A path beyond violence
We have a lot to catch up on, things are moving fast. We’re designing an OurHorses newsletter to help cover all the happenings, but for now, here’s what we want to keep everybody current on. Be sure to read in this blog the speech, “A path beyond violence” presented by Stormy May this past weekend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
An update on Katherina:
Thanks to Hans, André, Jenny, Heike, Corinna, Terence, Sonja and Inge we’ve raised enough money for the transport and the first month of food for Katherina’s horses. We’ll continue to update you with this story and collect much-needed donations to ensure that these loving horses are cared for in sanctuary while Katherina recovers. Sonja, the project director has said that Katherina gives us many thanks. She said she has many ups and downs in her recovery and that she is feeling a little bit better now. She is very happy that soon her horses will be safe. Right now, Katherina isn’t able to care for the horses so it’s been a blessing that she knows help is on the way. We still need to raise 2,222 Euros to care for the horses for the rest of the year it will take Katherina to recover. We’re going to keep this as an ongoing fundraiser until the goal is reached. Katherina will write to us directly when she is able.
Our Kickstarter fundraiser was unsuccessful at bringing in any money but it did bring in a lot of new interest in our message. Through Kickstarter we got connected with a prominent horsewoman who has agreed to take on the role of getting the book into as many hands as possible. This woman may be just the one to do it. We’ve already made connections with one of the biggest publishing houses. We likely won’t know for a while if they are interested in the book and even then it typically takes a year or two for them to get it out. In the meantime, the message needs to be heard today! We still have an important need donations in order to fund our efforts. The donated money goes where it can do the most good, supporting the efforts of those of us working in the creation of this new consciousness with horses. The more dollars we have, the more time we can spend putting together educational material, talking about this message at film screenings, and getting the book into Kindle and print versions. We’ve already had donations to cover the cost of an ad in Horse Illustrated magazine. Look for that in December.
Currently we have OurHorses community members working on youth programs and a children’s book. Show your support by a donation of any size. If you would like to contribute to us directly, you can do so at the support tab on this website. We’ll honor all of the previous Kickstarter awards if you do this too.
Donate here to help Katherina’s horses directly.
Donate here to support all OurHorses sanctuaries and service projects.
Here is the speech presented by Stormy May at the Whinnies! film festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA. The non-violent way is there, waiting to be discovered.
A path beyond violence
October 6, 2012
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
I’m not comfortable with public speaking or debating or even remembering facts but until someone else is willing to convey this message I will do what is most scary and vulnerable and stand up here and talk about what I’ve found and ask for help exploring this new path with horses. I’m looking for help exploring this path of the heart. I am looking with my heart and feeling my way into a new future with horses and humans.
There’s a way of leading where we’re not pushing and we’re not pulling, but we’re developing an understanding; an understanding where I feel your life; an understanding that this is good for me to try something different. I had to honestly look at my satisfaction level with things that I’d already been trying with horses and ask myself, is this good enough? Am I really caring for my fellow being, whether it’s a horse or a human?
I think part of this new movement is learning how to gentle people into understanding that while we’re looking to listen to and understand other creatures we’re actually bettering the world by starting to understand ourselves. We’re awakening to an awareness where we might get a feeling like, “Hey that horse is actually telling me, ‘I don’t like that, stop that, that’s not what’s going to make me want to be with you or bring you closer to understanding.’” And we might find ourselves in the position where we say, “Yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry I did that to you. Forgive me. That was wrong. Let me try again.” And when we get to a point where we’ve healed enough to teach other people how to listen to what these animals are telling us then those vibrations go out from a new place into this field that we call a new world or a better world that we’re looking to create.
I am really trying to understand how this works, and trying to not come from the part of me that thinks it knows horses; I’m coming from the innocence of it. I’m still the child that had no manual on how to be gentle and walk with a gentleness on the earth. I didn’t have that manual. Life threw me in here and I found myself a mammoth of a being smashing every little delicate flower and bug, not knowing, unaware, looking to others for how it’s done.
Is violence possibly a good choice in some circumstances? Yeah, of course, if we’re talking about getting a horse out of a road, you might try catching her with a halter or chasing her or scaring her. That’s a matter of life or death, but that’s not what I’m exploring. I’m talking about finding the path of heart throughout the day. I’m talking about little moments when you want your horse to do something for you so you try something, then ask yourself, how do you feel about what you just did to get the horse to do that? If it doesn’t feel right, try something new, then ask yourself, do you feel better about getting the horse to do what you want that way? Now let’s try something different again, or maybe let’s do this together, can you think of something we could try? What feels right now? What feels wrong in what you’re doing? Oh I’m doing it too? I didn’t even know. Hey let’s think of something together that’s different than what we were doing when we realized we were both ignorant, when we realized we were both doing something that was abusive.
I think many people start being mean to animals when they’re little; when you feel like you’re out of control. It’s easier to try to get control over an animal than a human. We’re so clever so we try to obtain power by taking it from a smaller being whether it be smaller in the body or slower in the mind we can overpower it by using trickery or by using a whip or by using psychology or whatever. I think we start very young doing that. We don’t even realize we’re hurting ourselves from the very beginning. We’re stunting ourselves by moving away from another power we have as children. This other power is the ability to see the natural world as beautiful as it is, as nature created it to be. This other power is the ability to see that we have more than enough, to see that we live in a wonderland. This is seeing with the heart. If we see this natural world is beautiful all the time it’s hard to want to hurt it or trick it or force it to do what you want no matter who tells you that’s the right thing to do.
A lot of times when we’re hurting inside we don’t look at the beauty of things as they are and that’s when we hurt other creatures and hurt other people. We can get a glimpse of the violence we do toward ourselves by the reflection of the violence we do towards others. And we can change it. We can start by looking at the beautiful things in others. We can start by seeing the things that make us different and stop saying, you’re weird or wrong because you’re different or because you want different things. We’re actually made differently, there’s variety in everything. That’s part of the beauty, there are such intricate designs in these creatures around me and in myself. It’s so simple to look at one part, look at one inch of the body, it’s amazing, there are universes inside of universes inside of us and inside of other beings and inside of horses and inside of all the little creatures. In their eyes alone are these powers that can pull us in with compassion and love. We can try to understand and we can hope they feel they want to be our friends too and hope they want to understand us because they see we’re only bringing good into their lives, not harm.
We can lead ourselves by faking it sometimes until we make it. I can say I refuse to be a part of violence and that’s how I’m going to do my part in making this a better world and so somebody sees me and I’m faking it. I know I’m actually a violent person who does violence even unknowingly but I’m faking it, I’m acting like this person who doesn’t use violence, I’m trying to do as little as I possibly can, I try to be aware all the time so I can lead other people into believing that you can actually be without violence with horses and with humans. The children see that, then they start practicing it and they’re less violent and they’re better at figuring out how to do it without violence because they haven’t learned so many violent ways
And if we’re talking about human relations we are going to be the ones who have compassion and understanding because we know we’ve all been taught foolish things and we’re all running around preaching like we know what we’re taking about. We’re going to be able to love each other for being the booger pickers that we are when no one’s looking. We’re going to look at ourselves fully, not just things that are right and then say, I am a violent person, I am a violent creature, so what would I be like with less of that? What would life be like if I fed my brother more of what satisfied the big hunger, and what if I fed myself that too? What would life be like if I’m trying to be more conscious all the time so that I have more to offer my sister whether it be a horse or a human? Then I’m actually feeding myself and finding out what kind of being I could grow into in this lifetime and what those powers would be like in the world, how much good could I do? How little am I offering the world by not trying to find a way to walk gently? How can I learn to have understanding, to look for wisdom and to walk a path of peace?
Let’s create from our differences, let’s use them as the power to create rather than to separate and harm. Let’s create together and explore new combinations to see what comes out of these combinations that we’ve never experienced before. And that will be what changes the world when we see we’re all unique creations so we can look at each other and say, wow, you might be wrong but you are beautiful, and hey I might be wrong but really I’m just like you.
Let’s try something different, trust that you’re heart is going to guide you to where you belong. My mission is to just get people to try it, I’m counting on your heart being a lot like mine and saying “This is right, this feels right, I feel better about myself when I can get horses to do things without violence. Manipulation doesn’t have to be bad. You can manipulate a horse to be gentle while you’re feeding. You can do that with violence or without violence. You know it’s better if this horse doesn’t attack people when she’s fed so how can you get her to understand that? The non-violent way is there, waiting to be discovered. You have a problem, let’s find a solution that doesn’t involve violence. Each time you get in a confrontation with somebody or some other being you’ve got to find a non-violent way out of it, otherwise you’re hurting yourself the same as cutting your hand on purpose. Your actions are adding violence to the world. Anytime you separate and put yourself above another being it’s harmful to yourself and others. What if we could approach people and horses with a feeling of, “Yeah, I’m different and that’s why I want to understand life from your point of view. I want to know how we’re different. And if I’m able to offer something, what help can I give, and if you have another idea let me consider a different way. Let’s not lie about our happiness and how right and cool we are, let’s figure out a way to connect and build a better way to keep violence out of our world. Let our world become a new co-creation between all of us.
If this sounds good to your heart, if you get a good feeling out of this then I want you to try this with me because we’re all looking for a kinder way. We can’t do it alone. I’m looking inside myself so that already includes you because you’re a part of me, we’re all one. I’m trying to move to finer levels of understanding other animals and other humans and myself mainly because that’s all I can really study. The only way we can lead is by example. Let’s cultivate understanding; let’s follow our hearts.
Now we’re here together, and I’m looking to make connections, to make new friends and hear new ideas. I’m here representing a group of people who are making non-violent choices in their lives, and it starts by really listening and not judging. I’d like to hear from you, what can we create together right now? What’s important to you? What do you wonder about?
Thank you for coming tonight, thank you for searching for a different way.