Last week I shared with you the news of my bone-breaking fall from one of my horses and how it was bringing me a “landslide of blessings”. What kind of blessings come from broken bones and bruised brains? Plenty and this appears to be just the beginning of something immense. As one of my friends put it so well, “you went through a gateway”. A gateway – now that makes sense. I’ve spent years studying various methods of becoming heart-centered and I’ve finally made it to the front gate – hallelujah! I’m putting in my request to the universe for a softer landing next time, just in case I still don’t get it right this time.
My brain has always been rather black and white and rather harsh at times. If life handed me lemons I didn’t just make a pretty little pitcher of lemonade. Nope, I smashed those darn lemons to smithereens, got what good out of them I could and then hastily tossed them in the compost pile of life’s bitter lessons. My brain still wants to deal with it now, pronto, but my heart now wants to take it in, hold it gently, and understand why it was thrown into my face to begin with. And so it is with my fall from my otherwise gentle and collected horse, that my bruised brain began to look at the piles of lemons that I have tossed aside: re-examine them, re-evaluate their usefulness, and bring some softness (and sweetness) into my brain’s “how-to deal with life” file.
I make lists. And lists of lists. And my refrigerator is a collage of colorful squares reminding me to check the lists. The bruised brain is now looking at the clutter and the message is loud and clear — too much. So many notes, information overload, visual overstimulation. All those notes didn’t mean I was getting a lot done either. I had been fooling myself, believing that I was incredibly productive because after all, look at the number of notes on just about every horizontal surface I own! I am totally onboard with this new approach – life is not about the notes, it’s about the action. Or, in this case, my newly discovered desire to toss all those lists and notes and stickies and SIMPLIFY. I have obsessed with the notes and created myself a nice little rut. Ahhh, the heart is getting another point across to the bruised brain.
While the endless stacks of notes are being pared down, my collections of notebooks get to stay – I can take notes and scribble and create all I want and then close the cover. I no longer feel driven to evaluate the success of my day by the length of my notes. I have flexibility, choices, and I can act upon those that my heart declares are of a healing and self-supporting nature. I’ve tried this already. Did you know that nobody else cares if the dishwasher is still full of clean dishes at 8:00 a.m. in the morning? They really don’t care and now, neither do I. Did you know that nobody really wants to see all the nit-picky things that need attention in the barn, but they do care if your horses are happy, healthy, and content? Now I can’t wait to take a new notebook, sit and observe the beauty of my horses as they go about their daily routine of just being a horse, and write about the emotions they inspire.
Thinking back on that tumultuous day, I realize now many things that I had taken for granted: I expected certain behavior from my senior gelding; I went on auto-pilot, allowing my brain to override checklists, silencing my heart’s messages about what my horse needed from me that day. I want to support myself in healing ways, not be defined by my brain’s To Do list. This is a huge step forward for my brain to just sit back and be quite and allow my heart to come into the landscape. I find this to be quite a blessing.
Next week: Talking to the Night