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January 28, 2016: Coming Up for Air

This is a great book title. Whoa – this might be the title of the breathing essay in my books on the six basics in Centered Riding. It’s been a total ideas day here – I am going to have to take a few minutes – and come up for air.

I figured it out – in my body and spirit I am undergoing an energy shift. That’s my term for it. I’m going from being inflexible, mean-spirited, and judgmental to being flexible, kind-hearted, and non-judgmental. I’m not all there yet. And I may never be all there. But my energy has of late shifted in that direction.

Owl in Barn

An example – yesterday I walked Tinni around the loop. And during this walk, rather than dwell on what I perceived to be wrong-doings on the part of others, I instead worked on a poem, thanking various parts of my body for doing what they do so well. My impetus for doing this came earlier, in internal martial arts class. Jay, the teacher, had suggested that rather than focus on points of pain in our bodies, that we focus on points of good health, and furthermore, thank these parts.

I started out by roving around, thanking this and that, but soon I realized that my intended topic was far too broad in scope. I mean, I wanted to thank my cerebellum for enabling me to remain so balanced, but then also wanted to thank my right atria for taking in the unoxygenated blood and sending it on to right ventricle via the tricuspid valve. As I soon realized, making the connection between the two was too much of a stretch. I might sometime write a poem thanking my brain parts – wait, I would like to write a poem entitled “Thanking my Amygdala,” since this is the pleasure center of the brain. Ahh, get it? Rather than grouse about others, I instead returned home, put the horse away, then wrote a poem entitled “Bones,” which is one in which I thank cranium, scapula, spinal column, hips, pelvis, and a few other parts for doing their jobs so well.

I must digress. This, an ideas day began by my getting two email messages – one from June Snyder who said that she’s doing a trailer swap, and Deb Moynihan, who said that in May, she’ll be coming to Alaska and doing a Centered Riding clinic. Both messages prompted me (during breakfast) to mention to Pete that we need to figure out our spring plans. This is because June won’t be wanting us to bring a trailer back for her. And, Deb will be here in mid-May, when originally I was to be travelling.

After considerable discussion, we determined that we will go and get Tyra in the first part of May. I will attend Deb’s clinic in mid-May. I will attend the update clinic at the end of May. I will then head back east and take care of family stuff and maybe do a writing/riding clinic in June. And I will return home just in time, that is mid-late June, and finish planning the Karen Irland Centered Riding clinic. That will take place the first part of July.

I was feeling very overwhelmed after deliberating with Pete about all this. (And as of yet, none of it is set in stone.) So I prepared to go for a ride on Raudi. I took her and the dogs on what became a long outing, way up past Grizzly Camp. And, in my head, I worked on Sunday’s riding lesson. Again, I did not dwell at all on personal injustices. Rather, I put together an incredible lesson, one entitled “Beyond the Basics: Soft Eyes, Inner and Outer Awareness, and Energy Levels.” And in the process, I put theory to practice, first doing as had been suggested in internal martial arts class, and using my soft eyes – focusing on a distance point, and in between, taking in all that was around me. And I worked on taking note of my energy level and Raudi’s, making changes as we were going along, so that collectively, our energy level was ten.

I also thought some about my teaching style, and how I might change it, taking a dialogic approach, one that complements the fact that all the riders I am working with are now familiar with the six basics.

Now, if yesterday and today, I’d been focusing on my grievances – I would not have figured out any of the above. My having consciously decided to do this – and it was a conscious decision –was related to my having made an energy shift. I have, in a manner of speaking, come up for air.

Next: 29. 1/29/16: A Conversation with Mr. Tinni

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