The Fairy Tale that should have been…


…read to us when we were little:

Once upon a time in a land far away a beautiful, independent, self-assured Princess happened upon a frog as she sat contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle.

The frog hopped into the princess’ lap and said, “Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome Prince, until an evil Witch cast a spell upon men. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and set up housekeeping in your castle with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so.”

That night, as the Princess dined sumptuously on lightly sautéed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled and thought to herself, I don’t fuckin’ think so.

~Author Unknown


A Goal of Living: Self-esteem Comes from Within

The next poem has a lot of meaning for me and I hope it has some meaning for you too—

I am ME

by Virginia Satir

I am me.

In all the world, there is no one exactly like me.
There are persons who have some parts like me,
but no one adds up exactly like me.

Therefore, everything that comes out of me
is authentically mine because I alone choose it.
I own everything about me
My body including everything it does;
My mind including all its thoughts and ideas;
My eyes including the images of all they behold;
My feelings whatever they may be…
anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement
My Mouth and all the words that come out of it
polite, sweet or rough, correct or incorrect;
My Voice loud or soft.
And all my actions, whether they be to others or to myself.

I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears.
I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me I can become intimately acquainted with me.
By doing so I can love me and be friendly with me in all parts.
I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests.

I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know.
But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully, look for solutions to the puzzles
and for ways to find out more about me.

However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think
and feel at a given moment in time is me.
This is authentic and represents where I am in that moment in time.
When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how
I thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting.
I can discard that which is unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting,
And invent something new for that which I discarded.

I can see, hear, feel, think, say and do.
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive,
and to make sense and order out of the world of people
and things outside of me.
I own me, and therefore I can engineer me.

I am me and I am okay

» ♥ ◊ ♥ «

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Gratitude: “Morning Prayer to the Four Airs”

I give thanks that I have risen again today and to the Great Rising of
Life Itself.

As the sun brightens up the sky and earth, may my soul be bright with
gratitude for
all the good things in my life. May I be generous in sharing these with others.

I give thanks that I have risen again today and to the Great Rising of
Life Itself.

As the trees, rivers, animals and everything sing their songs of life,
may my soul sing the song of my heart. May I sing gladly whether in
joy or in sorrow, and may it help me find humor and laughter in the

I give thanks that I have risen again today and to the Great Rising of
Life itself.

As the sun crosses the sky to where it will set in the west, may my
soul proceed on its journey through life. May I keep the vision of my
life ever before me and may I have faith that my life has meaning.

I give thanks that I have risen again today and to the Great Rising
of Life Itself.

As everything in nature strives to live and survive, may my soul be
strong in its struggles. May I meet adversity with courage and hope.

I give thanks that I have risen again today and to the Great Rising of
Life Itself.

As the earth spreads out from me to the horizon, may my soul expand to
embrace it.
May I speak the truth of the land and take responsibility for my life.

by Tom Cowan 
(based on a 19th century prayer of the Scottish Highlands)

The Legend of the Weeping Willow Tree

In the footsteps of her Mother,
Walked the pretty Indian Daughter,
Wise for one her age,
With wisdom far beyond her.

Tall she was and fair of form,
Slender, lissome, agile,
Graceful as a butterfly,
Lovely as an angel

Like the cattails at the creek,
And the tall, thin reeds that swayed,
Willowy, the maiden was,
So, ‘Willow’ was her name.

As if propelled by wind or breeze,
She fairly floated when she walked,
Serene, the look upon her face,
And hushed and quiet was her talk.

A child of the forest,
A friend of tree and shrub,
Sister of the birds and beasts,
All of whom she loved.

Birds perched on Willow’s shoulder,
Chipmunks nibbled from her hand,
Ferocious bears would let her pass,
And wolves stood back without command.

All God’s creatures came to love her,
And she returned their valued trust,
Held each one in high esteem,
None had reason for mistrust.

Independent, self-reliant
Not fair game for youthful Braves.
More wisdom in her little finger,
Than most men could claim at any age.

From a distance, Braves admired her,
But very few approached,
Fearful of her Big Chief Father,
And fearful, too, they could not cope.

Through the years, the lovely Willow
Watched other maidens in her tribe,
Saw them wed and bear their babies,
Felt pangs she could not hide.

Her Mother said, “Be patient, child,
One day your Brave will come,
He must be special, as you are,
Fleet of foot and soft of tongue.”

“But, more than that,” her Father said,
“He must be a worthy hunter, too,
And shoot his arrows, straight and strong,
To bring his bounty home to you.”

She knew her Father’s words were right,
But Willow was disturbed and wept,
The thought of slaying forest friends,
No way could she accept.

Satisfied with grains and nuts,
And fruits from bearing trees,
Well fed by healthful roots and plants,
Willow was content with these.

Perhaps she should not marry,
What Brave would understand
Her need to save her woodland friends,
And eat strictly from the land?

Strange, beautiful Indian lady,
So misunderstood,
Her only chance for happiness
Lay deep within the woods.

One day a visiting tribe arrived,
And a young Brave was introduced,
He was a hunter and a warrior,
And a handsome Indian youth.

Overwhelmed by Willow’s beauty,
He claimed her as his prize,
And under tribal pressure,
She agreed to be his bride.

Their wedding was arranged,
A fine celebration planned,
A feast – a banquet – for them all,
Preparations then began.

A hunting party left at dawn,
The young Brave led the hunt,
Into the forest went the group,
The handsome groom in front.

Also in the woods that day,
The lovely Willow was,
Communing with her forest friends,
The deer, the bears, the doves.

The hunters, spotting wild game,
Approached in soft-soled shoes,
Sweet Willow, hidden by a tree,
Did not come into view.

At the same time … at the same place,
As fate would have it … as you’ve guessed,
The hunter’s arrow missed its mark,
And came to rest in Willow’s breast.

An awful accident occurred,
Willow’s blood flowed to the ground,
There was disbelief and shock,
And sorrow too profound.

Both tribes went into mourning,
As did Willow’s forest friends,
The heavens shed their tears as well,
The grief, it seemed, would never end.

Willow was buried in the forest
At that spot where she had died,
And people say that at her grave,
A tree took root and thrived.

Tall and slender with long branches,
That hung in sorrow to the ground,
Its leaves, rippling in the wind,
Making mournful, quiet sounds.

Today the lovely tree still weeps
Exquisite in its symmetry,
And this truly is the legend, friend,
Of The Weeping Willow Tree.

by Virginia (Ginny) Ellis

The ‘Froggers’ and ‘Buggers’ in Life

About the Artist: Jody Bergsma

Jody Bergsma

Jody has a diverse painting style that has developed over many years and literally thousands of paintings. Her earliest works were charming children’s illustrations that she sold at Northwest art shows to pay for her education.

Jody’s watercolor technique is self taught. Her engineering degree is reflected in her compositions and demonstrates Jody’s love of mathematics and geometry. She seemlessly blends these elements with her imaginative inner visions to create her unique style.

She is often asked about her use of aboriginal, native, and geometric symbols. Her ongoing studies introduced her to many ancient cultures and the beauty of their designs. By respectfully working with these images, Jody participates in the significance of our history and reintegrates their symbols into our modern culture.

Two of Jody’s adorable paintings I love:

"Don't let life... bug you!"

"Don't let life... bug you!"

"Eat a bug . . . Every morning . . . Then nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day!"

"Eat a bug . . . Every morning . . . Then nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day!"

Visit Jody Bergsma’s Website at

“The Tao of Equus” by Linda Kohanov

A Woman’s Journey of Healing & Transformation through the Way of the Horse

In The Tao of Equus, author Linda Kohanov intertwines the story of how she awakened to the spiritual presence of horses with compelling mythology, neurological research, and per-sonal anecdotes. The result is an extraordinary story of healing and communication that turns conventional understandings of these amazing creatures upside down.
A horse trainer and equine-facilitated therapy practitioner, Kohanov first began exploring the horse-human connection in the early 1990s. When her black mare, Rasa, became lame, Kohanov was plagued by a series of sinister dreams and premonitions. Finally, prompted by her dreams, she canceled a chancy surgery to save Rasa’s potential career in competitive rid-ing. To relate to the injured horse outside conventional equestrian pursuits, Kohanov im-mersed herself in the day-to-day activities of the herd.
In the process, she discovered that horses are intensely emotional, intuitive, intelligent be-ings. They are true reflections of our deepest souls. Over time, she discovered their extraor-dinary ability to awaken intuition in humans, while mirroring the authentic feelings people try to hide, makes these animals powerful therapeutic teachers. Kohanov describes the sub-tle emotional and even clairsentient cues she tapped into after time spent interacting with her herd. And she details the techniques she developed to help students strengthen mind-body awareness and access their own extrasensory abilities through the way of the horse.
For Kohanov, it’s no mistake that many who feel alienated from modern society — women in particular — find themselves mysteriously drawn to these magnificent animals. She delves into the spiritual processes behind the magical connections riders sometimes stumble onto inadvertently and skillfully explores the subtle behavioral nuances horses detect and reflect. She reveals a potent feminine perspective in horses and shows how this equine-based wisdom can help people heal and empower themselves.
Blending her provocative story of prescient dreams and ancestral communication with a wide-ranging exploration of equine-facilitated therapy practices, Kohanov delivers an ex-traordinary work sure to interest both longtime riders and readers interested in exploring the deepest reaches of the bonds between species.

    Quotes from The Tao of Equus:

The piece that really stood out is the piece about the horse’s eye…the Secret Spring by The Black Horse Speaks:

Secret Springs
There is a pool in the heart of the desert. The surface is as quiet as glass, though its waters are nour-ished by a mountain stream rushing endlessly underground. When the sun speaks in tongues and chases the clouds away for months, rivers turn to dust, dry grasses hiss tributes to the wind, eagles perch wings outstretched on columns of rising air, and the pond reflects it all in a luminous reverie that has never known stagnation. This is the spring that lives behind the black horse’s eyes.
I am content to sit at the edge and toss thoughts like pebbles into its depths, watching the ripples ex-pand in all directions. To the black horse, the human mind looks jagged, as if the roundness of experi-ence has been cut up by ruthless lasers and most of it discarded in a great heap underground. Still, she embraces my saw-toothed ways, for in the mirror of her lake, they are no less beautiful than flowers blooming or vultures preening after a good meal.
— from The Black Horse Speaks

  • Carl Jung aptly describes the implications of this aquatic wisdom as it relates to the soul’s journey: “Whoever looks into the mirror of the water will see first of all his own face. The mirror does not flatter, it faithfully shows whatever looks into it; namely the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor. But the mirror lies behind the mask and shows the true face. This confrontation is the first test of courage on the inner way, a test sufficient to frighten off most people, for the meeting with ourselves belongs to the more unpleasant things that can be avoided so long as we can pro-ject everything negative into the environment. But if we are able to see our own shadow and can bear knowing about it, then a small part of the problem has already been solved.”
  • In its supreme equanimity, the lake behind the black horse’s eyes contained the healing waters of transformation, its fluid vision embracing flowers blooming, vultures preening, and my won jagged, self-indulgent though processes. The spring-fed pond simply reflected what was, providing me with an oasis of clarity and peace in which to expand my awareness. The millisecond my behaviour began to change, the reflection portrayed the more sensitive, empathic, creative person I was becoming, with no attachment to the past or projection into the future. Entering the rarefied reality my horses shared was like finding a watering hole in the desert.
  • We have created a culture in which the nourishing, life-giving water of emotion, empa-thy, sensory awareness, gut feelings, and other forms of nonverbal awareness have dried up in the heat of our obsessive reliance on all that is light and logical and conscious enough to be mapped, explained, and controlled. I was a desert dweller in more ways than one before I gazed into the lake behind the black horse’s eyes.
  • As women, we needed to resurrect this “wisdom of the prey” for our own protection. I related my image of the lake behind the black horse’s eyes to a mindset she would learn to access trough this work.
    “Think of the region just behind your eyes as a crystal-clear pool capable of reflecting everything around you,” I said as we headed toward a corral containing four of Epona’s therapy horses. “This spring is fed by an underground river that allows all your subcon-scious emotions, intuitions, and bodily sensations to bubble up and rise to the surface of your mind. Don’t reject anything that comes up. Try not to judge anything as good or bad; just let it tell you why it’s there, what it means. And don’t worry about being ‘wrong’ about anything. The wrong interpretation will still give you useful information — it will reveal a thought pattern or preconceived notion you hold that distorts reality. In order to change those patterns, you first have to be aware they exist.”
  • I found myself staring into the lake behind my eyes, the same horse-inspired mental state I’d been urging Joy to adopt in assessing the messages behind disruptive feelings.
    • Quotes from the Introduction:

  • The Tao of Equus essentially translates as “the way of the horse”, while emphasizing the healing and transformational qualities of this path. Interacting with these animals can be immensely therapeutic physically, mentally, and spiritually, helping people reawaken long-forgotten abilities that are capable of healing the imbalances of modern life.
  • The Tao of Equus is about horse therapy, horse training, and horse behaviour, but it’s mostly about what these magnificent creatures are ceaselessly, patiently teaching us. It’s about the courage and humility, focus and flexibility it takes for a human being to listen to those mes-sages. It’s about the quiet pools of reflection we experience in their presence. It’s about the transformations that await us when we embrace our seemingly irrational sufferings with the same grace and dignity that horses exhibit in the face of adversity.
  • A spirited stallion ten times the size of the average human being inspires feelings of awe and even fear in observers, but first impressions can be deceiving. This kind of horsepower is not effectively tamed through intimidation or coercion. A hundred-pound woman can suc-cessfully train an unruly mustang with methods that aren’t nearly as flamboyant or forceful as those a burly, six-foot-tall cowboy might employ, yet the horse will respect her more, not less, for her gentle, collaborative spirit.
  • …horses are more intelligent than we give them credit for, …a lot more intelligent. When allowed to exist in a relatively stress-free environment, a horse’s mind is literally swirling with the nuance common in creative geniuses.
  • They say an elephant never forgets. The same is true of horses, which is why it’s impor-tant to treat them with the utmost sensitivity, and above all, to strive to do things right the first time.
  • “It is upon disaster that good fortune rests.” –Lao-tzu

    • Websites:

    Epona Equestrian Services:

    Horse Conscious – Linda Kohanov: