So, I have begun to look at what control means to me. Let me know what it means to you.
There are the ways I work to control my emotions. I prefer to use the term monitor however at times it feels as though they are out of control and I have to reign them in and keep them under "control". I find that when I become uncomfortable my desire to control things increases because I believe that if I can control the things around me I will be o.k., really it is about gaining control over myself. My first desire is to tell others how they "should" be; so that I don't have to deal with some old wound from my life experiences. As I become more aware of the places where I have what I refer to as a default reaction. (my horse spooked here last time so I better be ready for it every time I go by here) A place where I have made an assumption that something that happened in the past will continue to happen again and again. I begin to make different choices, letting go of my assumptions and creating room for a different outcome.
In the past it seemed like a good idea to have some type of control over my horse. (We all know that leaving a horse to it's own choices while we are riding, can often lead to places the rider may prefer not to go.) If I can just keep my horse under control I will feel safer, have a better ride or.......(fill in the blank) this often translates into holding and becoming tight in my body. As I become more tense my horse begins to feel confused and I have begun to deliver aids to my horse with out awareness of what I am doing. The more I tighten and search for control the more my horse becomes upset. I do not get what I am looking for until I let go and begin to ask in a clear manner. It is in the release that I allow my horse to answer my request.
I have found that as I let go of the idea of control and begin to play with the idea of influence and using my energy to create a flow or an intention I find that my horse becomes amazingly responsive to these concepts. My horse begins to take part in a conversation and I begin to listen to where my horse lets me know something is hard or he is not sure how to do a movement. When I recognize that my horse is telling me what is going on for him through his movements and responses. I begin to find ways to influence rather then control; a clearer aid or a half halt instead of holding on and creating tension. My horse and I begin to have an ongoing conversation where we are aware of the influences and challenges that are coming in each moment of a ride.
Where can you let go of something that no longer serves you and create a new way of communicating? I would love to here what other people think about this.