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Joy Ride

In keeping with being a true sci-fi geek, I’m currently binge-watching “Dark Matter” on Netflix. I like the premise—a spaceship crew of six awakens from sleep pods with no memories of their names or their past. They end up bonding and having each other’s backs, only then to find out their past behavior was radically different and…not so nice, to put it mildly.

I find it pretty fascinating that when these characters couldn’t remember tragedies or hurt from their past, they were able to be “good”, caring people. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could all overcome past stuff we’re holding onto?

Early on during the Costa Rica horse-and-soul workshop in May, I bowed out from doing a trail ride, too afraid that my chronic back pain would get in the way or get worse. But I really didn’t want to miss out on a second ride a few days later. So, I got on my horse Cosmo and told him I wanted to go, but that I was scared. Cosmo told me, “Just be in the joy,” and I felt amazing warmth in my heart. I knew I had to go, but had no idea if I’d get stranded somewhere in excruciating pain.

Starting out, our guide Enriqué warned us this trail was going to be more extreme than the last—rockier, hillier, and longer. I was like, are you kidding? With this back I’m going to do an extreme trail ride? Sure enough we immediately embarked on super-rocky terrain, sometimes with a sheer drop off to the side…and the hills. OMG the hills.

Throughout the ride, my back was moving, bumping, and jostling every which way—exactly what every doctor had told me NOT to do. And every time I’d start to worry about my back or the damage I'd do, Cosmo told me to “go back to the joy.”

After a while, we came to a creek with a super-crazy-steep hill on the other side (to me, it looked like the hill went straight up). There were two muddy trails that formed a V up the hill, with an overgrown grassy pit in the middle. The two horses in front of me picked either side of the V to climb up, but Cosmo…Cosmo walked right to the grassy pit in the middle and stopped. I, thinking “dear God, what do I do now?”, looked up at Enriqué who was watching from the hilltop. He shrugged and said, “Just hold on.”

Again I thought, are you kidding me?? That’s all the advice I get? I leaned forward and gripped the saddle horn for dear life. Cosmo then made a huge JUMP over the pit, galloped, and then JUMPED again and galloped to the top of the hill. I’d never jumped before, rarely galloped, and it was the single scariest moment I’ve ever had on a horse. And as soon as we got to the top, I had a smile plastered all over my face, thinking “I freaking did it!” It was exhilarating, and my back felt good.

I was scared going into the trail ride that day, but Cosmo kept me present and miraculously, I experienced NO PAIN at all the entire three hours of that ride. How did that happen? I kept feeling Cosmo’s joy, and I let go of my past programmed fear thoughts. I was still me, but the best version of me because I let go of what was holding me back.

I love how Cosmo’s name is a perfect match for my inner sci-fi geek. If he were on that spaceship, he’d tell the crew to let go of what they know of their past and go on a joy ride in space. And that’s how you set a course for peace and happiness at the speed of light.

It’s all about the magic. 🙌

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