Thursday, September 3, 2009

Following Your Bliss in Hard Times

Times right now are uncertain: no one needs to tell us that. A lot of people are putting their dreams on hold, if not forgoing them altogether. My own mind is filled with doubt and fear sometimes. “Are we really doing the right thing?” “Do I need to get a real job?” But I have learned that what comes from my mind is not always logical and truth-driven. Frank Herbert said, “Fear is the little death. The mind killer.” Fear gets in the way of cogent thought processes.

Over many years I have learned that the inner knowing, the kind of information that comes from your body, your instincts, can tell you better what you should do in moments of crisis. “Don’t panic,” it says. “Calmness is the way forward.”

We have changed the shop from a knitting/crochet/weaving retail store into a weaving studio. We just invested in a lighted sign for the business. These things have worried me. “Is this right?” “We are moving in new direction. Is the trail ahead clear or does danger lurk right around the bend?” Like most other humans I am not really fond of big changes in my life. Now we are depending solely on finished goods: saddle blankets, shawls, hats, scarves, runners and pillows, etc. -- things we have made ourselves. We can’t hide behind anything, now; it’s our own work or nothing. And that brings up the fear, “Are we good enough?” Which leads back to the all-too-human fear of failure and embarrassment. Our fear gets in our way and, like frightened rabbits, we freeze.

My head is saying, “Don’t! Wait a minute. You can’t do that.” My heart is saying, “Keep going, keep going, keep going.” If I take a deep breath and get a bit more centered I can hear Major Valko, my coach, saying, “With a horse you are always moving forward, even when you are backing up.”

The truth is that we can never stand still or go back. We are always moving in a new direction and danger does lie around every bend. Permanence is illusory. All there is, is change. We must pack up our ideas and move on, leaving fear behind best as we can.

I have been told, that in the Chinese language, the character for Chaos is the same as Opportunity. That makes sense to me.


  1. So many life lessons can be learned from horses! :-) While you hear your trainer I hear a friend in my mind, just as I am getting ready to give way to fear, saying, Just keep going, there is always time to panic later. Silly I'm sure but that "later" never does seem to arrive. :-)

  2. My coaches said the same thing... I am convinced that the horse is the absolute best way to learn life's lessons. It may not be intuitive, but the power of rear engines can't be seen, just felt. And sometimes it is a hell of a ride!