I received an intuitive reading yesterday, where I proceeded to tell the reader how I’m worried about this…feeling overwhelmed about that. The person reading me said, “But there really aren’t bad things going on in your life right now.” I thought for a second and had to gladly admit that’s true. By creating stories in my head about future events, I was missing all the current good stuff and had invented turmoil from nothing.
Two years ago during a workshop in Costa Rica, I took a trail ride with a horse named Mr. Big. I internally freaked out as I majorly doubted my riding skills, and then my foot popped out of the stirrup. When I couldn’t get it back in, the freak-out inside me spiraled like crazy. Mr. Big proceeded to then go off the trail and dart quickly in zig-zag directions—basically the opposite of what you’d want your horse to do in front of a dozen other people.
In the reading and that trail ride, I had drawn a picture in my head about what might happen and it wasn’t pretty. Making stuff up is our way to protect ourselves from the unknown possibilities in life—if we can imagine everything that will go wrong, we’ll be prepared. (I can see a blockbuster movie in my head if I want to.) But all those stories actually do is keep us from living life and enjoying peace.
A horse needs us (and the herd) to be authentic, present, and aware of our surroundings. To them, it’s a matter of survival. If you’re with them but not “with” them, you’re putting yourself and the herd at risk to predators. To all animals really, staying out of your head and being aware of the energy around you right now is how to feel good and thrive.
The easiest way to get there? Gratitude. On a recent stressful day, I tried to come up with seven things in the past week I was grateful for. I was surprised how easy it was and how quickly my energy shifted. On that trail ride, Mr. Big expertly snapped me back into being grateful for our connection and for what he was teaching me. Then I was able to take in the beauty of him and the trail around me—everything I had missed from inside my head.
This week I’m grateful I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with a house full of family, three awesome animals, and a few newcomers. And I’m always grateful for you, for everyone in my orbit, and anyone who’s open to seeing the magic around us and within us.
I couldn’t make up a better story than that if I tried.
It’s all about the magic. 🙌