Creating a satisfying life is a lot like building a sand castle. Your life may look great for a moment, bit will soon change, whether you want it to or not. The point, then, has to be to enjoy every step of the process. Enjoy the work, enjoy the shaping of things to come, and even enjoy when your efforts have to stop and you just have to wait for what happens next.
Change can be very difficult for many people. There is often a feeling of ‘safety’ or ‘security’ in the routines we have. We know what to expect. There are no ‘surprises’. But clinging to the ‘way things are’ can become crippling. We see children who fall apart when they have to transition from one activity to another. Those on the autism spectrum may have a ‘melt down’ over something as seemingly unimportant as the color bowl their cereal is served in. And there are those who continue in unsatisfactory, sometimes even abusive relationships, rather than face the unknown of moving on. All of these situations are based on fear and anxiety over the what might happen and on what will happen to us. We have such doubts about our ability to handle whatever comes our way that we may hide ourselves away from all the bounty that life has to offer.
From a child of 4 who has difficulty transitioning from getting dressed to having breakfast, to an adult who is having a hard time with getting out and trying something new, our work with horses offers opportunities to get past the problems. No two sessions are every exactly alike. We help our clients understand that because horses are prey animals they are most comfortable when things are the same (hmmm, sounds familiar). They will respond to changes in their environment by becoming more alert and perhaps even anxious. Our job is to help reassure them. In order to do this we must remain calm ourselves, otherwise our horses may become more concerned about the unknown. We practice deep breathing as a way to calm ourselves and offer concrete problem solving skills, such as ‘stop and regroup,’ when things get challenging. Experiencing hands on success in dealing with a difficult situation is so empowering! This confidence and sense of accomplishment follows the client out into the rest of their lives.
If you or someone you know is feeling challenged or overwhelmed by the everchanging pattern of life, we may be able to help. Call or email to schedule a visit. We will show you around, introduce you to our wonderful horses, learn more about the issues you are dealing with, share how our program works and how we may be able to help.
studies focusing on the ability of people to maintain happiness as they age reveal that an openness to change in both family life and work life is associated with a 23 % greater likelihood of maintaining high level of life satisfaction. Crosnoe and Elder 2002