Today I have chosen to write about beauty, but not in the way that you might think. Today I want to write about beauty as it pertains to loss.

I want to write about beauty as it pertains to criticism and harshness.

I want to write about beauty as it relates to negativity and unfair treatment.

Because the simple truth of the matter is that in riding and in life, we are going to experience all of those things. And the beauty of mindfulness, of mental skills training and of taking responsibility for yourself is in training your heart and mind to move with all of those things, and not against them.

The “moving with” in the first instance is about processing. It’s a practice of gentle acceptance. Any time we are in the midst of crisis or upset, the energy of that is felt in our body. Some of us feel it in our muscles; maybe they become tight or brittle.

Others in our stomach.

It’s personal, but emotional experience yields physical affect.

In recognition of the beauty of gentle acceptance, we need to allow for a period where the energy of the emotion- be it from an exchange, an interaction or an experience- can move through us.

Expecting yourself or anyone else to “move on” straight away from negative experience is unrealistic and does you both a disservice.

Where is the beauty in this period? The beauty is in the growth.

Maybe it’s the recognition of how you want to behave in the face of someone else behaving in a way that upsets you.

Maybe it’s the understanding or a different way of going about things in your riding or your life.

The gentle acceptance comes from being kind to yourself. From making the choice to move forward. From doing the next right thing, whatever that is for you and holding space for the feeling to “be” whilst simultaneously recognizing its inherent changeability.

It’s a visitor, not a permanent resident. No need to get attached.

And then after you have allowed for this period of gentle acceptance; after you have gone to ground and allowed yourself to feel and experience and be, then you are faced with a choice.

The choice is very simple. You can choose to rise up, redefined. Or you can choose to retract, become smaller.

Retraction is the easy option. In the face of opposition, it’s easy to become small; to let someone else’s truth become your truth. Even if it’s not your truth at all.

Being small is easy. Too easy. In a world that feasts on the negative, your retraction is expected. Your rising is what’s needed.

Rising up- the process of training your heart and mind to move with pain.

Rising up is the process of training your heart and mind to take up all the space it is owed without fear of judgement. Or in spite of it.

Rising up is not about anyone else. Your rise is not equal to someone else’s fall.

You rising up is allowing yourself to participate in the conversation that is full living, ready to embrace all that comes with it. And to continue to move forward, by choice.

“When you stay on purpose and refuse to be discouraged by fear, you align with the infinite self in which all possibilities exist” ~ Wayne Dyer

xx Jane

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