Always have a dream that is longer than a lifetime
These words were spoken by Mike Layton at the funeral of his father, Jack Layton.
Jack captured the hearts of a nation when this opposition leader wrote a letter on his deathbed to a country that he loved. But it is a letter that should resonate with everyone from all around the world. It was a statement for living -- for being. It showed a nation that yes, there are still people out there who dedicate their lives to trying to make a change for the better in this world. Jack showed us that when he knew he was dying, and he didn't retreat away from the eyes of the world, but instead, his last thoughts were for those he was leaving behind.
His last words in the letter were:
"Love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we'll change the world"
Mike Layton shared these words of his father.
"Always have a dream that is longer than a lifetime," he said. "Be loving, be hopeful, be optimistic. Together we can build the world of our dreams. And, as he always said, 'Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done.'"
These are not words only for those involved with politics; these are words that speak directly to my heart and the work that we are trying to do here.
All my life, I have heard the words that "it can't be done."
But sometimes the trying is more important than the achieving. Sometimes something is so important that not to try, is wrong somehow.
Maybe it can't be done, maybe there are things that take longer than a lifetime. Sacrifices have to be made, endless hours of work that are required, but if there are enough people who are part of the dream things can happen.
I had a dream.
I grew up loving horses. One day I saw what being on the back of the horse could do for the human body - for the human soul. I saw joy, love, laughter, bodies being healed all from the back of the horse. That started one dream. A dream of making this available to bodies and souls damaged by what some might see as an unkind fate. And I found a group of people that were joyful, happy and loved life with the pure simplicity of a young child. And I saw the magic that can happen when you bring horses and people together.
The dream changed, and I came to realize that while horses could bring so much health to us, that ironically horses were being damaged by some that they served. Horses came into my life, whose bodies and minds were locked, stressed, frenzied, no longer remembering their own youth, when moving with fluidity, came as naturally as breathing. Instead, bodies locked in incorrect postures, muscles straining, backs blocked, breathing impaired, not knowing anymore how to move in perfect rhythm, no longer remembering backs that expand as they breathe in or rib cages that floated as they moved within the stride. One horse after another came into my life that seemed more damaged than the next.
I had seen how beautifully we could bring people back to health on the back of the horse, and I struggled now trying to find health for the damaged souls and bodies of the horses that came into my life.
Surprisingly I really did not pay attention to how they got this way. My focus instead was on the incredibly difficult task of healing these damaged minds and bodies. Trying to help these horses find trust in humans again. Yet I needed more than trust. I needed trust at a level we rarely need from any horse. I needed for them to trust that I knew better than they knew themselves on how to use their own bodies, their own balance, to trust me to tell them where to put their feet because they had lost the patterns of their youth. Difficult when everything that they had learned to date was the opposite of how I was telling them now to move.
The dream changed to wanting to help these horses that came into my life, but not just them but other horses that I began to see more and more in images and film all around the world. I began to understand how they became so damaged both in spirit and in their bodies. Constrained and forced into movements and positions that were so unhealthy for both body and soul.
I struggled to understand how as humans we could not see, could not understand what we are doing to our horses.
And the dream changed again. It became about helping as many horses that I could.
It became about sharing the knowledge I had gained, sharing how beautiful these creatures could become when we release not constrain them into postures and into movement. When we remember that they have knowledge that we don't have and that we can learn as much from them as they can from us. Maybe even more so.
This is where it began. That dream grew, and the end result led to creating a visually stunning representation of the incredible beauty of these amazing creatures through an online international equestrian magazine.
The dream came full circle, from seeing how the horses could bring health to minds and bodies of the humans that they served, to seeing how much help some horses needed refinding the health in their own bodies.
And then the dream changed yet once again with the universe saying this wasn't enough, there was another step to undertake. A new understanding of why so many riders struggle, why so many couldn't see what was happening to the horses that they loved. Because knowledge, I discovered on its own is never enough. And we came to understand how horses can help us learn, becoming not just better riders, but better people. And now I think we have found a job of a lifetime. And a dream that lasts longer than any life.
Here at Kjrsos, we are moving into new directions, new places. We are still dreaming. We envision a time that will lead to new possibilities, possibilities where we can show you beautiful horses, moving freely, where we can share the incredible beautiful simplicity of their lives that is complete unto itself without us. Share beautiful movement, help eyes see the difference between when we are helping versus hindering the horse.
We dream, and one wonders where does the dream end?
It doesn't, not until we can share the joy and together with you, we can learn new surprising things that few would ever thought the horse could bring to us.
We don't know how much of this dream will come alive. But we are not giving this dream up.
We struggle, we work, we live, we laugh, and our lives are dedicated to the next step to a dream that we know is longer than a lifetime, but what fun it is going to be trying to get there. The people we are going to meet, the horses we will get to love, the things we will learn will make it all worthwhile.