BEing Present – what to know and what to do, in the moment
Photo: This was a spectacular day with Oliver – riding down a lane way with a whole herd of loose horses first trotting and then galloping past – with Oliver so deeply connected that he stayed with Steve mentally, emotionally and physically – still walking nicely on a long rein.
The super good horse folk, the really great horse people, talk about being Present with a horse as a key to the good things you and your horse want from each other. But what does that actually mean?
There’s layers in the word. Being Present can be as simple as having your mind and attention on your horse, not off with the fairies or thinking about what to cook for dinner. Or it can be all the way to a kind of expanded consciousness where you’re aware of everything in you and around you. When we’re with our horse in that state, our understanding of them, our understanding of what to know and / or do just flows in the moment easily. You can even go into a state where your peripheral vision sharpens and you’re super aware of EVERYthing around you and time slows down.
Pause and think about that for a moment. “When we’re with our horse in that state of being Present, our understanding of them, our understanding of what to know and / or do just flows in the moment easily.” Ahhh do you get how BIG it is that you’re already well down the path to that?
Every time you notice all of the ways that you uniquely Feel for your horse – you know, that list of breathing, heart beat, posture, tension, discomfort, pains, emotions, energy, thoughts and worries that I’ve been driving you crazy repeating over and over again – you’re getting more and more Present, more and more deeply connected to your horse, closer and closer to One’ness where horse and rider are so deeply connected, they feel like they’re thinking and moving with one mind and body.
I gotta’ tell you, I’m nothing special in the horsemanship department. I came from a place of chronic fear and terrible tension in my riding. That tension caused me so much pain that I got to the stage where I used to take 2 panadeine forte BEFORE I got on my horse or I couldn’t get out of the saddle afterwards. If I can find it, if I can do it – anyone can.
Create a trigger to understand your Not Quite Rights easily
In every Quiet Mind, you’ll hear me talking you through paying gentle attention to your outward breath and the way that the bottom part of your ribs move with your outward breath; seeing if you can feel your heart beating; noticing any tensions discomfort or pain in your body; noticing energy moving or blocked, flat, stagnant or pent up; noticing and observing any emotions like fear, anger, frustration, sadness; noting and observing the thought and ideas and worries and allowing them to flow, noticing the patterns of them, noticing other feelings brought up by them.
Also in every Quiet Mind and every time I’m working with someone live, you’ll hear me talk about being open – in ANY given moment – to the idea that what you’re feeling may not be yours.
One or more of those ways of feeling is strongest for you and we can use that to create a “trigger” that will enable you to create the space for the deeper connection together and for the understanding of what to know or do, to flow easily.
Noticing breath easily
If noticing your breathe and getting that little pause at the bottom of your outward breath happens easily, then you can create a habit, a practice of pausing, smiling a little, feeling your outward breath and the ribs and the tiny pause at the bottom – and then allow your awareness to travel over your body and expand into ALL the ways that you’re feeling inside.
If feeling your heart beat is your easy thing
Then you can create a habit, a practice of pausing, smiling a little, feeling for your heart beat and allowing that to carry you into an awareness of everything else that you’re feeling in your body.
If feeling energy is your easy thing
Then you can create a habit of pausing, smiling a little, feeling the energy movement within you and between you and others and then noticing the totality of EVERYthing that you’re feeling inside.
If emotions are your easy thing
Then you can create a habit, a practice of pausing, smiling a little, noticing and observing everything about them and allowing those emotions to carry you into an awareness of all the ways of Feeling that you’re feeling.
If thoughts and ideas and worries are your easy thing
Then you can create a habit, a practice of pausing, smiling a little, allowing those thoughts and worries to flow all the way to the gold, to the rightness at the bottom of them, to the ahhaaa moment of perfect understanding and you can use your gentle attention on those thoughts and those worries to expand your awareness into EVERYthing that you’re feeling in your body.
KNOWING that those feelings are not all yours.
When you’re with your horse, all the time, being open to the idea that some, if not all the feelings that you experience in a given moment are going to be theirs, as a communication through your connection together.
And when the answers don’t flow?
That’s when you take yourself into a longer Quiet Mind or maybe a guided Quiet Mind. I’ve created places and practices where I can drop into a Quiet Mind easily even if I’m overwhelmed. I sit with my horses, I have a special reclining armchair where my naps are cleverly disguised as meditations (even so, I almost always get up with the understanding or answer in my mind), I have places where I like to do walking meditations. You create the places that are special to you, that make it easier to find a Quiet Mind when you’re overwhelmed or looking for guidance on a more difficult situation.
The more Present you will be, the easier the answers and understandings will flow.
The more you practice those simple pauses, the more you practice backing them up with longer Quiet Minds when you need them, the more Present you will be, and the easier what to know or do for yourself and your horse will flow, in any given moment – easily and instantly.
And then one day, the magic just starts to happen, the knowing what to know or do flows in the moment sometimes, then more and more often and the joy flows with it.
Gosh my heart feels full just thinking about it…