Metaphorical Tattoos… What Are You With Forever?

Tattoos are often used as a stamp of some sort of independence, or significance, or boredom, and are a mark that is intended to stay on the skin forever.

photo-3Just like this pigment inserted into the punctures of our skin, we also have metaphorical tattoos that we carry with us, that define who we are, and what we present to the world.

I started thinking about this recently, after I began listening to a Portuguese artist with a song called “tatuagens” (tattoos).

The title got me thinking about what marks you might carry with you, that will be with you forever?

Aside from any visual tattoos you may have had printed on your skin, are there internal or mental tattoos that you know you hold on to, and will never give up?

I’m stubborn, and often impatient, and it’s a tattoo that is part genetic and part my own personality, and while this tattoo will always be a part of me, I can choose whether or not to let it rule my life.

My instinct will always tell me to rush, or stick to what I think I know instead of understanding others, and while this tattoo may sometimes get me places more quickly, will I be able to appreciate those places once I get there?

If my tattoo always has me thinking one step ahead, how do I recognise when I’ve made the right step, and be rewarded by the joy of knowing I made it.

For you, your stamp might be shyness, or overconfidence, and like all metaphorical tattoos, both can be seen as good and bad.

Shyness can be disguised as politeness, but if you live your life polite but never revealing yourself, or learning from your mistakes, you might never step outside polite and into something more real and rewarding.

The tattoo of overconfidence can be fun for a while, but when people start to think of you as rude, or demanding, you know you’ve crossed the line.

So how do we learn what part of our tattoos to let shine, and what part to tone down or even remove.

A violent tattoo is one that should be quickly booked in for laser, as should a pitying tattoo, or one of low self respect.

If you suffer from a tattoo that you feel is not helpful in your life, whether it be the boys name you had tattooed on your stomach one druncken night, or the life determining sense of being that you carry with you, there is always a solution.

Thanks to some advanced laser treatment, tattoos are no longer as permanent as they once were, and the long lasting metaphorical tattoos that we are branded with can also be scrubbed off with the right dose of mental training.

First is to discover what tattoo you have, why it is no longer beautiful on you, and work towards finding an alternative that fits you better.

If you are shy don’t barge up to strangers, start by talking more in comfortable surroundings with people that make you feel valued.

If you are overconfident, or sometimes too much, begin by not saying everything that comes into your head the moment you think it, and try to reserve some things just for yourself!

Never change who you are to please others, but any tattoo that gets in the way of your own happiness, is one that perhaps you should consider lasering off, even if just a little!


Just released Core Training For Equestrians, CHECK IT OUT…

How do I feel…TODAY??!!!

Ten years ago I broke both my hips, and I won’t ever forget it.

20140617-162320-59000018.jpgRiding everyday now I have constant pain that won’t go, and that I have learned to work around.
The problem we face, or most of us face, is learning to put our memories behind us and start again.
Learning to tell ourselves, that the me I am today, is not the same me that I had yesterday, and therefore the pains that were there before, might not be anything to do with what I am feeling now, or what I will feel tomorrow.
This is true of everything in life.
If we are always expecting things to happen, we create a channel that might not only allow those things to happen, but also prevent the good things from happening also.
A person can become so used to feeling down, that they don’t realise the times when they are feeling good.
A person can hate the rain so much, that they miss the beauty of it, or that wonderful smell right before it, when the world seems fresh and new.
Sometimes the ability to clear our minds, and think on the moment, is just the cure we need.
Imagine you have a headache, and you say to your friend “I have a headache!”.
An hour later, your friend turns to you and says, “Do you still leave a headache?”
You suddenly think, “Do I” and realise you do, but if the friend had not asked, would you have remembered?, and if you didn’t remember, would the headache have possibly become part of the past?
How do we train ourselves not to be influenced by what went before, and to just feel what is happening to us, right this very instant?
How do I retrain my brain to forget what happened to my hip, and work everyday with the body I have now?
Then, instead of thinking how is my sore hip? I can think how am I feeling today? And therefore open up the amazing possibility that perhaps I won’t notice my hip at all.
If your horse is scared of the chair, and you come out on the arena, and remember his reaction, and so wait for him to react, he is of course going to remember also, and so be scared again.
If you can remove that thought, or that memory from your head, and enter the arena fresh, perhaps he will also forget about the chair, that was so threatening yesterday.

As a rider we learn to use our bodies in order to influence our horse, and we can of course be put into positions that may cause us some aches and pains.
The problem is when we know a pain is there, and we enter the arena thinking about the pain and how it was yesterday, then we already set up our brain to focus on that pain, and therefore make it loud.
20140617-163404-59644512.jpgTraining ourselves to start each day fresh, each moment, each feeling, each thought, takes a lot of practice, and isn’t something that just happens.
Our natural process is to associate everything with how we felt, instead of how we are feeling.
Learning to ride out onto the arena each day and ask, “What do I feel today?”, without any thoughts, or memories, or connotations, is very difficult to do.
Applying this in our lives, takes practice, but it might just allow us to see people as they are, not how we expect them to be.
Then, eventually, perhaps we can be the person we are today, and not the person we think we should be.


You can follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and on my new YouTube channel!

facebooktwitter

googleplus

youtube

 

 

For the a list of articles please visit my section in Eurodressage.

 

Never say NEVER!!

I left Australia four years ago, to find mum a horse, and I stayed when I found mine! I share a secret with Batialo that no-one else knows, and when people ask how I think of the ideas for my articles, well he tells me ;).

20140617-164133-60093250.jpgI was told once that I was just a girl writing about her ponies, and perhaps I am, but aren’t we all?

I write not as an authority, but as someone on a journey, and people on a similar journey can therefore relate, because we all share the same challenges, the same highs and lows.

If anyone ever tells you that chasing something is easy, they lied.

If anyone tells you you can have it all, perhaps they just aimed low.

People can always give you their opinion, and show you why something won’t work, won’t happen, or isn’t realistic, and it’s usually these people who commend themselves on doing nothing, cause they do it so well!

In teaching yourself to never give up, you must also learn the art of acknowledging when you need help, and not seeing this as a failure, but as a bridge in helping you get to where you want to be.

If you can’t learn to adjust your dreams, or seek help with them, you will not succeed, because the world and the people, and the horses, and the everything, is always changing.

You never know what you will be tomorrow, so you just have to make the best of what you can do today.

People can spend forever trying to make sense of the world, and the people in it, but why do that when there is so much to love in all the things that don’t make sense!

Today I had a great conversation with a chain-smoking yoga instructor, and then found out one of the most wonderful people I have met overcame 99% negative stats to fulfil her life dream.

Don’t give up!

Layers – Onion/Tomato…

With some people, the onion metaphor rings true, and you feel like the more you know them, the more layers you discover.

Others, are more like tomatoes, and if you peel back the skin you just end up with a big red sploggy mess that’s hard to manage.

20140617-183811-67091760.jpgThe onion people are the ones that teach us more about ourselves, because as we peel back their layers, so too do we reveal our own secrets.

Sometimes it takes an onion with courage, to tell another onion that it is ok to reveal a layer hidden, or perhaps two onions when put together find the confidence to reveal themselves to one another.

The tomatoes wish they were onions, and try to disguise themselves as such by adding fake layers, typically through chemical enhancement or deception.

On the other hand, some onions try to disguise themselves as tomatoes, and pretend to be less than they are.

This is usually because a tomato who very much wished they were an onion, put the onion down, and made them feel like they were nothing more than a tomato.

If you know an onion  that has happened to, remind them of what makes them special, that they are unique, that they have layers, and that the fascinating part about our world is that by discovering the layers of other people we discover who we are.

Horses too have layers, and while a horse may seem like a simple being, eat, sleep, poop etc, they in fact take in a lot more than most non horsey people would give them credit for.

As rider it’s our job to peel back the layers of our horses, and learn about them, so that we can help them to understand what we are asking.

Only when we understand the layers of our horse, can we unlock the key to his training success.

Many people now term me the Lusitano girl, because of course I ride two Lusitanos.

20140617-183811-67091891.jpgIn actual fact, I grew up riding warmbloods, and my favorite horse in history was a 14 hand high warmblood pony cross named Zen, who loved me just as much as I loved him.

Ask any of the top riders, judges, spectators, trainers, and they will tell you the same golden truth…

“A top horse, is a top horse, regardless of his breed.”

20140617-183811-67091821.jpgIt may be the son of a stock horse, crossed with an arab, but if it can move, and has the mind to try, then a good rider will peel back the layers, and produce something magical.

 

Relationships….

The most challenging relationship we will ever have…Is the one we have with ourselves!

20140617-203708-74228021.jpgIt is by far the most difficult to understand, and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, something happens and you react completely differently to the way you thought you would!

It’s funny that  we grow to “realise that nothing is forever”, and that “things can happen when we least expect it”, and yet still, even with this knowledge, we are always left saying…

“Why me? or “How could this possibly be happening?”

The people around us are just as complex as we are, yet somehow, though different relationships, we come to learn which people we can trust and which ones we can’t…

Which is more than we can say for our own emotions!

Some relationships are built on dependency, with one person lesser than the other.

This used to be predominantly the male,  but post 1950 and the rise of womans rights, and now it’s just as likely to be the woman in charge.

I was reminded of this today when I saw a woman walking the dog, with the husband walking 5 steps behind with the poo bag….fantastic!;)

The most destructive type of relationship you can have with a person, is jealousy.

I was envious of my sister my entire life, and when I finally talked to her about it, turns out she had always felt the same toward me.

Unfortunately we let this attitude rule our relationship, and we still hope that one day we can find the calm from within ourselves to make peace when we are together.

To be jealous of someone, is to lack the ability to see yourself as anything better, and I have found in life that the best thing you can hope to do is to always turn jealousy or envy, into admiration!

By admiring people we allow ourselves the chance to grow, not through imitation, but through leadership.

And not only that, but we leave room for the possibility that somewhere, someone else may just be admiring us!

Jealousy in a love relationship, simply means a lack of trust, and by the time jealousy becomes an issue, there is a whole lot more going on underneath signaling danger!

The other major threat to a relationship is judgement, and again the person we affect most with our own judgement is ourselves.

Until we learn to accept our own weaknesses, we will never forgive those in others.

I  have talked about happiness, and really the key to happiness is not just about your mind-set, but also about making the necessary adjustment in your attitude.

Positivity, they say, is a person who can see a glass of water and say “the glass is half full”, but I believe it to be far more complex!

It’s really about saying, “yes, the glass is half empty, it could have more water in it for sure, but I’m going to be happy with the amount I’ve got, and make the most I can out of it”! 😉

It’s about turning a “thunderstorm”, into a “fascinating climatic experience”, or a “bloody weak cup of coffee” into a “relaxing way to warm up”, lol!

It’s about making that small adjustment, to move yourself from one state into another.

To let go of fear, and embrace good sense and caution.

Eliminated jealousy, but admire as much as you can.

Don’t judge, but instead learnt to accept.

Destroy loneliness, by finding strength in independence.

And if all else fails, trust in the relationship you have with your animals 😉

Our relationship with horses is special, because it’s ours, and it is even.

He doesn’t judge us, or question us, and while he may frustrate us, he can teach us a lot about ourselves, and our ability to work through the tough issues.

20140617-183818-67098487.jpgA dog has an owner, a chief, a leader.

A cat has a slave, preferably more than one.

But a horse….has a partner, and we are lucky to share that partnership from on top of his back ;)!

 

Happiness….

20140617-183818-67098276.jpgWhen we are young, happiness is easy!

Give us an icecream, and you can pretty much be assured we will be realitively pleased with the world.

As we grow up, we learn to doubt, fear, suppress, and take on board all the things that can pull us away from happiness.

Other people can do it through sheer spite or jealously, the world can do it through ill-fortune, ill-health, or plain bad luck….

Or, and most importantly, we can do it, by allowing ourselves to be weighed down by all the hundreds of millions of reasons why we may not be happy.

They say the “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”, and no matter who you are, or what you have, you will always search for more.

Searcing for more, or trying to achieve greatness, is fine, in fact it’s healthy!

But saying to yourself, I am not good enough, I am not worthy, or strong, or well enough, or I will never be as good as someone else, and you will make that your reality.

I’m not saying this because I am one of those lucky people who can see the bright side in everything.

I’m saying this because for 10 years I had severe depression, and I know now, that NO-ONE, and nothing, could have saved me, but me.

Happiness, in the end, is a state of mind, and it took a lot of determination, and will power, to say “I can pull myself out of it”!

I did, in the end, and now I can see the good in most things, mostly  because  for a long time I could only see the bad.

However, you can not tell a person who is down, or beaten, or depressed, to just “be happy”, or to see the bright side, it is something they have to pull out from within themselves.

Luckily now, I thank my mum everyday, that I am living my dream riding horses, and if I never win a single test, I am just so happy everytime I enter the stable, and see my beautiful horses, and the look on their face when they see me :)!

Happiness in dressage is not in winning, but in teaching your horse the flying change, and his proud expression when he knows he did it right!

Watching on a stormy day as the world drifts away from you, and in an arena full of chaos, you and your horse work in your own bubble.

And luckily for me, in addition to my horses, if you give me an icecream, i’m pretty much all set!!

 

Happiness

Everybody wants it, but it’s not so easy to get,

If you don’t appreciate it, you haven’t been hurt yet.

It comes and goes like the seasons, lifts us up when we are down,

you won’t know how much you miss it, until it’s no longer around.

Bad people try to buy it, or steal it from their friends,

but in the end they’ll loose out, cause this is one thing that depends…

On forgiveness, trust and kindness, on going after the things that count,

Being good to others, is really what it’s all about.

Some don’t know they have it, until it goes away,

and will try to recreate it, with each new passing day.

If you think you cannot get it, try to share your neighbors pile,

It may not be the real thing, but it will keep you for a while.

It will come when you least expect it, although it may not stay so long,

The sorrow that follows this feeling, only much us that more strong.

Enjoy it when you have it, and care for those that don’t,

But always believe “I will be happy”, and never say “I won’t”.

People…What type of person are you?

When I was young I found old people fascinating.

20140617-183817-67097552.jpgThey don’t know how to update their status, or tweet, or even use capslock on the computer, but they know more than we will ever know.

They have seen the world before us, lived through war, survived famine, and in today’s world of texting your emotions, and “beware of the neighbour”, I envy their sense of community.

Rich people, can become ruled by that title, and if you count the number of rich people you know on your fingers, then put the finger down if they are unhappy, you can usually end up with a fist.

Poor people, get lost in our consumer society, or perhaps they lose the will to care.

I once gave a sandwich, (a good one!), to a homeless man on the street, and he threw it at me and swore in Russian.

Yes, I felt pity for him, but I meant nothing by it, and ended up feeling far worse, and minus one sandwich.

Some people can dream, and laugh and smile, no matter how bad things get, and I envy those people, as I am a little bit of a stresser ;).

I have learnt however, to take in the good people, and block out the bad.

In a society who cares far too much about what other people think, it’s up to you to decide what you take to heart and what you don’t.

For sure ,people are funny creatures….

They put each other down, abuse each other, and sometimes forget that we are all in it together.

Perhaps that is why so many people seek animal companionship, cause an animal will never judge or humiliate you.

They won’t comment on what you’re wearing or how deathly awful your hair looks, or your voice sounds.

They seek your approval and nothing more, and will do anything to get it.

20140617-183817-67097171.jpgIf only people were as simple!

Instead of asking yourself what type of person you are…ask yourself what type of person you want to be?

A lot can change in the space of a month, a year…..four months 😉

YOU CAN….be a dreamer

and if you can’t be, don’t tell the dreamers they can’t either!

Addictions….

20140617-183816-67096226.jpgA wise woman once told me that everyone is addicted to something….

Some have the more well known addictions, like smoking or alcohol, while others addictions can be less obvious, some good and others bad.

Some people are addicted to reading, some researching, some can’t live without caffeine, and others can’t concentrate until they have had that morning cup of tea.

20140617-183815-67095256.jpgPerhaps some people become addicted to other people, and become so much a part of someone else they forget who they are themselves.
I remember that after more than 60 years of marriage my grandparents had become practically a two person in one package, and when my grandpa left first, my grandma lost a sense of what she was really doing here.

20140617-183814-67094492.jpgI’m addicted to running, not because I think I am unfit, but because it is the one time in my life that I feel no-one can touch me.

Ridiculous, as of course I am not so fast that I am invincible, yet (lol), but something about it makes me feel free.

20140617-183814-67094192.jpgThe same goes when I am on my horse, and my usual very busy mind becomes quiet.
I have often been told that people are surprised by how concentrated I am on the horse, given my rather uncalm personality, but perhaps I have just found the thing that I was meant to do.

20140617-183813-67093674.jpgSo then, what is your addiction? What can’t you live without?

And what is it about being on top of a horse, that you cannot live without?

I know I couldn’t!

Memories

Everyday, every second, we see and hear things that remind us of different times in our lives, different people, different events.

20140617-183813-67093474.jpgWhen I see a father kiss his son, I am reminded how much I miss my father…

When I see an old couple walking hand in hand, I’m reminded of my grandparents…

When I see love and admiration on someone’s face, I think of all the times I have seen that or felt that in my life.

Songs in particular, remind us of different people, or certain feelings, and while some songs may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, others have you rushing madly for the OFF switch on the radio!

Some of mine include…

What songs mean what to you?

Or what is the hardest thing for you to look at and not be taken back to a place that you remember with perfect clarity?

Memories are what we take will us everywhere we go, in everything we do.

Perhaps that is why I enjoy horse riding so much, because for the 60 or so minutes everyday on my horse, I am not thinking about the past or even the future, and I can just be PRESENT!

They say only a surfer knows the feeling, but I think a horse rider has a fair idea :)!

Horses also have memories, and will never forget being treated unfairly, or with force!

I wondered if the horse, when in total concentration with his rider, can also block out the world, and I believe this to be absolutely true.

Someone tried to tell me that a horse doesn’t remember, that if you do the perfect flying change, and then stop after the diagonal and give him a sugar lump (my treat of choice) he will not recognise that the reward was for the change.

20140617-183812-67092708.jpgHow come then, after just two times of doing this, my horse new to stop immediately after a good change and turn his head round to receive his sweet reward, but after a bad change he knew not to bother?

Stare into the eyes of your horse, and ask yourself if he remembers you, the eyes never lie.

The same as with the people we let into our lives 🙂

Did you miss the sneak peak of Anja Beran?

You can never go back….

You can forgive but not forget…You can never go home again…You can’t teach an old dog new tricks….

20140617-183811-67091143.jpgYou cannot change the past, only work for a brighter future!

We all know the sayings, and we are often reminded of their importance in our lives.

I was reminded when I returned home to Australia for christmas. My mum is and will always be the most important person in the world to me, but I realised that home truly is in my case “Where the horse is”, and that Australia no longer felt like the place where I belong.

Perhaps you really can’t ever go home again, or perhaps in creating a new home, a part of you changes and you no longer fit into the gap that you once did.

I think it is true you never forget, and even the people who I have forgiven throughout my life, a trust once lost is lost forever.

Luckily this is not true of horses, and while I believe that an animal can lose its trust in us, we are blessed in that if we work hard enough, in time they will forgive us.

When I was 5 my grandfather told me to throw my cat into the lake. So I did.

Of course the cat no longer came to me, and it took nearly three months of constant apologising until finally the cat returned to lie peacefully at the foot of my bed during the night.

Luckily horses are smart, and they can trust in the ones they know have faith and trust in them.

My pony would not let my father catch him in a 4×3 metre arena, but I could limbo under his belly and sit on him while he slept.

One thing I know for sure, is that you can’t change the past, and dwelling on it does no good at all.

A bad ride, is one less bad ride, and we must then focus our attention on the stand out ride we will have tomorrow!

20140617-183823-67103514.jpgAs for the future of our sport, I think Anja Beran has some stand out philosophies…

Sometimes we can’t go back, but we can sure try to capture what the great classical masters created over a century ago!

Sneak Peak of Anja Article- Full copy in EQUINE EXCELLENCE printed Australian Equestrian Magazine

People

People! Sometimes it’s the people we meet that change our view of the world! Moving to the other side of the globe, alone, was not easy, and I was often asked the question “you’re here, living alone, all by yourself…why?” Anyone who knows horses, stopped when I said, “My horse is here”, the non horse […]

Pick Yourself Up

20140617-183818-67098561.jpg

PICK YOURSELF UP…DUST YOURSELF OFF

Whoever came up with that saying, was clearly a horserider….

Horseriders learn from an early age, to pick themselves up……

After a fall, after a bad ride, and your seemingly sweet shetland pony purposefully plopped his hoof down on your foot…WITH EXTRA FORCE!

When you are young, the “dust yourself off” part is a little easier, but the horseriding mothers will tell you that after a few kids, and a couple of bad falls, the neck and back don’t BOUNCE back like they used to….

Riding since before I could walk I learnt the “get back on that horse” lesson very quickly. and it is a lesson that has enabled me to be where I am today….

If anyone tells you that moving overseas ALONE to train and ride horses is easy…they’re lying!

I have often been asked, “You live here ALONE?, no family???”

Yes, I answer, as if they are the stupid ones for asking the question.

It wasn’t easy at first, but gradually, your new international friends become your family, and your horses become your friends.

I met someone recently who asked why I don’t like kids, and I said I prefer horses….

He answered, “Yes, but you can’t have a relationship with a horse….”

After I quickly deleted his number from my phone I thought about the relationship I have with my horses, and have had with horses all my life.

They know people far better than people know people….

I don’t have to tell my horse if I’m in a bad mood, or if I’m tense.. he knows, and will usually tell me just how well he knows by giving me extra cheek!

But, just as I learnt as a child, to brush the sand off, and get back in the saddle, a rider knows to let people’s comments fly right by, to just deal with the days when you horse is flying around like a looney or ignoring you completely, and be happy with the person you are….after all, your horse loves you!

So you should love him back….NO TO ROLL KUR (article with head of anti Roll Kur campaign!)

Feelings…

This blog is about how I feel when… I drink a Portuguese coffee…

I watch a Horseball match..which is pretty much polo on crack!

I am trapped in a room listening to a child play the recorder…

But in terms of a  horseriders feelings and emotions, these are defined very much by how the ride went that day…

I was thinking that I feel very sorry for the husbands/wives/girlfriends/dogs…etc etc, of horsey people, as after a bad ride they behave much like a football fan who has just lost the match of the season…

The other reason I feel sorry for the significant others, is they are constantly getting left behind….
20140617-183811-67091143.jpgHAVE YOU EVER seen a horse person walking at a normal speed. Horse people walk like wind up toys, and can often be seen marching off in different directions, finding it extremely difficult to actually walk as a pair with anyone!

Horses emotions, on the other hand, are dominated by two things….herd instinct, and their STOMACH….

When a rider says the horse is having a bad day, chances are it is either feed time, OR, the rider is having a bad day and of course it’s the horses fault! lol

Just remember…riding is a game of patience, and just like HUMANS, everyone has their days, and their….

Read about the  RECORD BREAKING DRESSAGE HORSE OF THE WORLD……

Photos above courtesy of Coudelaria Correia de Mendonça


 

You can follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and on my YouTube channel!

facebooktwitter

googleplus

youtube

 

In Too Deep

Did you ever think to yourself, ‘I’m in over my head’?

I’ve made a choice, and I really never thought I’d be here, having to face up to the consequences of that decision.

Is it better to swim out and risk drowning, or always stay safe in the sand?

I’m not typically one to worry about being in too deep, and I’m usually the one who realises half way through an intense argument, that she is completely wrong, but will continue to push my point until hopefully the opposer gives up.

When I landed in Portugal, I remember walking out onto the street, the train station behind me, thinking, what now?

I didn’t want to go home to Australia, but I didn’t know a single person, and I didn’t have a single thought as to what I was going to do.

I told mum I’d just stay a week, then a month, and then the months kept on going, and I kept on pushing my way towards where I realised I wanted to be.

After walking onto a lawn one day looking for a cheap room, one of the strongest Portuguese mothers I’ve ever met introduced me to her daughter, and her daughter became my angel who would connect me to Portugal’s Equestrian Master, and now head of the National School of Equestrian Art, Mr Joao Pedro Rodrigues.

Perhaps I was very lucky in that people helped me, but luck didn’t help me at the station that day, and it would have been much easier to hop on a plane and go home.

Truth was, I was ready for a new beginning.

If you’ve never been “in over your head” then perhaps you’re more of a game referee than an actual player?

With horse training, I’m learning that too much control can limit your ability to feel and progress with your partner.

Sometimes you can for example collect the canter, and support the horse so much that he learns to rely on your guidance.

If instead you prepare and then abandon him, letting him learn to support and find his own will and impulsion, you allow him to build his own strength both physically and mentally to carry you both forward.

The best kids are the ones whose parents show them, and then let them learn by themselves.

The value the Portuguese place on family is something truly special, and it took a Portuguese film to really drive home to me just how wise the Portuguese mothers are in raising their sons.

The actor in the film gave her son just a simple look of disappointment, touching the side of his face and lifting his chin up to meet her gaze.

She didn’t stop him, or scold him, or tell him what he should do, but warned him that getting in too deep will have consequences, and that he must learn for himself to live, but live with values and respect.

Is Portugal the place for me?

Is the Lusitano the horse that will take me to the top?

I don’t know if I made the right or wrong choices, we never do. I could have gone back to Australia, and maybe I would be living a completely different life. Trouble with most of us is that we assume we have time. Humans as a whole believe that you have to be sick or old to die, but you don’t. Those two things make it more likely but they are not a requirement.

If you only had today what would you do? That’s the thought I had in my mind when I took the train to Cascais, instead of the plane back to Australia.