Browsing Tag

Vista Caballo

Are You Following Your Heart?

September 21, 2010

In July, I wrote about my experience at Vista Caballo at the end of June, 2010. The weekend was documented by a videographer, and this past weekend I received a copy of my interview from Lisa, and I wanted to share it here.

I learned so much about myself during that weekend, and I believe that one of the positive outcomes of the experience was that it enhanced my conviction to do something positive about the situation down in the Gulf of Mexico. A month later, Spirit of the Gulf Coast was born and a team of incredibly passionate volunteers had formed around this central cause. It’s hard to describe how fulfilling this has all been for me. The connections that I’ve made during this amazing journey have opened my mind and my heart to new possibilities and new opportunities. Below is an excerpt from an email I received a few days ago from one of the people we met on our expedition:

“I was extremely touched by the true emotions from your team. I have not seen that from anyone else. It almost hurts to think of what is going on around us. I keep thinking about what you have taken on and I do hope all your sponsors, family, friends, co-workers understand the impact you are and will continue to make on this disaster. I am very proud of all of you. You will be blessed for all your hard work. I know so. Good things happen to good people. It’s the truth! I promise. I will continue to pray for you.”

I believe that I’ve been called to this work, and I continue to be amazed at the positive energy that surrounds me as I follow my heart. The experience at Vista Caballo helped me understand just how important that was to me, and I can’t imagine feeling any more fulfilled in the work I’m doing. Thanks for letting me share some of my journey with you.

I’m curious to hear from others who have taken a leap and ventured into the unknown based on a burning passion within. Is this you? Are you following your heart?

Disclaimer: Vista Caballo is a client, but I paid to be a part of this experience

Travel and Adventure

The Journey – part 2 (Vista Caballo)

July 6, 2010

Continuing from my earlier post, I wanted to describe the experience I had at Vista Caballo the weekend of June 25-28.  This was the inaugural ‘Horsewhisperer Experience’ at Vista Caballo, and was a different kind of immersion from the ongoing work that they are known for.  Disclaimer: Vista Caballo is a client of mine, but I did pay to be a part of this weekend.

Jess and Lisa at Vista CaballoThe weekend was a sort of bonding experience between 6 participants (of which I was 1), and the 4 incredible horses that are really the teachers.  We were fortunate to have renowned horse specialist, Bruce Logan as one of our guides, along with Lisa and Jess from Vista Caballo.  There were other, more personal and spiritual elements to the weekend that I won’t get into here, but if anyone is interested in hearing more about it, I would be happy to have a one-on-one conversation about it.

Primarily, my point of this entry is to convey what a huge impact the experience had on me.  I was with a group of 6 men that are all leaders in their own fields, and the things we learned during the course of the weekend are applicable to our personal lives and professional lives as leaders.  We learned how our presence and our energy had an impact on how the horses responded to us, which was of course a strong metaphor for how we have an impact in our daily lives with our interactions with others.  By approaching the horses with confidence and intention, we were able to alter how they behaved around us.  I personally learned quite a bit about boundaries, and realized quickly that I had none around the horses.  Simple changes in how I handled my personal space had profound effects on how the horses treated me.  It was incredible to be a part of this experience and see firsthand how these things work.

Brandon and Mikey at Vista CaballoOne of the horses, Mikey, has a troubled past and was going to be put down by the previous owners.  Fortunately, Lisa Dee found him and adopted him before that happened.  He was the least balanced of all the horses we interacted with, but he was an excellent teacher at the same time.  We were able to interact with Mikey apart from the rest of the herd, and what happened during that experience was nothing short of mind-blowing!  This horse did not want anything to do with any of us at first, and was very difficult to approach.  By the end of the afternoon, each of us were able to ‘catch’ him and even put the halter on him, which we never would have imagined at the start of the session.  I felt very connected to Mikey and had a hard time leaving him.  I appreciated the opportunity to help him feel positive energy from humans, and heal some of the emotional wounds from his past.

Below is an entry that I wrote in my journal the night that we worked with Mikey:

Today’s experience with Mikey was one that I will never forget and will always cherish.  I learned what the human heart was capable of – from a horse.  We were able to collectively heal the heart of a horse that has a traumatic past, and despite all the odds being stacked against us, we balanced the energy and together we brought peace to his world, and in effect, ours.  Speaking with Tom Blue Wolf earlier was similarly profound.  His words rang true for me and his message of hope was inspiring, but also urgent.  “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”  These are his words, as they are mine. The message and metaphor are clear to me – if we can bring balance and peace to a troubled horse, can we also bring balance and peace to our mother, Earth?  I believe this is the lesson we are here to learn.  All of us here on this journey truly are the ones we’ve been waiting for!  We must take our role as leaders seriously, and just as a dominant horse assumes leadership, so must we.  It is our destiny and our burden to bear.  Our time is now.  We must carry this message forward.

Mikey at Vista Caballo
This weekend had a profound impact on me, and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this inaugural experience.  I’m excited to take the lessons that I learned and apply them to my life and my own journey.  If you are interested in learning more about my experience, feel free to reach out or post something in the comments.  Thanks for being here and letting me share my journey with you!

Next entry, the Colorado Trail

Travel and Adventure

The Journey – part 1

July 1, 2010

I have just returned from what I can only describe as an epic, life-altering journey to New Mexico and Colorado. I have always felt drawn to the West, and any chance I have to visit, I take it. This trip was on a totally different level however. I’ll do my best to explain, but please know that nothing I can write here will do the experience justice.

The trip came about as I was introduced to Lisa Dee and Vista Caballo through my friend Lewis. We are in the process of doing various work together, and during this work, the inaugural Horsewhisperer Experience came up. Before this, I had very little knowledge of horses or equine culture, but I felt a connection forming from a distance. In my work with Vista Caballo, I poured over all the website content and got a sense for the possibilities that awaited me. Little did I know just how much of an impact it would have on me.

Before I go on, it’s important to realize that I’m not the type of person who likes to have these things scheduled and structured too much. In fact, I like to sort of let them unfold as they will, and just roll with it. Part of this experience for me was driving instead of flying. I’m so glad I did, for multiple reasons that I’ll describe later. The other caveat is that I was totally offline for 3 days, and parts of 2 other days during the trip. In effect, I was out of communication for 5 days straight, which I have not done in a very long time.

I’m a road warrior and the drive out sort of flew by. I did Atlanta to Amarillo, TX with only 2 stops in between. Yes, I’m that crazy. It helps that my car can go 600 miles on a single tank of diesel and I have a strong bladder. It really does make the drive go by much quicker to just roll on through. Anyway, day 2 was New Mexico play time. I was looking forward to this the entire drive out, as I’ve had such amazing experiences in New Mexico before. This trip was no exception. Before I left Atlanta, I had received the July/August issue of Sierra magazine, which had a picture of a guy jumping off into a beautiful lake. I commented to a friend of mine that ‘I want to be that guy.’ I brought the magazine with me and had it sitting on the passenger’s seat of the car the whole drive out. I suppose on some level, I knew I would manifest that experience, and I did – almost exactly.

While I was driving through the desert, I stopped a couple of times to have a little picnic and take some photos. As I continued, I saw signs for Conchas Dam and Conchas Lake State Park. I couldn’t resist turning in to see what it was all about. Amazingly, this lake provided the exact scene that I had seen on the cover of Sierra magazine as seen in the picture below. I parked and went down to the edge of the lake and walked along the rocks where I ran into some local kids that had been swimming. They sensed that I wanted to jump in and asked me ‘You looking for a place to jump?’ They showed me the spot on the rocks and before I knew it, I was recreating the scene from the magazine. The water was cool and refreshing – an incredible departure from the hot, dry desert I had been walking in just minutes before. Awesome!

After my brief swim, I got back on the road and headed off toward Santa Fe. I didn’t know where I was going to camp that night, but I had some general ideas of the area. It was getting late, and I wanted to find a ranger’s station to get some advice. That was served right up to me in the form of the Pecos National Historical Park. I went to the visitor’s center just as they were closing and talked to the rangers Christine and Rick. They gave me some advice and sold me a map of the Santa Fe National Forest and Pecos Wilderness. I drove up along a long winding road through the incredibly aromatic evergreen forest, and arrived at the Panchuela campground trail head at 7pm. I hiked in a couple of miles and camped for the night in an area that was truly one of the most spectacular scenes I’ve ever witnessed in my life. Check the short video about my experience:

In the next entry, I describe my incredible experience at Vista Caballo! The journey continues…

Sierra Cover Photo:  Kristy-Anne Glubish/Designpics/Aurora Photos