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Tracy Courtney

Perceptions

Wherever the mental & emotional focus is directed, the physical responses will follow, like a game of Simon says. We must be very aware & clear in our mind about where the focus of our thoughts lay & the true motivation behind them. When our thoughts are focused on our horse, our actions will automatically be directed toward our horse. In the example of using our rope to protect our personal space, we will begin by swinging our rope toward our horse & try to hit them to make a point. This is perceived as unprovoked aggression by our horse & we do this out of a sense of a habitual need to control. Our focus needs to shift to our personal space instead of our horse to create true connection, communication & open the door for patient discussion.


Horses don't understand time limits or having to rush to achieve goals. They live in the moment. They don't worry about the past or project about what the future may hold. Horses experience life minute by minute & react as necessary to what shows up. When the moment has passed, they forget about it to be able to fully experience what each new moment presents. This way of being allows space for things to be presented & experienced but not held onto to create cluttering of the mind & senses.


Humans live predominantly in the past & looking toward the future. We have been conditioned since childhood to act quickly, precisely & impatiently. We impose these same rules on our horses. When we were given assignments in school or asked to clean our rooms, there was always a sense of urgency to complete tasks. This conditioning has become so normal, that we never consider to question our motivations, beliefs or actions. It's just the way it is and has always been - natural. But is it?


Much of the time in life, we have developed a sense of being someone & going somewhere. We have a definite dream or vision of what we want to achieve in life because everyone does it & our schools & families expect it of us. Our conditioning contributes to our sense of who we are, our values & beliefs.


Many methods will tell us that we have to climb a certain number of stairs or complete a series of tasks. There is only a gift or reward at the end of some striving & then we've done it. This is appealing to different types of personalities because it seems consistent with the rest of life as we've known it. The conditioned mind/ego likes the evolutionary path & it feels totally natural because in every other aspect of life, we evolve, become better & more skilled.


When we don't know the answers, there's space for discovery. When there's a sense that we know, we tend to hold on to these things as truth, which doesn't allow for expansion of new discoveries. We don't focus on or bring attention to things that don't matter or happen naturally. We don't say to people, "look I'm breathing!" We don't speak of the things that are natural to us. If there's an awareness of notation of something, then the mind is corresponding to it, & there's a sense that this thing matters. We embrace these ideas of who we are & what we know but if we begin to be quiet & observe, at certain stages, we have felt very different about who we are & the beliefs we've had. We cannot be rigid with any thoughts or beliefs because they are only self-portraits of the moment.


Anger & frustration are caused by a need to always be in control. We must deconstruct somewhat in order to open space & allow the undoing of what we think we know. Most of the trouble stems from mistrust, the fear of not knowing & controlling what's going to happen. A truth cannot be merely a theoretical finding. We can't fall apart. All that can fall apart is the ideas & beliefs we have identified with & linked to. All that we believe & are attracted to are just biased perceptions. In one moment it may feel strong like an undeniable fact, but in a short while, we may not be able to remember it. FEARLESS will bring us into harmony with horses beyond intellectual knowledge or conviction. What we're searching for has been hidden here all along. Preliminary steps were created to help us transition into that which in itself is not a practice & doesn't require steps. It's a new way of thinking and life.

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