Time is a precious gift that I am learning to appreciate more deeply than ever before.
I am grateful to have a strong passion and drive to develop myself with horses. The more I learn, the more I’m inspired, the more I want to do, the more I want to learn. In this incredibly rejuvenating, challenging and joyful spiral, I somehow have less and less time.
Despite being woefully aware of this time dilemma, I committed to attending a clinic at the beginning of this month in South Carolina. Why add more to my plate? It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and I deeply hoped that it would be worth the allotment.
The clinic was being given by world-renowned Frédéric Pignon and Magali Delgado, co-founders of Cavalia. Frédéric stuns audiences with his incredible connection and bond with horses, working with them at liberty in ways that bring us back to a childhood belief that anything is possible. Magali shines in the saddle, showing a beautiful form of dressage that is only attainable with great skill and a close relationship to four-legged partners.
It has been many years since Frédéric and Magali left Cavalia, but they set the show on its course to be highly respected and recognized, infusing it with their compassionate and empowering horsemanship. They continue to perform together in other shows around the world, and give clinics to share their horse (heart) philosophy.
As I sat watching these impressive clinicians work with horses and humans of all levels, I was slightly star struck and completely inspired. Their positive, patient and humble approach to both species allowed tremendous trust to be built, which in turn supported incredible growth.
A repeated aspect of their teaching was to learn how to be, not what to do. My horse heart grew three sizes – just like the Grinch except bigger! A great deal of focus in life, with or without horses, is placed on methods and techniques, but there is so much more to it. Of course, knowing what to do is important, but it’s like receiving a map: it gives us direction but there are many ways to get there. I want to travel with comfort, confidence and safety while taking the scenic route.
I want that in life. I want to enjoy the view, enjoy the moment, and know that I’m heading someplace great. Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, tells us how the ancient Greeks defined happiness as “the joy we feel striving for our potential”. I learned this on the way to see Frederic and Magali, and I was absolutely joyful throughout the clinic – soaking up as much as I possibly could, striving for my potential.
I am very fortunate that I can wholeheartedly say I am crafting a life with a lot of joy. Even when there are curve balls, bumps in the road, or even sinkholes, I can still feel joy as I am pursuing something that makes my whole being sing.
Part of that pursuit has been this blog. It has been such a pleasure, and a true honour to share my horse heart with all of you who’ve been reading and listening. As I head into this next season of my life, I also know this chapter is coming to an end. I have decided to no longer post on a regular schedule, and I may take a long hiatus to gift myself more of that precious commodity: time.
I will write again eventually, but until then, may all your horse hearts expand, beat strongly and lead you towards more joy than you ever thought possible.
How do you create joy? What inspires you to keep striving?
Check out Frédéric Pignon working with his stallions in the video below.
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This is part of a continuing story, click here to start from the beginning.