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.