Thursday, March 26, 2015
Letting go of expectations
This has always been a big problem area in my life.
Born with an overactive imagination and prone to daydreaming have produced expectations in my life about everything. I cannot even begin to tell you about the family holidays, celebrations, vacations and everything else, that have been unmatched and in some way, have fallen short, of my bloody expectations of what they will be like, how everything should be, etc, etc, etc...
The easiest and most direct route to disappointment.
And now in the midst of my fifth decade in life, I am still working on this. I am trying to really focus on the here and now. Live, breathe, see and experience everything around me for what it is. Not how I'd imagined it would be. Be wholly present and appreciative of what is. Accepting and grateful for the imperfect beauty of what is. Aaahh grasshopper, so much easier said than done for this dreamer. It's really about embracing the unexpected, spontaneous, messy bits of this life which sometimes turn out to be more about the lesson, than the actual event, that counts in the end. For as ever-changing, growing and learning people, life's lessons never really conclude do they?
Nor would we want them to.
Coming up in July will be our third year together, Eags and I. Can I just say that I absolutely adore this horse!? He is so imperfectly perfect. He blesses me with tiny little gifts of growing trust every single day. Sometimes, I'm sure, I miss them completely. Most assuredly, my loss. But by trying to be fully present and cognizant of my surroundings, I'm getting better at realizing and savoring these little blessings of himself he graciously gives to me. For what better gift than a piece of someone's heart, their trust and ultimately their love? He is so much better at forgiveness than I am. I've got so much more to learn from this beautiful horse. But, slowly but surely, I am learning to trust him too. And it feels really, really good. And when I feel good, Eagle feels wonderful. He looks to me for reassurance that we're alright. We're both gonna be just fine.
One of the two people I'd tried to contact about working with us, has gotten back to me. Rachel has a full schedule right now, but around the end of May will be able to start working with us, if we both feel it's a good match. I'm not very familiar with her ideas of good horsemanship, but have seen some very good and relaxed horses whom she's worked with. And I truly believe that relaxation and feeling good about what they're doing, is the ultimate key to understanding, and the "try" that comes through a horse when we're trying to communicate our wishes through their actions. Hopefully that makes sense, because it's rather difficult to put my thoughts into words. I don't really think we "teach" or "school" anything to our horses that they don't already know how to do, and do those things very well. We humans are an arrogant lot. Rather, I like to think of spending time with my horse as relaying my ideas or wishes through their minds, into their bodies and ultimately into the desired reaction or movement from them. I want them to completely understand what I'm asking of them, and to accomplish that, we need to let them take the time to figure our requests out. We certainly don't expect children to learn how to read for example, straight out, but instead it's a process of learning. That takes time and patience. There's certainly no room for egos in good horsemanship. That is the one thing that I simply will not abide from anyone working with my horse, or me for that matter. Ego, arrogance, demanding...uh-huh. Not with my horse. Ever. They are as intelligent as we are. It's just a different level of intelligence. Learning to think like the horse is the greatest advantage that we can bring into the equation. Should be pretty easy, considering we're the "smarter" of the team, right? One would think. But we routinely have grand expectations from our horses to understand exactly what it is we're trying to convey to them immediately. And if they don't "get it" and respond just like we think they should; we get frustrated, or worse and blame them. When in reality, if we were any good at teaching, they would understand. It takes the time that it takes. We should never approach a horse with expectations. We should rather, show up, accept the horse for the horse that he is in that moment, and move forward accordingly. No time frame, no schedule and certainly no egos.
Leave your expectations at the door and approach your horse with humility, grace and respect.
...and I whispered to the horse; "Trust no man in whose eye you do not see yourself reflected as an equal."
Don Vincenzo Giobbe circa 1700
I hope to be worthy of my Eagle's respect and the trust he's learning to place in me.
Such a beautiful thing.