Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I'm pondering last week's horse-riding session with a friend. Outside of a few rides 20 years ago, she'd had no experience. However, in six sessions, she has gone from complete beginner to being able to catch, halter, prep, saddle, and bridle Journey, pick up and clean out her feet. Put on hoofboots. Mount. Today we even rode around "the block"-- (about 5 miles), walking and trotting. It was a bonafide ride complete with Honor cavorting about keeping things interesting, the smells of leather and woods and dusty roads, and a blue, blue sky arching above us.

When we finished, my friend commented on how helpful it was to practice all the bits and pieces she'd been learning, and how with the doing, they began to come together. All the random  information with which I had inundated her--"Watch a horse's ears, and you'll have a good indication of what it's thinking." "Keep the reins quiet and low." "Lean forward and lift the reins a bit if you want to go faster," and a hundred and one other odds and ends we'd been working on--fell into their proper place.

Once again I am struck by the importance of practice. Theory is great. Knowledge necessary. But if we never actually apply it in real-life situations, we do not advance. There had to come a day when my friend scraped up her courage and rode outside the confines of the corral, and then beyond the yard.

Speak Up
There is no substitute for experience. We can't borrow someone else's. We can't buy it at Wally World. We have to acquire it the same way every other person must--by doing, doing, then doing again, a bit longer and better each time, or more bravely--until after multiple repetitions, we begin to know.

This has got me to thinking about an area in which I need more experience--brave communication. Oh, yes, I'm quite proficient in passing the time of day, discussing the weather or the latest about whatever. But when it comes to communicating how someone's actions are affecting me, I find that I have knowledge a-plenty and way too little practical experience.
Brave Communication in Progress

So, like my intentional friend who is well on her way to becoming a confident rider, I need to practice. I'm won't have as steep a success rate as she has had--after all, no one becomes an amazing communicator is six interactions. But that's all right. Every time I move into pursuing connection, I'll be one step closer to proficient, and one step clower to the people I love!

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