From 2015, I have had the privilege to be part of an equine program with other military veterans. We had all gone through trauma. We had all lost our confidence. We were all struggling. After meeting with horse trainer and mentor Scott Brodie, on a beautiful private property of Barranca in Kangaroo Valley, learning how to train ex-racehorses, we started to believe we can make it.
Helene & Greg, owners of Barranca, gave us the opportunity of a lifetime. Scott taught us everything he knew and gave us hope. They all gave from their heart and expected nothing in return. They are the heroes of today.
Watch Channel 10 short film that was shot in 2020 on location at Barranca with Scott Brodie & Mel Baker talking about how the equine program has helped many people…
RECENTLY PUBLISHED – Conflict to Hope
We served our country with honour. We wore our uniforms with pride. WE loved our jobs in the navy, army or airforce, they were our family until the day we were disregarded. The Thoroughbred has been in Australia since 1788. Racing was a role they became familiar with until they were disregarded. Neither fighting machine or racing machine could carry on with their career.
Under the expertise of horse trainer and mentor, Scott Brodie, the military veteran and ex-racehorse met for the first time. They discovered through their trauma, pain and struggles that they could have a future and indeed help one another from conflict to hope.
This is our story of how the TVWA began towards thoroughbreds helping veterans helping thoroughbreds.
Purchase your copy today. All money raised goes towards helping the Thoroughbred & Veteran Welfare Alliance (TVWA).
As human beings, emotions are one of the most powerful tools and resources of creation that we possess. This means that, as the creator of our own emotions – because we are endowed with free will – at every moment we have the opportunity to choose how we think, feel, act, and react to the people, circumstances, and situations in our lives.
Dr Joe Dispenza
One of the best ways I have found to express my emotions is through journalling and my art. Being a sufferer of post-traumatic stress, art and words allow me to feel something more than just numbing my pain, numbing the past trauma or my future that was suddenly stopped due to health.
Journalling allows me to be free and express the words that need to come out, but I am unable to speak them as yet. Writing them gives me that sense of establishing the connections, analysing the thought and behavioural patterns and just to get it out of me.
Art I find is something different again. It draws me into the present moment. It fills my being with whatever is going on inside me and through what comes out expressed on the canvas or paper it tells me what is actually going on deep inside my subconscious.
Take this piece of art for instance. I finally felt the ball and chain attached to me open, and whilst my blood was spilt, and much pain was shed, the lock opening – there existed a freedom. A freedom I could not yet express, and yet it came out in my art. This was a watercolour created without any pre thought or judgement – a mindfulness painting that became what is needed to be in the moment.
If there is ever a time to empower each other it is 2020. I began Living Expressions publication and LivingWell Talks podcast to do just this – to inspire, to encourage and to empower each other.
The publication’s first issue is beaming with inspirational life-stories, stirring poetry, art that captures a moment in time as well as Australian photography. Contributors who have expressed their story in any issue of Living Expressions are invited to be part of the podcast too. There are free episodes each week to listen to (go to link above).
Also, why not grab a copy of the publication? To be part of empowering community, to inspire your journey, to transform others lives as the money raised goes towards helping people doing it tough as well as those who have contributed. After reading it through, why not be part of the community and share your story as well in anyway that you would like to express that.
Go to the link below to take a peak inside and watch the YouTube video, then head to the link below that to purchase your copy of Living Expressions.
I sometimes I find myself in deep despair. Triggers haunt my mind like lions coming after their prey. Internal childhood symbolism flares my empty heart. Negative words eat away my soul. At this point, it really depends on our state of mind in how we react.
A couple of weeks ago, I reacted quite differently to any other time. I choose to feel my emotions and not push them away. I choose to name what I was feeling and work out what was driving them. I choose to listen to life music, not music that would make my mood worse. I choose to look up and beyond myself. In doing so, at that right moment these words came into my mind and filled my spirit with the exact words I needed to believe.
Free yourself from the things that drag you down. Find yourself in the wholeness and goodness of living. It is not the end, it is the beginning.
9pm, 29 May 2020
Perhaps there are others who need to read these words too.
When life piles up against you and no easy answers arise, it seems so difficult to find one’s path again. My mind runs a million miles an hour, searching for a solution; to untangle the fragments, only to be trapped in the wall.
I decide to end it. The mess grows stronger, the entanglement more entangled along with the sweeping darkness. ‘I cannot grasp a single more moment like this’, I fear.
And yet solutions are right in front of me. What if it is not about untangling my fragments of life? It is about starting anew – transforming my mind from black & white to colour; from shallow murky waters to the deepest of clear blue seas; from the mud to solid ground.
I go to bed knowing I need to do better in finding my way.
I awake refreshed, even on 6 hours, I opened by eyes as the sun started to appear above the horizon in the cold morning air. I look out of my window upon the fresh new world to see the colour, the beauty; this moment in time.
I see clearly now, the key to my puzzle of which I raised as an off shoot comment to a friend yesterday “one thing I cannot do, I am hopeless at, is maintenance”. I am failing miserably at it, always have, but recently I’ve been drowning in the pressure as it builds up more and more with everything else. I think I have always seen maintenance as a physical thing like cleaning, sorting etc – all the boring things, but it is more than this. It is maintaining life too – my health, my balance. To maintain life itself, I must maintain the very fabric of living!
Maintenance, such a drab, a word I must reframe! To transform, to be transformative – now that is a whole new beginning.