Ooh, lovely start to a new thread, Birgit! Thank you. I think this is hugely important.
Your thoughts prompted a memory of a ramble I did early in my journal and I actually managed to find it! (This was about a week or so in to my introduction to AND...)
So, having a passive "dream time" day has evoked thoughts about patience, which I don't have lots of, generally, but am bit by bit learning more about the beauty of as I get older. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1163&start=15
I love words, and I just looked up the etymology of patience, which springs from Latin for "to suffer, to endure" from an earlier Proto Indo European root for "pain." This is usually EXACTLY how I experience patience!
I was thinking about that flash of impatience that struck when I was trying to get Circe to stop spinning like a blond fuzzy top to make sure that she would be ready when the next treat appeared the other day. I had a moment of frustration, verging on anger, with her.
And then I had an image you, Karen, in your videos working with Tam -- and your descriptions of the targeting specific muscles. I know you tend to say that you're not methodical, but I think that in many ways you are extremely so. It may not be a linear method, but it is so generously patient, without that sense of suffering underneath it. The joy of patience -- it becomes something else then, I guess -- a creative commitment to process where you dive into the poetry of the precise moment and experience so it isn't really "waiting" for anything, but instead exploring. From the outside, it looks very Zen, and is so inspiring.
I just went looking for a better word than patience -- and for the moment am liking "leisure." It comes originally from "license" -- to have permission -- and license, in its Latin iteration, means "freedom" or "liberty." Oh, this is a cool connection! We have the leisure to grant ourselves and our horses the license to have liberty...
And it's about flow, too, I think...more on that some other time...
Anyway, it struck me today how often, in spite of my best efforts not to go there, I have gotten impatient with Stardust or Circe in the time we've been together. As I pull the "why" of this apart, I realize that it has to do with having an agenda. (We "should" be getting to x, y, or z, by now...or I want to be ready to ride or ride in a particular way...or we should have the ground manners thing down cold by now, etc.) This isn't a brilliant insight, I know (or at least not a unique one!), but the part of it that struck me was how frequently it was coupled with a sense of external voices that I would hear in my head.
It's ego, or pride, or insecurity, and comes from being concerned with what others think and say about what I should be accomplishing and when. (And these are imaginary judges as often as they are real ones.) I'm realizing that when I can shut those voices up, I actually am genuinely enjoying the leisure, and it's what I'm hungering for, often, in my experiences with my horses. On the really good days, it becomes "dream time" itself -- when we together step outside of the conscious, linear, "tempus fugit" sense of time into what feels to me like what I imagine as/call mythic time. (And is where I believe horses spend much of their mind time.) Then there is release, that right brain stuff that the neuroanatomist I quoted above was talking about -- it is present, right here, right now and at the same time is huge and universal.
(I think this is part of what Jung was working in his collective unconscious ideas. In our tiny minds we are dancing with the vastness of all of the unconscious energy/awareness in the world.)
I think that's part of why I'm so deliriously excited about this forum right now, and so (apparently!) unable to pull myself away from the thoughrs and ideas and energies here. It feels like I've stepped into a delicious stream of collective consciousness and unconsciousness that is finally helping me find ways to get past my own crap and open myself to the experience that I really want -- that connection, that "outside of time" magical openness that is so relaxing and energizing at the same time.
And, I've been thinking about your thoughts, Sue, about unschooling (love the "unemployment training," BTW!!!!). This obsession this week with this way of approaching horses has taken precedence to so many other things -- I have been "Leigh-directed" rather than "responsibility-directed" and haven't had the strength to resist the lure. (Or, if I'm honest, other than the occasional pang of guilt, the desire.) The reality of those responsibilities are going to come crashing in here in the next couple of days as I scramble to get done that which I ought to have done (this is where the quickness factor comes in handy -- a lifetime spent goofing off and being fast enough to pull things together at the last minute to I don't fall on my face or get caught!).
But, this dream time -- today, in my fatigue, the hours that I've spent with my horses over the last week, and the time I've spent reading all of these amazing ideas from these amazing people on this forum has been a gift.
And I'm realizing that when I take a vacation from my responsibilities in this way, I usually find some things that actually connect back to what I'm "supposed" to be focusing on. Don't know if this is serendipity, or just being opened to and opened by connections (or, I suppose, a superb effort at rationalization!) but it consistently happens.
Hmmmm...I'm not sure how depressed I should be to realize that a year and a half later I'm still having the same internal conversation regularly!
I had a very leisurely session with Circe today -- very soft, very joyful in a diffuse, quiet, centered way -- with lots of very soft touching and a willingness to invite rather than tell (which I still wrestle with far more than I'd like to admit).
It was patient without the pain underneath -- and I think the key was about being really in the moment and savoring the physical and emotional sensations and just being -- dream time, actually is still a good definition of it for me.
No one else was there -- just me and Circe in the arena in a moment that felt very atemporal with the skies coming down into a half light because of the coming storm. No one else was there literally, but more importantly, no one else was there even imaginally to interfere with how we were experiencing and imagining the experience. No real or imagined critics telling me that we needed to get somewhere.
For me, that aloneness and horse/Leigh togetherness come hand in hand -- if I let other people into my experience -- either live or in Memorex -- that's when my patience is most likely to flee because I start assuming the "gotta make it happen" goal stuff and the monkey brain kicks in.
But I also find there's a delicate balance -- if I have NO goals I can lose my way, too, and our games can get flat because I don't know where we're trying to head. For a while that's fabulous but then it can get enervating...
So, too much and I'm impatient and too little and I'm uninterested...so, for me, it's also about balancing freedom and challenge, leisure and focus...
Anyway...babbling on, trying your patience...
Leisure -- liberty -- life -- love...