happiness

Riding on the buckle 

I realized today as I was tacking up Drishti that the only thing worse than being afraid of riding would be giving into that fear and being too afraid to ride.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was afraid of everything. I feel like over the last few years all I’ve done is face my fears, stand up to them, walk through them. Honestly, I’m kind of tired of it.

We went out in the field, I climbed my way up in the saddle, and off we went. My first instinct is to have a good, steady contact on the reins. Part of that is my English riding training where contact is a good thing, but the need to hold onto his mouth – that is fear. Drishti is not a fan of it, but I’m not ripping on his face so he’s taken a quieter, sneakier approach to getting me to let go. The longer we walk the more he stretches his head out. He will stop every once in a while and take big, long looks all around – which could be taken as curiosity, but I’m starting to realize it’s a very effective way for him to get longer reins.

I thought about how we are building this new relationship and how it will only work on trust. I know him well enough to know that at a walk he’s not going to buck and bolt on me, so I got to thinking – why aren’t I giving him his head more? I’m not schooling, we are just walking around – why aren’t I giving in. And bam! the reins went to the buckle.

And we just chilled and walked around the field – and it was happiness.

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happiness

Happy for no reason

When you’re happy for no reason, you bring happiness to your outer experiences rather than trying to extract happiness from them. You don’t need to manipulate the world around you to try and make yourself happy. You live from happiness, rather than for happiness (Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff)

I have been reading these words over and over today and they have totally shifted my perspective of happiness. I have long known that happiness comes from within and that we can’t depend on other things or people to make us happy, but somehow reading these words helped it all fall into place.

When I started, I had to look for things to make me happy. I didn’t have any happiness inside, my life was scary and fearful. I had to start looking for daily experiences that made me feel happy on the inside – some days they were pretty hard to find. As I said yesterday, I’ve been realizing lately that my quest for happiness is shifting.

I am finding more and more happiness inside myself. I am starting to believe in myself and seeing my value in ways that not too long ago I didn’t think would be possible. Because of that, I am able to bring happiness to my moments instead of looking for moments to bring me happiness.

It’s powerful stuff. It’s happiness.

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happiness

Just be happy now

Just be happy now

Out of this will come the miracles you seek (The Key by Joe Vitale)

Once I realized hope was missing from my life, I’ve been focusing on bringing it back to the centre of my being. If I don’t have hope what is the point? I don’t mean that my life was hopeless and that I was deep in dark despair or the world was ending. I mean I had forgotten to keep hoping for better things, that the rainbow is coming, that I can dance in the storm –  I forgot to be happy now.

My life has been a series of miracles over the past two years. Sometimes in the day to day stuff that stresses me out I forget just how much God has provided for me. Slowly but surely I am getting everything I ever wanted and just because there are some blips along the way does not mean that if I keep hope, if I stay happy, if I am clear about what I want,  that these miracles won’t continue.

I spent a big part of the day today in quiet meditation, clearing my heart and mind and focusing on what I want. I said to my friend while we were standing on the beach the other day that maybe I need to make a list of exactly what I want in life so I am clear about where I want to be going – so that’s what I did. Amazingly, I already have a lot of the things I want, which gives me faith that the other things are possible as well.

I realized that even with daily stress stuff, divorce stress stuff, kid stress stuff, I can just be happy now. Because if not now – when?

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Sitting with the memories 

Today Dad would have turned 76. I still can’t believe it’s been a year and a half since he died – I keep expecting him to walk in the door like he was just away on a trip somewhere. Except Dad would have never, ever gone away for so long and left us behind if he hadn’t been called by God.

I’ve been sitting with the memories of Dad today, it’s been a bittersweet happiness moment, but I wouldn’t trade my memories for anything. I really didn’t realize until much later in life how extremely fortunate I was to have been gifted the Dad that I had. I grew up kind of assuming that every father was as involved in the lives of their children as my Dad was.

I have a lifetime of memories of Dad being such a strong influence in my life. He made sure we went outside and played hard, he often got up at the crack of dawn and caught nasty ponies for us to take to shows, he taught us not only work ethic – but how important it is to love what you do, he showed me how important it was to live with integrity, he showed me what it was like to live life with an open and loving heart.

I miss him so much. I miss him for me, but even more I miss him for my kids who really, really need to have the influence of a man like he was. And then I realize I can still show them that through stories of what he was like, they have their memories, and they understand that we live our lives with love and integrity because that is how he taught us to be.

What a legacy to leave behind – how amazing to have so many people whose lives he touched, who miss him, who love him. It makes me really think about the kind of person I want to be and how I want to be remembered. It is so important to live life being true to my values and my heart. I’m so grateful that God opens doors for me, and that He closes some doors for my own protection.

My dad……..

 

he was allergic to horses, and I’m not even sure how much he really liked them, but he sure spent a lot of time around them because of his daughters. 

there are so many memories of him reading to us in this old (maybe even corduroy?) chair. When he was done he would grab us and make many failed attempts at hauling us all up. It always resulted in giggles and in us pleading for more. And you see – there he is with Torts the cat, whom he was deathly allergic to and yet loved so much.

always the first kid down the hill

teaching his grandson to skate on the slough. I have many childhood memories of skating around this slough with Dad – it was so fun….

If you were looking for Dad, you could always find him doing whatever the kids were doing. Actually, usually he was the one dreaming up the fun.

I love this photo. Jacob and my Dad had such a special bond. 

teaching Jacob how to ski – these poor Southern children had to be taught all about snow every Christmas.

Probably the thing Dad loved the most was being at the creek. I think he would have spent the entire summer there if he could have. 

You can’t see him, but this was his greatest Dad/Grandparent trick of all. Flipping kids over on their rafts – he was known by the grandchildren as the Creek Monster. This always brought shrieks of laughter. 

Happy Birthday Dad. We all miss you so much.

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