Apologies for the big gap between blogs, lots going on – travel, writing, big things afoot. Ok, enough excuses.
I feel compelled to write about this given recent “events” and scuttle butt on the internet.
Before I write my blog, I reacquaint myself with the last thing I wrote to you about and, seeing it was around Fran’s update with her horse Crest, it made me want to tell you how I feel about some of the negative and virulent accusations sometimes made about us.
Our Ohio event on Savvy Club Sunday featured Fran, and her horse Crest, in the lesson with me. I had so many of you come up and thank me for the lesson (not to mention those of you who weighed in on the late blog about it) saying how much it made you think and realize how you’ve been pushing your horse over emotional thresholds. Fran and I felt great about the results, and more importantly… Crest revealed to us how much he’d been holding inside while still trying his guts out for Fran (who had rescued him from a horrible past).
But here’s the disturbing part. I got an email from a Savvy Club member expressing how horrified she was about how I pushed Crest (who didn’t seem that bad) and that she’s lost respect for me / us (she criticized Pat’s lesson too) and as a result was leaving the Savvy Club.
It’s really hard getting something like that because I feel so misunderstood, and yet I want to validate that what she saw was real for her. I can’t tell her that she didn’t get it, that would be insulting. Really it is more a reflection of how poorly I conveyed the message for some in the audience.
My teacher, Glynn Braddy (my Essentials, Horsenality, philosophy and health mentor) sent me a really centering email after reading some of the nasty comments out there (not about the lesson): Incidentally, I read some ‘bad press’ about Pat; I believe negative press about Parelli functions to keep the right students close and the others at a distance.
You might think it’s odd that we can still feel hurt by the negative comments, and mostly we don’t. But I think that “hurt” helps us rise to a whole new level.
It makes me think about how we coach you in your horsemanship… just when you think everything is awful and unbearable, you’re actually on the brink of a breakthrough.
So, here’s to having more breakthroughs and being able to look at the difficult stuff with understanding, optimism and without judgment. Hard as it was (mainly because I feel like a failure – not because I believe what she’s saying) I’m very grateful for that email conversation, it’s helping to make me a better teacher.
Strange isn’t it? Pat and I get thousands of thank you’s from all of you, heart bulging stories of how our program has saved your horse or transformed your life, but we can still feel the pang when just one negative comment comes in. Can’t help but think of that line in the movie “Pretty Woman” when Julia says, “It’s easier to believe the bad stuff.” Might not be the exact quote, but it’s something like that.
I feel like the big challenge in life is to thrive despite the negativity that surrounds us. I’ve heard myself say “Life is perfect”, or as Glynn would say… “Things are unfolding exactly as they should.” So, what do you do with that information? I’ve often looked back on uncomfortable, difficult or hurtful situations and realized that, had it not been for that, I wouldn’t be living my dream today. So, my goal is to live every day as if I was looking back at it ten years from now. It’s not always easy, but when things get hard I absolutely can do it. Just need to do it sooner sometimes. What does Pat say? “Do less sooner rather than more later”. It applies to so much more than horses.
Until next time,