Monday, August 29, 2011

The Four Agreements

To start this week out right, I sought out some inspirational words that might truly serve as a pep talk, for myself and for all of you.  Monday mornings usually hit me like a ton of bricks; you see, Sundays are my favorite days.  That is the day that my whole family is together and we can do whatever we want  - no school, no work (well, almost now work), no worries.  Monday begins the weekly/daily marathon of routine, and trying to get everything done, and done well.  It helps to have clear intentions and a path to follow, whether you are working horses, dealing with the demands of your family, your friends and your job, or simply aspire to improve your life as a whole.

This morning's clear path comes courtesy of The Four Agreements, as presented by Toltec Spirit.

The Four Agreements are: 

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I love that all of these Agreements can be applied to working with horses.  Being impeccable with your word could apply  to treating the horse honestly - not trying to trick the horse or falsely gaining his trust only to treat him badly.  As with people, we shouldn't take a horse's lack of understanding or ability personally either. Nor should we assume our horse knows something or can do something we haven't gone over.  Both 2 & 3 reflect that horse trainers need to let go of a certain amount of control over the end result.   Horses learn in their own time; we have to have the patience to move along one step at a time.  At each step we take, the last agreement, to do our best, should be our priority.

These Four Agreements are certainly applicable as well to how we conduct our selves within, and represent, the horse industry.  If every trainer, breeder, instructor, shoer, judge and competitor undertook these as their personal creed, imagine how welcoming our industry might be!  Imagine how well cared for our horses would be!

Wishing each of you a happy, productive, inspiring week ahead!