Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Importance of Being Still

This post is only slightly horse related but important to me just the same.

Some of you know, or may not know, that I am an extremely grateful recovering addict.  Which means that at one time my life was  over run by chaos and instability.  Because of that it is easy for me to get caught up in my own self made emotional chaos.  It is easy for me to get too many things going on at once, it is easy for me to lose sight of what is important. It took years of working a solid 12 step program to change how my brain works, to change what normal looks like to me.  Today normal is healthy rather than unhealthy.  I mean emotionally much more than physically.  It also takes constant maintenance to keep any semblance of that emotional stability I so crave.

Oddly enough when I feel myself getting out of control, which I have lately, it is such an odd feeling. It is familiar yet foreign, comfortable yet unsettling. I don't know if that makes sense or not.  My brain says, "I recognize this emotional state, but I want no part of it, it scares me. "

My heart then tells me to "Be Still".

But what does that mean really?  Is it prayer? Yes.  Is it meditation? Yes that too. But it is so much more than that. It means stopping all decision making, and all action and taking time to let my mind let go and be still.   It means I have to stop the second guessing of every thought I have. It means I have to let go of my own reins and give them back to God where they belong. I have to ask for guidance while verbalizing my gratitude for every little thing in life.  It means I have to let go of the silly petty little things that frustrate me. It means I have to remind myself that I don't always get my way and it is okay.  It means that I have to accept that if "this" isn't working, then God has something else in mind and I need to just be patient and wait to see what the right answer is.  I have to let go of instant gratification and step back and try to see the bigger picture.  Trust me, it sounds a lot easier than it is. Especially for someone like me.  Yet through practice, I seem to be getting better at it.

So how does this apply to my relationship with my horses?  Well, if I think about it, and trust me I have lately, it applies in many ways.   For example, the last time I rode Trax we didn't do well together. I was trying to do too many things, trying to force the issue. I was all over the place with my thoughts and there for so was he.  When I finally slowed down my brain and focused on one thing, it started to come together for both of us.  I had to be still in my thoughts and my actions. Once I was, we were able to connect and things went much better.   Another way it applies is with my decisions for the bigger picture. Yes I want to compete with Trax. Yes I want to show with Sassy.  Yes I would like to do more with Killian. Those are my goals and they are good goals, but they aren't going to happen this week or next, or maybe even this year.  I have got to slow down, and take my time.  I can feel myself jumping all over the place with each horse, and I have to stop. I have to be still and let things come as they are supposed to. If I don't, I will fail with all of them, and in turn fail them as the "herd leader".

This is a daily struggle for me, to keep my  mind on track, to not second guess my decisions, to just remember to breathe and let God stay in control. I am such a control freak sometimes, and I try so hard not to be.  I always feel like if I can just do this or that, I can make things go the way I want.  But that isn't how life works.  Its like the farrier issue this week. I was so frustrated that I couldn't get a call back, I tried calling again, I tried calling other farriers, I was doing all I could to manipulate the situation to get the outcome I desired. Yesterday morning I recognized "that feeling" described above, and was able to stop myself. I was able to pray and ask for guidance and it came to me within minutes.

Today I awoke with a feeling of gratitude, peace and serenity, something I haven't had in weeks.  It is important, for with out gratitude and serenity I have no spirituality. With out spirituality I will spiral downward to an abyss of emotional chaos which would surely swallow me whole.

Today I say my prayer of thanks.
Thank you for all I have.
Thank you for who I am.
Thank you for letting me "be".


  1. Congratulations on your ongoing recovery, a huge hurdle to overcome I am very sure. Faith gets us through so very much in this life. Great insights applying a simple and mindful strategy to your life with your horses as well

  2. Oh Cindy, I loved reading your post today!! Your words are inspirational and spoke so eloquently to me as well. I'm not a recovering addict, but your words meant a lot to me, because what you described about your mind, your thinking, your jumbled emotions...that's me too. You're so right about just letting go, and remembering to breathe, and not expect everything to go how we want, when we want. It's really hard to accept that sometimes our answer is "no". You and I have a lot in common. It's really hard being this way sometimes, but it is, what it is. :) I'm so happy that you realize what works and what doesn't, and that you can say a prayer, accept the quietness of a moment, and be thankful. That's beautiful, and so inspiring. Thank you! I am ALWAYS second guessing myself, about pretty much everything too. Sucks. My thoughts race, I want to do, to accomplish, to control. I think that's why sleep can be so important to me. It's a time where my body just gets to let go and be. My hubby is a recovering alcoholic, and I've attended many 12-step meetings with him. I remember someone telling me once that, he was practicing the art of being a "human being" and not a human doing. I get that. But, it's never easy. I too, have to pray a lot and ask for guidance and for peace. I try to always remember to be thankful and to accept that maybe, just maybe...I'm right where I am supposed to be. That's not where I may think I need to be, but wherever I go, there I am. I'm still me no matter where I am. I'm very proud of you, again! :) And thank you for sharing.

  3. Oh, I like that! A human being rather than a human doing. Good stuff right there.
    Thank you for your kind words. :)

  4. Congratulations! What a huge accomplishment!

  5. I think the biggest accomplishment for you is recognizing that 'feeling' and being able to make a conscious decision to make a change before that feeling is too overpowering! It's really tough to recognize exactly what is causing you discomfort, or even realize that something is going on before its too late!

  6. Love this post. Glad you know what you need, and when to take a step back and breathe. That can be so hard. But it feels so good. Sometimes I get so thirsty for air and stillness, and it feels so good to just stop and breathe deeply, like drinking from a pure, cold spring on a hot, dusty day.

  7. I hear you, Sister.

    Gratitude, peace and serenity...
    What a surprise to stop long enough that those feelings have time to catch up with us, envelop us.
    What a relief!