ALL THE KINDRED SPIRITS.
THEIR STORIES. THEIR WORDS.
"[...] We were a small group of students and given lots of opportunity to practice teaching from early on in the course. Corinne created a safe space for us to share and learn from each other. Encouraging us to go deeper in our practice, living a yogic lifestyle to understand what it means to do yoga by practicing it in every aspect of our lives [...]"
On July 7th 2013, I arrived in Cahuita, Costa Rica after a long journey through Ethiopia, the Netherlands, Israel and Woodstock NY. With little expectations I stepped out of the bus that day, welcoming the tropical warmth and clouds in the air. What did I know at that moment? I knew I wanted to rediscover my passion for horses. Much did I know that I would find a whole lot more, a true home.
As many girls, I had a history with horses. I started riding when I was 10 years old, fascinated by the world of horses and their incredible way of communication. As a child, the world seemed a confusing and painful place to me. It was thanks to horses and nature in general that I started to see different possibilities than those presented to me. A different story to believe in and to create. Horses helped me to survive my teens and finally go to university. University was an exciting place with a lot of accessible knowledge and although horses were still in my heart, I was encouraged to follow a clear way of success: I was the best of my year and they saw a promising future for me as scientist. As a rational being. Following the orders of the institution I was in. For a long time, I as well believed this was the best way for me to make the world a better place. However, my thesis work in Ethiopia changed my worldview on what is good/bad, developed/undeveloped so profoundly that I no longer believed that this was my road to follow. I had learned to design complicated engineering systems, but I didn’t know nothing about basic things in life: how to grow food, how to heal ourselves, how to live in community, how to live a life of passion and choice. So after my graduation I felt at the forefront of a new phase in my life, a time to start to ACT. I thought about three important things for me: self-sufficiency, herbal medicine and horses. These words guided me to three places in the world: Israel, NY state and Costa Rica. And it was in the latter that everything came together.
Life at Kindred Spirits made me go back to my inner child and see how much she needed horses and nature to thrive in this world. After the first ride with Aña, my body remembered again the joy and freedom of galloping. The connection between a woman and horse in movement. I felt like a little child again. And everything what horses ever meant to me came back. It took quite a while to rediscover the natural trust and courage children have with animals. But Greyjoy, Shiloh, Bill, Aña and Brego were excellent teachers, all with a very different message to tell. And Terry was always there to exchange feelings and ideas and guide with everything she learned from life and horses. As Terry was following a course with Carolyn Resnick, I could follow firsthand how she constructed a magnetic connection with Shiloh. And even try it with Greyjoy! I cannot describe it in words, but being connected with a horse makes one realize how interconnected we all are. How we are so intrinsically related to the living environment and are responsible to take care of our Home, the Earth. It is an amazing gift to feel this connection and strength. And once people find the magic in the creation, the magic of their connection with their environment and the power in their hands to create with thought and body, I’m sure it will bring more happiness and joy. More open eyes, realness and truth. More acceptance of your Self as a woman, a human, an inhabitant of the Earth. Only for this, I recommend You to go and discover Kindred Spirits.
I often wondered how a day could be so full of emotions and thoughts when living in the outskirts of a small village doing ‘simple’ things all day. But I came to understand how sacredness is in those ‘simple’ things. There were moments I felt an outburst of joy: when I rode my bicycle to the horses in the morning accompanied by the ocean and butterflies; when I ate a fresh pineapple with a horse nose trying to eat a piece as well ; or when Terry and I rode our horses over the beach on full moon nights, as true amazons; or when I was working in the garden and saw our seeds growing and thriving to provide us with food: or when I was riding bareback to the waterfalls, feeling every movement of Shiloh; or when there was a yoga retreat and I saw women freely smiling on the back of the horses etc…. Kindred Spirits is a place where you can remember what is important in life. How apparently simple things have a major value and help you to stay real and alive. And all this by experiencing it in practice through work with the horses, yoga, work in the garden and the hotel.
Another strength of Kindred Spirits is that you are encouraged to be creative in whatever way you want to give form to your ideas. I got the freedom to create gardens, to make wild salads, hibiscus flower wine and herbal medicines, to paint and to open my mind with the many books Terry has. The continuous presence of the ocean and all the plants and animals, the sounds of nature that always surround you, the smell of rain and flowers can sparkle a flame in any person. The warmth enables you to relax and breath and start seeing yourself as You rather than with all the judgments of our society and community. And so what is Inside becomes more vivid and alive through your own creations. Terry is also always willing to listen to ideas for change or improvement and lets you contribute your experience to Kindred Spirits. As such, our common enthusiasm for the Earth and Women got form when we started “Mothers of the Earth. Growing, Loving, Sharing” with two other women in Cahuita (whom you wills surely meet). We want to let women see how beautiful they are, how strong, creative, brave, and how they can become connected to their own bodies, taking control of their own lives. Through organic gardening, environmental education, awareness raising and connection with horses, we strive to let women see how they can make a difference in their life and in their community. Mothers of the Earth is on facebook now (thanks to Lexie, Terry’s brilliant daughter) and you are all invited to contribute and become part of our starting organisation!
To become volunteer at Kindred Spirits also enables you to become part of a network of enthusiastic people with a goal to grow a more sustainable world. Cahuita and its surroundings buzzes of people who are involved in organic farming and trade. There are plenty of occasions to attend workshops, to talk with farmers, to become involved in projects and broaden your knowledge on these topics. Terry is a perfect companion as she is always looking to learn more about plants, healing, the earth, gardening etc. She successfully finished a two year training at the Escuela de Ciencias Espirituales y Terapia and as such guided me through several meditations to know where I am in life. She is also a long time practitioner of yoga and together with Corinne Aulakh, creates quality and professional yoga retreats with horses (see site for data). Moreover, we had countless lively conversations while cooking (I miss those ones!), eating dinner, walking to the horses etc. So much to experience, think about and discover that it will never get boring! Moreover, next to the horses, there is a whole family to encounter: the two fabulous daughters of Terry: Eve and Lexie, the four dogs Jasper, Duffy, Felix and Roxy, two tigers (cats), the two parrots Jack and Chica, Leida the best receptionist who is engaged in so many projects and all the other people working at the Magellan Inn…!
Words are inadequate to describe how grateful I am to have lived at Kindred Spirits and to be welcomed and accepted in the family. Thanks to my volunteer experience and the encouragement of Terry and Co, I dared to believe in another story and audition for Cavalia. Today, I find myself in France in the training to go and work with horses in Cavalia! If you want to have an impression of the horses and kindred spirits, see our audition video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cKi_dIApAA
To everyone with an open mind, interest to learn and discover and courage to be challenged and confronted with your Self, I say: go and volunteer at Kindred Spirits and transform your dreams into reality !