Boy, can I dish out the advice! I do it every day. Try this product, use this vet technique, trailer like this. Do you remember that post I did a few weeks ago about what makes a good student? No? You can see it here if you really feel the need. In tip number 9, I advised, "Be respectful. This means coming with a good attitude and ready to get to work. If your lessons are genuinely about learning, leave the baggage at the door. Drop all of your problems at the gate, and be in the moment. You will feel refreshed when you are finished and those problems may seem smaller on the way out."
Uh-huh. That was so much easier to write than to actually do. Frankly, I am having one hell of a week, and "stressor" numero uno isn't even thinking about going away. In fact, I am fully prepared for a new attack today. I was so pissed on Wednesday that I truly thought I should cancel my lesson. How could I be a good student with so much crap crowding my every thought? My shoulders were tense, my head threatened to explode, and my legs were even different lengths. No kidding. Something to do with lower back tension, I think. I actually had to move my stirrups around.
I just couldn't stand the thought of a work problem ruining my favorite night of the week. I took a deep breath and started cleaning stalls. That almost always has a metaphorical cleansing effect on my thoughts. Shoveling literal shit is akin to clearing away the mental shit. Every poop pile that makes it in the wheelbarrow seems to remove an equal amount of crap from my mental house. It didn't work on Wednesday however. Even though my stalls were cleaned, my mental house was still piled high with crap.
I persevered. I tacked up and started kicking myself in the butt. Get over it. Suck it up. Follow your own oh-so-easily-dished-out advice.
Okay - quit yelling at me!
I must be an an awesome ass kicker because I had an unbelievably productive lesson. It went so well that JL had me start on a completely new exercise. I'll write more about it in the next few days.
So, what's the moral of this story? Riding is great therapy? Our problems can be dropped off at the gate? Or is it that we need to remember to love ourselves enough to let go of the shit that pisses us off? We'll be better people for it. I promise.