This is a repost from my Barnby Notes journal.  I’ve decided to transfer the entire series bit by bit to my new blog.  Enjoy!

December 30, 2012

Every Friday I do what I call ‘a random act of kindness’.  I often believe all this world needs is some extra kindness towards each other no matter how small the gesture.  I don’t plan ahead what I am going to do, hence the randomness, but I purposely come out of my shell, separate from my own desires, plans, preconceived wants and seek the opportunity to make the day just a bit brighter for someone else.  Through this quest, I have taken notice of how much ‘stuff’ I am surrounded by.  Stuff provides momentary excitement for me; however, I can tell you with certainty that my top life-changing events were not derived from stuff, but rather by people who enriched me with experiences that were not created to fulfill their own motives.

Abundance may have a different meaning for you.  Abundance for me stretches beyond consumerism.  It is when we begin to lose sight of each other (human and 4-legged) and what truly matters.  Trapped by our own clutter in various forms.

With this new year, I am taking a different approach with goal setting.  When I look back on my riding a year from now, I don’t want the focus to be on those shiny new dressage boots I just purchased, the number of text-book trot half passes I achieved in a certain month or how many blue ribbons I have won.  I want to remember the sights, sounds and smells associated with my experiences and interactions.  Without it, my goals are meaningless.

Journal writing has transformed how I view my goals.  They are no longer just words on paper or the desire to ‘catch up’ with what so and so is doing.  I can now take my goals and turn them into experiences as simple or as complex as I want them to be.  The outcome is not important, it is just a product of my goals.  What is important?  The knowledge and memories I’ve gained through my experiences which help shape me into the rider and really, the person I want to be.

Yesterday morning during my warm-up on my horse, I was thinking about abundance and how I should write about it in this journal entry.  It was raining, so we deviated from our plan to work outside the covered.  During the winter, my horse and I both take a rejuvenating break from goal specific training.  We are not spending our break slumped on the couch or relaxing on a stall nest (an interesting nest made with her extra hay on cold nights), but rather shifting focus on to new discoveries during less intense, yet varied workouts.  I apply this same concept to my Triathlon training, so that I am race ready come Spring.  Otherwise, my body is sure to break down from the repetition and sheer intensity without a break.  I often pick up alternative activities such as ice skating with friends.  It’s interesting how well these diversions complement both mental and physical growth in my riding.  There needs to be a balance and not an extreme to one side or the other.   Interestingly, it is always on the recovery side that I gain a new perspective, which may not have been so apparent during times of stress.

My plan for yesterday was to focus on the shoulder-in, something we have not worked on much lately; however, my horse surprised me with the most exciting trot steps at the VERY beginning of our workout that I have EVER felt.  What pleased me most was that she captured all of the goals that we have been working on over the past year or so into a single experience that I will definitely remember forever.  I continued that same beautiful trot for about 20 minutes and then called it a day.


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