Eckart Tolle says wisely : "When you make the present moment, instead of the past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do and with it the quality of you life increases dramatically." This quote highlights the importance of understanding present moment awareness..... and fuels my personal fire to help others gain and build resiliency. (Please see : www.cooperscrossroad.com.) In non-covid life, I was facilitating a weekly program, Farming For Resilience, for two local schools.
Cooper's Crossroad's Farming For Resilience program was created as an opportunity for individuals to build resiliency. It is a multifaceted educational platform, offering physical, social and emotional well-being which build competencies that guide individuals to lead productive lives well in to their adult years. One of the things we did (and plan to continue in the New Norm), was teach participants the act of staying present. Using the animals, art, and land; supported by a curriculum that covers courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion the participants strengthen social and emotional growth. Most directly to the point, and soon after beginning the program, participants of any age are taught the Brave Breath. Taken directly from the Choose Love Enrichment Program, this teaches us to mindfully breathe, getting us ready to learn, and to stay in the moment. The facilitators and volunteers model the Brave Breath along side the participants, as they lead/groom/mount a horse for the first time... for the many first times. The fact that horses operate entirly in the Now can deeply enhance our lives, educating us mere humans on how to stay present. Deep and whole peace, leading to resilience, can be directly accessed through connection with horses. As a facilitator, my daily goal is to enable and enhance the relationship between horse and human.. so more people can access this peace. I endeavor to "operate from a grounded place." myself. And, wow, the horses always give it away, if I am not. Horses rely entirely on the present moment. When we learn to step into the moment, with them, we gain resilience. Resilience is defined by the HeartMath Institute as "the capicity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, adversity, trauma or challenge." Resilience can be taught. As it could be condisered "a state rather than a trait" Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance (2015), the "state" can be accessed. The benefits are many, including but not limited to : the ability to bounce back from challenging situations to preventing energy and time wasted on unnecessary fustration, impatience and anxiety. When do we need to use resilience building skills? Now! Who would not benefit from taking a Brave Breath? Physiological coherence (the stability and harmony of the bodies regulatory systems) is gained, in part, through mindful breathing. As I see it : Brave Breaths. Using this process of self-regulation (among other skills)), participants participate in activities incorporating courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion with use of our equine partners and the farm. In closing, another E. Tolle quote "Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have." - live it, model it, teach it....any time, anywhere. #staygrounded/powerofNow All my best, Christina