This last week has been roller coaster of bends, turns, with ups and downs as I have maneuvered the path of learning to understand where I have been so stuck. Having so many of the answers handed to me by my students and my horses. As I have been slowly and carefully extracting myself from the flimsy layers of the taught behaviors that have been holding the lowest levels glued so tightly together, as I decidedly now choose which thought to pursue. With the wonderful simple examples set by the horses I played with this week when I ask any of them to do something. They always choose to do things by breathing, being aware, feeling for the choice that allows them to be comfortable. I know it is okay with them, when they look at me, breathe me in, and sigh. Any other reaction shows by them looking away, their body is tense, sometimes they roll their eyes, and hold their breath being able to so minutely breathe they almost seem to be holding their breath in a rock solid, so braced against my asking to quickly for them to grasp or understand.
In the fleeting moment of asking my long standing Appaloosa recover, I note when he freezes, stiffens up to me when I am even a little bit too rushed for him. Knowing it stems from whatever caused the hole in his skull one can still feel on his forehead. I marvel at his willingness to tolerate me and any new ideas I bring to further educate him in working with more people than just me. There is no thought to his reactions… I know they are just his instincts kicking in, so related to the first five years of his life… before me. I understand in working with my lady clients of the week, whenever I am explaining and sometimes re-explaining a previous lesson that they understood previously to mean one or two words out of the entire lesson of the week before.
They tense up, stop breathing, focus real hard on each word I am saying and I watch the fear of being wrong, having made a mistake or probably screwing up their poor horse. I then first get them to breathe, secondly explain whatever the last lesson was in an entirely different format. Add to that the things they are doing right, and then remind them that thinking about something new is hard when you have all this prior learning experiences from others telling you what you should do, what any words ought to mean, then watching me easily perform the task intuitively, and then trying to do it too.
Thinking is such hard work when learning and doing something new. One stops breathing, tries to do all of the steps at once, bodies get contorted, the horse patiently mimicking what the bodies on them are asking. Everything is all knotted up, going slowly, almost painfully forward… Till I tease, or throw some way out story, take odd strained poses as them or their horse and remind them how far they have come, what they are doing right, there is so many tiny steps in each new thing and they are trying to do it all of it perfectly right from the start.
Slow down. Feel for how you would make that move without the horse. Relax, feel the side of your body that it is easy to do it with. Compare what that side is doing that the other is not. Forget about me… I am just the radio, just this voice. I am not watching, judging, comparing or beating up on you for not being me or right. This is supposed to be fun. Wiggle your tailbone, wiggle your toes, find a way to let go. Just be. Sit with the horse… Oh my gosh “Look”, now your horse is relaxing. The animal has no idea you are worried about how you fit on him. He has been all tensed up over whatever it is you see that he does not. You’re the boss. You’re the one who is supposed to be comfortably making the decisions for both of you. You’re not comfortable, so something out there must be dangerous.
I am aware of the tension from the imagined eyes of long ago…waiting, watching, judging, and having such high expectations for another to live up to… This week I have learned to watch my thoughts. It took slowing down, breaking each thought into does this hold true today, does it make me feel better or worse. Who is it that is holding my body prisoner, making me act or behave like this voice in my head? Oh it’s my own voice, I tell it thank you. Then choose otherwise. I became aware of there really are four parts of me. who have been trying to communicate with me. One is my physical that is ever present in getting my attention by how it feels, comfortable or a little uncomfortable, unless I ignore the first signs, then the discomfort becomes bigger. Two is my emotional…all of these thoughts that I have learned to notice. If they are fast, rapid and uncomfortable…it’s my ego. The third part of me my spirit which is this sense of being guided or led. Healthy, comfortable, calm and confident, it’s the real me. Constantly changing, noticing, adapting, and becoming more and more every day.
And the fourth part is my connection,and awareness of Source, the Universe, God. Always patient, all loving, always unconditional, always waiting for me when I get lost, discouraged, or trapped by the habits and understandings taught and shared to me by well meaning others in the myriad of the million thoughts in my head . Who experienced the same things I learned so well, they were told it was right and only way.They did not know or have the desire to be much more or otherwise… I choose to be all I can be. I choose to blaze my own unique trail by trusting and honoring the things that feel comfortable to and for me.