For the last three days I’ve been fulfilling a longtime Wildly Improbable Goal, watching my friend Koelle and some of her Equus coaches taming wild mustangs here at the ranch. It’s just amazing. And it’s reminded me how we really change our lives, and the world, for the better: calmly, kindly, joyfully.
Before our two mustangs arrived, Koelle showed us some film of a typical “breaking” process: terrified horses thrashing and kicking for weeks on end as they’re roped, chained, and otherwise overpowered by humans. Koelle uses a method so gentle she often uses nothing more than eye contact—and it works far, far better than violence.
In fact, the Equus coaches are using such subtle body language to connect with the horses that it often looks as though they’re simply standing near the mustangs, completely relaxed, barely moving. That’s the energy that allows the horses to calm down and learn that it’s safe to be herded and handled. When I walk around the barn to the mustang paddock, I’m hit by a wall of stillness so sweet it makes me gasp. And this stillness has done more in three days than traditional “breaking” can accomplish in weeks. Better yet, no one is suffering.
More and more, I feel that this is the way we are meant to do everything. Exertion must be limited to fun; to create what we want in our lives and the world, we must find peace and stay there.
Today, look upon your life, your bank account, your family, each person you meet, as a wild horse. If a problem looks difficult, relax. If it looks impossible, relax even more. Then begin encouraging small changes, putting just enough pressure on yourself to move one turtle step forward. Then rest, savor, celebrate. Then step again. You’ll find that slow is fast, gentle is powerful, and stillness moves mountains.
photo: phyllis lane | www.phyllislane.com