Say hello to Buddy, my new therapist.
So, I’ve begun something I’ve always been interested in looking into called, “Equine Therapy.” I was driving home and happened to see a banner on a horse fence that caught my eye. I almost got into an accident taking a photo of it on my iPhone.
Equine-Assisted Therapy has been used to treat trauma and was popularized especially for veterans who were experiencing PTSD coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Considering I love horses (see proof), I have been curious about this since I first read about it. It’s strange that after all these years, I haven’t really dealt directly with my past trauma in various counseling sessions. I typically go to counseling to deal with a current crisis. I’m not in crisis right now, and haven’t been in a while, so this may be the best time to exorcise some old ghosts.
The stable is less than a mile from my house, Crossroads Corral. I didn’t know what to expect when I showed up, but my first impression was positive. The farm is very peaceful and the two counselors (one therapist, one equine-assistance expert) were compassionate, knowledgable, and kind. I was surprised how much I divulged in just my first session with two strangers. I’ll report back after I’ve attended a number of sessions to share how it’s progressing.
So far, I love the whole idea of it and am looking forward to going again.
My daughter had been looking for a full-time job in New York City. She recently said to me, “I have mild unemployment depression.” I told her it was a Quote-of-the-Day. (Happily, she has since accepted a job offer.)
I’ve been going through a bit of negotiating my moods lately too. I’m still carrying guilt and frustration over the demise of Big Mountain Data, while simultaneously facing financial insecurity as I attempt to pivot once again professionally. I can feel myself slipping into a similar mild depression too.
When I sense I’m starting to get overwhelmed, I take precautions to pro-actively “change my mood.”
Yesterday, I took the afternoon off from client work and job-searching and visited the Orlando Museum of Art. I’d been wanting to do this since I moved here last year. The museum was lovely. Architecturally, it’s more impressive than I expected with a contrast of vaulted, well-lit ceilings and soft, low-lights for interior exhibits. There were two featured exhibitions that I particularly loved. The first is this sweet display of sugary goodness: “The Influx Series: Will Cotton.” It instantly elevated my mood by the honestly displayed in how much we all love frivolous confections. This portrait in particular, “Icing,” was spectacular.
The second exhibit I took a long time with was “Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment.” In a word, wow. Many of these photos captured a palpable sense of the struggle these photojournalists wanted to reveal. Most were depressing, yet had uplifting messages embedded within. The series (11 photographers in all) presented a stark contrast to the silliness of my self-pity and sulking that brought me to the museum. There was something about the fact that these photos were taken by women that touched me. It was deeply moving. This exhibit is traveling around the U.S. If you happen to be in line to receive it at your local art museum, I highly recommend it.
After immersing myself in art for the afternoon, I stopped to eat in a funky downtown cafe. I had my laptop with me, and the cafe was playing an 80s channel on Sirius. I was inspired to write for a few hours, and spent the rest of the afternoon in a world of make-believe that I was creating in my mind. Before I knew it, it was almost 6pm. It was a great day, and I accomplished my goal. I not only changed my mood, I put my troubles in perspective, and came away with a newfound confidence about my potential to make a contribution to the world.