Saturday, August 14, 2010

We accept the ________________ we think we deserve.

When I was first approached to write this blog entry, my first reaction was “Why would I deserve to write among the other fine ladies who have been asked?”. I am not a woman out there doing for herself with her own business, I have beaten no impossible odds, I’m just not extraordinary. I have no titles or schooling behind my name, I’ve never been in the news for being a “wavemaker”, I don’t own my own business. I’m just a simple girl with a simple horse and a simple blog. I work for a large corporation (sadly not myself), I am an unpublished author who is butting her head up against the rocks trying to find an agent, and in the meantime, I divert myself by writing a blog. I am young, too young to have learned a pocketful of good life lessons, but I have learned one thing. I deserve good things. It was a difficult nugget to acquire, but it is the most valuable gem of information and knowledge that I have ever had the privilege to learn. And so, even if I am not an accomplished woman with years of successes (or struggles) under her belt, I can share this and hope to enrich the life of some other woman who might allow herself to think that even though she is a good person, even though she gives and gives and gives of herself to others, even though she is selfless and caring and people depend on her, that she might not deserve the good things she is due. Once I learned this lesson… surprise, surprise! Good things started happening to me – because I allowed them to happen, because I loved and trusted myself enough to MAKE them happen for me – because I knew that I deserved them as much as any other person that I had once watched enviously, thinking “I wish I lived as well as that person did”… I write a blog for plus sized horse back riders. When you think of equestrian participants, you generally don't think of anyone who isn't the stereotypical svelte, toned, skinny legged woman prancing elegantly down the ring on her horse. Somehow, her breasts stay perfectly in place, and there is little flab on her thighs. Unfortunately, there are many women (and some men, I have discovered) that have allowed that image to override anything they might know about horses, about physics, about themselves, and denied themselves the things that they love for far longer than they should. They've actually allowed themselves to go without the good things because they don't think they deserve them. As often as I can, I share nuggets of thoughts from my journey with my horse, Bronwyn, and interesting factoids and information I find online. I share tips and ideas – the ongoing theme is to accept that you may have challenges or issues – that you may need to be realistic about what you are doing and the qualities of good horses for weight bearing, but also ongoing is the theme to work through them anyway and let yourself live the good life that you deserve. Occasionally, I have a buddy write a blog for me, all of it with the goal of showing the plus sized set out there who love horses that life does not end just because you weigh more than 200lbs. (Interestingly, but unrelated to this blog, I have found that the reaction of the less-plus-sized set is either complete acceptance and enthusiasm, outrage that I would suggest that plus sized riders CAN ride, OR complete discomfort that I draw a difference and recognize the challenges of plus sized vs average sized riders.) My dream is to someday share this on the large scale. I only lived in my shell as someone who thought good stuff only happened to the rich and the beautiful for 23 years – far shorter than the years some other people allow themselves to be trapped there – and it was too long. I imagine someday running a summer camp specifically for girls with low self esteem, because those are the ones who will morph into young women who know they are good people, but still think that the good life is reserved for others more deserving. I'd incorporate horses and empowerment workshops in the backdrop that I grew up and loved – rural New Brunswick. It's a long way off, but someday I do hope to share the way that horses, and accomplishing things that you aren't “supposed” to be able to accomplish, can heal you, encourage you, and prove to you that you deserve every good thing in this life. Amanda Neal Writer, “A Fat Girl & A Fat Horse: A Blog For Plus Sized Riders” http://afatgirlafathorse.blogspot.com

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