This morning I did the Miraval Equine Experience, one the resort’s signature “clue-in” activities, meaning it’s an activity designed to help you look into yourself and come to terms with any internal and external conflict. Heavy stuff.
The clue-in activities are used as self-healing for people who are struggling with any sort of grief, loss or frustration in their lives. Or for people that just want to get to know themselves better and learn to live more in the moment.
Even though I don’t talk about it much on the blog because it’s incredibly personal and if you have been reading for awhile you know any way, but my little brother was killed about a year ago. It was a tragic accident that took his life and I dealt with it the best way I knew how to then—by pushing forward and moving on.
It worked, but I still struggle a lot with feelings of letting go. I continue to push myself forward my life, surround myself with people I love and write, write, write. Writing is the best therapy that I know.
However, there still come times when I’m faced with situations that force me to really sit back and look introspectively. It’s hard! We are culturally driven to go, go, go and that makes it pretty hard to really focus sometimes.
When you deal with horses, doing simple tasks like cleaning out their hooves and grooming them, you have to focus. Horses can’t understand English, but they can feel your energy and if you’re feeling worn and and defeated, they can tell. They can also tell if you’re stubborn or pissed off. It’s crazy, actually.
So, naturally, this morning I walk into this activity with typical Jenna go-go-go style. I’ve grown up around horses. I feel incredibly comfortable around them and have never had a problem before. I consider myself to be a “horse person” if there ever was one.
I stut into the ring feeling confident and determined. I knew what I was doing. This was going to be easy!
But then Magic wouldn’t let me pick up his leg to clean his hoof. He just wouldn’t and no amount of coaxing and strutting would do the trick. I was at a loss. Feeling defeated, I took a new approach. I stepped back, took a few deep breathes and then tried again. It worked! Magic could quite poignantly sense my determination and lifted his hind leg. Success!
The next activity that we had to do was to gather in the corral and each take turns walking the horses without touching them. Again, I thought I had this. Surely, my horse mojo was coming back.
It was so hard. Bailey kept stopping and wouldn’t follow my lead at all. It reminded me of the time I was in a riding competition when I was eight years old and Tally, my horse, wouldn’t jump. No amount of patting, snapping or prodding would do the trick. Tally just stood there in front of the jump and would NOT budge. In my eight year old embarrassed state (it was a BIG deal, ok?), I started to cry and finally had to lead Tally back to the gate. I got fifth place but have never fully recovered.
So after standing there today for a few minutes, shameful memories of Tally rushing into my head, Kellie (one of the activity instructors) asked me a few simple questions. She asked me if I was the type of person who always was on the go. If I constantly thought about and rushed into the next big thing without focusing on the task at hand. Uhhhhhh……
Turns out, I was so keen on getting Bailey to do what I wanted today, that I wasn’t even waiting for him to catch up to me. He was simply waiting for my lead and I was busy rushing in and jumping to the second step.
Lesson learned: live in the moment without worrying so much about the future. Slow down. Focus. Be mindful. Rest.