A friend sent me this in one of her many email forwards. As I started reading it, I began to apply the principles here to training and working with horses. I think there's much good sense here. My thoughts are in ( ) after each point.
Paths to Contentment
• Keep falling as long as you keep picking yourself up! Making mistakes is not the problem, but not learning from them and moving on is. (Not literally! If I kept falling off my horse I'd know there were much bigger things wrong! But sometimes you have to let yourself risk the "fall" to find your wings)
• Nothing is permanent, so appreciate every moment, fully and completely, as it will never happen again. (This even applies to the less than positive moments, as it is from them that we learn and move on)
• Think with your heart instead of your head. When you come from your heart you come to your senses! (Understanding the animal's natural being and using human empathy in your training will help yield results. Be firm, but be fair)
• Accept what is! If you can change something, then do; if you can’t change anything, then release resistance and simply be with what is. (so true!)
• Take risks. Life is about not having answers, taking chances and risks, and making the most of every moment, all without knowing what is going to happen next. (but with horses, always calculate the risk first. For example; the horse was quiet when leading from the paddock and cooperative when grooming and saddling. Do I risk riding with no groundwork or do I just plan a few minutes on the ground first and see where that leads us?)
• Be your own best friend. It is easy to blame and shame yourself, but now is the time you deserve the most love and kindness of all. (don't think you can't - or you won't. Ask yourself what your goals are, if you need to change your approach, do it and continue your journey)
• Every day is a new beginning. Each time you take a step forward you have no idea what might happen. But nothing will happen if you continue to stay where you are. (sometimes the step forward might mean a different trainer, a different approach, moving to another location or even moving on to a new horse. None of these are necessarily easy but can be what is needed to advance in your horsemanship)
• Meditate. Take time to just stop and breathe, to remember why you are here, and to find what is of real meaning to you.
• Don’t take yourself too seriously. A good sense of humor prevents a hardening of your attitudes, and stops your opinions from getting too rigid! (this has ALWAYS worked for me!)
• Do something for someone else and make giving a part of your life, even if it is just a simple smile and a hug. (encourage others and you will enjoy their encouragement, as I have done by sharing this blog and posting on others!)
Let’s hope 2010 will bring a greater sense of sanity to this crazy world and a greater peace of mind. May this be your best year ever! Happy New Year!