The Dreaded All or Nothing’s
This is the thought that I know has been eluding me the last few days, weeks, months and I highly suspect most of my life. It’s this funny thing I suspect we all do and luckily for me I get to observe others around me in the lessons I give, the people I coach, and the variety of information I receive via the internet. In the blogs I read, the emails shared, and the unsolicited, over abundant sales pitches to look, be, have, or your missing out that seems to be everywhere. But it too serves a purpose as a way to measure where I am at in being the captain of myself in this journey of life.
It is Sunday morning, Memorial weekend here in Texas. Though I rarely include the day of the week or an actual date to mark whence my story telling of my life is occurring. Today is special because I have locked my sights onto this internal war of beliefs that have been the driving force in what feels like the extreme ups and downs in my life. The time is 8:30 on a Sunday, I have slept in late, one cause of the tiredness/struggle of trying too hard to find this particular answer, though I did have assistance in hearing my youngest and his buddy getting up at 7 to feed. So I rolled over to think, consider, sort through the tingling of awareness which kept showing itself the last few days, inspiring me to come write. Yet disappearing in the words that would then flow from my fingers, the idea sprang fully in my mind, crystal clear this morning, causing me to give up my other daily rituals so I could capture it fully in words.
Those words too, describe the all or nothings, symbolized in the lesson down the road with my last student of the day yesterday. A simple exercise of riding the horses to a particular destination at rider’s requested speed, asking for the horse to be a willing participant in this freedom from constraint of the five acres we currently inhabit. The objective is to have the rider moving their body in time with the horse’s, both parties assisting the other to find the dance of movement so that the ride is enjoyable. The rider to be moving in such a fashion as to be massaging and asking in a way to assist the horse to find what is being asked in a friendly inviting form. The horse to be willing to walk, jog, or trot at the slowest, interested in where we are headed, quietly following its rider’s lead, the entire trip to be engaging, relaxing, and a way of stretching the limits of safety found in riding in a structured environment.
My steed perfectly willing to move at the speed’s requested, in any direction, softly, fluidly, easily, only as long as he was allowed to lead. The little mare, was constantly working at dragging the reins through my student’s hands, much like she does when she becomes annoyed with first timers or the ones who come to take lessons, just so they can go fast. Whose hands and body motions are hard, way to insistent when they discover I teach flow, communication, attunement with the horse, and they try to sneak in being heavy handed, which she resents and has enough smarts to keep them honest and aide them to learn how to ask assertively, but lightly.
The entire trip of two miles down to the local arena, with a few minutes of opening and closing gates, small circles, side passes and yields with my horse’s cooperation as long as it was his way, in front, on his terms. My student and the mare discussed where and how long it would take for the rider to give up and the horse to be allowed her usual hour lesson tolerance of unskilled hands. Though this entire lesson included the emotions of who’s in charge, the electricity of resistance, stimulated by the thoughts that typically go through my mind of: What is he doing, why is he not listening, why today, how to get his attention, where is this coming from, etc, etc, etc all indicative of my frustration from the lawnmower, my son and my life flowing through my mind and my body, that the horse had so picked up and wanted none of. If it is not a comfortable feeling, the feeling to the horse is the rider has to be afraid of something I cannot see, so I (the horse) who is always living in the present moment, must take the lead so we can comfortably move on.
This morning’s waking thoughts so pin pointed the all’s or nothings. My tool situations, my son and families participation, my work, my horses when others are around, my entire life. I have been swimming in this sea of right or wrong, its either done or it isn’t, I am either liked or disliked, I either have money or I don’t, it’s either right now or I am unworthy, a fool, an idiot, or I just don’t have the right whatever’s. So I need to buy them, find them, change them, fix them or ditch them. The gray area, that place of baby steps, seems baby steps need to encompass the entire world. The baby steps of now at least two thirds of my place is cut, at least two thirds of my son’s habits have become more cooperative, my bills are all paid with cash in my wallet, money in the bank, my truck running, hay in the barn, feed purchased for the next week… The list of what is right, right now, right this minute so outweighs what I should, could, might, ought to, or whatever else I have been told or shown I am a failure if I ain’t! I think, no I know the horse has it right. To live right now in this present moment, to be concerned with just being okay, moving, breathing, seeing, existing in the dance of life. It is so much easier, so much more comfortable, so much more fun. It is what life is about. Gray area, hmmm? Who knew, I do… at least right now today May 27, 2012 out west of Floresville, Texas overlooking the San Antonio river on a late easy “holiday” weekend. Definitely a “no worries” wanna be. 🙂