Remove the Bit and Ride Life Bareback


Upon asking a really neat reader what shoulds she could live without, I got this gem of a response.

I could certainly live without thinking I ‘should’ leave my current job. It’s draining and it leaves you beginning your week days negatively.

I love the insight and awareness just in this statement.  She can see clearly that the “should” of wanting to leave is poisoning the current experience.

I believe this is a fairly common occurance in our day to day thinking. First, we have to look at the difference from desiring to change a situation and thinking that IT SHOULD NOT BE what it is. Or that we should be elsewhere.

I’m not an avid equestrian, but in my younger years I cared for some horses and attended some horse camps.  I tried different horses and terrains, styles of riding, and equipment.  My favorite way to ride was bareback, without saddle, bridle, harness or bit. It required a bit of recklessness, but also a truer connection with the horse.  It wasn’t so much as commanding a horse to do my bidding but to have a mutual experience with the horse. To take a journey together.

When we look at life as if things “ought” to be different, we look at this moment and say, “This moment, this Now is not as it should be.” Which is silly because this Now is this Now.  It is also, as my reader pointed out, it wastes an incredible amount of energy to fight the reality of now. We pull the reins and fight the horse and attempt to use it as a mount to go where we insist.  “We are not where we should be, we must go over there… *yank, struggle, pull, expletive*

Riding life bareback does not mean we have no “control” of our lives or that we simply roll over and stay in situations which do not feel beneficial.  It means being in the moment, connected to the moment, and looking forward.  Listening to the horse(life), noticing sings of paths around you, and responding to cues within yourself and all around you.  It is a symbiotic relationship. There is no coercion.  Simply connection.

This makes us more open to resources around us that we may not have been aware of before when we were stuck in shoulds. We have more energy, we are more helpful to people, we enjoy our time, and when the time arrives to move on from a situation, you will know it and be ready.

This kind of awareness of life and connection to everything around us can be achieved many ways; one of those paths is through meditation.  If it feels like a good fit for you, mindfulness meditation can  connect you to yourself, others, your innermost being, and the world around you.

Notice your shoulds. DO NOT TRY TO “SHOULD” YOUR “SHOULDS” AWAY!!!! (I shouldn’t have this should) Do you know what I mean? Be loving and accepting of your shoulds. When you notice throughout your day that you have stumbled upon a persepective or belief within yourself that is a “should”, laugh at it.  Acknowledge it.  Thank it.  Then send it along on its way and turn your focus what needs to be done next in that moment.  Gently and lovingly you are acknowledging these parts of yourself, but not giving them the fuel to grow.

Try it out for the week and let me know what you think. As always,

Love and Light,

Val

To learn more about what I do or to book a session, visit meditationcounselingbrevard.com for local classes, individual sessions in person or via phone/skype.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit The Creative Commons Site.

This blog is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical or mental condition. Please seek the help of a licensed mental health professional or a doctor for any medical or mental health symptoms. This blog assumes no liability for how content is used.

8 thoughts on “Remove the Bit and Ride Life Bareback

  1. I strongly agree! Accepting the present moment as is instead of fighting to make it something else is one of the first and most powerful skills I gained after practicing mindfulness meditation. The awareness and connection you describe have been both healing and empowering. Another excellent post, Val, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely love the analogy you use with the horse. Explained perfectly.
    Your completely correct, the should is in the now so we should accept it and not fight it, doesn’t mean we cant keep an eye out for others paths we can take when they arise.
    Thanks for the beautiful blog. It really is great how you take others perspectives and put a positive spin on it to benefit another individual. -B x

    Liked by 1 person

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