Thanks for posting.
As much as the "mists" are definitely clearing, I am finding it really hard to focus on the AND way. I am about to add to my diary with what I feel I have achieved this morning but whilst being with my horses I am constantly having to think, remind and correct MYSELF with what I am doing and what I am asking, and this is one key thing - I am asking, not telling. Like you I have everything embedded in my mind which I now don't want to be doing so I feel I somewhat have to "reprogramme" my own mindset on how I am looking at things, feeling things and just my general thinking. It is a huge change for myself which I know is going to take some time, but I WILL get there with the guidance of my horses.
You put your finger on the thing that is absolutely the hardest for me in this work!!!
It's a balancing, remembering, letting go and living lightly exercise for me so much of the time! I'm a little over a year in trying to play with my ponies in this way, and while I can definitely say my moment-to-moment instincts tend to be better, I am far from the AND zen master...
But, it's pretty darn cool when it all flows. And the rewards are pretty great.
Short anecdote --
I've had a really stressful month plus with surgery and travel and waaaay too much work and worrying if the surgery is actually going to turn out the way it should etc... This weekend I was in my guys' paddock, and I was trying to put oil on Stardust's hooves so they'll stop cracking. (His feet don't cope with the dryness of Southern California well). This was after I'd tried to put ointment on Circe's capped hock and on her rubbed-to-the-skin mane, and about an hour after I'd tried to express the pus out of an abscess on my dog's foot... So, I'm a little tightly wound...
Stardust decides he doesn't WANT oil on his feet. Except that they're cracking and my vet is coming to do his feet and I know that I'll get flak for letting them get bad...so I find myself crouched down chasing the damn horse around in a slow motion chase scene (think OJ Simpson and the white Ford Bronco...). I completely lose my temper, stand up, shriek at Stardust, and whack him when he tosses me attitude. He stares at me in disbelief.
And I burst into tears. And stood (then sat on the edge of his feed bin) for about 20 minutes SOBBING! OMG, I was the most neurotic, pathetic thing that has come down the pike for a looooooong time.
And my beautiful boy (and my equally beautiful girl) came over to me and gave me hugs. Forgave me my stupid aggressive trespasses and were quietly nice to me as I melted down. The next day, the hugs were even greater.
I'd never experienced this before I started to work this way.
So -- I'm learning both to acknowledge my failures (which can be big, no doubt) but also realize what we have built together over this last year. And I'm learning that my horses don't actually expect me to be any more perfect than I expect them to be.
That's been hugely relieving to me!
Hope this makes some odd sort of sense...
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi www.imaginalinstitute.com