"I'll just get in the way."

"I'll just get in the way."
“I’ll just get in the way,” I kept thinking. 

But first, let me paint the scene for you.

If you’ve never been to a branding pen, it's somewhat chaotic. The pen is shaped like a bottle, and the calves are on the large end where six to eight horses slowly walk among the calves looking for a shot to rope both back feet. Once a calf’s heels are roped, it is pulled by the horse and rider to one of three or four Nordforks steaked to the ground; a group of three or four people on the ground work alongside each Nordfork. Someone will place this Nordfork along the calf's neck where it fits behind its head, keeping it secure while the horse and rider keep the rope taught, preventing the calf from kicking the ground crew while it is branded, vaccinated and castrated. Once finished, the Nordfork is removed, and the calf is pulled out of the branding pen through the narrow alley to be reunited with its mom. The alley is under guard by horse and rider or ground grew to ensure the calf doesn’t run back in. 


[both photo credit to Countrified Photography & Designs] 


From the sidelines watching the branding pen, there can be moments of flow and efficiency and then times of panic. When you rope a calf accidentally by one leg, head, or belly, it starts to beller and run wildly about while the rider tries to maintain control of the horse, calf, and the rope connecting the two. This scenario usually causes everyone to scatter, trying to avoid being trampled. 

I’m not an avid roper. After my rope horse sustained a bad injury and had two daughters, I have barely swung a rope over the past five years, but I longed to be a part of the fun. My husband kept asking if I wanted to give it a try, but I kept declining. 

I wasn’t worried about looking like an idiot, but I was concerned about being in the way. There were also many calves to get through, so with every throw I missed, I would prevent another horse and rider duo from catching, thus slowing down the day, I thought. 

Have you ever felt this way? 
Found yourself sitting on the sidelines just to stay out of the way?
 Let others have all the fun because you might just mess it up. 

Luckily, I’ve been working on my mindset for quite a bit, and while I didn’t work up the nerve to participate on the first day of branding, near the end of day two, I bravely asked my husband if he would ride alongside me to give me pointers on my roping and just advice in general. If you know me, asking for help isn’t easy– but it is something I’m working on, especially with my husband. 

Working through these feelings took time! For a while, I avoided them lying to myself by coming up with excuses. “Brad deserves to do this more than me.” “Brad will be angry if he has to watch the kids.” “People will get mad if I’m too slow.” “I’ll just get in the way.” 

Eventually, I had to feel my feelings to understand my fears and reasons for why I wasn’t participating, and then I had to validate them. My concern about being in the way, getting hurt or hurting someone else is highly valid! Having a healthy respect for safety doesn’t make me a coward. 

However, I am also capable and worthy of participating. I lacked confidence in myself and my abilities, selling myself short. I am just as important as everyone else in that pen; everyone was missing shots and encouraging others to take their time. My happiness matters just as much as theirs. 

I don’t want my kids to sit on the sidelines growing up. I don’t want my girls to sit back and out of the way, worried their team will lose if they participate. I want my daughters to bravely jump in even if they are the least talented in the group. I want them to know they are worth it. 

In the end, I roped two calves! Hearing my husband cheer me on made me grin ear to ear and feel proud that I was brave enough to try.  I am pleased that I am showing my girls how to be courageous. 

My happiness matters. I deserve to participate. My dreams are valid. I am worth it.

And so are you.


Rise Up & Ride, my friends,
Leanne


One of the biggest lies around identifying trauma.

One of the biggest lies around identifying trauma.

Would you say you’ve experienced trauma in your life? Most people would say no. 


If I were to ask those who said yes what those traumatic experiences were, they would most likely share things like a car accident, serious illness, near-death incident, war, losing a spouse or child, becoming an orphan, being sexually or physically abused. 


But what if trauma wasn't only these notable dramatic moments in time? 


The more I learn about trauma, the more I’ve come to understand that experiencing trauma isn’t about the dramatic event; it is about how you felt from an event. 


So what does this mean? If there have been moments in your life that you have ever felt abandoned, terrified, never heard, never valued, worthless, waste of time, then you have experienced trauma. 

When we experience trauma, we go into fight, flight, or freeze/shut down. We aren’t safe to express ourselves, or worse, told not to. When our nervous system enters this sympathetic state without being able to complete the cycle - process emotionally and mentally what’s happening and it is met with empathy and validation from another human - then those emotions become trapped inside our nervous system. 


For those of us who perhaps didn't realize what trauma included, we would most likely have thoughts like: “Oh jeez, my childhood was great! I really don’t have anything to complain about,” or “sure I was bullied, but it wasn’t that bad, they were just kids and didn’t know what they were doing after all.” This denial is a safety mechanism to keep that trauma locked away deep inside us to protect us from the pain. 


When we can start learning what trauma actually is, we can begin to free ourselves from it. If for your entire life, you were trying to tell yourself that what you went through wasn’t a big deal and to just get over it, those painful emotions stay trapped. What you felt was real! What you felt was painful and traumatic. 


Learning how to overcome my trauma has been the gateway to understanding myself. Trauma is the root of anger, frustration, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicide, self-harm, and more. All of a sudden, I’m not “messed up.” I’m simply emotionally and mentally wounded, and I need to heal. 


If you find yourself relating to this, I want to personally invite you into my Facebook community. Inside the guide section, I have a free 30-day transformation - Chomping at the Bit: Transition from Guilt to Freedom. This will help you get started on your healing journey. Click HERE to connect with others wanting their happiness, hope and freedom too. 


Learning to heal has transformed my life to find happiness, hope, and freedom! Becoming more whole has helped my anxiety and depression; it helps me be a better mom and prevent passing my trauma down; it’s immensely helping my marriage. 

If you would prefer to go through the 30-day Transformation off of Facebook, simply create your free Membership Login to access all of my materials HERE.

See you inside. 💜



How I overcame my suffocating thoughts and emotions.

How I overcame my suffocating thoughts and emotions.

Let’s be honest! You love the fact that you have children; you love your children! But then, on the other hand, you're also missing who you were before your kids. You're missing what you used to be able to do. You're missing the amount of time you'd used to spend with your horses. You're missing freedom. You're missing almost everything about your life pre-kids, and you don't know how to navigate all of those big, ugly emotions, and then the guilt that follows them, right, because the guilt is going to follow. I know that because I went through all of this.

Read more...

How to deal with not being where you feel you should be.

How to deal with not being where you feel you should be.
It’s so easy to be frustrated, hurt, sad, resentful or anxious about where we are in life.

“It shouldn’t be like this”
“Why is it so hard”
“My horse should be doing -“
“Why am I still scared”
“No one supports me”
“This isn’t what I thought my life would be like”

When we get stuck in what we think life -should be- we totally miss what life really is.

This is commonly the root of our frustration, anxiety, depression, resentment, and suffering.

Life is what it IS.

Learning to accept and love what ‘is’ allows you space to then make a plan with action steps to move in the direction you want; my friend, that is true freedom.

Let go of what you think life should be.
Let go of where you think you should be.
Let go of what you think your horse should be able to do.
Let go of what you think your marriage should be.
Let go of how you think your kids should be.

Live in this moment. Love now. Embrace now.

If you’re looking steps to help, check out the free 30 day challenge inside Back Into Horses After Babies in the guide section: “Chomping at the Bit.”


Until next time my friend 💜

Three steps to help your anxiety, depression or other overwhelming emotions.

Three steps to help your anxiety, depression or other overwhelming emotions.
Anxiety and depression are big, painful emotions that many people struggle with. Are you one of them? Perhaps you only deal with one or the other, or maybe you struggle with both regularly.


Sometimes, however, I think people only know that they feel gross, down, frustrated, stressed or sad. When we feel this way, we often don’t even want to really think about what we feel because we don’t want to get lost down that rabbit trail of figuring it out. I believe that is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make when they truly desire to improve their life and strive for happiness.


First off, do you know the difference between anxiety and depression? When I first thought of that question, I honestly had to stop and really think about it. I then decided to double-check with good ole Google to see if I had it straight.


These are common struggles for those with anxiety: (summarized in my words based on this article)
 - Often thought of as “worry-warts.” They are always fearful about something bad happening, right now as well as the future.
 - They often get stuck thinking about all the horrible things that could happen today, tomorrow, or ten years from now. Something is bound to go wrong, and they can’t stop thinking about it.
 - They don’t put themselves in any situations where they are scared that their anxiety will take over and humiliate them. This can result in a lot of self-isolation.
 - Getting fixated on the probability of death due to random circumstances, feelings or symptoms.


Depression rather shows itself as:
 - Feeling of sadness that you cannot shake or possibly even identify.
 - Feeling hopeless about a situation, or even your own abilities not being good enough.
 - When you feel like you are worthless and all your efforts in life are worthless.
 - You think of death often; your life is hopeless, you are worthless, and you are a burden on your loved ones.


The struggle with anxiety and depression is dealing with one of these alone is a huge struggle. But, commonly, one can create the other, so you find yourself fighting with both anxiety and depression.


While I’m not a therapist, and I always suggest seeking professional help (especially if you find yourself fixated on death or suicidal thoughts), I want to encourage you to try out these few practices that can be life-changing if used regularly.

     1. Deliberately sit with your feelings and try to identify them to the best of your ability. Depression, anxiety and overwhelm for a lot of people can be a symptom of an unmet need or an emotion that isn't being taken care of. Check out this feelings wheel chart I found that can help narrow down specifically what you are feeling.

     2. Once you’ve got a feeling, we will use worthless as an example, and I want you to remind yourself that you are not wrong or broken for feeling this way. Emotions are never right or wrong; they simply are what they are. Hating them or wishing you didn’t have them will not serve you; that will only start creating hatred and resentment toward your own faults.

     3. Now, I want you to envision yourself sitting at a table, and your worthless feeling is sitting beside you. What would you say to it? “Hey, worthlessness, I see you. I see you hurting and in so much pain. I love you, just as you are. I am here, I see you, I love you, and we will figure this out.”

Learning to identify and name our emotions allows us to see it for what it actually is. When we don’t know, and we stay stuck in the “I just feel horrible” road, we can’t love ourselves where we need to be loved.

Staying stuck in the unknown is the perfect recipe for continued depression, anxiety, resentment, frustration and anger. Love and empathy are the antidotes.


I, for one, have struggled with both depression and anxiety. They come and go, but the one thing that stays the same is that getting help from other people helps keep me happier and more emotionally healthy. If you would like to be surrounded by other like-minded wonderful people, you can find us in my Facebook Group by clicking the button.





 
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