“When I’m walking, I’m walking; when I’m eating, I’m eating, when I’m sleeping, I’m sleeping.”

unknown Zen master

I was running late.

It was my day to work in the mosaic studio and already I’d had a morning filled with other commitments, work, deadlines and one or two mini-crises. Now before you start to think I’m the CEO of Apple or some other mega corporation (not that you really would think such a thing), STOP. I’m just a regular person trying with everything I know to make a living. So compared to say Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, my crises aren’t so huge. But to Jean McBride, they’re big enough.

Before I could get to the studio, I had horses to feed. It’s my life.

That’s when I had an experience with Pepper, or for the purposes of this post, “Buddha Girl.”

Pepper likes to take her time when she eats. She chews each bite thoroughly. I firmly believe she attended Weight Watchers sometime in her life, because she chews each mouthful of grain at least 25 times.

I’ve counted.

And no amount of prodding, shaking the feed pan or talking, gets her to eat faster or stop looking at her friends from the herd who love to watch her eat.

She can have her head in the pan, supposedly munching away, but the pile of grain goes down very slowly. I mean slowly!

So I looked at my watch and realized that I was going to be late. “Come on, Pepper,” I cajoled.

She trained those soulful brown eyes on me and seemed to say, “Chill.” Pepper does on occasion, lapse into street talk. I think it’s from hanging out with her bad boy Mustang friend. But I digress.

She wasn’t finished. In fact she was far from finished. Because now, she had a taste for those yummy alfalfa cubes that she knows I keep in the back of the truck. And if I wasn’t going to give her some, why she’d just help herself. And that’s what she did. Here’s the evidence.

Miss Pepper helping herself to some alfalfa

I sighed. This was a mare with a purpose. Since we’re always trying to get weight on her, I yielded. I mean I totally yielded. Let her eat, for Pete’s sake, I thought. That’s when I shifted. I started to feel the breeze on my face. I could smell spring in the air and it thrilled me. I heard a hawk call out as it flew above me.

And I relaxed. I began to breathe more deeply and feel the tiniest bit of stress flow out of my body. Pepper’s munching was the most soothing sound – like a mantra that reminded me to breathe in, breathe out. Be.

I made it to the studio, nothing bad happened.  I was more relaxed and in a much better space to create.

Ah, Grasshopper – there is always something to be learned if you are open to the teacher and the lesson.