I’m finding that as I journey further down the road of life, there are always more lessons to be learned. As I find myself on the downhill side of the curve, I thought; gee just want to coast for awhile. No the lessons aren’t astrophysics or bricklaying, but ways to become a more grounded individual capable of good things and great works.
In keeping with this month’s theme of “Ask” some of the lessons have involved asking myself the pertinent tough questions. Be deep and honest , no slacking allowed. I have started this year with some turbulent life events such as the breakup of a long term relationship, and the financial wreckage therein. My theme for this year is self-compassion. Learning to love self first and foremost. It is in this lesson that I get a chance for a sort of resurrection from the ashes. A chance to enjoy my life and journey for me. I’ll chance shooting for the stars and moon this time around. So its back to the drawing board to re-emgineer my training. One of my favorite rock and roll bands is Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Their song , “Into the Great Wide Open” is the title of the lesson. Learning to trust the universe and what I have learned so far to assist me in the new part of the journey.
One of my first “Well, duh!” moments in my new chapter of spiritual growth was to realize that I never stop developing on that plane. And here I thought my diploma was in the mail. Too many info-mercials. You think you are at one point of mastering a lesson and boom! there is much more to learn. Can we say just a bit of unrealistic expectations? One of my mantras is to enjoy the ride. I should live it and not just say it. I always thought I was self-compassionate but the cold reality was that I was there for everyone elses needs while surrendering my own. Rut-ro, the alarm has been tripped. I had been giving but with some strings attached, most of which were of my own warped grand plan. First part of the lesson is love myself fully, completely and honestly. Don’t be afraid to utter, “I love myself” and mean it with every cell. Second part of the lesson is to give solely for the utter joy of giving.
When I ride a horse, I must always remember that it is a continual series of adjustments. You are carrying on a conversation with the horse. Non-verbal cues or aids as they are called in addition to that occasional good pony message. The reminder is that I can’t rest on one simple message and have the horse read my mind the rest of the way. Every part of the conversation is crucial. Within these cues, I am asking the horse to do certain things like trot, or canter and the one we all know , “whoa”. Riding is also about energy and patience. Horses, since they don’t have the gift of gab, persay, are great readers of body language. I must be at peace and wipe the mental slate clean of any baggage if I wish the ride to be enlightening. Patience, o grasshopper!
It amazes me that the mental pictures of ourselves are not always what and who we actually are. I would like to think I was a Jimmy Buffett type – easygoing, laid-back beachcomber kind of guy with not a care in the world. But when I step in front of that mirror, damnit, I saw a guy, who is a bit uptight and worries about stuff out of my control. Lines of age and silly stress. Oh, where is that damn brick when you need it. The lesson here, is let go, let go, let go and just realize that three quarters of the stuff I obsess about is just not a big deal. Let go of the fear and embrace a little joy. What is the worst that could happen? I fall on my face , get a little dirty, get up and have another go at it.
So I’ll continue to embrace my status of life long student with open arms, learn to be self-compassionate, let go of expectations, love my equine friends, and just be happy. So simple…. More fun lessons are out there waiting for me.
Thanks for letting me share a bit of my education. Its kept my perspective and sense of humor in focus. Till we meet again on the road, take a deep breath, laugh a bit and be grateful for this awesome adventure. I know I am.