September is almost over, hard to believe. I have constructed numerous blogs in my head but there is almost too much to talk about! Today I was distilling it in the word, focus. Focus has helped me through many hurdles. I learned about it through riding my horse Max. If you get really good at focussing you can turn a horse with your eyes. Looking at where you are going is always a good thing and when you do then the rest of life goes there too. Now that can be good or bad. Once I was riding Max around the outside of my arena. Max is a expert of taking off pieces of knees especially on trail rides and this time it happened to be the corner posts of the arena. No matter how I steered him, I narrowly missed bumping my knees on the solid posts. As we an around and around I kept my eye on those posts so that I could, at the last minute, steer his large body around them.
I was quite anxious about it. Then I realized that I was actually causing the problem by looking at the posts! I was sending Max into them. I quickly shifted my focus to the space beyond the posts and presto! no more problems. I learned a great deal from that experience.
Where is my focus? How does my focus determine my actions, or the actions of others? I realize so deeply that I can be a peacemaker or a troublemaker by simply the words and body language behind them. I can either be a power for good by my focus or deep in the "crapper" b/c I lose hope. And I can carry all those around me into the posts.
Learning to focus helped me learn not to be afraid. Max and I had a bad accident that made me afraid to ride for a long time. Max had issues with a corner of a large field I was trying to negotiate. It scared me to ride "down there" where I knew he would try to spook and run away. A teacher told me to always focus on the next corner post in the field. "Don't focus on the scary part but look intently beyond." I started to look hard at the post and to send Max there. After a few times I even forgot about the scary section. I couldn't believe it. Focus.....even when it is scary, unknown or challenging.
I like to think of it as looking at the God space around something - rather than my attitude, fears or worries. Looking at the God space helps me focus on God and His will rather than all the mess that composes our daily life. And it certainly helps me focus on all the beauty of the earth, life and people that come my way.
I learned this when I spent time with family in the Northwest recently. The beauty and generosity of the people I met will help me focus always on the greatness of people. It was such a joy to love and be loved by them all and to witness their friendship and focus on what really matters in life - loving each other. I had to ask myself how often I forfeit that through irritation, selfishness, self pity or whatever.....and I crash my knees against the posts.
Thanks Max - he rode really well today, the old boy still has it in him!