The Awful Little Voice

You don’t know what you’re doing.  Ha. You are  so ____!

Fill in the blank with your Awful Little Voice’s favorite dig.

My Awful Little Voice got out of control.  It became a threatening, seven-headed, sword bearing monster – that still somehow managed to be a supermodel.

Strike that. This just in, from the Brain: the ALV is an astrophysicist supermodel gymnast. Who can sing.  And ice dances when she’s done creating World Peace.

Ignoring the ALV did not make it go away. It sent in tap roots, and spread. Apparently, Ignoring is a kissing cousin to Denial.  Who knew?

Pretty soon, according to my Awful Little Voice, I was getting up in the morning, dressing like an elderly troll, making Shaun terrible coffee, smearing on makeup in horribly unflattering colors, packing inedible lunches, walking the dog badly (?), tending a mediocre garden, eating like a pig, and working hard to become a worthless human being.

I didn’t notice.

The awful little voice saw its chance for new territory: Maybe you shouldn’t touch horses, you really have no business being around them, what do you know?


It finally hit something my confidence knows is ridiculous. Bonus: now I can see the little bugger.

It’s picked at my riding confidence, but never touched my horse skills. I am no longer ignoring.  I am holding a semi-automatic. Locked and loaded, ALV in the crosshairs.

KAPOW. Nice shot, Jane.

I forgot I could fight back.

All week I’ve gotten up in the morning, dressing casually in pretty colors, making excellent coffee, doing my makeup  just fine, packing interesting, healthy lunches, walking the dog into a state of bliss, tending a gorgeous, exploding garden, eating like a pig hungry person that needs fuel (a little backsliding on that one) and working hard at becoming a positive person whose awful little voice is deposed from dictatorship.

Yesterday, I got on Hudson, said to ALV: “I can ride this horse, and ride him well” and proceeded to ride him well, imperfectly.  We had a BLAST together.

“Imperfect” is no longer an opening for the Awful Little Voice. Things don’t have to be perfect to be right.  Hudson worked his butt off trying to be a terrific dressage horse who called me on my mistakes, and then willingly helped me correct them.

As a return gift for his generosity, I took him into the big arena.  We were in tune. I let him gallop: switching between on the bit and on the buckle.  He’s not a horse that needs the rider to tell him how to carry himself.  Incredible balance. He hit the gas on the long sides, and when I pulled in my abs and sat up, he came back willingly on the short sides. I told him “as much galloping as you want, just know we’re finishing collected”. He ran with it. As a reward for giving him room to be himself, the collected work he gifted me at the end was AWESOME.  I didn’t have to do a thing but sit still, square, stay in my body, and let him dance.

Take THAT, awful little voice!

I can ride.

12 thoughts on “The Awful Little Voice

  1. Your post really resonates with me. I recently wrote a book entitled “Accessing Your Intuition”, highlighting how human/horse relationships (through training and riding) have allowed me to strengthen my communication skills and better myself. Our little voices can be so impactful.

    I’d love to remain in touch, via Twitter (@authorshelley) and on my blog (

    1. I’m terrible on twitter, just so you know. I think I’ve only ever tweeted alerts that new posts are up? I enjoyed your blog post on intuition, and the pic is adorable. And so true!

  2. My ALV likes to tell me I am disorganized and irresponsible. Sometimes, it’s right, but most of the time it’s exaggerating. I like to shut it up by keeping my horse/tack/trailer/trunk spotless and impeccably neat. Riding the ALV into submission is MUCH cooler. You ROCK! Your ALV is an idiot. 🙂

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