Move towards what matters to you today.

Only Don’t Know

Guest Blog by Katleen

What do we do now?

 I don’t know, we’ve never made it this far before!

This little quote from the movie “Edge of Tomorrow” motivated me to write this little Whispering for you today.



After many moments of sharing space and experiences together on the ground and on his back, Kylian and I went on our first full trail walk; together, in Brian’s and Brenda Lee’s footsteps and hoofprints.


It was not the first time for Kylian to carry someone on his back, out in the woods. Years ago we would take out 6- and 8 year olds into the forest to explore. He has also carried me around the pasture while grazing or hanging out with Quinn (at the time) or Brenda Lee (since early 2014). While this kind of trail walk felt like a natural next, it also felt like a “new” next after a new start here in the USA 7 months ago.


Helmet on, bareback pad on, rope halter and reins and hop, up up on his back I went.


I felt calm, trusting, excited and a little scared at the same time.


Calm and Trusting about what I know: our connection and the way I feel with him and upon his back.

Excited and a little scared about what I know: knowing how much he loves running free, frolicking, creating his own way, exploring left and right, running away from us and galloping full speed while kicking up his heels at a 45 degree angle as he finds his way back through the bush.



How would our walk go today?

I didn’t know.


How did I feel about everything that I don’t know?

Can I be in a curious state?

Can I be in a mindful state, present with a soft eye and experience this walk together?


What mattered to me was that we did this together. I wanted to offer him his freedom of expression and space to move in his own rhythm. At the same time I wanted to feel connected, offer him safety and let him feel that I am taking responsibility to do the best I can being aware of him and our environment. I took a soft deep breath and arrived in the “here and now” and felt for our connection in that moment. Gently I asked him to follow Brenda Lee into the forest.  Whether it was because of the newness of it, or because of him purposely being careful: we started walking, very gentle, steady but soft, with a focus forward toward Brenda Lee and a soft eye. I could see his eye look back at me, his ears fully paying attention to the human on his back, while I kept my focus and my soft eye at him.


I felt him float underneath me, fluently moving. I noticed what he was looking at and could clearly feel his intention to keep moving forward while taking in his environment. He was aware of the different energy during this walk and it was beautiful to experience his witness – and witness him – from this perspective. I definitely felt our Withness. And with our, I mean Kylian’s and mine, Brian’s and Brenda Lee’s. Because even though they were leading the way, Brenda Lee was looking back and adding her part to this calm and gentle journey. Brian’s energy was soft and “down” and compared to the other previous walks, he did not infuse a far away forward focus with playful eagerness. He had a soft eye and a nearby focus, enjoying this walk in his very own way together with Brenda Lee by his side.


We arrived at a point where I felt our walk coming to an end. That last half Kylian and I were moving so much as one that it felt perfect and I actually wanted to get off, give him a big hug and enjoy whatever would follow next from his side. I jumped off his back and Brian looked at me – surprised – and asked me why I’m on the ground. “Well…I thought we were at the end” , I said as surprisingly. “You are the passenger, you are not supposed to decide today. Hop back on and don’t know, be curious with Kylian”. Me, fully back in my head now, go again through the phases of excitement and fear for what’s next and reconnect. I become aware of Kylian actually just standing next to me waiting for whatever would be “our next” and decide to hop back on and guide us both up the hill, back in Brenda Lee’s and Brian’s footsteps.

Only don’t know. Be with.


And from this state again I could see, feel, notice all nuances within myself, within Kylian and around us. And this was and is what matters to me.


Isn’t it astounding how quickly one gets disconnected and arrives in that lonely place of “expectations” and how a little cue helps us to reconnect again and to arrive in that wide open space, full of opportunities, endless possibilities and awareness of all things and others around us.


How a simple walk can be such a great experience, for 4 individual beings, all in their own unique way, yet all together. Every new adventure we begin is one we have never been on before, even if it sometimes looks or feels very familiar to one we know.


Can you “Only Don’t Know”?

Can you be curious?

Can you Be With?


Share your adventures below!


Katleen Reid


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How is Your Withness?

Have you ever been driving with a friend, spouse or partner, having an in depth conversation and you suddenly notice they have left? They have left the conversation and you are now all alone, as they are off processing, having a conversation by themselves that you are not part of. Or maybe you were the one who left.


One minute they were with you, tracking right along with the conversation, connected to the cocreation of your shared exchange and next thing you know the connection has been cut off and they are no longer present together with you AND their thoughts. They are now, singularly, conversing with the thoughts in their mind and they have given you no ‘heads up” that they would be right back, or maybe not. Or maybe you have the habit of doing this.


Now, have you ever been with someone who is connected and engaged with you in the exploration of mutually interesting conversation and they pause to say, “Hold on one minute, let me think about that”. They notify you that they are with you, while they go deeper in thought to add something to the connection.


In the latter example they go “within” to add to the connection and co creation of your relationship.


In the first example they disconnect, “without” acknowledgement, permission, or consideration and you are left wondering when they will come back and will they bring anything back that will add to your shared time together.


In the second situation, you wait with connected anticipation to see where their added value will take the conversation.


In both scenarios it is the connection that matters or the “Withness”.

Playtime March 21 2014 016-1-HKTWH

Whether that withness is with another or ourselves, we can only feel its power when we witness our withness or not.


I recently witnessed the natural power of “Withness” in one of its most true, intimate and spectacularly obvious natural forms, when I took a coaching client for a walk with Kylian and Brenda Lee and Lucy.


Brenda Lee was on a 12’ lead line and Kylian was allowed to roam free. What became immediately obvious was the palpable connection between Brenda Lee and Kylian. Wherever Kylian went he was “with” Brenda Lee. If he was in front, he was looking back at her, maintaining the connection, if he was off to the side or behind her he was constantly measuring his connection with Brenda Lee and us as his herd, while having fun expressing himself in playful frolicking.



Brenda Lee was aware not only of her connection with Kylian, Lucy, and us, she was also very aware of our connection with ourselves. When we were “with” she was “with”. When we went within and left the herd, lost in thought, she would immediately let us know the way a 1750 lb alpha mare Shire lets you know. At first she would lay flat one ear, then project her head, then swish her tail, and if we did not reconnect with ourselves and the herd immediately, you would feel a wave of energy that preceded her actual physical reminder to wake up and get “With IT”. With IT being the inner truth of where we were or were not. Were we truly present with our thoughts included, or were we disconnected lost in our thoughts.


To Brenda Lee this was a non negotiable state. You were either with us or you were not and if not she would give you ample reminders before she forced an awakening. I’ll leave it to your imagination how Brenda Lee wakes someone up who is no longer with her. She is very adept at bringing your “within”, out.


At one juncture Kylian actually left Brenda Lee as he playfully chased Lucy. Only during this frolick he became so focused on Lucy that he left Brenda Lee and from 50 ft away Brenda Lee let him know that was not acceptable and he had to ask his way back “With her”



In the end all of our connections with ourselves and each other were so strong that we ran up and down the sand piles bumping off each others bodies like best friends using each others body as leaning posts like we all did as children and sometimes are lucky enough to do as adults.


This time though our friends were 1710 and 990 lbs and 6 lbs and they were directed by mother nature herself.


This withness was naturally beautiful and required no need to make sense of it only sense it for its wisdom to change us forever.

Thinking about our experience the other day – there are many times in life that you be with other people or animals but you are not “with” them in that moment.  Seeing how Kylian would run “free” but alway be with us was amazing.  Kylian was having fun while staying with us (especially Brenda) in the moment – continuously looking back while seeing ahead.  I realized that many times I am physically with somebody but I am not “with” them.  Withness is a grounding and a presence that I will continue to present with and foster. - coaching client and witness of the Withness.

Thank you Brenda Lee, Kylian and Lucy.


Feel the Connection,

Brian Reid


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What Do Your Cheeks have to do With Your Happiness?

Walking down winding wooded paths inspires thoughts of relaxation, peace, appreciation and a connection with our planet’s natural beauty.

Sharing this experience with friends can deepen your connection together, creating the perfect afternoon.


But, what if you are not connected to yourself first?

What if you are not “At Home” with yourself?

What if, as you go on your walk, you are tense, up-tight, upset, wound a little too tight, or, to be anatomically correct, you are a tight-ass? As uncomfortable as it may sound, these words are accurate descriptions of your state and where you can hold or block energy in your body.

In order to enjoy a scenic hike together with your friends, it helps to be able to relax, let go, chill out and release your tension. This will allow you to be present and in the moment with yourself, with others and with Mother Nature.

It was during such a walk thru the woods with Brenda Lee and little Lucy (the 5 lb Yorkie), that I discovered a fun (and funny) way to release tension and increase our connection to one another.



Lucy, Brenda Lee and I were quietly meandering down a wooded path together. Brenda Lee prefers to walk just ahead of me, and I could see her periodically checking back toward me with one soft eye, a flick of one ear, and then the other. She and Lucy always had me within their sight. Every time I would glance up from the trail to Brenda Lee, she was there, softly gazing back at me. I could see little Lucy’s fluffy ears pivot as she’d tip her head to the side, spotting me in her peripheral vision. I found myself returning the smile back to them both, comforted and happy to be alongside such beautiful animals in such a naturally exquisite setting.

When I smiled, I could feel a distinct and pleasant difference as my face and jaw would relax. But I noticed that although the smiling helped to relax tension in my jaw, my lower body and stomach still remained tense. I decided to let my smile drift downward and through my body until I could feel the tension my body held, slowly dissipate. When it finally did, I felt a release in my butt cheeks.



Brenda Lee and Lucy



I did not realize how uptight I had been until I felt this release. I was a being “tight-ass”. And releasing that tension felt good! I felt an increased sense of calm, and, most surprisingly, I felt more at ease with myself and my ability to simply walk. I repeated this smiling exercise, as Brenda Lee, Lucy, and I, continued our walk together. First, I would smile “upstairs” and then smile “downstairs”, releasing down through my abdomen and taking relaxed, deep breaths. As I glanced over to Brenda Lee and Lucy, I let them sense my new-felt connectedness as I felt it flow through my entire body. And each time as I would look across the path to them, they would already be there, eyes and ears focused back toward me, ready to receive my gaze.

They were already there. They were already connected to me, and they were waiting for me to catch up to them! So quick and effortless was their connection to me and to one another, that they had realized I was connecting to them before I could recognize it myself. This was great! I felt such a warm reception of trust and love from both Lucy and Brenda Lee – I felt like every pore in my body was smiling!

I was “smiling with all four cheeks”.


Together, we continued onward down the trail

As we headed up a hill, I realized that as much as this may have been an epiphany for me, this deeper level of connection was natural for both Brenda Lee and Lucy. They seemed to sense my new found relaxation and whole body awareness before I had even put it to contemplation. I could feel my connection to myself, and, I could really feel my new, stronger connection to Brenda Lee. I felt so confident in this new-found connection that I decided to remove the lead rope I had been using to walk with her and try out our new “invisible lead line” of connection. I was used to doing this with Lucy. I would now have to depend upon my new relaxed inner joy radiating outward to Brenda Lee to become the only means of keeping her with me.

Was I crazy?

With our invisible connection to one another, we headed onward, exploring the trails.

As we continued through the woods together, Brenda Lee would get a bit ahead of me and then circle backward and around, heading back toward the barn, where a delicious green pasture awaited her. As she turned to depart away from me, I relaxed and “smiled” my butt cheeks, allowing the joyous release to rise up through my body – all the way to my face. I was grinning like the Cheshire cat. I was “smiling with all four cheeks” and an open heart. I attached this new peaceful, joyous state to my desire to walk together with Brenda Lee and Lucy. I focused on my “wanting” Brenda Lee to return to me. And, it worked!

As soon as I would refocus my release, she would turn sharply and come running back to me. What a beautiful feeling, having been chosen for her company over the green and grassy pastures of home.

Once I was at home with myself, she could choose to be home with me – which was enough for Brenda Lee. (And Lucy too!)


Brian and Brenda Lee

Brian and Brenda Lee


Horses really do know the way home.
Feel the Connection,
Brian Reid


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