A fellow yogi was tossed from a horse that spooked recently and, although I am sure one day he will look back at the incident and laugh, today is not the day as laughter is painful with broken ribs! However, in my attempt to cheer him up, this theme is for Rich and is based on the expression, "Get back on the horse that bucked (threw) you"!
From Urbandictionary.com, "get back on the horse" has two definitions:
"Def. 1 (verb) To attempt the same challenging action after failure. Apparently derived from an old adage: "You have to get back on the horse that threw you."
"Def. 2 (verb) To get back into a habit. Traditionally this would refer to a good habit, but sarcastically might refer to a bad habit or addiction. Possible confusion with the phrase "on the sauce"."
I tried to look up just how old the expression is or who it is originally associated with but the only answer I could find was that it must have originated from "a very clumsy cowboy"! But the expression to "get back on the horse" does offer up an interesting dilemma; should you really get back on?
When I used to horseback ride, I remember a couple of falls quite clearly...a horse refused a jump and I ended up on the other side (still holding the reins!) and I recall seeing black for a few seconds one time after landing on my back.
"A horse which stops dead just before a jump and thus propels its rider into a graceful arc provides a splendid excuse for general merriment." ~Duke of Endinburgh
I got back on because I thought the challenging horse added to the fun of the ride. However, horses are very sensitive animals. If someone experiences a traumatizing or scary fall and gets back on, they will most likely tense up in a similar situation. Their feet will brace heavily into the stirrups, they will sit forward in preparation and their hands clench the reins. The horse can feel this; he senses the fear and now he's on alert, as well. A dog can sense when its walker tightens the hand on the leash...they sense the fear and will have a subsequent reaction. So, let's take this concept out of the stable and back onto the yoga mat of life!
Simply put, your energy effects everyone around you.
Imagine you are walking down a street and you are about to pass a stranger. How does that encounter look and feel in your mind's eye when you are mad? Scared? Sad? Happy? Thrilled?
"Besides unbalanced Earth energies (geopathic stress) and electromagnetic smog, the negativity of Humanity’s mass consciousness is one of the greatest sources of unbalanced energy that we are exposed to every day. Other people’s fear, anger, pain, grief, etc, can drain us or induce resonance to those emotions in our own systems. It’s important to be aware of this process and find ways to keep from absorbing these energies. One way is to use our minds to make ourselves less like an absorbing sponge and more like a window screen, allowing things to simply flow through us instead of needing periodic “wringing out” to stay energetically healthy." http://mesacreativearts.com/html/sensing_energy.html
So, about getting back up on the horse...literally, maybe it's a good idea, maybe it isn't. In practicing ahimsa (non-violence), we all have to make our own decisions in each circumstance. There's another horse expression, "fall off seven times, get up eight." We don't need to be on a horse for us to fall down; life offers us plenty of opportunities to end up on the ground. It's how you choose to react to those falls and what you allow to happen to your energy that seems to truly matter.
"Life is neither a gift nor a punishment. It is just a phenomenon that you need to learn to ride." Sadghuru
"One thing at a time. That's all we have to do. Not two things at once, but one thing done in peace. One task at a time. One feeling at a time. One day at a time. One problem at a time. One step at a time. One pleasure at a time. Relax. Let go of urgency. Begin calmly now. Take one thing at a time. See how everything works out? Today I will peacefully approach one thing at a time. When in doubt, I will take first things first." Melody Beattie
Someone posted a video on FB of a 6 year old girl explaining to her divorced mother how she would like the energy around her to be. It was truly amazing and the girl's chosen words were insightful.
From listening to the calmly worded request of the child and from reading the video's description, I inferred that the divorced mom and dad must be fighting a lot and, am guessing, that the wise speech from her daughter inspired the mom to have her repeat while being recorded. I hope the words she says to her mom travel across the world and touch the ears of everyone.
Referring, it seems, to the fighting and agitated energy the parents are putting forth, the girl says "don't be that high up...be low...be in a place that's settled."
To me, she's describing being grounded and centered. This also touches on the Buddhist idea of non-attachment; of being level with all situations, good and bad.
She says to her mom, "I'm not trying to be mean" mom, I want all my friends to smile. Even me, she says wisely, I'm trying to be the best in my heart. I want everyone smiling; I think you can do it.
Get ready for what I thought was the best part!
"Settle mean heights down to low heights." Not as low as the floor, she clarifies. "I'm trying to be steady, straight from the middle where my heart is."
"My heart is something - to me. Everybody's hearts are something."
If people aren't nice, the world will turn into all mean people in the future; "Only monsters will remain in our place."
"I want everyone to be settled down, good as possible, nothing else."
My daughter brought a new friend into the house yesterday. He is brown, black and white and, for her, a musician, was already appropriately named Jagger. Though the size of a rabbit, he is actually a guinea pig that people in the guinea pig world call "piggies". For a guinea pig, Jagger is quite large and is a solid weight in your hands.
Another 'solid weight' can be associated with the term piggybacking. It literally means carrying someone on your back or shoulders. Close your eyes and imagine a friend or spouse on your back or shoulders. (Kids don't count!) You can almost visualize your body caving to support the weight and your breath altering to accommodate the heavy burden.
Now I want you to imagine that the person on your back is not someone you like. They are mean, judgmental and hurtful. See yourself making the choice to stand up straight suddenly dumping them right off of you. Feel the immediate sense of relief, freedom and joy that sweeps through your body. Breathe it in.
Imagine now that the weight that had you all hunched over was not another person but, instead, a rough burlap bag filled with all of the feelings, memories, and emotional 'trauma' you carry around. Can you make the connection that we still have the same choice before us? We can still choose to suddenly open our hands to drop that weight behind us.
"I Am what I Am and that’s all what I Am." Popeye
As much as bad days are temporary, in truth, so are good days. We need to understand how to step back from both so we witness each in their own way. Whether the day is bad or good, our Atman (true inner Self) remains constant.
We use term guinea pig as an expression of something being tested out on us: "What am I, your guinea pig?" So, here's an experiment for you to try. When the next challenging moment, day, or week surprises you, challenge the situation with that very question...what am I, your guinea pig?? The answer that then follows in my head almost as automatically as emphatically is "No!". I choose how my day will be. I choose if I am happy or sad. I choose.
"As you witness what you see, consciously but silently state "What I see constantly changes and only has a temporary reality. This is not real and thus is not who I Am. I Am unchangeable and eternal."
As you witness what you hear, consciously but silently state "What I hear constantly changes and only has a temporary reality. This is not real and thus is not who I Am. I Am unchangeable and eternal."
As you witness what you smell and taste, consciously but silently state "What I smell and taste constantly changes and only has a temporary reality. This is not real and thus is not who I Am. I Am unchangeable and eternal."
As you witness the sensations your skin, muscles, bones, and organs present, consciously but silently state "What I feel physically constantly changes and only has a temporary reality. This is not real and thus is not who I Am. I Am unchangeable and eternal."
As you witness your mind and emotions, consciously but silently state "What I think and the emotions I feel constantly change and only have a temporary reality. This is not real and thus not who I Am. I Am unchangeable and eternal." http://www.meditationsociety.com/week31.html