As the year and the decade change, I pause to reflect on what has passed and what I hope for the future. I do this with a deep sense of gratitude.
This is a learned behavior for me, as I used to operate more from a sense of anxiety and over-planning. I was convinced I could control things. I have made a conscientious effort to find my attitude of gratitude and being around horses has helped.
It’s not surprising to learn that our brain and heart energies operate on different wave lengths. When we come from a place of anxiety or lacking, our brain waves and heart waves work against each other. However, when we become intentional and focus on gratitude, our heart waves and brain waves actually begin to match up and mirror one another.
Needless to say, this is good for both our mental and physical health. Believe me, I know it can be hard to feel grateful when you are struggling. I have also learned that, even in our darkest hours, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
But, you have to work at it. You have to look at the world half full. You have to focus on what is RIGHT in your world, not what is wrong. Keeping a gratitude journal can help. Just jot down 5 things each night that you are grateful for. It can actually re-wire your brain!
Another way I find my attitude of gratitude is through animals, especially horses. How can horses help us find and operate from a place of gratitude?
1) Horses are very authentic. They don’t have a false narrative. They are who they are. We tend to create false selves so people will like us, or we will fit in. We forget that we are all perfectly imperfect.
When we accept (and love) ourselves for who we are, we stop comparing ourselves to others, we stop living from a place of less-than, or lack.
When we set aside our false selves we can turn to the pure goodness that is at our core. We can see that we are enough; just. as. we. are.
When we are grateful for who we are, we see how important we are to each other, as humanity, a family, a company, a herd. The inferiority or other unhealthy feelings about our relationships disappear. This is how horses operate. The don’t beat themselves up for being smaller, heavier or a different breed. They are what they are. They accept other horses the same way.
Of course there are herd dynamics, but this is not based on looks, wealth, or other superficial judgments, it’s based on need. Horses need a social hierarchy to survive (in the wild) and this keeps things within the herd calm and safe.
2) Horses accept us as we are. They could care less about what we look like, what car we drive, or how much money we have. They connect to us on an energy level. If you are operating from a place of gratitude your energy will be attractive to them. If you are trying to connect from a place of lack, (which is a very low vibration), you will not find it easy to connect with them or others.
I am grateful for this bit of self-awareness that horses offer to me. Where am I operating from?
3) Horses are very generous. They offer themselves to us to do what we may. I am constantly amazed by how much they will endure, and forgive. Horses can teach us a thing about that. They are of service, both physically and spiritually. One of the best ways to find gratitude is to be of service to others.
4) Horses are present, in the now. They operate in the present moment. They don’t have regrets about past mistakes, nor worries about the future. They don’t get caught up in drama, or hold grudges. They encourage us to slow down, stop, and notice. Notice what good things are unfolding directly in front of us. That can draw us to being grateful.
Every year I choose a word to live by. In 2017 my life had been very stressful with the death of my mother and lots of change, so in January of 2018 I chose “perseverance.” It was my mantra.
At the beginning of 2019 I chose “gratitude”, as we had overcome the hurdles and I was so thankful. As I reflect back on 2019, I am certain that my attitude helped me stay in a place that attracted more goodness. More things to be grateful for.
Who knows, maybe I’ll use it again in 2020.
Wishing you good vibes and good rides from a place of gratitude,