The Truth About Fear

It was Saturday morning and I was in the kitchen cleaning up after making the girls their favorite breakfast of waffles and fruit. From my vantage point by the sink, I had a clear view into my bedroom. My ten year old daughter was lying on my bed, playing on her iPod while the youngest watched TV. One of our favorite songs came on the radio and I glanced through the kitchen to see if they noticed.

Nope, both were still thoroughly engrossed in their chosen diversions.

Normally when that song comes on, both girls coming running to participate in a family dance off. I glanced over at them again but they still have not noticed; brains focused on the screens in front of them, unaware that they were about to miss out on one of their favorite things – trying to out-dance their mother.

Am I doing all I can to teach my children to see the small miracles around them? Deciding that I could definitely do more, an idea began to take shape in my mind.

“Girls,” I called from the kitchen. “Get dressed and brush your teeth, we are going on an adventure!” That got their attention, I laughed to myself as I suddenly heard little feet hit the hardwood and run in my direction.

“What are we doing?” Chelisa asked with excitement.

“I wuv adventwar mommy,” said Brooklynn as she clapped her little hands and jumped up and down.

“We are going to take pictures of a herd of mares with their foals and I am going to teach you a bit about how to study animal behavior.”

Both girls started squealing and jumping up and down, totally thrilled. I smiled at them, rather pleased with myself. I doubt they would have been much more excited if I had told them we were going to Disneyland.

Thirty minutes later my silver Xterra was heading down the highway to a 160 acre pasture about 15 kilometers from our little hobby farm.

It was not long before we parked, unloaded the camera and tripod, cautiously climbed over the barbed wire fence and began to slowly walk toward the herd of about 20 mares with their young foals.

“I can’t wait to pet the baby horses!” Brooklynn exclaimed excitedly.

“These horses aren’t like ours honey. They are basically wild so they are afraid of people. We have to move slowly and quietly or they will run away,” I cautioned in whisper as I took my youngest daughter by the hand in case her wild little ginger personality urged her headlong into a herd of horses.

IMG_5989 iscar We were no more than forty feet into the field when the mares put their noses to their babies bums and urged them forward into full gallop, taking them deeper into the pasture and away from us. Only a palomino mare and her foal stayed behind to observe us.

Suddenly, a magnificent sorrel colored horse appeared behind the pair, urging them to race toward the rest of the herd. Once safely on their way, the beautiful lone horse turned to face us, strong and sure, long mane whipping in the wind. The girls stared in silent awe as I snapped pictures madly, hoping to capture the beauty of what I saw in front of me. After sizing us up for a few moments and feeling no threat, the horse turned, red coat gleaming in the sun and raced to join the rest of the herd.

“What was that all about?” Chelisa asked. “Maybe that was the lead mare and she came to get the palomino and her baby when they didn’t follow the herd?”

“Write down all of your observations, questions and thoughts,” I advised her. “All the pieces will eventually come together.”

She slid her purple glasses onto her cute little nose, sat in the tall grass and bent her dark head toward her notebook. I could hear the scratching of her pencil as I snapped a few pictures and brushed my hair out of my face as the wind picked up, sending the long strands in every direction.IMG_6012 edit

One of my favorite horse trainers, Carolyn Resnick, spent an entire summer as a young girl observing and eventually gaining the acceptance of a herd of wild horses near her home. I looked over at my daughter and wondered if this could be a pivotal moment in her young life.

Once her notes were completed, we headed deeper into the pasture in quiet pursuit of the herd. Shortly after setting up again, something truly remarkable happened; a dark palomino mare, with a long twisted mane, intelligent eyes and a confidence of purpose, began to walk toward us, her foal at her side. I lifted my eye from my camera, blinked and stared at her. She was definitely a horse but something about her was strikingly reminiscent of an ancient Indian princess.IMG_5967jj

I was so taken with her that it took me a few minutes to realize that the rest of the mares and foals were falling into place behind her.

“She is the lead mare, Chelisa,” I pointed toward the Warrior Princess steadily walking toward us. I glanced over at my daughter and saw that she was nodding her head in agreement, mouth hanging open, just as mesmerized as I was.

Suddenly, huge the foaless sorrel horse galloped up from the back of the herd, crossed in front of them and continued toward us. With my camera focused on the magnificent beast in front of me and Chelisa busy taking notes, it was a few moments before Brooklynn’s excited chatter percolated through my consciousness.IMG_6001 jj

“Here come the baby horses! I’m going to pet them mommy!” I lifted my head and swiveled it quickly to the left. Warrior Princess had followed the big red horse and entire herd of forty horses were following her and they were all unbelievably close to us!

Realization came quickly.

“Holy cow girls, that‘s a stallion!” I stood up quickly, camera hanging forgotten in my hand. I have loved horses from the moment I was born but fear was pounding through my body as I realized that a stallion was dangerously close to us. My daughters and I were in a potentially very serious situation. I shoved the girls behind me with a sick feeling, knowing that we would never make it to the safety of the barbed wire fence.

Then something remarkable happened.

I got outside my fear and looked at the stallion, seeing what was really in front of me rather than what I assumed was. His stance was not aggressive; it was protective. The mares and foals were clustered behind him but they were obviously just curious.

As the stallion and I continued to stare at each other, an unspoken understanding passed between us: each of us would protect our families but neither of us had any intention of being the first to attack.

In terms of strength and power, the stallion obviously had the upper hand; yet he was offering us the opportunity to share the same space as his family in peace and harmony.

I slowly sank back into the grass, pulling the girls with me while the stallion turned back to his family, herded them to a more comfortable distance and began to graze.

“Wow! Did you see how close they were mom? If you hadn’t stood up, I think they might have come right up to us! I was a little scared when you said that big sorrel horse was stallion,” Chelisa’s words were almost tripping over each other in her excitement.

“Yes, yes I did see how close they were,” I say reaching over to take her soft little hand in mine as my heart began to slow to its normal pace. “You better get started with your notes honey. That was some incredible behavior we just witnessed.”

As Chelisa began to once again scratch furiously in her notebook, I picked up my camera and thought about all the remarkable things that had just happened.

This adventure had started out as a way to get my children to disconnect with electronics and reconnect with nature. I lowered my camera for a brief moment to look over at my sweet little girls sitting in the grass, gazing at the herd of horses in front of them. The scene in front of me couldn’t possibly be more perfect. Mission accomplished.IMG_5810 drama

I had learned a valuable lesson too.

I learned that fear can be lie. It’s not always real.

Sometimes past experiences and preconceived notions can lead us to believe there is danger when in fact, there is not. We have to be able to step outside of our fear and examine the situation for what it really is.

That can be easier said than done. Day to day life in this modern world does not often allow us the opportunity to be still and listen with a pureness that isn’t clouded by distractions or negativity.

In my moment of awareness, I was surrounded by nature. I felt that energetic connection when you vibrate on the same frequency as other living things. Everything else fell away, allowing for a moment of perfect clarity and understanding.

A quote I recently read rolled through my mind:

                                                If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence,

                                                      we would rise up, rooted like trees.

                                                                                 -Rainer Maria Rilke

 

I often fear for the future of mankind.

The more we lose touch with nature and fall deeper into slavery with our false, electronic communities and distractions, the more lost and fearful we become.

Letting go of fear and soothing our troubled spirits may not be as complicated as we make it. My extraordinary experience with the stallion leads me to believe that the answers we seek are inside of us; but they are being drowned out by the distractions we have created so we don’t have to be alone with ourselves.

This week I challenge you to get out into nature and disconnect from all of the meaningless electronic stuff. Listen to the wind rustling the leaves, the birds chirping, the bees buzzing and let earth’s intelligence send your soul a bit of wisdom.

 

If you would like to see more pictures of our amazing adventure, please join us on Facebook.

www.facebook.com/lifeyouwant.jenniferlemky

 

 

 

Really Exciting News!

It’s official, my work has been published for the first time!

Carrots, Sunshine and Soft Horse Kisses has been published by elephant journal.

This is a really big deal for me. I’ve never submitted any of my work for consideration before and to be published on my first attempt is such a huge honor!

If I get 2,000 views within the first few days, they will feature my story in their Popular Lately section. On my own, that would be an impossible task.

 

Here is where I am going to ask you for some help.

 

 Please follow the follow the link below and view the story on elephant journal. If you believe there is value in more people hearing about The Life You Want, please share the link with your friends.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/07/carrots-sunshine-soft-horse-kisses-finding-the-small-miracles-jennifer-lemky/

Reaching 2,000 views with my first publication would be a highlight in my life. I can’t tell you how grateful I would be for your help.

Love and best wishes for a wonderful week!

Jennifer

Slugs and Hummingbirds: Looking for Little Miracles

When I made the decision to start writing this blog, I took my laptop outside and sat on the porch with a latte and let the serenity of my farm inspire me as I wrote for the first time.

My two daughters joined me: my ten-year old took the seat beside me with her book about unicorns while Brooklynn ran happily through the sprinkler and explored as only a four-year old can do.

 

“Wook Mommy. I found a wittle cweach-ar!” Brooklynn says as she races up the porch steps on her short little legs, and thrusts her dirty hand under my nose.

Chelisa looks up from her book, “Eeeeeew! That’s a slug. GROSS!”

Highly offended, Brookie cradles her prize close to her chest.

“It’s not gwose Sheesha! It’s a cweach-ar. It’s not a spide-a. He doesn’t have wegs so he won’t ca-wall on mommy when she’s sweeping.”

(We had a spider incident in the middle of the night a few days ago but that’s another story)

I laugh to myself, pretty much convinced that Brooklynn’s love of creepy, crawly things will one day grow into a career in entomology.

 

That moment with the slug could have been a little miracle: the innocent wonder over a yucky little slug, the humorous interaction between sisters, even the joy that I felt writing my first blog with one daughter curled up comfortably beside me and the other squealing as she ran through the sprinkler.

Slowly the girls wander back inside in search of different pursuits.

As I continue to sit quietly on the porch, a feeling that I can hardly describe fills me up from my toes to my ears as I write. I think it’s a mixture of contentment and peace that comes from believing you are on the right path.

Suddenly, hear a tremendous buzzing to my left. It sounds like the biggest bumblebee on the planet and I am not afraid to admit that I am intimidated! Cautiously, I look out of the corner of my eye, wondering if I should go in search of a baseball bat to defend myself.

It’s not a bee.

It’s a hummingbird!

This really is a little miracle.

Now, this might not seem like much of a miracle to most people but I have lived on this farm for seven years and have sat on my porch hundreds of times….

…. never once have I seen a hummingbird. I do not have a hummingbird feeder and I plant the same flowers in pots every year.

Winter in Northern Canada can be very harsh and you do not go outside unless you have to. As a result, we spend as much time outside as we can in the summer; it’s short but sweet. The last four days have been gloriously hot and I have been outside the majority of the time.

Each time I have sat down on the porch to write in the past four days, the hummingbird has returned.

If that isn’t a little miracle, I don’t know what is!

 

I hope you are enjoying your search for little miracles.

Don’t forget to shift your thoughts when negative stuff starts to take over (I work hard at this every day. It’s not always easy but totally achievable).

Looking for miracles creates a sense of excitement and joy, leaving no room for the negative. Shift your perspective and letting the little miracles come to you!

 

Sunshine, Carrots and Soft Horse Kisses

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, my beloved Gabriel is at the kitchen window and my children are giggling as they feed him a bag of carrots.

I grab my camera and start snapping madly, hoping to capture the magic of the moment unfolding before me.

Gabriel has shoved his big black and grey head through the small window and his soft, furry lips are tickling up and down my youngest daughter’s arm as he searches for more tasty treats. She is squealing in delight and my older daughter is looking at the empty bag of carrots and tugging at my arm, “We fed him all the carrots, can I give him an apple now?”

Obviously she doesn’t want the fun to end and I completely understand why. This is magic.

I run my hand through her soft hair absentmindedly as I let the thoughts roll freely through my mind and relish in the joy that is coursing through me.

For all the hardship I have endured on this farm as a single mom, we have also had some incredible moments. Few people will ever experience this. I am truly blessed, I think to myself

I shared a short version of this experience with a friend via text. This was his reply:

“Miracles are a part of everyone’s life every day. Most people are blinded by negativity, routine, dullness, hate, selfishness……You are one of the very blessed.”

What an interesting perspective. I had always thought that other people simply do not have the cool experiences that I do (I guess that kind of ego centric). The fresh perspective that my friend offered suggests that they do have those experiences, but they allow the negativity of their experiences to blind them to the miracles all around.

I love the idea that cool moments aren’t just moments, they are little miracles. Water doesn’t have to be turned to wine for it to be considered a miracle. Giggling children and soft horse kisses are miracles too.

It’s all about your perspective and how you choose to view the world.
Happiness is not something you have to work at. It’s not something that you find in the arms of another person. It’s not a new car or a new pair of shoes (although I have to admit that it’s a pretty close second).

I have recognized for many years that I find almost every crazy thing that happens to me funny in some way: Flat tire? Sure it kinda sucks but it’s also really funny when you aren’t strong enough to get the bolts off the tire so you have to stand on the tire iron and jump up and down while holding onto the hood for dear life. My life has been a series of events that would make most people break down and cry; I usually laugh instead. I see adventure more often than hardship.

When I said as much to my friend, he replied, “It’s your heart. I know some people that go to self improvement classes constantly but still struggle….The few that have “it” naturally are soo lucky. The world needs more.”

Do I have a gift for seeing miracles rather than hardship?

I don’t think so. I believe that I see the funny rather than the hardship because it feels better. We are so inundated with stress and negativity that they have become natural to us. I am not different than everyone else. I simply choose to see the world in a different light.

I choose not to be a victim of circumstance, past or present. I choose not to let the stress of life diminish the little miracles.

You can too.

This week I challenge you to open your eyes to the miracles all around you. When you feel stressed or find negative thoughts creeping into your head say:

I choose to see joy, miracles and laughter instead of this.

And then let it go. Really and truly let it go. Breathe out the negative and immediately look for a little miracle to shift your thoughts and feelings. Do you see a butterfly on a flower? Is there a child laughing somewhere? Maybe there’s a new baby smiling at his mother. Turn up your favorite song and sing or dance with all your heart.

Choose to let in the joy and release the negative because it does not serve you.
It is often useful to keep a journal of what helped you shift your perspective and embrace small miracles.

As always, I encourage you to share your thoughts and journey to The Life You Want. You never know when your experience may help someone else just when they need it most!

Love, hugs and warmest wishes for a magnificent week!