Weekly Reflections: Sept 7-13

Hello!

I’m not entirely sure what to write about this week. The week itself was full of “regular” busy-ness between work and organizing myself for the course I have been teaching over the past few days.

In all honesty I was so mentally focused on the two big things up coming (house possession and course) I regularly forgot about my birthday (which is today) as well.

It seems apt to mark a new year of being in this world alongside all the transitions I am stepping into.

Teaching this “educator” course for The RideWell Method has been a wonderful realization that I am ready to step into offerings like that. Working with clients but also teaching others how I work with clients. It was a strange exercise to put my “method” into a textbook and teach from that perspective (and clearly based on my use of quotations around method I still have minor symptoms of impostor syndrome!). As usual, I went into this teaching weekend with a very loose plan of how I expected it to go. From a self-observance point of view, I’ve been learning a lot about how I teach and impart experience and enjoying some positive feedback from my participants.

Tomorrow we open the doors to our new house (and first house)! This possession date feels like it’s been a long time coming. This week I took my big, decorative mirror off the wall it’s been on in my apartment’s dining room off the wall and packed it. That seemed like a low key ceremony in unmaking this apartment mine. It’s been just under four years that I’ve been in this little building on Ferndale and I will be leaving it with many clear memories of my first adult home that really felt like home. It most definitely has it’s quirks.. living on the middle floor with a heavy footed and vocally charged toddler above, and a toddler aspiring to death metal vocals below may be some.

Somehow with everything in prep this week I’ve been able to sneak some rides in. Wednesday it was clear that Benjamin was physically feeling not quite himself. Whether it was some left over body soreness from some jump work we had done the past weekend, his last foot trim not being the most biomechanically efficient or perhaps a growth spurt of some sort. He was avoidant to his left shoulder and very muscularly tense in that area. So we did plenty of mobility work on the ground, in saddle and then some off horse massage work to cap off. By Friday he was beginning to feel more like himself so I repeated the work from Wednesday and. Yesterday perhaps was the highlight of my riding week. Brit and I took to the trails (something I’ve been hinting at all week lol) on her property and we factored in all things that make for a good trail ride: new paths, a gallop through the trails, some spooks and snorts at birds flying out of the tall grass, and a sunset.

Funnily enough- astrology tells me that the moon is in my fourth house, today. The fourth house is all about home and family. What a wonderful way to begin my next year here- capping off my time in one home to begin building the next, accompanied by my partner (who is currently making me his favourite breakfast treat.. toaster strudels and coffee.. but don’t be alarmed: we bought cream of wheat this week as we both started craving it like the elders we are becoming) and surrounded by many others in my life.

I think that’s all I have for this morning. I’ve been more inclined to post more regularly on my personal instagram as a mini blog recently too (@katmah1). I’m grateful that I woke up this morning and the first thing I wanted to do was write here. The routine has been set in place!

Next week I’m sure I’ll have some moving adventures to share, as that will largely be what my week is encompassed by!

My intentions for the week:

Cultivate presence amongst the chaos.

Embody openness to new ideas and ways of being.

My intentions for my 28th year:

Align with myself, my intuition and trust who I am becoming.

Move forwards with bravery and presence.

Talk to you next week!

Fast Forward

It seems almost too serendipitous that ten years almost to the date of the formal graduation and marked transition out of high school I found myself back at a wedding celebration in my home town community.

Combine that with the ever present pop up memories on social media from the decade ago period of life that seems like an entirely different lifetime at this point. How wonderful of social media’s ability to constantly remind us of where we’ve come from, our joys and our traumas, to reflect on at an almost uncomfortably consistent basis.

To have these memories: high school grad, summer celebrations, snapshots of adolescence and innocence as well as relatively recent snapshots of vacations, journeys and competitions arising as in real time I am ever present in current steps in transformation. Between house shopping with my partner, witnessing the bloom of my professional practice, and living through history on a global perspective.. the memories of the past seem both superficially distant as well as irreplaceably potent.

I live a life now that I’m not sure the younger version of myself would quite foresee- yet, I am so much of what she would have craved.

I’ve come to know a deeply settled and consistent part of myself that is healing younger versions of me.

This old part of my soul, of my generational knowing, has the ability to nurture the wild, lost and rebellious parts of my younger timeline. The roots that were always there have been fortified by presence. There is a rhythm to this stillness within me; far from lifeless, rather like a still pool of water teaming with life and purpose under the surface.

It speaks to trust, this rhythm. With gratitude- I have been able to acknowledge the orderly chaos with which life unfolds. Mindfully, in reflection, every moment makes perfect sense. I would not understand this stillness and this consistency now as nurturing unless I had followed my heart through chaos.

Looking forward as I did a decade ago towards what was coming next- I only knew the vaguest details. Everything went to plan, it just wasn’t exactly the expected route. Leaving adolescence I knew I wanted to retain aspects of who I was: a learner, a sharer, a teacher, a catalyst. The path I was taken on opened my eyes to healing- my own and others- and a few blind corners later I have exactly what I didn’t know I wanted. Fast forward to now- another decade past and another entrance to a path opening in front of me.

I know better now than to expect.

Something about spending time in a hometown, with hometown people, under the wide open sky surrounded by cultivated growth bolsters the idea that our paths unwind and pull us forwards- regardless of our expectations or willingness- only to become obvious and clear in meaning later on.

What is coming next? I have the vaguest ideas. Some are hopes and wishes, some are inquiries. There is no certainty, but in that lack there is consistency. We can only walk the path as it unfolds.

Things I do know in this moment. My body and I are in a much more conscious relationship with each other. Likewise with food, with daily practices, with substances, with commitments. I know now in a new way that am worthy of experiencing presence within conflict, and it is safe to be in conflict. Consistent love, to the same end, is also safe. Roots don’t tie me down, and simplicity doesn’t make me less worthy of connection. Abundance in life is matched with creativity – and both are divinely mine to experience. Old grief is welcomed and it is through feeling that expression becomes free and creativity is granted power.

The past few months, though globally we have been slowed down and asked to examine ourselves, our histories, and our normals- to me it seems as though someone has pressed fast forward and pause all at once.

I feel ever present to the flow of old things being drawn to the surface for exploration and release, and with that the new awareness of whats possible. It’s not what I expected, but it is what I needed and within each lesson even if born from pain there is joy for that simple fact. I am receiving what I need. As I allow the space to experience- the path continues to unfold itself.

I look forward on a path I cannot clearly see (labyrinth?), knowing that trusting that in this next phase of the journey I will experience new revelations around self, community, home and love.

Space, Wide Open

I used to have this dream when I was on the cusp of falling asleep. I was floating through the world and as I drifted my size would change. I would shift from shrinking so much that everything around me seemed so massive to expanding in such a way that I was taking up huge chunks of space, compressing everything around me. There were no emotions attached to the dream, though I remember feeling slight anxiety about the transitory nature of my matter.
Life for me lately has been fully encompassed by creating space.
For the first time in a very long time (ever?) I am truly being called towards stillness in created space.
Filling space has never been a problem for me. Whether it’s with ambitious projects, eating, exercise, businesses, sports, volunteer work, travel or social endeavors- I am an expert at filling time and space. These are things I’ve been shedding. Replacing the narrative of “I should therefore I will” with “I choose to because I desire to” as guidance has unveiled how much my nature escapes the present moment with directive space filling.
And so, we sit in empty spaces and resist the urge to fill them.
There is an interesting paradox for me forming between my tendency to fill space energetically and otherwise with busy-ness, as well as my lean towards using food as another filler. It’s been a year of imbalances coming to the forefront. The year started with a stark wake up call when my body went on revolt. Symptoms including extreme hormonal imbalance symptoms, weight gain, and a loss of the freedoms I used to have with my movement and metabolism. What had likely began as adrenal fatigue years ago went full scale, roping in my thyroid and hormones too. All this on top of facing the shedding of the brand I spent my early career years building and growing, and working through transitions in my personal life.
What I’ve noticed now after dedicating time to rebalancing is that while my symptoms have largely cleared up, what I am left with is about 40 extra pounds on my body from where I started. It seems even my body is more comfortable with filling space than it is with allowing voids to be happy places too. This, in itself, has created it’s own wave to ride along the journey.
It’s brought to my attention that I’ve always had body issues, as many women do. As I clear out space internally and externally I am left with rampant anxiety and judgement on self, two things I haven’t really ever had to face. The validation offered to me via sports, competitive riding success, entrepreneurship and management early on in adult life kept my energy focused elsewhere. I am now being asked to redefine my relationships with aesthetics, femininity, my physical presence, and myself. I am lucky enough to be on this portion of the journey with a unbelievably sound partnership.. contrast to experiences in the past that were a part of my subconscious scheme to fill space with other’s chaos so I did not have to experience my own chaos.
In a recent breathwork session I had a vision of myself, my body, becoming the unsaid things between adults of my childhood. Things I’d absorbed unknowingly as an innocent. Things that I perceived made me guilty by default.
Space does not tell us to fill it. Rather, we find ways to fill and organize it for our own entitlement. Filling space brings many of us comfort, as wide open space remind how insignificant our human worries can be. Our bodies are a direct representation of our relation to space and to ourselves. The unconscious will shift our outwards flesh into whatever form it needs to feel safe. How many of us walk around entirely unaware of this fascinating process?
As I always do, I’ve settled into this awareness. There is a poetry to sitting with everything that swirls around a liberated space. Some days I find emptiness with a peacefulness alongside it. Other days I am insatiable with the need to fill space. The rest I am content to just observe. Adding a layer onto this I’ve begun (on ND’s orders) experimenting with intermittent fasting. It’s surprised me how easy it is to fall into this routine. It’s brought purpose and logic to feeling open, and an awareness to how much I’ve filled space just for the sake of feeling full in the past. It feels less like a challenge and more like an awakening. As if a connected piece of me is being shaken out of a slumber and rising up to the surface again; having been sheltered from the storm and the metamorphosis by a well crafted armor.
Our bodies do know best, after all, as much as we like to think otherwise.
The most fascinating part of all this to me is how much more drawn I am to creative work. Painting, writing, intuitive movement have all been calling me more and more. I find it difficult to stay within a “status quo” lifestyle and instead find myself exploring and enjoying the quietness of slow days. It’s as though I am slowly detoxing the hustle and grind energy from my body; allowing myself to expand and contract in a more synonymous flow with the ebb and flow of nature.
My new workspace and freedom to expand into my own evolution has provided a wonderful canvas for my professional life. Space in my schedule no longer brings anxiety. Instead it brings time to rest, play, create or simply be. I do not know exactly what comes next and the internal voice affirms that this is okay. I can continue writing this chapter without plotting the next, for now. I can simply exist –  no permission needed- with the love that surrounds me, the creativity that fills me and the wide open spaces I am creating for myself.
Is that not what we are here to do? Simply being; existing in the wide open spaces we find ourselves in with no more than a witnessing of how we fill those spaces.

Living at Ease


We live in a culture rife with dis-ease. I think it’s safe to say many of us exist day to day without even considering “ease” as a part of life.

I found myself surrounded this evening by people seemingly living in ease-ful states. After a hike down to the river brought a lovely sunset while sitting on a rock by the river bank, I was surrounded by others enjoying a peaceful Sunday evening. As I drove back to my Airbnb, I was struck (not literally) by couples strolling down the sidewalks, dog walkers ambling along, and kids playing.

A few of the kids playing brought up a memory of what it was like to be a kid- with no notion of schedules or places to be, other than the exact moment one is in.

When do we lose that presence? The ability to simply be, without the pressing urgency of feeling like we should be somewhere, doing something, and we are so very late.

I should preface that these realizations and epiphanies came after a week of profound learning and personal work during a Facilitator training for Integrated Breathwork. This deep training that I am over a year into involves psychosomatic techniques and body centered psycho-therapies that allow one to tap into roots and core experiences that have formed the habits we abide by. I’ve also been blessed with doing this training in one of my favourite places in the world, with the opportunity to escape into the mountains to process each evening- taking some much needed and deserved time to reconnect with myself, away from the distractions of everyday life.

Many of my personal sessions brought themes around boundaries (or lack there of- with a questionable reasoning as to why they were not to be trusted, but nonetheless valid roots related to deep and historic experiencing), my relationships to support (or aversion of- again, logically questionable mechanisms that originated largely to how I felt about boundaries at a core level, and in the end a deep reconnection to a part of myself I haven’t felt in a long time (my connection to my left feminine energy/receptive nature and how worthy she is of a voice and an opinion in collaboration with my right dominant, expressive masculine energy half) – with the realization that I am ready for things to be easy, and that I deserve to live in ease.

I preface with that not to discredit the relativity to all our lives in what I am writing about; rather to highlight the point that realizing the accessibility of ease in our daily lives.

As we experience life we pick up many defense mechanisms that served to protect us from the perceptions around experiences that create what we know as trauma. The layers of these defenses run deep and form the patterning of our lives. They also, more often than not, have a timeframe in which they go from being useful protection mechanisms to long held patterns that bring “dis-ease” into our lives.

Dis-ease can be many things. Often in manifests as pain (emotional or physical), chronic health conditions, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, ptsd, etc. The stress that pursues trauma in our systems eats away at us even through hardening layers of defense. Depending on the circumstance, imagining an easeful life may seem next to impossible.

It’s a vicious cycle all of us are likely to experience on some level throughout life, if not over and over again in various ways.

In the world we live in, trauma, anxiety, mindfulness, collective support, disease and epidemic are catchwords. It’s not new knowledge that our society is dealing with a lot at the moment, with things not likely to change anytime soon. Yet- from my experience working with individuals and groups on tapping into the wisdom each of us holds inside these bodies we so often forget we exist within, the more we can do to listen and support ourselves- the better the collective experience will become.

Perhaps it starts with a recognition that ease is not so far off as we assume it to be.

If there is one thing I’ve had imprinted on me it’s that no condition or experience is permanent, and alongside that.. no pain point or stress response is unworthy of being given a voice. There is hope for us all as soon as we become curious about what our bodies have to tell us, and what life might look like if we gave ourselves even the smallest chance to heal what once caused pain and scarring.

Where does this start? How do we even begin looking objectively at pains that have created identifying ways of being?

I believe it starts with the inkling that the answers we’ve been given aren’t the end all be all. That there is more, and that maybe if we are aware of just one small crack in the reality we’ve been told is the only option- we can squeeze into a rabbit hole that offers us something more (sometimes requiring we source the bravery to step into said rabbit hole, and persist even when the darkness seems all encompassing..). I can speak to the fact that there is always another obvious step to take, after that first step. I can’t tell you it’s comfortable, or even logical, all the time- yet I can say that the body knows and guides with grace once we open the door and loosen our expectations.

Wherever you are on your journey towards re-discovering ease, thank you.

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