Becoming Nonresistant to Resistance
In life, and in horsemanship, there is no guarantee and no prerequisite for a peaceful ride. In fact, it is by divine design that we come up against conflict, chaos, grief, sorrow, and even occasional strong resistance.
Relationships are an offering from life to help us wake up and see what we have been missing. Sometimes it’s not even that we missed something, because sometimes we aren’t even aware that there is something to miss. Expanding our awareness is what life‘s experiences are for. Therefore, it’s a very ill-conceived message to think that life is supposed to be easy.
I take a lot of my direction from nature. I see that nature can roll along with change and even the occasional chaos without taking it personally. In nature there is no personal identity that feels victimized or entitled. Nature trusts in life and works poetically within its cycles.
Human beings tend to take things personally. In conflict we can easily think that the resistance we are experiencing is a direct reflection on us.
But, it can only be that, if we see that.
When we allow life to take care of life and we see that indeed we can’t micromanage and control every detail, soon we begin to experience a great sense of freedom. And in this freedom, we see from a much broader perspective.
While in this vast spacious awareness, we see the coming and going of emotion, sensation, and thought. We see that without our critical attention life moves in grace. I feel this is one of the most crucial things that we can learn.
We see that we can learn from this natural biological rhythm and then really begin to work with it. We can learn not to take resistance personally.
In other words, we become non-resistant to resistance.
When this happens, there’s so much more clarity and peace in our world. We don’t hold onto conflict like a badge or a sword. It’s simply comes and goes.
What The Buck?
The other day while I was riding my young horse Grace, I was able to witness in myself, a very different response to resistance.
Grace has only been loping for a short time. This may have been her third or fourth lope. I have not been pushing her into this phase of our development. And because of that, I have found we experience each phase very intimately. I’m not insisting my will, but rather going with her as she’s ready. This is a very new approach in my horsemanship.
The loping aspect of our rides has been like all the others—a process. It cannot be intellectualized. It must be felt. No one but Grace can say when it feels right. And by giving her a bandwidth in this transition she is showing me a wealth of advantages. Her movements are much more relaxed, tension or resistance isn’t practiced. So the transitions have been smooth.
Each time she has offered to lope the transitions felt balanced. I saw that Grace would extend the distance a little more each time. Of course I’m not sitting passively. I am encouraging her, just not insisting. On this particular day she loped farther than she had before and then… she slammed on the brakes.
Quite often experience teaches us what we want from what we don’t want.
I was so glad to have had a video running (see CLIP), because even her buck, seemed and felt different than horses I have experienced in the past. There was not a lot of resistance in it. There was kind of a smoothness in her bucking. I feel that is because her mind was not resisting. I believe it was her body that became out of balance. The lope prior to the buck felt good. She didn’t seem tight.
But what I really want to share here, is more about the surprise I had found in myself that day. I realized right in that moment a great change in me!
In the past I might have seen the buck as misbehaving. I might have wanted to control her and perhaps even show her why that was a bad idea, by cranking her around in a circle. But this time I saw things very differently because—I didn’t take it personally!
In fact, my first thoughts were to go back and clean up the stages prior to loping. I thought about transitions and moving forward and of trotting out. I realized right then, that no matter how much time I give her I must work from her time frame not mine. Of course I’ll steer in the direction of advancement. That’s what we’ve done all along. But I won’t force!
This felt wonderful. I didn’t feel disappointed or confused or dissatisfied, in any way. Just the opposite, I felt grateful. And I felt empathy.
I loved that my horse was honest and demonstrative in showing me what she needed, right when she needed it. We went on and had a lovely ride.
Grace taught herself more in that bucking than I ever could teach her in trying to prevent it. And to me, this is what relationship is all about.
I don’t see that we are ever effective in changing another. But when we find ourselves in these times of trouble or times of grace, we have the opportunity to perfect ourselves. And that perfect practice can only come from pure awareness.
There is no activity or action that is perfect. But there is a pure and unending presence that sees it all. When we let that presence be our guiding light, our life is rich. We have a wealth that is beyond gold. We have a wealth that is ever expansive.
Life is short. It is our opportunity to know that the person is not the life source. The person is simply an expression. And expressions come in many forms. Expressions run the gamut. But life. … is the constant.
Don’t take my word for it. Just try it on for size. It doesn’t take long to see the changes that come when we live our life from freedom. Freedom is the natural result of releasing a personal identity. This identity is what has been convincing us all along that we are separate and inadequate. Therefor when we shift this paradigm, unity is natural. And, expansion is the result of unity.
“We can shift our perspective and change our world.“