Having met Blackbird Books founder Stephanie and loved her approach to publishing I’m just delighted to be supporting them in celebrating the publication of The Spell of the Horse by Pam Billinge today. Pam has written a fantastic guest piece to mark the occasion of The Spell of the Horse being published that it is my privilege to share with you alongside my review.
The Spell of the Horse is published today, 18th September 2017 and is available for purchase here.
The Spell of the Horse
‘The ability of the horse to sense emotion, energy and spirit is way beyond what most of the human world realises.’
When Pam’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she began to notice the way her horse responded to her emotional turmoil. Thus began an exploration into the spiritual relationship between horses and humans and their infinite capacity to help us heal. Building on her remarkable discoveries, Pam began her pioneering work as a horse-led coach and therapist. By sharing her own path to redemption through personal tragedy, and other stories of healing inspired by the incredible interactions she has observed between horse and human, Pam puts forward her uplifting insights about the true nature of the horse, setting out some simple principles to help the reader transcend life’s challenges.
Discover the lessons which horse behaviour have taught the author about
* managing anxiety
* surviving bereavement
* letting go of fear and finding courage to live with joy and purpose
* listening to inner wisdom without overthinking dilemmas, allowing the right things to happen in life without force
A must-read for those wishing to understand the spiritual connection between horses and humans.
The Fear of Success
A Guest Post by Pam Billinge
Today my first book is published, The Spell of the Horse. Thank you to Linda for the opportunity to write a guest blog to mark this special occasion.
Writing a book, never mind publishing one, was beyond my wildest dreams a few years ago. When someone suggested that I should do so, to tell the story of how I came to do what I do for a living, I laughed with a self deprecating tone. ‘Yeah, sure!’ Owning a horse, too, was once a longing I thought would never be met. I still remember vividly the moment that my first horse Delilah was mine, after parting with way more money than I should have done. I was 28 years old and gazed at her over the top of her stable door with the adoration and wonder of a 6 year old.
My passion and respect for horses has only grown stronger over the intervening years and those I have known have helped me to be who I am. Now I work as a horse-led therapist and coach – a vocation which I wasn’t even aware could exist until many years into my career. The Spell of the Horse reveals how this path emerged for me and what horses have taught me, and others, about living a life with purpose and joy.
Writing The Spell, as I call her, took me on an emotional rollercoaster which I had not bargained for at the outset. Fear of failure and of being judged paralysed me at times, and almost stopped me signing my publishing deal. Yet continue I did and today The Spell is set free in the world to do her work. I hope that if you read her you will enjoy the stories and be captivated by the wonderful horses and people you encounter.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all for me, in this writing journey, is that receiving praise for my book, and owning it, is a lot harder than hearing criticism (although I should like to add that if you do like my book please do tell me via the review pages!) This has led me to reflect on how it isn’t fear of failing which holds many of us back, it is the fear of being as great as we can possibly be. Because if you embrace your greatness fully, who knows what might happen?!
So today, do something to reach for your dream. That thing that you long for but feels out of reach. Why should you not have it? Be open to the path which is unfolding before you and trust where it is taking you, you are probably not even aware of your likely destination yet. Open your heart to receive and offer praise. Step into your own potential, and help those around you to do the same. And if a horse is still an unfulfilled childhood dream, remember…it is never too late!
(What a wonderful post Pam. Congratulations on The Spell of the Horse and good luck!)
My Review of The Spell of the Horse
Horses have the ability to understand out emotions and help us in ways we can’t possibly imagine.
I confess, I thought The Spell of the Horse would be a twee book of sickly entries from a horse fanatic. My abject apologies Pam. There is nothing twee or sickly about the depth of emotion portrayed in this wonderful book. in fact, I found much of The Spell of the Horse so powerful I had to read it in chunks as I couldn’t deal with the emotions portrayed in big sessions.
I think The Spell of the Horse is actually a very brave book. Pam Billinge lays herself bare for all to see. She shares her hopes and fears, her happiness and sadness, joy and grief, so that it is impossible not to be moved by several of the entries. Pam knows when she has made mistakes and is not afraid to share those times so that others may benefit. The events in Pam’s life are those where all readers can find something to relate to. I loved, for example, Pam’s description of herself as three different women who could hold hands and support one another as I know I’ve used different personas in different situations in my own life. I think the concept of ‘integrating the splinters of yourself’ will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Pam also writes beautifully. There’s a poetic quality to her descriptions and she has a real eye for detail, especially colour, so that her words really come alive on the page. Pam is a true storyteller as well as someone writing self help style material.
The Spell of the Horse is a very special book. In the same way many of those in its pages needed to learn to approach the horses appropriately in order to appreciate them and their power fully, I think some readers will need to approach this book with an open mind if they are to benefit from it fully. I shall be revisiting the pages of The Spell of the Horse many times and if you’re feeling lost in your life I urge you to read it too.
About Pam Billinge
Brought up in suburban Liverpool, the first horses Pam fell in love with were ridden by the mounted policemen she would see passing her house on the way to supervise football matches at Anfield. Little did she know, then, how these magnificent creatures would influence her adult life, leading not only to support her through a number of personal tragedies, but also to her pioneering work in horse-led psychotherapy and coaching.
When Pam became disillusioned with her stressful career in industry she set up as an independent coach and leadership consultant and trained as a body psychotherapist. It was during this time that her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and Pam began to notice the way her horse responded to her emotional turmoil. Thus began an exploration into the true nature of the horse and their infinite capacity to help humans heal and deepen their sense of themselves.
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