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Summer is here. With the grass growing, the garden in bloom and the busling farm in FULL action. Part on that action is Farming For Resilience. We facilitated our second of seven sessions this last Wednesday for 12 students from Ashuelot Valley Academy. The focus of the program is not farming or horses, although it appears so at "first glance". Sessions are run at Dusty Dog Farm and use horses, the farm and artistic expression to deliver the important message of courage, gratitude. forgiveness and compassion. The curriculum applies Scarlett Lewis's "Choose Love" wisdom, and horses, to clearly convey how important it is to have courage, be grateful, forgive often and overflow with compassion.

Our first two weeks have focused on courage. The lesson is a good one to facilitate and reabsorb. Recognizing the importance of courage, and how often we need it in our lives is a message that never gets old for me. Learning to ask for help, admiting when we are wrong, saying "I am sorry", trying new things ...all these are simple examples of how often we need courage. Vincent Van Gogh is quoted "What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?" No courage to ask for help. No courage to admit our wrong doings (we all make mistakes!) No courage to say "I am sorry". No courage to try anything new. How does that sit with you? I want to have the courage to ask for help, admit my wrongs, apologize, step out on a path, clear a trail, mark the way and lead others. That said, I look foward to this week with the lesson of gratitude. Specifically the lesson of gratitude with intention. A simple "thank you" is easy to let slip through our lips. But taking the component of intention and blending it with gratitude moves us to a more meaningful expression of appreciation. The smiles, focus, joy and curiousity that are ebbing and flowing through the 12 participants are awe inspiring to witness. With deep and intentional gratitude, I look foward to many more sessions and lessons of courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion. Share this important message by having courage, being grateful, forgiving often and putting your compassion to action. Enjoy the soft days of summer. All the best, ​Christina

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