The Greatest Networker in the World – Chapter 11: Habits of Disbelief
Habits of Disbelief
We walked across the flag stone parking area in front of the house, past his office-study and on down to the horse barn. As we approached the stables, I saw a long horse trailer – the kind that would hold at least four horses attached to a hefty-looking pickup truck with an extra set of back wheels.
There was a clomping of hooves and the sound of voices coming from within the trailer as we walked along its side to the end where a young woman was coaxing a tall grey mare backwards down the loading ramp. The entire length of the horse’s neck and upraised head towered high above her.
“Oh, come on,” she chided the horse. “You know what to do. Stop being so stubborn… ” the girl said, as the horse came off the ramp and wheeled around prancing and moving sideways.
“… Unlike her owner?” my host commented. “How’d you do, Becc?” he asked the girl whom I assumed was his daughter Rebecca.
“I was awful!” she said emphatically, “but Mom was brilliant! Four blues – and one green!”
“Sixth! What happened?” he asked.
“My saddle squeaked!” came the answer from within the trailer.
“She lost it, too – with the judge,” Rebecca said with a laugh. “You should have seen her, Dad. She was livid. I thought she was going to punch him in the nose. She told him next time she’d oil her butt, and stomped off.
“What’s really funny,” she continued, “is he’s the judge she’s hired for the Red Mountain Show!”
“Young lady…!” admonished the voice emerging from the trailer, “… forget it! Oh, I was so… Ugh! That man…” and the angry voice trailed off.
Standing before me – clad in the high black boots, riding britches, tailored blue blazer and white blouse with the high collar of an equestrian – was Rachel.
She pulled a net off her hair and shook her head rapidly back and forth, her thick, long chestnut hair spreading out around her head, making her look like a most attractive version of Medusa.
She looked over at me. Walked over to me. Stuck out her hand, and in the softest, deepest, most alluring voice, said, “I’m Rachel, and I am the nicest, most demure woman you will ever meet…” then abruptly changed her voice to loud and strong to the point of venomous, “… and I am so ticked off that I am not fit to be pleasant to you or any other mortal! Forgive me!” she declared dramatically, and stomped off into the barn.
I stood there in shocked silence. So did everyone else. Slowly the silence was replaced with the kind of giggles and snickers that emerge after laughter’s been held in as long as humanly possible. Everyone burst out laughing, my host most of all.
All I could manage was a smile. I felt I dared not join in.
Finally, as everyone composed themselves, Kazuko said, “I go to make ready the queen’s bath. Should I up the temperature 20deg. or so?”
“Don’t bother,” said my host. “The minute she gets in it will shoot up higher than that! Boy, is she steamed. I don’t think I’ve seen her so angry at anyone besides me – and that was at least 12 years ago, and I was still drinking! Whew! Rebecca – did she actually hit him?”
“No, Daad,” said the girl, “but she should have. It was really uncalled for. She had a perfect ride – and Cassi was perfect, too. I think he just didn’t want her to take all her classes.”
“Looks like he picked the wrong lady to be overly fair with today,” he observed. “How did she find out about the squeaking bit? Did she see the sheet?”
“Yeah,” Rebecca said. “She made a beeline for the judge’s stand after the class. We all told her not to go up, but there was no stopping her. Dad, she had smoke pouring out of her ears.”
“I’ll bet,” he laughed. “Well,” he said as he turned to me, “you’ve just seen the most powerful woman I know, being… well… powerful. Ah me. She’s something, she is.
“You’re beautiful when you’re furious,” he shouted in the direction of the barn, as he grabbed Rebecca and me by our arms and started toward the house, whispering, “Let’s get out of here.”
We’d been in the living room talking for about 40 minutes – Rebecca had joined us after her shower – when Rachel came in.
As she said she would, Kazuko had made the bath ready for her, adding candlelight and incense to sooth her, Kaz told us. She had laid out Rachel’s favorite robe and a glass of lemonade – which Rachel now placed on the coffee table as she sat down next to me on the couch.
She put her arm through mine and looked directly into my eyes and said, “Well, you must be pretty special. I haven’t delivered a performance like that in at least seven years,” – I heard the Networker chuckle – “and even then I reserved my melodrama only for my husband. So, what makes you so special?” she asked.
Before I could say a word, she spoke quickly, “Oh, he’s blushing,” and she squeezed my arm with hers. “I like him,” she informed her husband, and she smiled over at me. “Where’d he come from?” she asked no one in particular.
“I met him Thursday evening at the meeting in town,” said my host. “I asked him to come to visit Friday, and we’ve been together ever since.”
“So,” Rachel turned back to me, “what have you been doing?”
“I really don’t know where to begin – there’s been so much…” I was coming close to stammering again.
“Relax,” she said patting my arm. “This isn’t a quiz.” She laughed and leaned forward to sip her drink.
“So, madame,” Kazuko spoke. “You’ve had quite a day – yes?”
“Yes,” Rachel said, “and thank you, Kaz, for the wonderful bath, the candles, the lemonade. You’re a dear.”
“Pleasure,” Kazuko replied. “You looked like you needed it.”
“Fer sure,” Rachel replied in a perfectly-pitched Valley Girl voice. She turned to me again and asked, “So, really, what have you guys been doing and talking about since you got here?”
I tried my best to report on all the things we had said and done. As I did, I realized what a massive amount of information, thought, new ideas and experiences I been exposed to – all in less than 24 hours!
By now, I’m sure you expect me to say “Amazing” – so I won’t disappoint you. That’s precisely what it was for me. Amazing.
“Well,” declared Rachel, when I’d finished cataloging all I had seen, heard and done, “seems we’ve all had a pretty full day. Tell me,” she asked me, “what’s next for you?”
“The place to start,” I began, “is to form habits of belief which support my goals.”
“Bright boy – Charming boy,” she said to her husband.
“I’ve told him so,” he agreed. “Quick study, too.”
“Good,” Rachel said, and turning back to me , asked, “So, where will you begin?”
“Ah,” I pondered out loud, “with my goals – and some general habits of belief I already know will support whatever I decide to achieve.”
“Want a suggestion?” she asked.
“Sure,” I said.
“Play with your belief habits first.”
“Tell me why you say that?” I asked.
“No,” she said flatly, though gently. “You tell me.”
I was beginning to see what a powerful pair these two were – and, where the Greatest Networker got some of his Greatest Networker-ness.
“Okay,” I said, slowly. “I suspect that my habits of dis-belief…” and I paused for their reaction to my use of that phrase. It came instantly.
“Good!” he said. Rachel smiled and said, “Continue, my clever friend.”
“… My habits of disbelief affect my ability to create my goals realistically – and by that I mean without the limitations of what I’ve thought was possible. The kinds of habits I have now – or at least, have had, until now – have gotten me to where I am now. So, they obviously need some work, because I’m not where I want to be.”
“So,” I continued, “first step – balance, or begin to balance my scales.”
“Bright boy – Charming boy?” I asked them.
“Touché,” said Rachel. “And true, too.”
“Okay,” said the Second Greatest Networker, leaning forward from his seat, “and how is that done?”
“That’s my question for you – both,” I said, and I sat back, waiting to see what came next.
Click here to read: Chapter 12: Pictures of Belief