalty. This kind of horse will do almost anything for a person he likes, and thus makes a good kid’s horse for any child he likes.

Test a Horse’s Personality Before Buying
Now that you know which horse personality types are suitable as children’s horses, how do you know what kind of personality a horse has? Suppose you are considering several horses to buy for your child. How do you know which to choose? Simple. Just test the personality of each horse you are considering.

Visit the Horse Harmony Test website to test each horse’s personality. This online horse personality test will tell you the personality type of each horse. You can then read a short summary of each horse at Horse Harmony.

If you don’t know the horse well enough to type him, ask his current owner to test the horse for you. You might be surprised. The seemingly gentle horse with a gleam in his eye may look like the perfect children’s horse, yet the Horse Harmony Test may reveal the horse to be a Jue Yin, a tricky horse not at all suitable as a horse for kids.

The test is no-cost, so it can’t hurt to type any horses you are considering for your child. For that matter, if you already own horses, it may be interesting for you to test them as well. You can also test your own personality on the same site, just for kicks!

Horse Personality Typing Resources
To recap, here are all the places you can learn more about horse personality typing to help you find the perfect children’s horse:

Horse Personality Type Test

Horse Personality Type Information

Horse Personality Type Book

Horse Personality Type Ebooks

Horse Personality Type Educational Audios

Have fun typing prospective or current horses, yourself, and your children, and learning lots about all kinds of personality types … and good luck finding the best horse for your kids!

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