That Winning Feeling!
Surprise! I thought I’d be writing this month’s newsletter to you from Vermont. We were supposed to head home on April 22nd, but, believe it or not, Vermont got hit by a bunch of late April snow storms. So, we delayed our return until May 11. I keep telling my father-in-law, who lives in Northern Vermont, that it’s only logical to stay in Florida for another couple of weeks until the paddocks are dry enough for turn-out. He just keeps calling me a coward. (He also calls me a coward in late October when we head south!) Oh well, at least he insults me in the most “loving” way (I think!?!), and my skin has had plenty of time to become pretty thick over the last 35 years of our relationship.
Speaking of dads, I wanted to share something with you that I learned from my own dad when I was young. He always told me to do every job, no matter how small, with the care and high standards that would make me proud to sign my name to my work.
I’m so grateful to have learned this lesson from him early on. I remember the day he said it. He was helping me muck out my horse’s stall with the usual tools–pitchfork and wheelbarrow. I thought we had finished and that the stall looked fine. Then, to my surprise, he put on a pair of gloves and hand-picked every single stray “poop”. By the time he was done, the stall was a work of art.
So, set a higher standard. Be proud to claim your results in anything and everything, from placing in an athletic event, mowing the lawn, organizing your sock drawer, washing your car, or doing a school or business project.
As Pearl Buck said, “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word–excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”
Live Your Dreams!
THE WINNER’S EDGE VIP COACHING PROGRAM
**CAUTION: This program is for the serious student only! Expect RESULTS!**
Twice each year, I will be accepting a very limited number of riders into my new VIP coaching program. You will get private one-on-one time with me both in the saddle and on the phone for a one year period.
Your current level of training is not important. The program is for amateurs and professionals alike. My criterion for your acceptance into the program is your absolute commitment to setting a higher standard for yourself and your horse. Not only will you vastly improve your riding skills, but you will learn how to deal with the “mental monsters” holding you back from truly enjoying your riding.
There are three levels of coaching available. For more info, go to http://www.janesavoie.com and click on the Courses tab
MAKE ROOM FOR ABUNDANCE
My Emotional Freedom Technique guru, Brad Yates wrote this fun article. Hope you enjoy it. Check Brad out at http://www.bradyates.net
We just got all new bedroom furniture for my daughter. After my son got a bunk bed, my daughter wanted one, too. Typical.
Some friends of ours were getting all new bedroom furniture for their oldest son, and asked if we wanted his old set. Now, this is a cool set, and includes a great bunk bed with shelves and a desk.
My daughter loved it. (In fact, my son was saying, “Hey – that’s cool – I should have that, and she can have my bed!”)
Anyhow, my daughter manifested this… and it didn’t cost her (or us) a cent. Focus on what you want – not just the money that you think you need to get what you want.
But, that wasn’t the point I was planning to make.
So this past Sunday we made plans to get the furniture. At the last moment it struck me… we hadn’t taken apart my daughter’s old bed…! (Which will conveniently go to my niece.) We had manifested the bed, but had no place to put it yet.
Since nature abhors a vacuum, I wonder how much more quickly we would have manifested the bedroom set if we had cleared her old bed out before we knew where the new one was coming from….? (Probably pretty quickly, as she probably would have been complaining pretty loudly if we had just taken away her bed…!) Anyhow, we quickly cleared her room, and now the new furniture
is in, and everyone is very happy.
So… all the stuff you want… got room for it…? In order to have new furniture, you need to move the old furniture out.
It’s that old metaphysical truth: “Two beds cannot occupy the same space.”
Well, unless they’re bunk beds…
Anyhow… you get the point.
So, what about the new ideas you want to have…? Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the Zen Master who fills a cup with tea, then says to his would-be student, “Your cup is already too full… how can I put any more in? You must first empty your cup.”
I understand Bruce Lee did this once, too – but used Coca Cola. Same difference.
People often miss out on what could be amazing new information, or transformational experiences, because we say, “I already know all that.”
They’ve basically said, “My room is full, don’t bother me with any new furniture – no matter how nice it might be.”
When new information shows up, consider that you may have asked for that guidance. If you block it with “I already know that,” that’s like ordering a hamburger, and then when it shows up saying, “I’ve already eaten.”
Now, if you have already eaten, don’t eat more. But there’s always room for new information – our brains have an amazing capacity that few if any of us are even beginning to come close to fully utilizing. And, you don’t have to adopt the new ideas–but there is certainly no harm in hearing it. Chances are, if you are open, you will gain at least something. Who knows – maybe the opportunity has arisen so that you meet someone who will enhance your life in ways you hadn’t even anticipated…
Maybe they have a cool set of furniture they want to give you.
Given that the Universe has limitless abundance, I don’t think any of us has it as good as it can get. Not that I would encourage dissatisfaction – far from it. I always encourage gratitude. Acknowledge all the wonderful things you already have (give it some thought, and you’re likely to find quite a few things!) And… be open to whatever else the Universe has to offer.
And be ready to make room for it.
BEAT THE HEAT
I know it’s hard to believe, but hot weather is right around the corner. To help you beat the heat, I’m offering a special on Cool Medics vests. These handsome vests normally retail for $116, (see Coolmedics.com) but while supplies last, I’m offering them for only $90!! The vests are made with a special fiber that keeps you 20-25 degrees cooler than the outside temperature for at least four hours. I ride, teach, train, and practically live in mine in the summer! Go to http://www.janesavoie.com and click on the Products tab to read more.
MENTORING CONTEST WINNER!
As you know, I had so many awesome entries in the “special horse” contest, that the committee chose three winners. This month, I’m featuring Rebecca Barber’s story about her horse, Dutch.
Dutch came into my life, when he was needed the most. He gave me back my life, my smile, my hope, but best of all my passion for horses. Since then I have also given him much. Looking at him today, you can hardly tell that I met this summer. When I met him, he was covered in rain rot and horse bites. Other horses had eaten his tail, and he processed a big potbelly and almost no muscle.
I had lost my first horse Scarlet, an opinionated green, red headed mare, a couple months earlier, because of a puncture wound to the hock. After a five-week struggle, with infection the bacteria spread to the bone, and she was humanely put down because the vets and I could not stand to see her living her life in a stall and in pain. It was the worst day of my life, and I swore I would never ride again. I never wanted to feel as bad, as empty as I did then. That day I changed; I was not the happy 13 year old I used to be. I held my feelings in and buried myself in my schoolwork. Each night I would cry myself to sleep. My mom and my grandfather wanted me to get a new horse and get back into competing. I agreed to look, with no strings attached, though the only reason I agreed was to make them happy.
Dutch was described as an upper level dressage schoolmaster and a winning novice level event horse. Well, what we saw when we arrived was not either of those. For a 3rd level dressage schoolmaster he would not even go on the bit. He traveled with his head in the air like a giraffe. He stopped at 18 inch fences and was supper unattractive to look at. He also lacked confidence in humans and in himself. His rider rode with her only aids being a crop and spurs. Not surprisingly, I feel in love with him from the instant I laid eyes on him. My mom says it was the first time I smiled in 4 months. Dutch made such a difference, when we purchased him. It was a new start for both of us.
Dutch and I are turning into the best partnership imaginable. He gives me his all, and I try not to let him down. If I make a mistake now, he tries to save me instead of just slamming on his breaks before the fence like he used to. He gives me all the confidence in the world, and I give him love. Dutch saved my life and without him I would probably be where I was last spring, shutting out the world and attempting to ignore the pain in my heart. I think Dutch should win this contest not because of his competition record but because he truly opened my heart, and gave me a new lease on life. In a way, we both gave each other a second chance, to love and be loved, and sometimes that is all you need.
MAY YOUR DAY BE A SHAY DAY
I love this story, and I know you have all probably seen it as well, but it is such a great reminder of how each of us can turn someone’s day around just by being kind and/or putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes for a moment.
What would you do? You make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?
At a fund raising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: “When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?”
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. “I believe that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.”
Then he told the following story:
Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, “Do you think they’ll let me play?” Shay’s father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
Shay’s father approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, “We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.”
Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. His Father watched with a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father’s joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, “Shay, run to first! Run to first!” Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second!” Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball … the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, “Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay”
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, “Run to third! Shay, run to third!”
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, “Shay, run home! Run home!” Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.
“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world.”
Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his father so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.
May your day, be a Shay Day.
MAY EQUIFIT TIPS
By now you are enjoying the energy of the season. Let’s continue with strength training for the chest to compliment the work we began last month on the back. Again we will do 3 different exercises. (1) Go to the floor or ground as if you were going to do a pushup. With your legs straight, your hands under your shoulders, and your back flat (hips neither up nor dropped down), you are in what is commonly called a “plank” position. Begin by holding this position as long as you can. It may only be 10 seconds to begin with but you will find yourself staying longer and longer each time. (Note, this exercise is good for the entire core but we will include it with our chest exercises.) (2) If you have a weighted bar or some dumbbells, we’ll use them for this next exercise. You can also use barn tools like a heavy pitchfork or 2 small saltblocks. Be creative! Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor or tack trunk at the same level as your spine. With the weights or bar at chest level, press both hands upwards until your arms are fully stretched but not locked out at the elbows. Bending the elbows outward, slowly lower the weights or bar towards your chest. In the gym this would be a bench press. If your weights are too light, perform additional reps. until you feel the muscles of the chest fatiguing. (3) Let’s return to the plank position, but this time with your forearms on the floor, hands extended forward and parallel. Some find this version of the plank easier to do. Some don’t. Now, slide your shoulders forward lowering them towards your hands and then press back to return to starting position. This is a modified pushup and fairly difficult. Again, don’t let your back sag but hold a straight spine. Repeat 8x if your form remains correct or work up to it. By this time you should know that you have done some work for your pecs – chest muscles. As always, any questions? Please let me know.
Your trainer, Linda Freeman
“You can’t fix a bad hairdo by combing your reflection in the mirror.” Mike Dooley
Do certain people annoy you? I hate to break this to you, but their irritating traits are merely a reflection of the traits you don’t like in yourself.
Trying to “fix” other people is like looking in the mirror, seeing that you’re having a bad hair day, and trying to fix your hair by combing your reflection!
Instead, figure out what you don’t like about yourself, and work on that!
I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter. If you know someone whom you think would also enjoy it, please forward it on–Thanks! You are welcome to forward or use any portion of this newsletter as long as you include my web address, which is http://www.janesavoie.com. If someone has forwarded this to you–Enjoy!
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