Lately, I have been curious how to be in peace and good collaboration with my own mind. During one of my recent jogging trips I got an epiphany. While jogging in nature, I inevitably think of my huge passion: horses and stables. The “epiphany” was to apply the horse riding techniques to the mind training:
When working with a horse, first, you need to warm-up. To prepare a horse for the training you do some active walking, trotting, and canter.
A similar approach can be applied to our mind in the beginning of a day. A short but powerful gratitude exercise in the morning can serve as a warm-up for our mind. Acknowledging all the good things in life is very important and it helps to set the right attitude. It is beneficial to even pick those good events from life that are related to the activities planned for the day. For instance, if you have a customer meeting scheduled, be grateful for those meetings in the past that went well.
Once the warm-up is done and you are eager to start galloping forward, it is important to get your partner collected. Whether it is your horse or your mind you don’t want it to disperse the energy randomly jumping here and there.
You collect a horse through a combination of reins and legs impact, reaching a paced movement forward, with energy stored in every muscle and every joint of the horse. Impulse, balance, and focus. That is a collected horse. A collected horse is attentive to every signal coming from the rider. It is fully engaged in the process.
Same connection, perfectly, should be achieved between our minds and us. Take the time during the day to stop the hustle and seat still for few minutes to collect your mind. A short meditation session can be very helpful.
Devoting time for reaching a balanced attentive state of a horse is crucial for the whole upcoming training. Similarly, those extra 10-15 minutes spent collecting your mind, in a long term will save you hours, allowing to be more efficient and focused throughout the day.
Certainly, riders never support any destructive behavior from a horse, like kicking, racing or hanging on the reins. On the other hand, when horse performs well, it gets the praising words, petting or carrot. Encouragement of the good behavior and restriction for bad habits is the core of a training.
Likewise, be strict with your mind and forbid bad habits like excessive anger, pessimistic attitude, envy or criticism. A well-educated mind is the one that consciously chooses a positive action and emotion over negative, this is where the right training makes the change.
As harmful as it is for a horse to spend days without exercising, it is dangerous for your mind as well. Occasionally, have rest and let your mind wander freely, but a mind that stays idle for too long, eventually, misbehaves. Like an idle horse, it will be “losing its shape” and getting an “excess of energy” simultaneously. An idle mind fills itself with destructive thoughts and self-doubt. Regular occupation and good exercising routine, on the other hand, is a path to success and well-being for both a horse and a mind.
TO SUM UP:
- Warm up your mind in the morning through Gratitude and Appreciation. Align your gratitude with the goals you set for the day.
- Engage in the process of finding a connection with your mind, Collect your mind through a short meditation session.
- Be a caring but strict owner to your mind. Do not let it get involved in any disruptive activities like strong anger, desperation, aggression, blaming or criticism. Encourage positive attitude and kindness.
- Make sure to keep it working regularly. Keep it away from harmful conditions like prolonged inactivity and idle state. Find new paths to explore with your mind, new challenges to conquer, new obstacles to jump over.
Connection with oneself is a key to success in life, become good partners and best friends with your own mind and you’ll achieve all you ever wanted and more!