Patience

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Until you’ve experienced it, you can’t fathom how much patience is required for traveling—like, a lot of traveling. For example, when you’ve been traveling for 14 days, halfway around the world and back. (Big, deep intake of breath, eyes closed, slowly release breath…ahhhh…that’s my yoga stuff right there.).

At this point, I’ve been gone for 14 days. I’m on a flight back from San Jose, California. I’m in line for the revolting airplane restroom, and, no I’m not in first class—I’m in coach! We’re about an hour-and-a-half into the flight, the flight attendants had already dashed though twice, so by now I’ve read a few chapters in my latest leadership book and decide to take a nap. I’m zonked out; until my sweet daughter Jaylee wakes me up with her soft tap, tap with her little girl finger on my arm. I stretched a big stretch, then, of course, I realize I need to use the restroom. Of course, the line is five people deep and taking forever! I mean, really, we’re on a plane here people, what are you doing in there? (That was a rhetorical question because I really didn’t, don’t and would never really want to know the answer to that question.)

I start to look around and notice all the trash on the floor and how messy people are being, and how they’re just, you know, doing a lot of not caring. Then I notice the combined stench of too many people crammed into a confined space and a tiny airplane bathroom with too many people using it (I hope nobody is eating right now, I’m truly sorry if you are.). I feel my temperament begin to dive into the red zone, then a man tries to cut in front of me and I say, “Hey, I am in line!” I did this with my sharp, sassy voice, y’all, because, what the…?

Finally, two people come out and four more people get in line behind “the cutter.” Oh, how I’m missing being in first class at this point! My attitude is purely negative now, like a physical thing, I can feel it all over me! Then, I feel a small tap, tap and turn around, and the man who was trying to take cuts, “the cutter,” asks me if I’d like a piece of gum out of his brand new pack. I said, “No thank you, but thank you for thinking to offer me one!”

As I faced back toward the bathroom and away from the man, I had to giggle at myself—I actually had a huge smile after that. Come on, Lo! Really? Let’s get mad over the line for the bathroom—really, what else do you have to do for the next three hours on this plane? I really told myself get a life!

It’s so easy to let our emotions get the best of us. In those emotional moments, it’s so important to ask, “Really, do I have it that bad?” I just spent 10 days in a country where some people don’t even have a bathroom with running water, or one that even works as well as a repulsive airplane bathroom. At the end of the day, we all need to offer more grace and try for more patience. Find the smile and the kindness in our hearts for others, especially on a plane (or a bus or a subway, you know, any closed-in space where you might want to just snap!).

There will come a time that those little tap, taps that were waking me from my amazing nap will no longer happen, because my sweet baby girls will be all grown up and gone. There will come a time in my life when I won’t be able to travel, I’ll be too old and feeble. All of these things, they’re transient—they’re here, then they’re gone—whether good or bad, nothing lasts forever. Really think about that: nothing lasts forever.

So, embrace life to the fullest, even if it’s messy, chaotic, grubby, not pretty—there will be always someone there to offer you a fresh piece of gum, from a brand new pack.

–Lorinda Van Newkirk

Home Away From Home

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There are places we go that become so treasured that we return to them again and again. They warm our souls, light our fires and elicit pure peace. And even when we’re not there, in quiet moments we find our minds drifting back to “that place,” because, however briefly, those reflections bring back the feelings we experience when we’re there.

Lo blogged the other day about her “nirvana,” which is the barn. Well, that got me thinking about my happy place, which is Key West, Florida. I love that place so much, it’s where I plan to retire. Seriously.

There’s nothing I don’t love about the Keys. It’s bright, sunny and quite funky, and those are all things I adore! There’s also the beach, the expanse of sky blue water, that expanse of sky blue…well, sky—its vastness is uninterrupted by people or buildings or traffic, just water and sky. The grit of the sand under my bare feet, the contrast of my brightly painted toenails against the neutral beach, the constant mild, warm, salty winds—it is perfection.

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I’ve always considered myself a free spirit, and the first time I ever visited Key West,  I saw and felt why it’s often described as a haven for free spirits. It’s laid back, a little lazy and a lot crazy! There are chickens everywhere, just running amok—absolutely hilarious. You can be sitting at any outdoor restaurant, with chickens zipping around under that tables and roosters cock-a-doodle-doing right behind you. And what’s not to love about restaurants that serve breakfast until 2 p.m., like one of my all-time faves, Blue Heaven? The seafood is plucked from the surrounding waters, so fresh and so sweet and you can eat it at breakfast, lunch and dinner—it’s so good washed down with ice-cold beer.

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And did I mention the clothes? It’s shorts weather almost all the time. Swimsuits, flowing cover-ups, flip-flops (who doesn’t love those?), live music, food fresh from the ocean, staying up late, getting up late, no time clock, just a total escape. Y’all, I’m already mentally packing my bags!

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So, this is where I go to restore my spirit! And when I’m not actually there, the Keys are still with me, and I visit there frequently in my head. Does that make me sound a little crazy?

~Amy Moorhouse

Heck Yes, Like A Girl!

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So we’ve launched this new kick-ass line called “Rope Like a Girl®.” We’re so pumped at Gypsy Soule® because we’ve teamed with world-class roper Lari Dee Guy on these Rope Like a Girl® tees and caps. Any time we have the opportunity to support women, we jump at it, and we felt strongly that Rope Like a Girl®, which was Lari Dee’s brainchild, was a perfect fit for Gypsy Soule®.

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So, a lot of y’all might not know who Lari Dee Guy is, and that’s OK! I’ll tell you a little about her. Lari Dee is a Soule Sister who also believes in girl power. She grew up on her family’s working ranch in Abilene, Texas. She started rodeoing when she was a little thing, and took it upon herself to learn to rope so she could compete with her older brother. She began winning roping competitions when she was only 8 years old! She continued her awesomeness throughout college and won two National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) championships. She still competes some, but years ago she started a roping school and travels all over the United States and the world putting on roping clinics. Y’all can check out her website here: larideeguy.com

I wanted to write this blog about Rope Like a Girl® and the strength of women, especially after watching the Oscars the other night, because…Patricia Arquette. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Arquette received an Oscar for her performance in the movie, “Boyhood.” She took a few seconds of her speech to promote equal pay for women. She pissed off a lot of people, but, whatever. She brought up a salient point, which is that, even in this day and age, when we’ve fought for equality for minorities, for gays, for you name it, nobody has picked up the torch and fought for women for equal pay for equal work. I guess people didn’t like that she used an awards show to make a quasi-political speech—if you call asking for equal pay a political issue. Because, basically, whether you’re a liberal or a conservative, neither party has championed the issue of equal pay for women. So, even though, yeah, it was an awards show and people shouldn’t use it as a platform to blather on about unrelated issues, I still pumped my fist and said, “Yesssssss!” after her speech.

So, back to Rope Like a Girl®! Here’s how the idea was hatched: Lari Dee wanted to take the saying, “Rope Like a Girl®,” and basically flip it upside down. I snatched a quote from her that explains her thinking:

“I admit, I’d said ‘I roped like a girl,’ on days when I didn’t score well, when I took a bad shot from more coils back than I can really reach, or when I just flat missed a steer I shouldn’t have. But did how I roped have anything to do with the fact that I was a girl? Heck no. I always knew that. I have always believed that, as a girl, I could do anything in the world I wanted to. Why had I been using, and hearing, ‘rope like a girl,’ my whole life, as a negative?”

Lari Dee got fired up when she started thinking about all the girls who attend her roping schools who believe, in their sweet little 9-or-10-year old hearts, that they’ll grow up to be competitive ropers, possibly competing at the National Finals Rodeo. As a woman, it is kind of disheartening to hear ‘rope like a girl,’ or ‘throw like a girl.’ As a little girl, it’s so much worse and defeating for them—kind of a dream crusher. It’s not that we want girls to defeat boys or do better, we just want them to be the best they can be and have equal chances at success.

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So, we launched Rope Like A Girl® to erase doubt in little girls and grown women! The Rope Like a Girl® logo incorporates the world’s toughest stone, a diamond, as a reminder to women of their strength. Down the road we plan to design some other “Like a Girl” tees and caps, so keep those peepers peeled for “Hunt Like a Girl®,” “Race Like a Girl®,” “Show Like a Girl®” and “Jump Like a Girl®.”

Because, girls, we can!

–Lorinda

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Lifting The Fog

1Lord knows it sucks: getting up in the mornings, getting going. When you’re looking down the road ahead and it’s gonna be the same ol’ day, the same ol’ thing, the same ol’ life—SSDD: same sh*t, different day! Some mornings I struggle with thoughts like that, they creep in and settle in my head like a frigid fog. The alarm blares, my eyes open, I take a deep breath and I start to think: “I know what this day’s gonna be like, there’ll be big piles of bullsh*t and I’m gonna have to deal with all of it.” Or, heck, maybe I didn’t sleep worth a damn and I’m exhausted, or I have a cold or, or, or, there could be a million reasons for a sucky morning!

But you know what? There are people who would love our bad days. Whose lives or circumstances are so sad and hopeless, that even our worst (got fired), worst (gained 15 pounds), worst (kid brought home an F on a test) days seem simple and transient—nothing lasts forever, not even the bullsh*t! When that fog settles over you, you just have to pull yourself up and, sometimes, the best thing for me is to break out my morning playlist and rock out! Music has a mystical effect on attitude! Some mornings I may jam to Miranda Lambert, Pink, Blake Shelton or the Eagles. So, if a certain mood strikes, like the blues or anger or exhaustion, I pick the opposite mood and find the appropriate music. If I feel blue or angry, boom! I play happy music. Exhausted, then bam! I pick energetic music that makes me want to move. Whatever “foggy” mood I find myself in, I want to be the opposite of that ASAP.

You’ve got to figure out what’s going to make you feel good in the morning—yeah, you have to plan ahead. You’ve got to figure out what’s going to give you an optimistic attitude, because whether you realize it or not, you’ve got an audience: your kids, the people you’re leading or the people you spend time with. The attitude you display and how you treat others is what you’re going to get in return. Remember the old saying, “What you sow, so shall you reap.” So, the mornings that I want to be in a not very good mood, I get up, get my music going and I get moving. I make my bed (LOVE a fresh-made bed!), clean up my house and get to work on banishing the blahs.

Those rough mornings are the ones where you need to be extra nice and extra smiley. Your kids, your family, the people you work with—they’re very sensitive to your demeanor, and they’ll feed off of that. If you want to see a bad day get worse, then reflect on the days you’ve woken up kinda pissed at the world, then you treated everyone around you like you’re pissed at the world, and pretty soon, everyone around you is also pissed at the world. So, so, so not fun, right?

So, I guess all I’m saying is, life sucks sometimes. It does and we all have a right to recognize that and get annoyed or angry or frustrated, but we don’t have a license to treat people poorly. Yes, morning sucks! Crawling out from under those warm, snug covers, most days, is haaaard. But, we have to get up, pull on our boots—figuratively speaking—and go to work, whether that’s to an office or out to the kitchen to rustle up breakfast for the kiddos. You have to be the leader, in word and in deed! So if you need to write yourself a motivational note before bed that you stick on your bathroom mirror at night, so that it’s there to greet you every morning while you brush your teeth, then do it!

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If you have to make a new playlist for every morning, then do it! How long does it take you to get ready? How many songs does that equal? So really, most people who are up and going and running around, they probably only need about 10 songs on the playlist—and you can make a playlist right from your iPhone in less than 10 minutes, y’all! No excuses!

Another tip for making mornings better is to do as much as you can the night before. Like, pack your lunch or your kids’ lunches at night! Get breakfast items out before bed—gonna make muffins? Get out the tins, the mix, the bowls and it’s all on the counter ready and waiting. Get everyone’s stuff ready, briefcases, backpacks, diaper bags, etc., and have them ready to roll out the door. Do you have animals to feed? Then fix their feed cans at night and have them ready to pour the next morning…seriously, these little things make an enormous difference the next day.

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Enjoy those days when everything goes right, but be prepared for those days that crash and burn, and have something up your sleeve that’ll pull you up off the ground. You can do it, girl!

–Lorinda

My Nirvana

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This place can smooth the wrinkles out of my most bunched up day. I think it’s a lifetime of enjoyable experiences that make me love this place so much, because almost all the time I’ve spent in a barn has been positive.

I know that every time I walk into a barn, I’ll feel a sense of peace wash over me. Kinda like being really, really cold and stepping into a steaming, hot shower, it just washes over me and warms me up!

My time in barns began when I was a tiny girl, and that was definitely a carefree phase in my life. I’m a long, long way—physically, spiritually and time-wise—from that wild wee girl on my family’s ranch in Southern California. Today, I’m a mom, a wife and a business-owner. I have so many people I have to worry about: my sweet girls, my loveable hubby and my awesome employees!

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But, the barn, it’s my little piece of heaven. If you’ve never spent a lot of time around horses, you might think they’re stinky animals, but they’re not! They have this wonderful salty-sweet smell. The feel of their coarse manes, their tender soft ears, their bristly lips, and their insatiable curiosity! People think cats are curious, you should see the stuff horses get into—you turn your back for a minute while you’re saddling or grooming and you’ll turn around to find that your horse has a broom, straw-end first, in his mouth, swinging it around, trying to get a bite of straw! If I close my eyes, I imagine myself within those four walls: the heavy scent of horses, the fresh hay and almost sugary scent of the feed, aged leather aroma from well-used and well-loved saddles and bridles—it’s so comforting and assuring to me.

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A visit to the barn means getting a chance to spend time with my horse Prince—it’s all-encompassing because I’m immersed mentally and physically. You can’t groom or ride a horse with half a heart, you have to be all-in, or you’ll get your toes crushed while you’re on the ground or get dumped while you’re on his back! So, horse-time is a kind of forced escape, your daily worries are put on hold while 100 percent of your focus is on this gorgeous, solid animal.

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So, that’s my joyful place. I wanted to tell you about it because I hope everyone has their own place that makes them content! It can be the mall, baking, cooking, running, swimming, hiking, hunting—we’re all different. Just don’t take it for granted, don’t forget to live in the moment, soak it all in, stop and breathe and look around at your joyful place. Be grateful for it.

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