I can Canter and so can you
Going back to horseback riding has been incredibly rewarding. I enjoy my muscles being used in different and yet familiar ways. It has taken me time to enjoy stepping out of my head and into the rider frame of mind. This came clear to me when I tried to canter for the first time since I was sixteen. I immediately felt nervous and out of control and I failed twice. I stopped the horse, I couldn't get my foot right, and I felt fear out of the loss of control. But I kept going. The third time I listened to my instructor, I let my mind go and I forced myself to take a seat and relax. I can't think of a better metaphor of our current state of being.
When I took the time afterwards, I at once felt proud of myself and also saw the similarities in the rest of my life. We live in such a crazy time where it can feel easy to get caught in the fear and the mess but if we can take a moment even for a short period and just step away, I think it will be for the better. When you relax into the idea of what you can change and what you cannot change, then you will not only think clearly but work from a deeper motivation than fear. While fear is motivating, it is often not to the best interest of our higher selves. In order to achieve, we have to be motivated by our wants and needs and not by our emotional response. Think of shopping, when you shop in an emotional state, what are you buying? Are you buying something that you need or something that will give you immediate satisfaction? Are you happy with your purchase when you come out of the emotion? Is there purpose?
It can be hard to be as free as when you are on a horse going fairly fast. It's not simply getting on a horse but taking some time in your day to evaluate and relax. Letting go of the stress and basking in the moment is something that can help everyone work through the fear and the emotional toll of a pandemic. It tells you that you are ok and your body is ready for what will come. This message is something that I'm going to continue to carry with me as I keep up my lessons and also as I learn to accept myself and understand that a passing moment or emotion is simply that. They come and they go.