How to Turn Our World Around

“I’m a news junkie,” proclaimed my dear friend, Bryna, recently. I know….she’s the one I go to when I need a deeper understanding of what the news is saying. To me the news is like sunlight; I only take in as much as won’t burn me. It’s pretty harsh out there and I burn easily. And, I have a responsibility to participate in the world. I am a resident of this Earth and I must contribute. I live in this tension daily.

I believe that, as an energetic universe, everything is in vibration. EVERYTHING. And we humans collectively are not setting a very high frequency these days. Every thought, feeling, and bodily sensation has a vibratory pattern to it….and everyone and everything feels and responds to it…whether we are aware of it or not.

If you don’t believe me try this: Think of someone or something you love dearly. Find the feeling of love that is generated with the thought and sit and breathe it in for a moment. Check in with your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations… they feel pretty good don’t they?

Now think of something or someone you are angry at, don’t like or don’t trust. And repeat the process. Feels awful doesn’t it? (BTW…This is the stew our congress is serving up!)

Now remember a time you were feeling pretty good and walked into an angry meeting? How long did you stay feeling good? Recall it’s opposite, when you were low and engaged a friend, a family, a group that created an atmosphere of love and your spirit was lifted?

Our energy affects everyone and everything. And we are in turn so affected. We cannot control congress, big business, or any of the myriad huge systems seemingly crumbling before our eyes; but we do have dominion over ourselves and we are members of the same planet, so our energy affects all others.

Einstein said you cannot solve the problem at the level at which it was created. I believe this is what he meant. If we wish to turn the world around…which it desperately needs right now…then we must raise our vibration, our energy, to a higher level.

There is an energetic hierarchy of thoughts and emotions. The model below is one I’ve been working on for years.

levels of energy

I know the Emotional Scale intimately. I started at the bottom of it. My early childhood was like the La Brea Tar Pits. I was mired in the goo every way possible: emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Depression became my default emotion, with occasional bursts up to Anger to release the pent up energy.

La Brea Tar Pits

I’ve spent this lifetime learning to climb the Emotional Scale: emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I know it can be done. It’s been quite a climb; Living in a state of Love is a long way from Depression. I’ve needed a toolkit bigger than Dallas.3

I had a new realization recently when my ex-husband, Terry, died. Ours wasn’t a pretty divorce some 40 years ago, and while I loved his second wife and their kids, our relationship remained distant.

When we knew he was dying I felt drawn to visit him. I walked into his room with uncertainty. He was watching a tennis match on TV; playing tennis was one of his many passions. As I stood there, I was filled with love for him. We spoke of funny times and our wonderful son, Travis. I shared a video of my nephew, Remy, playing a song on the guitar Terry had taught him, and I read the words of love my sister, Cathy, had written to him. As I stood to leave, I kept kissing the top of his head, so wanting him to feel my love for him. As I walked away, these words echoed through me: “in the end all there is is Love”.

Throughout our grieving in the time after he passed, those words kept their hold on me. I keep thinking: “if in the end all there is is Love, then why not NOW?”

I equate Love with Power; not the usual sense of power over others but Power within. Power is the ability to stand in the moment expansively: open minded, open hearted, with access to the wisdom of the body. To the extent we allow ourselves our Power we are able to accurately discern what is true and act for the good of the whole.

I know my greatest power…and therefore my greatest ability to serve…resides in the neighborhood of Love, Appreciation, and Gratitude. I’ve made it my intention to reside there and to return as quickly as possible when I slide downward. We all have moments of pure Love. So the “work” is essentially a matter of reducing the cycle time between when we leave the state of Love and return to it. That’s where the toolkit comes in. We need different tools for different stages on the Emotional Scale.

I believe this is the best strategy for turning the world around. It doesn’t require everyone’s participation. Change theory tells us we can improve a system with only 5% of its population devoted to the change. Jesus, Buddha, Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, and other Avatars of Love and Enlightenment have raised millions up the Emotional Scale.

Why were and are they so effective? I believe it is because they resonate at the level of Love and their words also resonate with that energy. They show us what it feels like to live in Love, so we can reach for it ourselves. So, we might live at that higher vibration.

We are in a time of fundamental change. The old is crumbling. Systems theory tells us we will either devolve into smaller more primitive ways (i.e., down the emotional scale). And, the news is saturating us with examples of it. Or, we can ascend up the Emotional Scale and solve our problems at the higher level Einstein suggested.

Will you become one of the 5% and help turn the world around by climbing the Emotional Scale with me? 

This is my life’s work; if I can help you or your organization in your climb, please call or click me, or  use the drop down menus above to see the various ways I work to help my clients find their higher vibration and true calling.

Happy Trails….  Peggy


When to Withhold Your Delight

Dewey is a lot like the ‘millenials’ entering the workforce now.  He’s one of those horses for whom confidence is innate and his development hasn’t squashed. He believes the world is for enjoying.

I gingerly stepped into the stirrups the first time I put my 60+ yr old body over his 2 yr old one.   I needn’t have worried. He looked back, seemed to say, “How interesting!” and walked over to a big green training ball and began pushing it across the arena with his nose.

Like the ‘millenials’ raised with attachment parenting and ‘everybody wins a prize’ schooling;  Dewey’s playfulness has been celebrated and leveraged; he loves to engage with people. He’ll go through his entire repertoire of skills on his own — just to delight an audience.  Almost everyone adores him. And if some odd fellow shows up who doesn’t, he’ll tease her until she’s won over — or goes away!

As I began to develop him further, I realized I had to change my leadership style to get the best from him. He’d gotten to the point where he knew he could delight me just by being his charming self, and he stopped really listening and checking in with me to see what was being asked of him.

It was time to withhold delight. I began asking for a higher level of performance from him and giving no response until he gave it to me. For instance, I’d ask him to not just step up onto the pedestal (his favorite trick) but to first stand before it without moving — then put only one foot up on it and then put it back down again. I only praised the accomplishment of the new ‘stretch goals.’

Within minutes he was riveted to me. I could see him asking himself, “Oh, boy—a new game! What will it take to please her?” He began working to delight me. Yesterday he backed up onto the pedestal with his back feet…not very easy given horse anatomy, but he loved the challenge and my pure joy when he succeeded.

Like Dewey, the millenials have been raised with an abundance of praise and delight in anything they do. Just showing up for kindergarten warranted a gold star!  These are tough employees to coach because they aren’t used to hearing anything but how great they are.  I see it earlier. Parents bring them to me for coaching when the less than adoring world bursts their confidence bubble and they have few resources to rebuild it.

The same strategy works with them as with Dewey. I establish a baseline relationship of genuine delight in them. I praise everything they do well In the beginning…no matter how small.  In other words, I establish a relationship within which they are comfortable and confident.  Then, I begin creating more engaging and challenging goals.  And, I watch!  I titrate praise as needed to maintain confidence, withdrawing it from the known and adding it generously when new and or really meaningful work is accomplished.  And, like Dewey, it rivets their attention and fuels their desire to excel!

It’s a powerful strategy for both leader and follower. First and foremost, IT DOESN’T TAKE LONG.  You’re not repairing damage only leading them in a way that works for them.  Secondly, it creates an environment of aliveness and appreciation. It removes judgment and condemnation from our managerial repertoire so neither leader or follower are living in a contracted or fearful state energetically. Equally important, it causes people and horses to REALLY LISTEN to what you are asking for.

“If you want them to be riveted; you have to be riveting!” says famed horse trainer, Linda Parelli. I rivet with delight and increasing challenge.  My question for all leaders is: How enthusiastically does your organization/team/family/horse – respond to your requests?

Rate them on a 1-5 scale where one is non-compliant and five is true enthusiasm.  (BTW, the definition of the word enthusiasm derives from ‘en theos,’ “Spirit or God indwelling.”)  In other words, how spirited are your followers?

I would love to hear how you’re getting to enthusiasm!

Until next time, happy trails,  Peggy

Claiming Our Space

It is the nature of the masculine to push boundaries.  It is the nature of the feminine  to set them. We humans, both men and women, have  overrun Mother Earth with our masculine energy and we need to rebalance it if we’re not to continue to burn Her out and all our crumbling human systems with Her.    The work begins with the feminine in all of us saying no to “more” and saying yes to healthy sustainable limits. With all my clients, but with girls especially,  we start by Claiming Our Space.

I recently had a vivacious 10 yr old girl in my arena.  She was all lovely innocence;  long and lithe, with blonde curly hair and blue eyes.  She was eager to play and chose my beautiful gelding, Sun, as her playmate.  As it turns out he was a perfect partner for her.  Sun loves people and is very playful. He’s also runs mostly masculine energy.  He’s always looking for and testing the boundaries.

She began walking with him side by side at liberty; something Sun does everyday with me. In less than a minute he had wrapped his body around her, engulfing her. I had never witnessed anything like it and was baffled. She kept walking, seemingly unaware with no presence, no boundaries, no life force!   This beautiful lively creature of just a few minutes ago was gone; she seemed oblivious to this 1000 lb horse claiming her.

I immediately separated them, put a lead on him, and taught her how to helicopter the end of the rope to ‘claim space’. She began walking with him again, twirling his lead and giving herself a 5’ diameter of safe space. In less than 25’ she went from ghost to the vivacious young girl I had met outside the ring. When I asked her at the end of the session what was most significant for her, she replied, “I realized that if I could keep a 1000 lb horse off of me, I didn’t have to put up with my 6’5” brothers!  The implications of this insight are staggering!

Energy awareness  is a new frontier in human development…at least for us overly civilized and citified humans. It has been and is the natural way of aboriginal tribes throughout all time…for they have not lost their animalness. Setting energetic boundaries is the first step in creating healthy relationships…with humans and animals.

It’s fascinating to watch animals meet, greet and set boundaries with each other. They continuously read each other, sensing what is and what they need to do to stay safe AND be in relationship. Jefe, my 15 lb Havanese, accomplishes it by merely curling one upper lip when Ruben, a visiting 85 lb German Shepherd, gets closer than three feet from him. Ruben, immediately senses Jefe’s claim and backs off. Only then will Jefe play with him. Reba, my boss mare, sets an energy field around her that no one challenges. And, if they should, she reminds them of her space with the slightest flick of one ear.

The good leader, both animal and human, knows just how to best enter a situation and join up with it so that boundaries are clear AND a relationship is established before doing anything else.

Most humans, energetically speaking, have really bad manners. Our greetings are mostly autonomic, role dependent, assumption filled and ritualized. Some, when first meeting my herd, eagerly thump them on the face not noticing the horses wincing with each thump. Some use baby talk, squeal in delight,  and try to hug them. This causes my horses to either play dominance games or get out of claustrophobia’s way. Other people move to dominance immediately and begin pushing the horse around or barking orders to the dogs.

The animals are boggled by our behaviors because they’re unrelated to current reality. They have no idea what to make of the chaotic energies greeting them. Which is why the first activity in my workshops or private sessions is teaching people how to Claim Space. Simply put, it’s owning and honoring where you stand.

Energetically speaking, it requires awareness of:

  • ourselves (our bodily sensations, emotions and our thoughts),
  • our connection to earth and to whatever we consider the Greater Whole  (eg. God, Spirit, Nature, or other Meta Systems.
  • our connection with the animals, other humans and the local environment in any situation

Here’s how I prepare for every encounter with a human or an animal and what I teach my clients to do to claim their space:

1. Breathe … to come into the present moment

  1. Draw your breathe in lovingly: feel your body being filled with your breath
  2. Allow it to flow out, relaxing as you empty

2. Ground … to build awareness of body and connection to Earth

  1. Place your attention in your feet… feeling them inside and out
  2. Feel the physical touching of your feet to the earth
  3. Notice what you notice  (eg. bodily sensations, feelings, thoughts, internal colors and or pictures)
  4. Become like a tree, reaching your roots from your feet down to earth’s core.
  5. Feel for the profound stability you are when connected to Mother Earth

3. Align … to empower yourself by aligning your energetic system with Highest Good    and Mother Earth

  1. Feel or Imagine (if sensing is energy is new to you) golden, warm, loving light coming from Above
  2. Feel/Imagine it flowing into the top of your head and through your body
  3. Notice its flow through each part of your body
  4. Feel/Imagine it flowing into and through your taproot into Mother Earth
  5. Allow yourself to stay in its flow for as long as it is nourishing to you

5. Bubble … to establish your energetic boundaries so that others can know and                       respect them

  1. Feel/imagine an energy bubble surrounding your body about arm’s length out in all directions
  2. Feel/Imagine filling it with your Aligned Energy. (From step 4)
  3. Notice what you notice

Try this before an important meeting, or with someone who tends to “knock you off your pins,”  with your animals, or in crowds if you tend to feel everyone else’s energy. My clients tell me that when they do this they:

  • react less to others emotions
  • stay better focused on their intentions and goals
  • aren’t exhausted at the end of a hectic day in corporate buildings
  • can better see ‘what now’ in each moment

Let me know what you notice  :-)  Happy Trails,   Peggy

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