Fall is upon us. And Thanksgiving is just around the corner. A perfect time to focus on gratitude. As many of you know I am horseback instructor and trainer. It has been a lifelong career and a passion. Horseback riding is a sport of balance. And as riders know, we balance on our seat and two supports for our feet, called stirrups. More advanced riders learn to ride just on the balance in their seat, minus the use of the support in stirrups. This enables riders to communicate more clearly with the horse through our seats and shifting our balance. Working without the support of these stirrups is physically hard, and challenges the balance of even the most experienced riders. For many in the world of horseback riding, we take the month of November to refocus on balance and strength. "No Stirrup November"....as it is called affectionately and with trepidation, in the horse world, is a month of finding core strength and balance. Sounds like something we should make a practice of doing in our lives. Taking a month to work on balance, through gratitude. Within our farm community, I am practicing, and encouraging others to practice, a month of gratitude with the goal of finding more balance and joy ....As many of us prepare for winter, the days shorten and holidays draw near, it is easy to get drawn into less than joyful places. "Choose Love" offers a great exercise to begin shedding negativity and finding balance:
1) On a piece of paper write down a negative feeling or thought that you hold in your heart or mind. 2) Next, take that paper and shred it into tiny pieces. 3) Enjoy every minute of getting rid of the negative feeling or thought you wrote on that paper. 4) Now "trash" your negative feelings by throwing every bit of the paper away. ....Take a moment to feel the relief of getting rid of something that darkens your heart. 5) Then write something you are grateful for on a sticky note. 6) Put that sticky note in an obvious spot. Every time you see it, feel the power gratitude can give you. Similar to the balance and strength gained from horseback work without stirrups, getting rid of negativity and inviting gratitude will strengthen "muscles" needed for a balanced life. Enjoy the beauty of finding balance throughout this month, and in the future...on horseback or in life!