Can you think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of Autumn then to go horseback riding with a few of your closest friends? I can’t either!
Ever since my 13th birthday I have wanted to go horseback riding. Every year I would ask if I could go for my birthday party and every year my parents would say yes BUT when you’re born in the middle of February (19th to be exact) most likely you’re going to have lots of snow on or around your birthday. So needless to say I never got to go. Until yesterday that is!
Yesterday my friends Alexis, Lane and Crystal, and I drove up to Bobby’s Ranch and went on an hour long horseback ride through beautiful Nagog Park and the surrounding conservatory. It’s been a day I have dreamt of since I was a little girl and it was truly wonderful. In fact, the entire day was wonderful and there were times where it could have been stressful or full of anxiety.
For instance, I could have freaked out in the morning as Alexis was picking up all three of us and left her house a little late since she forgot her wallet. BUT when she text me that she was on her way, rather than worrying if we were going to make it in time (we had a little over an hour to make it to the ranch and still needed to pick up Lane and Crystal – both live in the city but completely different areas) I went into my bedroom, sat on a pillow and meditated for a few minutes.
Three minutes of deep breathing helped me clear my mind and re-connect with my beliefs and intentions. Rather than looking at the time as dwindling, I kept telling myself that we were going to make it on time. Rather than trying to control every minute of the situation I just gave into trust and went with the flow. So I wasn’t anxious or worried and we got to Bobby’s Ranch with 10 minutes to spare! While waiting for the others we explored the grounds and met some of the friendly (albeit shy) goats, chickens, ducks and cats that were free to just walk around. It was really fun to pet the roaming goats and be on a ranch that was so casual and animal friendly.
Then we met our horses and I was paired up with Oreo, an older, gentle horse that had one speed: slow and steady. It was funny because I was the first person in our single-file line so the rest of the group had one speed as well: slow and steady. Our ride began a little after 9 AM and I have to say it was the perfect time as it was still a bit cool and the sun was so beautiful shining through the high trees and on the calm lakes we passed.
Throughout the several miles there were many times I just held my head back and let the shimmering sun warm my face. I took it all in every step of the way – embracing the steady rhythm of the ride, leaning forward up small hills, letting my hips sway back and forth, laughing and smiling the entire time. Connect with Oreo at the beginning and then leaning into trust – trust that he was a good strong horse that wouldn’t spook or fall or anything else – made my ride so enjoyable. Honestly it was just a simple, quiet ride where I felt peaceful and happy.
Yesterday was also special because, as part of the Unapologetically Me Project, I genuinely let down the barriers, let go of concerns and was just simply myself. Loud, talkative, silly, grounded ME and it was amazing. Sure, there were a few times that I thought I questioned myself or felt bad about something but rather than letting it consume me or change my behavior, I just let it go and went on being ME. And I have to say I felt more relaxed then I have in ages.
Letting go of control, leaning into trust, and letting my true self shine made yesterday even more special than it already was; it showed me that my life, my journey (Dharma) is so much more amazing when I am connected to my intentions and beliefs.
Check out my other 2012 Adventures here!