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BACK TO BASICS
Ask White Star
~ Millie Chalk
“There are no shortcuts.” How many times
have we heard that? Disregarding the advice,
we keep looking for a quick result to just
about everything we pursue, and then wonder
why we’re not there yet. When we still
don’t have the money, the relationship, the
career or the health, we chalk it up to a bad
upbringing, bad environment, lack of opportunities or just that it’s our destiny to suffer. We argue for our limitations not realizing that doing so robs us of our power to create our own life. The good news is that getting back to the basics of obtaining wellbeing can lead us to everything needed to create the life we want from within.
I was reminded of the importance of basics last week when I was out walking with my retired pony. A new young trainer has moved into the large facility where I board her. He has a lot of horses in training and I get it… he’s young, has a ton of work on his plate and not a lot of time to make a name for himself, but as I watched him riding a young horse I was reminded of so many others I’ve seen in the past, making the mistake of thinking might means right, and fighting with the horse to show it who’s boss. It’s obvious what he and other riders of young horses don’t seem to grasp is that a younger horse doesn’t have the muscles to comfortably support someone on its back. Because of this they become unbalanced and when a horse is out of balance they become scared, causing them to do whatever they need to take control so they can once more regain their power.
I remember so many years ago having learned this and still I would let myself be pressured into going for the “quick fix” of training. Sometimes it worked, often it didn’t, or never to the degree that guaranteed a consistent ride, with failure being dismissed for a number of reasons such as a horse being unwilling to conform, or lack of talent or courage. It wasn’t until I was older and less stressed about the time frame that I discovered something miraculous. After years of my inner being screaming that there had to be a better way to train a horse, I was gifted opportunities to learn more about the horse’s language. I learned how to converse on their level by taking things way back to the basics of simple space orientation, while teaching the horse everything needed to carry a rider from the ground. Using simple exercises I employed methods of long reining, which helped to build the muscles the horse needed to comfortably carry a person, and boost his self confidence allowing him to want to submit to the rider’s aids.
Mastering a few ground exercises and teaching the horse to control its balance seemed to be a long and tedious process, but what I discovered was that by taking the time to work on the basics I was hopping onto the fast track to success. Focusing on the basics enabled me to take a young Mustang that had never been haltered to being pleasantly under saddle within a week, without a single buck or sign of resistance. The end result was a happier, more confident, more willing and safer horse to enjoy in a much shorter amount of time.
It’s the same with us. When we get back to the basics, (opening up those lines of communication with our inner being), things start to improve very quickly, even to the point of astonishment. Just as with the horse, we have to develop the belief basics that all things are to our benefit, that we are our own powerful creator and that while we can’t control others, we can control what we attract into our experience by paying attention to the energy, (emotions) of our thoughts. When through our practice of writing, meditation, ceremony or whatever brings us into awareness, we begin to recognize our role in the creation of our own reality. Doing so allows us to confidently move forward, free of fear with a comfortable knowing that everything is perfect just as it is, because it has brought us to this place of understanding.
Simply put, wellbeing is determined by the kindness we show ourselves. Find the time needed to immerse yourself in the pursuit of whatever it is that brings YOU joy, and allow yourself an opportunity to do so each and every day. Take note of everything in your day that works for you, (without thinking of the opposite). Make lists of what you see that you can appreciate. (Doing so will draw more of it to you.) Go to bed each night and wake each morning basking in the comfort of your bed, your pillow and your blanket. (This simple exercise is powerful as it connects you to the “now” and in the “now” there is the peace that can be found nowhere else.) There are dozens of ways to meditate, dance and experience ceremony along with other practices, but I believe the key is to do so on a regular basis, at least often enough that you will be able to distinguish the benefits to your life. If one method doesn’t work, try another and do so in a way of fun exploration, not desperation.
I think more than anything else you want to enjoy the process. Practice the basics knowing that doing so will get you there in a time that is perfect. This is your journey, not someone else’s. Do what feels right for you and go forward in the direction that you feel your inner being is guiding you to. Keep a journal of at least the touchstones in your life that you may look back upon with gratitude for how far you’ve come, and stay in that place of gratitude/appreciation for the experience of this thing we call life.
Writer/Rider and general lover of life
Member of Board of Directors for Whispernthunder.org
Trainer at Cherokee Ranch, Backyardhorseman.com