Today is day 11 of my 21-day meditation experience and the theme for today is “Nature’s Generosity is Waiting.” What does that mean? I have learned that in a moment of grace, I am supposed to feel safe and worthy. Love is all around me. Nature is infinitely generous and I am supported all the time. For most of my life, I have been criticized for my love and committed lifestyle to horses—mostly by non-horse people, but nonetheless criticized and judged. Over the years, I have learned to embrace my uniqueness and gift of being connected to horses. This inner growth has led me to my truth, understanding, and acceptance of myself. Something I believe I never would have learned to acknowledge and honor about myself without my gratitude for the horse.
The more I grow to appreciate horses the more I receive grace from the horses. When I am with horses, I lose all thoughts of being unworthy or symptoms of contracted awareness. When I recognize limitations in my life, I choose to come back to meditation and open my awareness. I do this when I am with horses. Some people think that meditating requires sitting cross-legged on a pillow chanting the word “om” over and over. Yes, this is one way to meditate, however, being in the present moment is achieved in many different ways. One can even meditate while doing the dishes. I meditate while I am cleaning poop, grooming, and sometimes just sitting and listening to them eat.
The opposite of contracted awareness is expanded awareness and it isn’t passive. Expanded awareness opens me up to the generosity of nature. I see this in my connection with horses. I know in my heart that it is part of my birthright and my God-given destiny. Expanded awareness is normal to me when I am with the horses. It is said that contracted awareness is abnormal and stems from fear and doubt. I am sure we have all experienced that!
Nature is always generous through constant replenishment. It is the flow of life. Even though it is very painful when I lose a horse, it doesn’t stop the Universe from bringing new ones to me. This flow of horses in my life is what keeps me growing and blooming. Horses inspire me and are my mentors for keeping in the present moment. When I am generous and give to the horses my time, energy, and love, I always get something positive in return from them—their energy renews me. Horses are truly a gift to me from the creator of the universe!
There are two domains of life—the inner and the outer. Through my gratitude for horses and the world they live in, it effortlessly links me to my inner domain. I believe our culture and society only know how to link to the outer domain of life. We are taught that more material things are better and more leads to abundance. But what I observe in the horse world, is that more leads to extremes and extremes lead to unhealthy horses. From an inner perspective, I would like to see more love, respect, and appreciation for the health and well-being of the horse that yields longevity. This would require us to put aside the ego and release all attachments to blue ribbons and accolades.
I gave up horse shows years ago. It is not to say that I will never show again or that I condemn horse shows. I say it all the time, “It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” The motive for doing things with horses should not be in a competitive nature. It needs to be about the nature of bonding and connecting with the horse. I desire to see a shift in the horse world. A shift in the mentality that believes the horse is a tool and a means of winning. For this to happen, it would require us to think differently. For example, we need to use the discipline of dressage for the horse and not the horse for dressage. Perhaps this begins with the awareness of gratitude and being in the present moment. When we stop thinking about the next show and the next ribbon, that is when we can truly be in the now and appreciate today’s ride and the love of our horse.
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