A few months ago, I had a private intensive clinic with Linda Salinas. As many of you know, Linda teaches Carolyn Resnick's method of liberty training with horses through the Waterhole Rituals. I have been studying under Linda and Carolyn for the past year and a half. My original intention was to perfect my skills in training horses at liberty, but my clinic with Linda changed my life forever and jump stared me on a transformation journey of self discovery. One of the most important things that I learned through the Waterhole Rituals is the importance of being in the moment. This can prove to be quite challenging. It is easy to get caught up in the day today "stuff" that leaves no time for ourselves.
Sharing territory is the first Waterhole Ritual. It is critically important in liberty training because it assists us in forming the bond that we need with our horses to have a true connection. The time we spend just "being" is not only valuable in connecting with horses, but is instrumental in connecting with ourselves as well.
Because we have been so focused on the thinking aspect of our minds, quieting our minds requires deliberate intent. By allowing ourselves to be present in each moment, we decrease our mental analysis, or in other words, our mind chatter. When we put too much emphasis on the past or the future, we miss out on the physical and emotional experience that is happening right now.
Present moment awareness is an experience in which the little voice inside of us simply tells us to STOP. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do. We need to just BE. Yoga, meditation and prayer are wonderful tools to help us go within to find a place of solace; a place to nourish our souls and to heal our hearts.
The Native Americans used animal medicine to heal mind, body and spirit. They believed that the word "medicine" referred to anything that improved one's connection to all life. This included anything that brought personal power, strength or understanding. To the Native Americans, being one with nature was a way of life that simply involved living in perfect harmony with the Universe. They also used animal symbology to guide them in their spiritual development.
If we pay close attention to animals in nature, we notice that they relay messages of healing to us if we simply open our minds. As we silence our minds to observe nature, we gain knowledge of ourselves as well. This helps us to slow down and appreciate each moment and is extremely important to our well being. It allows us to re-connect with ourselves, to FEEL and to discover who we really are. In this space, we can awaken to our true selves and find the peace and joy we are all searching or.
Being in the present moment while observing my horses (and all creatures in their natural habitats) has assisted me in my journey within. This joyous process has opened up a wondrous new world and has helped me to gain a better understanding of myself as well. Many thanks to Linda and Carolyn!