One Mustang directly off the range, One Trainer, Many Students, Communication through body language, Tools used only for safety, never to train
To discover how far Equestrian Art can be developed solely using body language.
Why am I Here?
Sometimes, everywhere I look, life seems filled with a profound misery: friends diagnosed with cancer, family struggling through divorce and betrayal, loved ones battling depression and questions of self-worth, and life throwing challenge after challenge at us all. Life can feel so hard! Too hard! Why are we here, why do we choose to get up each day and fight though these storms? How is it worth the pain? And what makes this journey smooth sailing for some, while barely tolerable for others?
I do believe we are hard-wired for difficulty. A challenge or seemingly insurmountable task is the sweetest focus, if we can BELIEVE it is possible. That reach, that just out of grasp, that thing we have to stretch for- that is life!
So what makes the difference between those of us who thrive on the difficulty, and those that are beaten down by it? Those who revel in the moment-to-moment evolution of self, and those who go to sleep at night, hoping against hope that they just won’t ever wake up again.
While we ARE hard-wired for challenge, what I believe we are NOT hard-wired for is feeling alone, disconnected, and without support. This connection or lack thereof is the very basis for our ability to thrive, survive or feel like we are failing miserably at life.
So, if that feeling of connection is what makes the difference, why is it that some of us have it and some of us don’t?
Some of us feel connected and supported though all of life’s ups and downs, while others of us can’t figure out where to get coffee in the morning without feeling sure the whole world is against us, and perhaps everyone would be better off if we just jumped off a bridge. I know that sounds overly blasé and Pollyanna positive on the one side, and melodramatic and ridiculously doom-and-gloom on the other, but both are perfectly normal, frequent human experiences. Like I talked about last week, we all live on a range somewhere between one extreme and the other; and stress levels are often the deciding factor on where we fall in that range on any given day. So what determines those stress levels? What makes or breaks us in the question of thriving or barely surviving in this life?
The feeling of connection: the more connected we feel, the more we can handle life’s stresses; the less connected we feel, the more life’s stresses drag us down. It really is as simple as that.
So then we must ask, What is the determining factor in feeling connected? One can argue nature or nurture all day long. Were we born with it; or was it developed in us? Is it brain chemicals; or a habitual patterning of the way we think? Why are some people resilient beyond belief, while others seem to crumple under the slightest touch? Does it matter which it is? Or does it only matter what we might do about it now.
Right now is the only point in time we have the power to do anything! Right now, we can make this better or worse!
So when I ask myself, Why am I here? Connection is the answer.
If I can offer a light at the end of the tunnel, If I can reach out a hand, if I can be that small moment of connection for you that helps you find more connection and less stress, I am here for YOU.
Horses – they struggle with the same stress. Their need for a herd, family, connection and confidence of feeling can make or break them. The feeling of connection is vital to their well-being and while some of them seem born with an unbeatable attitude that can handle any stress thrown at them with undeniable grace, most horses, as with most people, could use a helping hand- someone reaching out to them to let them know they are not alone. We are in this life together, and, when we can truly believe that, everything becomes easier.
This feeling of connection is a two-way street. When we reach out to help someone else feel connected, we ourselves in turn get to feel that connection also. More connection equals less stress.
There are many brilliant minds out there tackling this issue of connection and how we develop the feeling we need to thrive.
Berne Brown and Johann Hari are perhaps two that have shed the most light on the subject for me.
I choose to work with horses – letting them help me find and feel what it is to be connected, because for many of us, animals can reach us and allow us to reach them, when everyone and everything else seems too far away.
This process Myrnah helped me develop in our first year together is all about connection. The connection that let me train her without force is the same connection that lets Myrnah feel better in her own skin and the same connection that lets me feel better in mine. This connection is what our documentary is about – horse training, and also so much more.
So please, take a look at our documentary trailer, and donate even just a little toward getting the film finished. This is for all of us, and the feeling of connection that gives us the ability to thrive!