Hi, Rupert here again. I hope you enjoyed my last blog. We've had quite a few new ponies at Stepney Bank Stables recently, and it always creates a bit of a stir when there's a new arrival. Who will their best friend be? What will their specialism be; our young riders, our show jumpers or our dressage divas? It's always very exciting! They come in all shapes and sizes and always bring their own experience and wisdom.
However, I got to thinking about how often we get excited about having a new something in our lives and the implications for what’s already there. Sometimes the new something will enhance what we already have; sometimes it will be to its detriment. I’ve witnessed many horses who feel that something new will change their lives – ‘when I get that new rug, all will be well’, ‘when I get extra carrots, I’ll be happy’, etc. Sound familiar?
So, how do happy, successful humans manage? I think there are several issues here. Firstly, where we are always pursuing that missing thing in our lives, it’s likely that, even if it arrives, it’s not going to be the magic bullet we hoped for. There are lots of writings about this phenomenon, for example EThe Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’, encourages us to remain in the present and not get lost in our past or future. (I know, I’m very well read!)
Secondly, if there really is an issue with our current situation, a new something does seem very attractive. However, this might be a case for resolving the present, rather than ignoring it and hoping the change in circumstances might make it go away.
Thirdly, and I think most interesting, is the issue of how we can keep expanding ourselves to incorporate the new along with the current. From my own experience, I know that I feel most fulfilled, confident and excited when I’m experiencing something new and putting it directly into context of who I am now. Which bits will enhance my knowledge and understanding? Which bits will I be able to integrate into my practice in helping people to learn to ride? What can I draw on in my current experience which will help me get a perspective on this new something?
Of course, there may be some downsides of the new something which we want to avoid. Being exposed to life in general brings its downs as well as up. Not all new somethings are pleasant; indeed it’s often the challenges in life that give us the greatest opportunity to grow. And we sometimes have to leave something behind to make room for the new. I remember when my favourite rug was replaced as it was worn out. I loved my new one, but my old one was sooooo comfy!! So, I like to practice what I’ve come to call ‘curiosity with choice’; that place where I can be open to new experiences, but centred, still and balanced enough to be able to discount them if I don’t think they’ll enhance who I am.
I guess the best we can hope for is that the best bits of the new are integrated with the old so that we can get the best of both? We'd love to hear your views? How do you see new somethings? Where do you feel new somethings fit into your life?