Photo by Joseph McDougall
Wild horses, mindfulness and pure magic.
At the weekend I had a Saturday afternoon that hit me right in the heart, in the kind of way I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry with all of the emotion that surged through me. It was so magical and mindful that I just had to share it with you all! Times like this are too special to keep to yourself and so I hope that from my words and the pictures, you can sense how special a connection between two living beings can be, when we are fully present in the moment.
Before I drove up to meet Clare, the owner of Skydog Ranch, I was already aware of the amazing work that they do there, as one of my dear friends had told me about it. I had also seen pictures of these beautiful mustangs, which Skydog Ranch save from being ill treated and sold onto the slaughter houses. However, it still had not prepared me for the profound experience I was about to have.
A few weeks earlier I remember Clare had posted a picture of a mustang that she had saved, which was so skinny you could see every rib in his ribcage pushing through the skin and his coat was threadbare. However, when I arrived at the ranch I couldn’t believe how well he had healed, and although shy, how content he looked. As we walked up to the horse, he shied away from us, and so, as Clare brought him out to graze on the grass, I decided to go and sit quietly and meditate. I wanted to connect to the calmness within me, to give the horse space to feel comfortable about me being there and to see if, by me connecting to my stillness and zen within, he would feel safe and relaxed enough to come close to me.
As I sat there, I realised I was very close to the edge of the cliff and I did have an OMG moment, thinking ‘I’m sat down here and this horse is kind of big’, suddenly remembering the fear for horses I used to have. My mum had unfortunately told, me early on in my life, that she was scared of horses because sometimes they can kick when they are scared, and this had resulted in her being thrown off of a horse once. That story had kind of made me scared for a while, but I love horses so I worked on this fear in hypnosis and luckily got rid of it. To snap out of these fearful thoughts again I turned my focus to the fact that the horse was filled with fear too, he had been hit and hurt before, which is why he ended up here, and was probably wondering what I was all about and whether he was safe with me or not. So, I went back to my breath, focusing only on breathing in and out, allowing my whole body to relax. Then after a little while I started to repeat this mantra within, as I looked at the horse, “I see the love in you, please see the love in me”. I found these words very soothing and I was hoping that the horse would pick up on my relaxed breathing and my peaceful energy vibrating out, sending him love and healing.
As I closed my eyes, placing my hand out – palm upwards – I waited, and then suddenly this beautiful soul came right up to my face and I could hardly hold back the tears – he just stood there looking at me and it felt as if he could see right into my soul. Then he lifted his head and placed it above mine. My heart was filled with love and it has been ever since, every time I think of this special encounter.
I will be forever grateful for this moment, as in that moment I knew without the gift of mindfulness and meditation in my life, I would not have felt this experience in this way. Fully aware, in the moment and as if nothing else mattered. I felt such gratitude for everything I have learnt from just being still.
After this magical experience with the mustang my answer to the question “Can you tame a wild horse?” reminds me very much of the answer to the question “Can we tame our minds and slow down our thoughts?” because, let’s face it, sometimes our thoughts can be so fast it feels like they are galloping through our minds at 1000 miles an hour. I realised as I sat there it wasn’t about taming the horse or our thoughts, it was about accepting them as they come. To accept that maybe we would connect and maybe we wouldn’t, to have no expectations – just allow things to unfold how they are meant to. Exactly the way we are aware when we practice mindfulness, realising that we have the capacity to accept our thoughts and feelings and let them come and go, allowing everything to be exactly as it is, whether they are wild or calm, enjoy the freedom in the moment to not have to control or tame anything. So, no it’s not about taming, it’s about allowing ourselves to just observe in the moment and to enjoy whatever that brings. If I had been sat on my phone this would have not happened, all of this beauty would have passed me by just because I didn’t have the time to notice!
Thank you gorgeous Anselm for choosing to share this moment with me and for reminding me that –
“When you find peace within you find peace around you, even from a wild horse”.
Try this mantra next time you want to find calmness in an angry or uncomfortable situation and to calm yourself –
“I see the love in you, please see the love in me”.
It can feel difficult at first, as fear and anger may want to come forward, but if you want the situation to calm down, try your hardest to repeat these words in your mind as you breathe deeply. They will comfort you in the moment and remind you that you don’t have to react in the same manner that you are being spoken to. Once the situation calms down a little you will be able to communicate everyone’s point of view with much more ease and resolve the situation in a more comfortable manner.
If you would like to learn more about this wonderful charity or to donate please visit their website Skydog Ranch
Zenme will be collaborating with the Skydog Ranch and creating a mindful day and fundraiser soon, stay tuned for more news about the event and how to get involved! Or make sure you sign up for our newsletter to receive all our news about upcoming events.
Huge gratitude to Joseph McDougall & Clare Staples for capturing the moments in these photos.