‘Turn your expectations into appreciation, and your whole world changes in an instant’
Hello All, and Welcome to blog number two! I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas, and have made it safely and cheerfully into 2021…the year we have all been waiting for! (or let’s face it, any year that’s not 2020 will do juuust fine).
As I write this, I’m sipping the last of my crimbo supply of mulled wine, watching Mavis sleep after a long wintery walk, and contemplating the year ahead, hoping and praying that things will get better for everyone in the next 12 months.
By ‘things’ I do mean ‘everything’. Last year created a monumental shift across the globe, a shift that has affected so many facets of so many lives…and *surely* this must be for something better? One of the things that stands out to me as a ‘good’ thing to come out of the last year, is a sense of appreciation of the small things in life, and those small things really do all add up to be the ‘big’ things.
Small things, like good health, having friends and family, a roof over your head, a job, the weather, spending time with your animals, good food (and erm, drink), getting outside..even just being alive and having a future ahead of you.
One lesson I had to learn last year, and a particularly hard one at that, was letting go of expectation and plans, and living in the present moment- ‘going with the flow’ if you will. Ordinarily I think I’m pretty good at that, however last year I had big plans with the new business, and I had to step back, rein things in, and just cruise along as best as I could…whilst also trying to maintain a positive attitude about the future I have strived for for some time now.
This admittedly, is still an ongoing lesson I’m having to learn…2021 has a lot to make up for, and yet again I have some big plans (world domination with two fluffy black horses and a few clinics and lessons, to teach, to boot!) and yet again we are unsure when exactly this pandemic will end… and will anyone have any money left to pay for these lessons and clinics anyway?! But, something that’s really helped me has been to let go of the ‘expectation’, and embrace the ‘appreciation’. This by the way, does not mean I have let go of future goals, but I’ll come back to that later.
For anyone that follows Tristan Tucker (if you don’t know him, look him up, he’s a very, very, good, and incredibly inspirational horse trainer), you’ll know that he held TRT live online last year, it was a brilliant, very educational evening, and he finished it with a beautiful demo with one of his horses, alongside a voice over speech talking about a love for horses, and replacing your expectation, with appreciation, when working with them. This particular part of the speech had a profound effect on me, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, as it is applicable to not only horse training, but how we approach everything in life.
When I work with my horses, I appreciate everything they offer me on that day and in the moment, and I no longer place expectation on them (or myself) in our sessions, I have a rough plan, and I’ll have some goals to work towards each week, but I have stopped the thought pattern of ‘I/they should be able to do this by now’ or similar. This has made our training sessions much lighter and more enjoyable, and actually I’ve found, just like the ‘slow is fast and fast is slow’ theory, the horses are actually offering me more than I ask for when we work together now!
I think nowadays with social media and lots of depictions of perfect lives (and perfect horsey lives) it’s very easy to feel the pressure to also be ‘perfect’, and we forget everyone is on their own journey with their horsemanship, and that behind those lovely pictures/videos is an awful lot of time, effort, work, money, and tears that have gone on in the background, to get to that seemingly perfect post. I know I have certainly felt ‘the pressure’, and I am very careful nowadays to filter things like that out, being aware again, of not expecting, but appreciating.
So what is the difference, between having expectations, and setting goals…? This is something I pondered when thinking about letting go of expectations, because surely, without expectation, that would mean you wouldn’t be working towards anything in particular? Well, the good news is, there is a difference, and it’s a good, and very helpful difference!
The dictionary definition of ‘expectation’, is ‘a strong belief that something will happen, or to be the case’…basically that means we expect (oh there’s that word again) that something will ‘just happen’, and as I’m sure we all know, this mindset can often lead to disappointment, frustration, self doubt…the list goes on, and none of it, is fun.
The dictionary definition of a ‘goal’ (aside from the football related definition) is ‘an idea of the future, or desired result, that a person or group of people, envision, plan, and commit to achieve’. How much better does that sound?! Envision. Plan. Commit. Achieve. Throw in with that a dash of positive thinking and appreciation, and setting intentional goals is a practice already sounding way better than expectation.
And so, I present to you, my formula for everything in life this 2021. Envision, Plan, Commit, Achieve, AND Appreciate! I feel like it’s a winning combination, and I hope it can help others too.
Happy 2021 everyone, and thank you so much for tuning in. I’ll be back Feb 1st with blog number 3, but until then, you can keep up with the latest news from Idyllwild on my Instagram, Fb, and website. I do have some upcoming clinics from Feb onwards, (COVID dependent) more info on those on my events page on FB and the website, and I’m currently available for lessons virtually and in person (observing government guidelines as necessary).
With lots of appreciation and absolutely not one bit of expectation,
Over and Out!