Tonight a lesson I learned two years ago is still powerfully resonating within me.
It happened in a work-group of Equine Assisted Therapist. We were practicing our skills, mentoring each other and exposing ourselves to the beautiful influence the horses had on us. Little did I know what was in store for me.
We were practicing “Join up”, an exercise made popular by Monty Roberts. In this exercise, you had get the horse to trust you by only using non-verbal signals. The technique is to assert your authority by dictating which way and when the horse may run, constantly looking for signs of trust. When the signs are there you turn your back to the horse and allow the horse to approach you and then walk out of the lunge ring with the horse following you.
I did the exercise with a little mare, Indian Magic. I went into the ring and started to assert my authority and Indian Magic bolted. She leaped right over the fence and ran for the fields.
Of course I had to go and fetch her. As I approached her, she came to me. I let the halter unfold to catch her and she ran away. This repeated itself a few times. After a while I gave up and started to walk back to the stables and wouldn’t you know? Indian Magic followed me. I stopped and she stopped. I walked, she followed. In the end we came to the stables, walking at an arm’s length of each other.
There are so many powerful lessons in this experience, but the one I want to share is that on that day, I realized that the pictures in my head, of how the world should look like, limits me.
That I had to open my eyes and start seeing what is really happening. That I must not be a slave to my expectations of how things should be, but be liberated by how things actually are.
Yes, sure. Be clear about what you want (I wanted Indian Magic to trust me) and then go with the flow in pursuing this vision. Don’t hold yourself back, pay attention, and let reality enrich you. Go beyond the picture in your head.
When you stop expecting things to be a certain way, you can appreciate them for what they are. Ultimately you will realize that life’s greatest gifts are rarely wrapped the way you expected.
Still unwrapping reality