On Presence and Curiosity

How many times do human beings fall into the same trap of allowing a pattern of thinking to sabotage progress?

Maybe you have an “issue” with your horse, but today everything went better than you could have imagined. Your spirits soar –  we did it, onward and upward, we’ve fixed it – you can’t wait to come out tomorrow and do it all again.

Tomorrow comes – full of expectation of further success, but the horse says “Not today, thank you!” Spirits plummet, what went wrong? Maybe you are disappointed or frustrated or you can’t help but beat yourself up or blame the horse.

How could it be different?

Work with the horse you have in front of you – right here, right now in this present moment. Let go of thoughts of past successes and failures, future hopes and fears.

Approach with a sense of curiosity, a beginners mind, as if there is no prior knowledge, only what you see now, what you feel now, what you know now.

Let go of judgement – the horse is good or bad, their behaviour is good or bad, you are good or bad.

Be present, observe, listen, feel, act.

Start from where you and your horse are right now in this moment, not where you were yesterday, or where you think you should be. Look for the edges of comfort and safety; don’t be tempted to push through into fear and tension. These edges may be in different places each time you look for them. Play with these edges, expanding them gently, listen to your horse and work at their pace, however slow that seems.

Forget about where you were or where you want to be, just being here in each present moment.

Of course you can have an intention or even a goal – but don’t become attached to it. You need a destination in order to take a journey – but be prepared to change course if the way ahead is blocked, and remember:

Expectation leads to disappointment and the space between where you are and where you want to be is where you find tension and stress.

Be Present, Be Curious.

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