It’s a new year! I want to say to you all, Happy, Happy New Year! It’s popular and wonderful to create new goals… the wishlist of our desires. Now is the time to think of how you’d like to improve your life.
This can lead to contemplation of what we don’t like about our lives. We can long for relief from the things which have made us angry or disappointed with ourselves: “I am too….fat, poor, unfit, unpopular, undisciplined, etc….”
So, what if your favorite pet helped you with your new year’s eve resolutions?
Sound silly? What I mean is….if one could evaluate themselves by considering what is in our highest and best good, what would that evaluation look like?
I spend about 35 hours weekly inside the thoughts of our dear pets. As an animal communicator, I have the privilege of hearing how animals feel about their humans. They are our cheerleaders. They see the best in us, even when we are perhaps behaving badly. They sincerely want us to enjoy life, love ourselves and often offer tips to their human companions which are impressively accurate.
Animals see beyond our insecurities. A lot of what we want to change may include things that are not completely important in the eyes of somebody who loves us unconditionally.
For instance, one man, John, wanted to understand a change in his horse, Marlo’s behavior. Marlo’s anxiety-ridden behaviors included stall walking, and a lack of focus in his work when John worked him. He went from a competitive showjumper to a horse that was difficult to get around a course of jumps. When asked, Marlo said he couldn’t understand John’s change of mindset…he was nervous, driven and unclear in his aids. Marlo insisted that he noticed a huge change in his rider’s confidence that encompassed his whole life. John commented that his job was very stressful because he was up for promotion and he needed Marlo to be his old reliable self so John could enjoy a fun outlet.
Marlo felt happy to understand, but didn’t appreciate being held responsible for John’s happiness. Why couldn’t John change his goal and go back to being a happy person? John took this directive well, recognizing instantly that the horse had a good point – his stress was extraordinary, and pretty much self-generated because he wanted the promotion for the wrong reasons. In his heart, he knew that Marlo showed him kindness when he said, “We used to jump for fun, and everything is now a contest”. Would the promotion help him, or be one of a string of things that are the next goal?
Satisfaction is a pretty important thing to feel. It requires us to pause and notice how well we are doing and connect with contentment. John laughed and admitted that he’d take Marlo’s thoughts seriously and work on feeling content with all he’d already achieved.
So it may be a great idea to ask yourself, WHY do I want this goal? Will it bring me joy? Animals seem to function by doing things for the pure joy of it. They are seldom confused about what they want. That’s part of the intense joy when we hang out with them: they are just themselves. It makes them good at giving us unbiased feedback on our human, more complex motivations. They have a clarity that honors out highest and best self…the part of us that functions from our heart.
One barrel racer, Joyce, moved to Ocala, Florida in her 40’s to restart her life in a direction in alignment with becoming a better competitor and rider. She explained that her family was not very healthy and suffered from illness. With determination and some fears, she bought a small farm, moving from a life in suburbia. For her, it was joyful to cross-train and school her Quarter Horse mare, Gold. Gold agreed that Marcy was happily transformed by introducing athletic prowess into her life, and was so proud of Joyce for overcoming her ungrounded fears and going for her goals. Gold was an experienced campaigner and explained that she didn’t mind Joyce’s frequent mistakes and told her to stop beating herself up for her fumblings. Gold accurately saw that Joyce would progress faster in her goals if she gave herself permission to make mistakes. Joyce had called me to be certain she wasn’t pushing Gold too hard, and felt relief and happiness knowing that her horse was relishing her role in Joyce’s newfound vibrancy.
20/20 Vision…It’s all about how you see things, and animals can be a unique lens to view your goals through. Its fun and intriguing to allow their feedback full credibility, understanding they share our lives intimately, and enjoying the wisdom that grows from that deep connection. Goals made from this perspective powerfully enhance true happiness-for us and the horses who share our lives.