So, I bought a horse about a year ago. I thought my years of horse experience would resurface after just a little rustiness, and then we’d be fine… but it’s actually turned out to be a strangely intimidating, emotional and philosophical journey, and I’m still learning so much from the fat rabicano bay who resides in my paddock.
One of the things I discovered was that my mostly harmless habit of undervaluing my knowledge, experience and capabilities suddenly became very concrete and dangerous. My otherwise confident and curious young horse picked up on my self-doubts, and started to doubt and mistrust me too. Even though my muscle memory and my instincts and my experience still knew exactly what to do – they knew the way, I’d practiced it for half my life! – my doubts were overriding them, making my fine little horse feel tense and afraid too. And after chipping away at our difficulties, I was shocked to realise that I had managed to think my way into this problem.
So I made a sweet and simple reminder that your knowledge and experience is valuable and real, and the way you regard that knowledge is very concrete and effectual too – this was the first of a two-part series, You Know the Way.
The second piece, Guided by Love, came from more general musing about pathways and choices. Ours is a difficult world to navigate, but I think it’s obvious that the best way to work is from a place of love (which includes respect, humility, patience, compassion)… and to remember to honestly check if you are operating out of fear, pride, panic or defensiveness. Those real and natural reactions need to be acknowledged and explored too, with a softness in your heart that can guide you to row away from the rocks.
At least, that’s what I think these drawings were thinking about when they came into being.