People have asked me why I do what I do. As I said in my first blog, I came to this work by route of a series of events or circumstances in my life. But the underlying connection has to do with my spiritual path, the deeper meaning in my life that keeps me going when all seems to be against me and when the easier choice would be to just quit. I need to have meaningful purpose in my work. I am fortunate that I can feel that my work isn’t just what I do to make money so that I can live the rest of my life. My work is my life in so many ways. Sometimes that’s not a good thing, but mostly I can’t imagine life without this work. Listening to the Dalai Lama today reminded me that it is about love and compassion. It is about a vow I took many years ago to help sentient beings, to help relieve suffering in the world. There seems to be so much of that these days.
The recent tragedy in Orlando started me thinking about life, about what a life is. It is cells that make up organs and parts of a body that together make a living, breathing being. But it is more thank the physical, it is a spirit, or life force, beyond what we can see. Sometimes when I am working on a horse, I think about this. Here is a big, beautiful animal that breathes air, eats hay and grain and grass (if she or he is lucky), and in the world in which I work, has a job for and with a human. This horse is dependent on that human and others for its very life. This horse does the things we ask it to do, for the most part, without question, and we often ask for things that are not within the natural realm of the horse. Someone once suggested to me that I think about putting a horse in a trailer. It is the complete opposite of everything that is natural to a horse- a confined space, unable to see where it is going, moving down a road with a foreign feeling and suddenly ending up in a completely different place. And yet these animals do this for us, entrust their lives to us in these ways that make no sense, feeling whatever it is that they feel and yet still do what we ask of them. A life, a heart beating and blood flowing and lungs taking air in, breathing out, feeling, a complete life. I think about these things when I am working on a horse, touching, my hands going deeper into a muscle, stretching a leg forward or back, moving the laser across the neck or the back, or watching the muscles contract and release with the FES. Feeling, trusting, yawning, stretching, while I wonder what it must be like for this massive animal to feel the depth of what I am doing, getting into tissue that has not been “touched” in this way before.
Orlando reminded me of life. Precious life. Once it is gone, it is gone. Each horse I work on is this life, and to touch life in this way is an honor and a privilege. That we have these horses, and experience this trust, and love, is such a blessing. I am actually speechless, in awe.
When I looked to name my business, I wanted to find something that would honor this privilege that I have every time I am with a horse. Windhorse (lungta in Tibetan) is “the subtle energy, or air, within our body. It is the unlimited energy of goodness and awareness. When we have windhorse, our life moves forward”. To me this embodies the horse, honors the life of these magnificent animals that we are so blessed to be in the presence of. Our lives are enriched, and if the work I do can in turn enrich the life of each horse I touch, then my life’s purpose is fulfilled. I am blessed a thousand-fold.