In Reflection (2017-2019): Horsemanship

 

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The focus of my pursuit of better horsemanship over the past two years has been all about rediscovery and refinement.  I say rediscovery in the sense of the pure passion I used to have for horsemanship before I made it my sole source of income.  When I refer to refinement, I speak to working horses of my own over longer periods, taking them from start to a more refined state.   

I must first acknowledge my journey up to the past two years by saying how grateful I am to have been able to experience all that I did and make a great living doing it.  Without that exposure to so many different facets of the horse industry and the people within it, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue my future as I desire now.  But in life, some times we have to let go of something good for something better!  That in and of itself is a definition of the word refinement as I have come to believe in it at this time of my life.  

The last two years have been so humbling for even having the opportunity to explore refinement in a setting I couldn’t have dreamed up any better.  I mean some people never can make it out of the survival state of being to pursue any desirable future of their own.  Some people have to do everything in their power just to make it through one day.  Other people have to spend every moment of their life working to provide a potentially better future for others.  

Previously, my life with horses was all about short term fixes or starts, never allowing me the ability to actually enjoy the fruits of the long term labors of refinement.  That was the missing link between both in the rediscovery of my love for horsemanship as well as my own personal refinement within my pursuits.  I believe the key to being a balanced horseman is the ability to start, fix, and refine horses both in the short term and in the long term.  

The importance of refinement is only realized through years of dedicated and intentionally focused work.  The love for something isn’t enough, that love needs to be reinforced with proof of action and the results from those actions.  Refinement isn’t anything that anyone else can just give you, it has to be earned from within.  Obviously, we all need mentors to show us what is correct and what is unnecessary, but at the end of the day, it relies solely on the ownership of the individual.  

To refine a horse, one must first be capable of starting the uneducated horse as well as progress them beyond the basics.  One must also have the ability to fix the created problem horses out there.  This allows an individual to understand both the nature of the horse and the nature of the human.  Two similar natures, but portrayed in infinitely different progressions.  A topic for another time.  

Thus leading me back to the enjoyment I so dearly missed, getting to ride refined horses.  The refined horse is the representation of oneself if taken from start to our personal limitations at that time.  The process shows us our faults or represents our understanding to the best of our abilities at that time.  If one can create a refined horse then one truly respects and honors the horse as an equal.  A refined horse is literally the fruits of intentional labor over a lifetime.  There is no other way about it, you can’t just be given a refined horse or purchase one, for the truth will shine right through those illusions.  

Refining horses was the piece of balance missing in my life and from the pursuit of the refinement comes the rediscovery of what horsemanship used to be to me.  From the whole process, an infinite pool of compassion continues to fill within me with each passing year.  By understanding the reality of the importance of the start of a horse and the understanding that bad horses aren’t born, they are created by us.  Therefore leading to not only compassion for horses who are putting up with our infinite ineptitudes but also compassion for the humans who have created the troubled horse.  It wasn’t even their fault, it was the fault of those closest to them who failed to show them the reality of the growth necessary from within to overcome our most basic reflexive human instincts.  In the end, the process shows us the extreme effort, time, and love It takes to create a real refined horse or should I say a refined rendition of ourselves.  To really understand what It means to create refinement, from the start to a state of refinement, it can only be understood by those who have achieved it through one discipline or another.  

In Reflection (2017-2019): Life Coaching

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It has now been over two years and more than 3,000 conversations with people from all over the world.  My pursuit of life coaching was all sparked from one question.  How can I create a more meaningful influence through others?  From that question, unimaginable personal growth has followed in its wake.  Before I get into the actual reflection, let me define a few “terms.”  I say “terms” with skepticism for obvious reasons in this day and time.  This is my life, meaning I live and breathe this to the best of my ability.  I practice what I preach with great intention, crazy concept these days, I know (insert winky face emoji for those who understand.)      

That term life coaching for me is just another way of teaching horsemanship to individuals, only without the horse.  The new opportunity challenges me to relate my own experience with horses to others in a way, they not only understand but see things from a different perspective in order to improve their daily life.  Life coaching continues to challenge me to more positively help influence individuals; regardless of their discipline, circumstances, or environment.  In return, leading me to unforeseen growth I couldn’t attain without this new practice. 

The phrase I use to break down the title of life coach to non-horse people is that I am merely a guide to the path of self-mastery.  That is what any worthy discipline is at the end of the day, isn’t it?   Our ability to grow from within ourselves, in order to more positively influence those around us.  That’s how I think of the phrase self-mastery and therefore my definition for what I consider to be the real pursuit of horsemanship. 

What is horsemanship?  It is the endless pursuit of self-mastery through the discipline of horsemanship!  The only way that can be achieved is through intentional work every day; studying, applying, and reflecting upon our day to day experiences and those of the past.  This allows us to continually adjust our future visions and therefore adapt as we continually progress over time.     

This new avenue of personal learning has really been the most humbling experience.  The exposure to so many individuals’ trials and tribulations continue to lead me to an even deeper appreciation for every facet of my own life.  Therefore, leading me to an even greater sense of compassion for each and every individual’s journey through life.    

Through all the learning and growth I have experienced in the past 2 years, the one overwhelming feeling that persists within me is gratitude.  Gratitude for the opportunity to speak to so many individuals on a real meaningful level, trying to deduce some sense out of this life, without any outside agendas or distractions.  I know how hard It is to trust and believe in other individuals to really open up to, in order to speak honestly to what we have experienced through our own perspectives.  For an individual to tell me their truth is a small miracle within my daily life.  I will never take any one of these conversations for granted, I think it is the most meaningful thing in the world!  

This is where my motivation comes from.  The absolute necessity for me to get better on a personal level so I can better serve others.  It is not even a question, I have to!  If I can’t prove results through the actions of my own life, why should anyone reach out to me in the first place, let alone continue to converse with me?  If I don’t continue to get better, how am I supposed to continue to help others?  I can’t expect others to come to me on any level if I don’t continue to get better myself. 

I couldn’t have grown personally without those individuals who continue to openly converse with me.  The individuals who continue to prove their intention through small positive actions in their daily life.  A final thank you to those who continue to believe in me.  Thinking back to the beginning of this journey, it really brings me to tears that people were willing to let me in their life with complete confidence and trust.  

You are my inspiration, showing me the difficult paths each of you continues to endure through to make things just a bit better.  That first step to positive change is no joke, the literal hardest, so to watch you all continue to break through each barrier with such determination, feeds my soul.  I often wonder who gets more from these conversations and when I do think about it, I sure feel like I should be paying others to chat with me.  Thank you for giving me hope, thank you for feeding my soul, and thank you for continuing to force me to get better alongside you!  

Please, continue to reach out to me and those around you.  I challenge you to really listen in order to ask more meaningful questions to find out others’ real truth.  If you do, you will find yourself in them and them in you.  Then, all that’s left is growth together!  Without a doubt, we need each other for that to happen.

Good Writing Is Tough, But Important!

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As I sit here once again, bug eyed at my computer trying to gather my thoughts, I found this to be an appropriate starting point.  The reason being, I have been trying to create some document worthy of posting for far too many months now.  The deeper I go, the more lost and overwhelmed I begin to feel.  That feeling of complete ineptitude, i know all to well, starts to fester from the depths of my soul yet again.  I begin to ask myself the infinite questions stemming around the who, what, why, how, and where?  The harder I try to create a finished product the more my mind begins to whirl downwards into an abyss of nothing productive.  I finally subdue myself to my ignorance and admit defeat……for the time being.  

I find myself drawn back to the keypad or paper to once again have a go at immortal victory over this craft called writing.  I get through one of the seemingly endless rough drafts from days, months, years past thinking maybe, just maybe, I wrote something better then what I thought.  Never the less, i am once again defeated.  I take the boo boo trash of yesterday and immediately send it into oblivion, for no eyes should be doomed to its nothingness.  

There I sit, clean slate and topic on the ready.  I take one deep breath with my eyes closed, imagining how great these thoughts in my head are and just how amazing they may be on paper.  If only the task was that easy and my thoughts matched up with the words in their physical form.  Undeterred, I begin to write about the same matter at the forefront of my consciousness, hoping there will be something presentable before my time on this earth is up.  Depressing, right?

Wrong!  This is what the whole writing process is about.  The struggle to refine ones thoughts into a presentable physical form that not only relates to the individual, but can potentially become timeless to all who cross it’s path.  Maybe, even immortal.  The ability to take from ones own experience, simplify it to the absolute minimal, and present it to the masses in a matter in which all could benefit from it, is a true art.  As with any discipline of self mastery it takes time, deep thought, and tons of effort on a daily basis.  

You are not a prolific writer immediately, just as one is no horseman in 5—10 years.  The more intentional work done towards writing, the better it will become.  I have created countless drafts covering anything and everything most intriguing and confusing to me in hopes to find some new understanding of them.  Ninety nine percent of those help me personally grow within, but at the end of the day i have no product to present to the public to prove my efforts.  That took me a long time to be ok with. 

With every word typed and reread, I become a little bit better.  Little by little, each one of those seemingly clear thoughts in my head start to match up more with the letters splattered out on paper.  When these moments happen, my thoughts are stress tested.  Each test bringing me closer to what my thoughts are actually trying to convey through new platforms.  One correct word, leads to one correct sentence, eventually leading to one clear paragraph even.  Eventually something is edited to the best form I am capable of at that time, exposing me to real growth or sending me back to the beginning to further develop the thought.

The best edited form of the original mental thought transformed into written form, creates clarity of spoken word.  I must be capable of taking a thought from my mind, speak and write about it in such a manner that others can understand my point and perhaps, even relate with their own similar story.  This is proof of understanding and a indicator that I just may be on the correct path. 

As with anything worth pursuing, in order to become better, I must turn it into a discipline to be intentionally practiced daily.  If done so correctly, I may be able to better serve others.   Serve others in unimaginable ways, opening doors to unimaginable paths, to be taken into the future.  No matter what the discipline is, the recipe is always the same.  Time, effort, help, and deep thought.  Sorry no quick “fixes” or “shortcuts” here!   

In parting words, I challenge you to think deeply through writing.  Try to match up your mental thoughts with the physical and oratory counter parts.  Take your thought, expand it, then simplify it to the purest form that still encapsulates the original thought, then repeat.  In the simplest form you can create, see if you can have that version remain true to you, the person across from you, and finally to the masses.  If that happens you have reached the end of the deep thought process, at least for the time being, until your next growth experience.  Then you get to go back and challenge that simplification to see if it still remains true.  In the meantime, move on to your next challenging thought.   

That is the marker of a truly refined thought.  Simple in written or spoken form, infinite in relatable detail; both personal and to the masses.