Full House Farm
Full House Farm: Harmony With Horses
"It was from them that I first learned of the intelligence that lurks in nonhuman nature, the ability that an alien form of sentience has to echo one's own, to instill a reverberation in oneself that temporarily shatters habitual ways of seeing and feeling, leaving one open to a world all alive, awake, and aware."

David Abram,
The Spell of the Sensuous
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Dear All,

Welcome to our 12th "stroll" together.  I hope each and every one of you finds something in the following that inspires you to new feelings, thoughts, and action.  If you get a chance, share your thoughts with me!  And consider giving either yourself or someone else the opportunity to come stay here at the farm or to participate in a Workshop or Farm Life Tour

October, 2011 Newsletter Content:

The Power of Voice 

Here's Me Dreaming

Here's You Dreaming 

Playground Activities

Farm Stay News! 

 The Power of Voice 

Sing_10_11_NLIn one year I will have been coaching people for forty years about the ways of the horse, as I understand it for myself.  I think I started educating as soon as I was born, although it was simply called "fussy" and then became "bossy".  To my mother's credit, I remainedBossy_10_11_NL bossy.  I say that because I was not ever punished enough for being outspoken so as to have lost my "voice".  I appreciate that so much about my mother, as there were others who would have preferred I just shut up. 

Years ago, but within the last decade (oh, it is interesting when you refer to memories in decades), one of the people I admire most for their wisdom about horses referred to horses as often having their mouths taped shut.  I did not understand that statement when I first heard it from Carolyn Resnick, but I have come to a degree of understanding from my perspective.  I say that, because Carolyn made it very clear to me that I cannot describe her perspective accurately, and she is right.  I cannot describe hers or any other perspective but my own accurately.  That includes that of the horse.  Therein lies the fundamental premise of either allowing one their voice or taping their mouth shut in your presence.

Rez_10_11_NLThis is where yet another layer is revealed, though.  My mother allowed me to speak up enough to encourage me to share who I was, my thoughts, and my unique take on life.  It was to her I spoke of heartbreaks, passions, and life-changing experiences.  It was with her I shared the roller-coaster ride of emotions that reflected who I was in any given moment.  The bond between us has always been strong.  Largely because of this opportunity as a young person, I was able to consider doing this for others, including the horses I knew.  It took me many, many years to get around to it with the horses, though.  However, in any relationship the bond that is developed is directly related to the freedom of expression within the relationship, whether it is horse, human, or otherwise.

And here is the kicker; it goes both ways!  In other words, I can practice allowing others their voice in my presence and I can notice when I feel free to express around another.  It is entirely possible for me to simply think of someone and I can feel to what extent I have my voice around them.  Interestingly enough, it takes slightly more concentration for me to note how much freedom of expression others seem to have around me.  I suspect that is because, as Carolyn pointed out to me, I cannot know their perspective except through my own filter.  Nonetheless, I can sense the bond that exists inkiss_10_11_NL any relationship and associate it with the freedom of expression therein.  This can be done with horses, too.

I have three horses and a pony.  I experience each one differently.  One in particular has had the greatest opportunity to express himself without restraint around me.  Invariably, he is the one to whom visitors are most attracted and he is the one who intimidates them when they approach him without listening or expressing themselves clearly.  Ah, this is so important.  It is important because in order to have a voice I must speak and in order to allow another their voice I must listen.  It is the basis to harmony, to co-creation, to living expansively.  It is the breath of life.

As I mentioned above, this horse expresses himself without restraint, meaning I speak about my perspective and he speaks unabashedly about his take on his experience in that moment, too.  For example, I spent a whole winter practicing this way of communicating with him on the subject of horse trailers.  I decided I was not going to tell this horse he was going to go into the horse trailer.  I chose, instead, to share the idea Trailer_10_11_NLthe he go in with the subsequent plan of my shutting the door with him inside and driving off with him in tow.  Once this is all said and done the end result looks essentially no different from the outside than any other "horse going into the horse trailer" scene.  What I have come to know without a doubt, however, is that how it "comes to be" is very different.  How it came to be was, and remains in all our communications with each other, about being clear regarding my intentions and willing to hear him out on his ideas. 

It took months of short conversations about my ideas and his on the subject of getting in the trailer.  He never had equipment on his body.  It was just him and me and the trailer.  There were boundaries.  I backed the trailer over to the barn and put his food in it.  He was no dummy.  He knew where his food was.  He chose not to eat.  I laugh at this memory because he made a very obvious and deliberate decision not to eat.  Have you ever seen a two year old human child make a deliberate decision that was contrary to your idea?  Everyone else was eating.  He was not.  The delay alone was an agitation for him that created thought and movement on the subject.  I only suggested he eat in there.  I waited each night until he made some small concession; some agreement to hear ME out.  He would agree with me ONLY once I had my intentions, thoughts, and actions congruent.

This winter-long journey into discussing a subject that the horse and I were initially miles apart on was monumental to me in my awareness of how any change or expansion happens in my life.  I stayed with my vision night after night.  I sought only a small shift in my direction, at which point I put his food back in his stall, kissed him on the nose, and went to have dinner myself.  In the end, he walked right in and was fine with me closing the door.  Although it might seem one would give their horse a pat at that point and say, "Good Boy", I felt more inclined to say, "Thank You!"  His level of integrity far exceeded mine.  His ability todance_10_11_NL maintain alignment with his own sense of rightness was impeccable.  It was I who had to keep reevaluating what I wanted and how to convey it.

This story is not over.  There is never a moment when I am not introducing something new or having something new introduced to me.  Exchange of emotions, ideas, and physical experiences are what life is all about.  My understanding of the freedom I am offered in every exchange to add my voice and hear the voice of others directly affects that experience.  The awareness of who I am, my malleable state of being, and how to express clearly, even while listening is like inhaling and exhaling.  It is like dancing.  It is like death and birth.  It is eternal.

Forty years of coaching simply means I have made it a career to speak up.  Perhaps it is worth considering the possibility that educating or teaching (or leading) is really just the alignment of our present moment with our vision.  It the congruence of our intention, thought, and action held long enough to influence the perspective of others.  It does not matter whether it is called brilliant or bossy, the voice is powerful.

Here's Me Dreaming...

Most of my dreams are very practical and are associated with my life in easy-to-see ways.  They are things like "I want a new chicken flock--one that lays lots of eggs" or "I want to raise pheasants and turn them loose on my land to flourish and add beauty to my day".  birth8_10Or "I want to be able to house little families who can't necessarily afford the big house we have here" and up pops this great plan and the tiny steps towards it physically happening.  Some of my dreams are less practical, but still definitely associated with my life.  I dream of going back to Thailand to reacquaint myself with friends I made there and with the elephants.  I plan to make it over to France to visit with Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado.  I offer myself up for coaching on road trips (see below.)  Other dreams (or ideas, or visions) are so close to the outer edge of my personal universe that just thinking and feeling them is like taking a vacation.  I go there for a little while and then come back to every day life.

Over half a century of life and the adventure just becomes richer and richer for me.  I was chatting with my friend, Kip Mistral, today about Mastery and the blessed experience of sharing space with a Master.  I feel I have developed a degree of Mastery on "Sustainable Living from the Inside Out".  I find it more and more attractive to openly embrace those who find their way into my life recognizing the value of sharing space with me.  I, too, desire the expansive feeling of being held in the Mastery of another.  I discussed with Kip the possibility of creating a web site that links people up with Masters for the opportunity to simply share space or hang out with or connect on the "just be" level with them.  The subject came up because we were watching Redtail Hawks riding the thermals above the land here and Kip brought up Hawking.  Although this is not an endeavor IMaster_10_11_NL would pursue, it is an intriguing skill.  There are so many things in life that could be experienced briefly, but deeply, if the guidance was provided by a Master.  Most of what I have to share is best learned in quiet sharing of space, though, so I imagine choosing a Master and arranging the opportunity to simply share space together.  This is a dream, an idea, a seed yet to germinate.  I dream of Conversations with a Master...

Here's You Dreaming...

In this newsletter you are invited to share your dreams, visions, and ideas for no other reason than it is fun, inspiring, and enhances well-being.  We can dream together and how you dream is unique and powerful.  It does not matter whether what you dream comes true or not or make sense or not..  That is not the point here.  The point is you have a voice, you have ideas, your imagination is vast.  Don't hold back.  Sing. 

Terri Fisher, Personal  & Professional Development Coach, Equine Experiential Learning Facilitator wrote:  My dream is to be present to enjoy what is happening in the moment.  To giggle when I feel the sun and wind tickling my skin.  To feel the connection to the earth with my feet and the sensations that come up into my body from that. To be in sensation with the beauty all around me, to dance with the horses, to be large and small--whatever is the most fun.  To be at home wherever I go, to be known instead of validated and to feel the lusciousness of the space.

DB wrote:  Last night, after finishing the book Eaarth, by Bill McKibben, I kept dreaming about 350 parts per million carbon (a goal often mentioned in the book).  I also kept being aware of a woman who was typing... one letter at a time ... slowly.  Then I learned, with others, how to easily fall into a trot.  We were going to trot a long way in the most effortless matter.  What I took away from the dream was that I'm going to help with the health of the planet in some way.  Perhaps I'll be writing or communicating as part of my work (the slow typing in the dream).  The work will no doubt be in areas that bring me joy and raise my energy levels - an effortless trot.

KS wrote:  I'm sitting on my front porch, basking in the early spring air and enjoying the tiny green fuzz on all the trees and bushes around me. I know that soon there will be abundant fruit everywhere, and that I will spend time cooking jam, making up new combinations, having my sisters and friends taste and let me know what they think. I know that in a few short weeks I will have my eyes peeled and my ears open for free healthy fruit, and will be showing my nieces how to make things in Katherine's Kitchen. It's so much fun when they learn they can make something with a little effort and some love, and that they really own every part of the making.  I look forward to the pleased surprise on people's faces when they get their first taste of a new flavor, or the musing almost closed eyes of a person who tastes a flavor that reminds them of childhood treats. There will be early morning berry picking and the accompanying thorns in my stained fingers, there will be reaching my muscles for the lemons generously offered from the tree across the street, there will be evenings of stirring concoctions in the heated kitchen. For now, though, I am sitting on my front porch, basking in the early spring air...

HS wrote:  I'm madly in love with a man who's presence makes me excited and happy and who loves me deeply for who I am.  He has a strength and a tenderness that makes me feel safe and seen.  We have fun together, I laugh and so does he, there is an ease between us and a feeling of affection that is palpable.  We each care deeply to learn about ourselves and each other from this relationship and so we have built a rich history of moments where we have worked thru "our stuff" in a way that is healing. 

KM wrote:  I had a dream early this morning. In it, two women, one younger, one older, were trying to get something accomplished together, but they both wanted to do it their own way and there was a lot of resistance building up in them and between them. They were not having a productive experience and the tension kept rising until I woke up.

Then, as I woke up, my higher self said "Remove resistance."

This is a rare but always important occurrence when my higher self talks to me. It has an extraordinary effect...it is this androgynous voice that talks in my ear just at dawn and it always wakes me up because it is like someone is right beside me speaking into my ear. The first time it happened I bolted awake and looked around me, expecting that someone was in the room.

These are the things it has said.

Jan. 2002: "Reveal what you know." I leaped out of bed and still half asleep wrote it down on a large yellow sticky note. I thought, what do I know?! I couldn't figure it out for years. :-)

Feb 2002: "Your happiness depends on your flexibility". This was a really tough period of time, so that was great wisdom to remember.

April 4, 2006: "Make peace with your losses."

Sept. 30, 2011: "Remove resistance."

I really pay attention when I have these visits. I'm contemplating today at how I can be more aware of resistance and how I can most sensitively solve the resistances.

Playground Activities ($75 gift offer below) pins_10_11_NL

The 2011 schedule is complete and we are preparing for the spacious months of the coming winter.  The 2012 Harmony with Horses Workshops will be posted soon.  They are almost always the first Saturday of every month beginning in April. 

Also, I have a collaborative map called "Inspiring Clarity Road Trip" to which you can add a pin for the chance of my coming to you and your horse (or a horse you borrow) for coaching.  There is no charge or serious committment for adding the pin.  It is really just a form of dreaming.  When I do head your way, the time I spend with you would be at cost for the session only!  There would be no travel fee or housing fee, provided your location can be worked into a Road Trip.  How exciting is that!! And just so we can get the pins flying, for the first ten pins that go down after this newsletter, I will throw in an extra half hour at no charge for every hour scheduled.  That is a $75 value.  You could even give that to a friend for Christmas or just because!

If the Farm Life is what attracts you here, now is the most plentiful time to harvest from the garden.  We are harvesting and preserving string beans, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, basil, strawberries, raspberries, broccoli, and cabbage.  There are also cucumbers, eggplants, carrots, beets, kale, many varieties of lettuce, and chard.  I have just planted onions and spinach, as well as a couple different varieties of broccoli.  One variety of grapes has come and gone, but one remains and is ripe now.  When you stay here, you can harvest and enjoy any of what is in our two organic gardens.

Farm Stay News!

April 09-Studio Tub

We have a wonderful page at Yelp with a video I think you might enjoy.  Check it out if you get a chance.

Health and Well-Being are getting a lot of attention these days. Turning up the dial on self-care, nurturing, and finding ways to be inspired are important.  Where spas make the skin glow and the muscles hum about how good life is, Full House Farm does the same with our "Sustainable Living from the Inside Out" approach.  November is the start of our low season pricing, too!

Located just 3-miles west of Sebastopol and only five-minutes from the world-reowned Osmosis Spa, Full House Farm is cozily nestled in a private 23-acre nook with oaks, pines, babbling brooks, and abundant wildlife.  There are four lodging options, all with access to two organic maintained-for-guests gardens. 

The popular Farm Life Tour is free to lodging guests and open to the public, too!  Besides meeting all the farm animals (goats, chickens, sheep, and horses), tour participants will learn about what "sustainable living fromWillow_Guests_10_11_NL the inside out" means and be given tips and ideas on how to establish a greater sense of well-being.  Then, to top it all off, a tray with goat milk goodies made from our own goat milk, home-made jams & jellies, and farm-harvested amber raw honey  are laid out for the tasting.  My most recent delight for the tongue is cheese cake made from our goat chevre and goat cream, topped with lemon curd or our own blueberries!  From peaceful abodes, to organic cuisine, to yummy food for thought, Full House Farm is an elixir for body and soul.