My unspoken goals for this month were to have three posts and to ride at least once a week. I wrote twice in both January and February, and thought some consistent riding would help the aforementioned sort itself out. While it didn’t feel like that happened after missing a week, I ended up with four rides this month, which technically rounds out to what I wanted.
And that is enough. Even though I easily could say “but… I could have done more. If I would have done x, it would be better.” What is “better” anyway? To whom? Why am I focusing on how I could have been better in the past, instead of how I can just try my best as it comes? It brings me back to my original idea for the year, the whole mindset thing, which I haven’t actually written out before (though I’ve discussed with several people). My modus operandi (one of many) has been to set a goal and either smash it (i.e. do too much) or wiggle around avoiding it so that I can then beat myself up over having not met it.
I’m trying to change these little mind patterns I’ve got going on because they don’t serve me anymore. So, the mindset could be described as:
- holding space for myself by setting boundaries
- practicing gratitude
- aspiring to curiosity regarding feelings/emotions (both of which I suck at)
- including my body in my sense of self
- learning my authenticity, connecting with others as I continue to find pieces of it
- practicing seeing people as doing the best they can (includes me)
And ya know, I’ve actually made some decent progress on it. I’m purposely excluding a deadline because I’ve lived and died by the “due date” for years and this is more about building long-term habits (and dismantling equally lived-in routines).
So while I did manage to achieve both of the number-related goals at the beginning of this post, I think it’s more important for me to note that I read a ton of blogs this month – more accurately, I read peoples stories – and then put myself out there a bit and engaged with some of the stories I’m reading. This is significant because I went through the phase of horse RPG and SIM games that seemed to be EVERYWHERE in the early to mid 2000s; the kind of community that was contained and everyone knew the rules and goals of (and drama. there was always drama), but when I started reading blogs around high school, I stopped participating. I thought people had to come to me. Of course, over the next 8 years I just plain busied myself until I didn’t have time to sleep, let alone keep up with my own or anyone else’s writing.
While I’ve now had the time to participate for almost two years, I find it interesting that I’m starting to engage more or differently – in this undefined community, in other positive groups I’ve stumbled upon, and in real life – just as I’m starting to really buy into more positive cognitive habits. I don’t think one is responsible for the other either; it’s more like a wave where I put some effort into an area and the benefits swing elsewhere, then I feel encouraged to invest there and the benefits show up where I wouldn’t expect, and so on.
I think right at this point that’s more helpful for me than numbers-related goals (both in horses and work, relationships, money, whatever), especially as April’s going to bring challenges like surgeries, time off, work changes, and travel. Right now I’m in a good place with all of those, but that’s sure to change (and change again), which according to my whole mindset thing is a-ok (really!). I’m trying to keep doing what I’m doing, because so far I’m handling the curve balls better than I ever have (acknowledging them, for starters) and am more consistently content.
I’d be curious to know what others’ mind traps were, with horses or otherwise. Am I the only one learning how to be content with where I’m at or spending a lot of time just trying to figure myself out?