Hi everybody! I'm sorry it's been almost two weeks since my last blog post! We had a horse show a week and a half ago and I tell you, those weekend horse shows wipe me out more than they used to! I used to be so sad leaving at the end of the weekend but now I'm usually ready to get back home and in routine again. Part of getting older, I suppose? (Or maybe having a very active toddler at the shows is the game changer??) On top of that, I have been fighting a nasty cold that has been circulating my family since Christmas. I thought I had escaped it but unfortunately not. It can be very difficult to allow motivation and inspiration to flow through you when you are not feeling well. I'm starting to feel better now and I am ready to share with you all again!
I want to talk a little bit this week on the subject of discontentment. This was a subject that came up in the mom's group I am a part of and boy does it tie in to horses and riding. Have you ever thought to yourself, "If only I could do XYZ then I would feel validated as a rider and everything would be great!". And then, say you achieve that goal. Then what? Most likely you end up right in that same position again...."Well, ok I achieved that but I really need to achieve THIS to be validated!" and so the pattern continues. (This does not only apply to riding) Believe me, I have been there! In pursuit of my USDF medals especially. I felt that, if only I could achieve my bronze medal...well then I could show people that I can train a horse to third level and then I would feel validated as a rider and trainer. So the Bronze medal came and while it satisfied me for a little while, soon I was in pursuit for my silver medal. "It's really the silver medal that will have people take me seriously!". This is the way of it, isn't it? The old saying "the grass is greener on the other side" isn't far off. It's human nature to be discontent with what we have. We always strive for more, to be better, to be thinner, to be more ambitious. Have you ever said to yourself, "If only I would lose that 5 extra pounds...then I would be happy." I have a secret for you...happiness is not something that we should constantly be chasing for chasing happiness if like chasing the wind, always out of reach...happiness is within us. We own it all along! Try changing your perspective and see what happens. I challenge everybody reading this right now to make a list of all the things that you are grateful for. Our lives are full of blessings and although we may experience hardships, uncertainty and struggle, by focusing on those things that we are grateful for, we can handle those difficult times with a clear head and open heart. Also, I encourage you to enjoy the process. The journey of riding can be incredibly challenging but also beautifully rewarding. The struggles you have today will not be the struggles for tomorrow. Keep that in mind and accept and even enjoy the process. The struggles you face and eventually overcome will lead you to transformation and an understanding and acceptance of others that may be experiencing those same struggles. Horse's are such incredible, beautiful creatures. They can teach us so much about acceptance...not only of our peers but of ourselves first and foremost. If we do not accept and love ourselves, we cannot expect to accept or love others. When you feel like you come up short or are discontent with some aspect of your life, take a moment, close your eyes, breathe in the scent of your horse as you stroke his neck. Center yourself and show gratitude for all you have. By showing gratitude, I am not saying that you should ignore any pain, discontent or unhappiness you feel. The purpose of mindfulness is to be present and FEEL these things. But gratitude can begin the healing process.
Thank you all for reading. Much love and many blessings,