In the last couple of weeks, I haven’t had very much free time to spend with my horses.  By free time, I mean time at the barn when I am not working with clients, or working to care for my horses.  Of course, I wish that I did have more time to ride, but realizing that I was putting a lot of effort into wishing things were different has proven to be my personal topic for the week; not appreciating and enjoying the journey.

For me, this is one of those lessons that I have to be reminded of periodically.  And, with how big and bold I want to live, I think I will have to keep relearning it at different levels, too.  I want to live as consciously as I can, experiencing each moment fully.  Because a lifetime is made up of moments.

So, this morning, as I was slogging through the mud doing barn chores, this theme of appreciating the present circumstances became linked to being o.k. with where I was.  No, I don’t necessarily mean in the mud.  I mean, doing the best that I can with where I am in my life right now.

What really made this sink in was when I pulled a rain-soaked blanket off Mandala.  She is such a hard keeper, I was relieved to see that her weight was looking o.k.  However, I noticed that her muscle tone wasn’t what it was during the Fall, and I felt disappointed in myself.  Is it unrealistic to think that everything being what it is that I could still keep her exercise program the same?  Yes.  Did that matter in that moment?  No.  Did I feel disappointed in myself?  Yes.  Did I have appreciation for the present moment?  Not really.

While I drug that blanket in the barn and got a clean and dry one to put on her, I had an “aha” moment.  In order to really be in the here and now, I have to make it o.k. that I am where I am.  (Sounds a little like Popeye…..)  It all of a sudden made so much sense that the first step to my being in the present moment had to be acceptance.  If I don’t make it o.k. to be where I am, not only am I holding onto negativity, I’m also either rooted in the past or the future.

Sometimes, I think this step resolves itself when I’m working on staying focused in the present moment, because I have to let a lot of thoughts go.  But, when I find myself unable to really connect with what is happening right now, I know that I need to do an acceptance check.  I know I am not alone in being my own worst critic, and I think it has finally sunk in that my negative beliefs, especially those menacing core ones, really get in my way of enjoying life.  Thank you, mud, rain and cold…and of course my horses!…. for the insight I needed.

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