Mindfulness for Relaxation

I remember years ago, a lady came to take lessons with me. She had traveled all the way from Florida to learn the Art of Horsemanship. She had all the right clothes and a great deal of enthusiasm. However, on her first day she became disappointed with all the details she would have to learn to stay safe around horses. And on top of that, she also found out that she would have to learn how to manage a horse’s behavior. The next day she found even more disturbing because instead of something to do in her lesson, I told her to enjoy the moment and relax while keeping the horse way from her as she was sitting in a chair reading a book.

Initially she said that all she wanted was for the horse to relax, however she discovered that it took a lot of leadership, concentration, attentiveness, focus and management in order to be around a horse. These were the same things that she did at work all day and exactly what she was trying to avoid. She wanted a horse so she could forget about the details and just fall into a blissful state of being in his presence. I told her she was on the right track but that she must take time to learn how to create this type of connection before she could experience it.

So I told the lady not to worry; it was only her approach that was causing her stress. By taking a different approach, I promised her she would find the bliss she was looking for with horses and in her business. I was able to show her how to juggle all the balls that life would throw her way whilst still being able to relax in the moment. Not because she could give up the need to pay attention, manage, plan ahead and all the other things she had to do to perform her job but by learning how to relax.

After a week of my guidance, I was able to give her the ability to have the discernment she needed to lead a horse in the moment and to keep the connection. She learned how to focus on all the details necessary to make a great connection with a horse and be able to create the trust, respect and bond that she desired to share. She also enjoyed the ups and downs and learned that bliss was more rewarding than she originally hoped for. She found this through my guidance using the Waterhole Rituals in the first step sharing territory and learning the art of meditation with horses.

This is why I created the Waterhole Reflections - Meditations with Horses in Nature DVD. It provides the preparation needed to be in the right state of mindfulness for learning the lessons that horses bring to us. It also provides a platform for us to look into the everyday world of horses with a better awareness of the rich herd culture of horses that we need to learn in order to make better connections with them. In the practice of the Waterhole Rituals, one learns how to first develop the bond and then the trust and from there how to lead from this bonded trust.

Dancing in relaxation and bliss is an art that takes time but no effort. In reality it is not the details that stress us out, it is having to take care of the problems that occur from not paying attention to the details in the first place or making a misjudgment. It is all in the approach not in fixing the problem. I asked her to look at the times she had felt stressed and she noticed that the stress was caused by an error in judgment. If she had made the right choice in the first place, stress would not be a factor. You can avoid making mistakes by being able to forecast events and know how to take care of them. This is all you need to be able to do. Forecasting does not create stress.

Imagine, if you ran through all the problems that could happen and figured out a solution for each one, then you would become a nervous wreck like this lady was. All you need is awareness in the moment and to remain in a state of mindfulness. By being aware, the lessons in life become pleasurable and adventuresome. Leadership is a natural attribute when the student has this mindset. It is taking the wrong approach or none at all that causes us all the stress and burden. A bird does not have a nervous breakdown because he needs to be mindful while playing to be on his guard to stay safe from predators and keep within his pecking order. The leadership required of us while being around horses can be a lot of work but only if you think of it that way as this lady did.

Again, I told her not to worry and that horses would teach her how to approach her life so that all the things that were stressing her out and causing her to work harder to maintain her job would be an easy fix. Not an instant fix for sure but an easy one. It is all about the ease of getting what you want.

One of the biggest ingredients is to study the nature of horses and learn how to bond with them in a way that causes respect, loyalty and ends with the ability to dance in a beautiful partnership with them. The best way for all of this to happen is found in preparation, study and meditation with horses to gain the mindfulness and awareness of a lead horse.

The traditional way of learning the practice of meditation is with a guide or teacher but in our modern society, we now have so many new ways of learning through blogs, connections with others, and listening to our own instincts that learning is an adventure in itself. In primitive cultures the way of learning was done though storytelling and as a teacher, I have found that storytelling is my greatest tool for empowering people. So for today comments, I would like to hear from you a story of empowerment that could be a guide for others or a time when you just meditated with you horse and it brought magic to the connection you were sharing together.

Enjoy your week

Carolyn