Who were you before the world told you who to be?
I can remember laying across my pony’s back, when I was hardly 7 years old, dreaming of all the things I would do in this world. Feeling so free to simply be who I simply was. Feeling confident to boldly carry that Self forward into anything I desired to do. Feeling invincible, free from any worry of the future and yet feeling fully present all in the same sliver of time. Feeling my authentic Wild I AM breath me.
And somewhere, sometime, someplace – I stopped feeling that way. I do not know how to really describe it. It was not one fixed event. But it happened. Somehow I moved from feeling so in tune to my WILD I AM and I started feeling, feeling … feeling domesticated. I started feeling the pressures to be someone that someone else wants me to be. To prove my talents to the world so that I could feel valued. What I did not realize at the time, was this feeling was driven from the outside –> in … not the inside –> out as my WILD I AM as a child had been. Life lived from the outside –> in is deeply unfulfilling, though it masked itself quite well with enticing emotions.
Horses were still right there, through it all for me. But I was not in tune to their authentic guidance as my Child I AM had been. Horses became more of a way to prove myself to the world, a way to show others that I was good enough, that I was worthy of their approval. But the more approval I received, the more I needed. And the flip side was the disapproval was equally as powerful. Disapproval was almost more than I could bare. To the point that I would put myself in dangerous positions, not always putting the horse’s best interest at heart – just to attempt to prove that I could ride the un-ridable horse, or load the un-loadable horse or trim feet of the un-trimmable horse. Horses are so tolerant and try so hard to work with us, even when we do not deserve it, that many times these appeared to be success stories. The outcome was often that I did ride the horse, load the horse, trim the horse, but the outcome was just that – an outcome. And things on the inside do not change from the outside –> in, they only change inside –> out. Many times things did not work quite so well, the only times I have ever gotten hurt – were those times.
I was operating from a place of deep disconnect with my authentic WILD I AM and it felt horrible, though I was completely unaware at the time that I even felt horrible. I drank a lot – a whole lot. I never saw it as a problem, because I was highly ‘functioning’ even though I drank. But from where I am now, it is so clear to me why I needed to escape my own self. I did not enjoy being with me. My deepest, most authentic part of me was shoved down so deep that I did not even recognize it. Without my WILD I AM … I just was not happy with my Self.
Somewhere deep within, I knew the way I was moving through life was not right for me. I felt burned out. Grasping at ways to make a change. But by this time I had created a life that was built out of my need to prove myself to others and as a result I had become stuck with people looking to me to get done what no one else could do. Well there was a reason no one else could do it. Often it was not meant to be done. Now, I do not mean the horse did not need help, but I mean often the people were looking for me to create something (fix their horse) and then hand it to them, so that they would now feel good about themselves. … You see, horses do not go around getting messed up on their own. It is created. So my need to prove myself through fixing the problem horse, created a reality of people that had created the problem horse. This became a deep burden to bare, because when I handed the horse back, I felt such guilt. It began to feel like I was lying to the horse. To convince him humans could be trusted, then hand him back to the untrustable and expect the horse to just deal with it. I wanted out. But I felt boxed in. I felt so stuck, trapped in a deeply unauthentic place self-created from my own disconnect with my own WILD I AM. Self created yes, but stuck non-the-less. (I want to add here that if you are reading this and are one of my former clients, please do not assume anything about this being directed at you. I worked for more people than I remember to count over those 15 years. I often hesitate to share things in honesty like this that might offend others – but it is so important to me that I be authentic about this time in my life – so please no one read into it as directed at you individually)
This is when the Wild Mustang showed up in my life. Somehow I just KNEW this was my ticket. This was my way out. Finally a horse I could develop that would be mine to own, no handing him over to the owner. This one would stay with me – forever. Perhaps I was not completely over my need to prove myself, but at least I was now pointing in the direction of my WILD I AM and that is how it works. We travel pointer to pointer, road sign to road sign, intersection to intersection. I was on my way.
That was 2010 and the next 7 years would have been unimaginable to my former self, but not unimaginable to my Child I AM I bet 😉
This Wild Mustang Herd has brought me accolades far beyond what I could have dreamed up if I was to dream of a way to ‘prove’ myself to the world. Winning National competitions, Tackless Performances on a 100 day wild horse, a Breyer Model of my Mustang, features of my ‘Mustang gentling techniques’ on national television, children’s books published that I wrote about them … it all seems like a bit of a dream and a blur as I look back. And I will not say that there was not some motivator within me to ‘prove’ myself as these realities moved into my life, but I will say, in complete honesty, that once I started with the Wild Mustangs I reached a new layer of authenticity in my walk through life. More than ever before, I truly looked inside–>out, instead of outside–>in as I developed a relationship with these wild souls. And it was not exactly that I knew the importance of what it would do for my future self and how important it was for my future family and future impact on this future world, but rather it was because – I HAD TO.
The Mustangs would have it no other way. Well, the first Mustang that is. I have since gentled some that would have made me look like a superstar overnight and swelled my ego way too big for my britches … but not my first and I know she was my first for a reason. Lindsay’s Faith, now immortalized as a Breyer Model Horse. She MADE ME DO IT. She forced me to live inside –> out while working with her. It was simply the ONLY way she would connect with me, she demanded it and so I did what I had to do. For the first time ever, I really focused on going inward, on connecting with the deep authentic place within.
I was on my way to embodying again what I had at 7 on that pony, my authentic WILD I AM. I was on my way, and after now, 13 Wild ones later, I am still on my way, but way closer than I ever have been before.
As if magically, the need to ‘prove’ myself has moved out of my awareness and it is replaced by the deep desire to help others learn and experience what I have through the guidance of this Wild Herd. I see so many struggling to just be who it is that they truly are. I see it so clearly, and it is typically the thing the person feels that they are the LEAST – often that trait is what I see in them the MOST.
But what I see in them does not matter. That would be an outside –> in kind of job – it just doesn’t work. But the Mustangs, they know how to help us see it from the inside –> out. And you do not have to gentle a wild Mustang hands on to experience this life changing gift of a Wild horse. My heart’s mission is to bring this experience to the masses, both those that have a horse in their backyard and those with a horse in their heart.
I have shifted my focus from partnering with Mustangs for competitions and chasing belt buckles – to partnering with these Mustangs in a whole new way and chasing our authentic WILD I AM, to help create a more authentic world. For you, for these Mustangs, for my family and for my Self.
Below is an excerpt from my upcoming online workshop ‘The WILD I AM Experience’
‘It is only when we are fully conscious of our inner WILD I AM, that we can expect to fully embody it. And it is only when we can fully Embody our inner WILD I AM that our life experiences are able to reflect this WILD I AM back to us. Reflecting back, in the tangible, livable nature of life – the very essence of who we truly are. Our Authentic WILD I AM.
To Live this authenticity, we must be Be this authenticity. To Be this authenticity, we must See this authenticity. The Wild Mustang Guides are here to help us See.’
~ Mary Miller Jordan & the Wild Mustang Guides
One thought on “Who were you before the world told you who to be?”
I first met my Mustang “Tuff ” that I adopted by accident at the 2008 Ft Worth EMM. I was intrigued by just the fact he had been wild just 100 days before I met him. So this was pretty cool. He had been gentled , but when he was with me you cerntainly could not tell he had ever been touched. So day after day for about 5 months he would not come within 10 ft of me ( big sigh) During this time in our lives he did watch me in everything I did. Engaging with the domestic horses, cleaning stalls, pulling weeds, he never took his eyes off me. Horses do this, but when Tuff watched me it felt like he could see through to my Soul. I felt naked, raw, frighten; but at the same time I felt warmth.
At 10 yrs old the Wild I AM childhood came to a sudden end by the death of my Mother. That day forward I “played” the part/role I needed to survive in the world. Finally loosing myself into whoever I needed to be at the time. Nobody really knew me , really knew me. This is why when this 14 hand Bay Mustang looked into me I knew I could no longer “hide”. Never had that same feeling with a human. I knew I couldn’t ” pull this one off” . This felt weird. I would try to explain this feeling to my family and friends , they were polite but I know they thought I was crazy. It felt crazy to me.
Chain of events occurred that left Tuff and I standing face to face about 20 feet between us. I really felt completely wide open to him in my soul. I couldn’t help but embace this . I just let this fear of feeling “naked” go and “breathed” it in. I sat down on the ground. I didn’t do this because it was some training trick . I felt myself surrender . Surrender to this ” Super Natural” Horse , accepting he could really see my authentic self . Tuff walked over to me and he began to smell me all over. I sat still. He then put his face close to my face and he took my breath in as I took his in and together we began to breath together . After a bit I stood up and together we walked home . The adventure began.
Looking back to this time in our lives I have realized that this little Mustang was not afraid of me I was afraid of him . The past 40 years I was able to fake it , this fellow saw the raw me, my authentic self and he was ok with me.
In the beginning of this story I said I adopted Tuff by accident. I know for sure with out a doubt this difinatly was not an accident that he and I met.
Tuff is my Spirit Horse, he set me free .