Burdens, hardships, crisis and other negative situations will happen. It is simply a fact of life.
How we handle these negative situations, however, is our choice.
Sure, it is natural to complain when bad things happen, especially when things happen that we have no control over.
Does that really help though?
It’s cold. The snow is falling, the wind is blowing, and the tractor won’t start. After you have finally finished thawing out frozen water tanks and struggling to feed hay, let’s be honest-you are too exhausted to even consider riding.
You start to feel guilty. That inner critic voice starts chiming in-how are you supposed to be ready for competitions this spring if you don’t practice consistently? Your horse will get fat and out of shape if you don’t ride. How are you supposed to achieve your goals and improve your horsemanship if you don’t put in the effort and ride?
Let’s put an end to that nagging voice, and show yourself some self-compassion.
The reality is that some days you simply can’t ride. Whether the weather makes it unsafe to ride, you are simply too tired from other obligations, or maybe you or your horse are even experiencing a lay off to recover from injury-whatever the reason, it is ok.
There are still things that you can do on days when you can’t ride to keep moving forward towards your horsemanship goals. One of the simplest and easiest is to practice the mental skill of visualization.
I used to think “I’ll be happy when...”
When I graduate college. When I am a successful horse trainer. When I have enough money to buy a fancy reining horse prospect. When I have the big barn, indoor arena, acres of pastures. When I have a barn full of amazing horses and clients with endless bank accounts. Wait, I’ll be happy when I marry a cowboy. When we get the farm set up better for beef cattle. When the fences are done and we have more time. When the kids get a little older and it is easier to do outside activities with them. When we sell a bull to a registered herd. When we sell a heifer. Later, when things settle down at work, when I have more time to ride, when I can start showing horses again, then I’ll be happy.
As an action driven, achievement oriented person, I used to think that I would be happy when I crossed some of these things off of my to-do list. And some of these things I have crossed off my list, while others are no longer important to me. Either way, whether I achieved these tasks or not, I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I had fallen into the happiness trap. I was so busy and focused on the things I had to do now to be happy later, that I wasn’t enjoying the happiness in my life right now.
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