EMHH Episode 24: Are You Designing Your Future? Or Recreating Your Past?

Apr 28, 2022

You make decisions all day long. From what to wear, what to eat, what to think, what to do with your horse, those are all decisions. Most of your decisions are unconscious. They happen automatically, without thought.

Each decision you make helps shape your life.

If you’re like most people, you’re making decisions based only on remembered experiences and images. You’re not using your imagination to create something entirely NEW.

You’re simply reliving old experiences, packaged with a new date. That’s stale. And boring.

In this episode, I share a simple, powerful strategy that can jumpstart your creativity and help you design a more joyful, satisfying life. At any age.

And if you don’t think you’re a “creative person,” be prepared to become one!

Let’s get started, shall we?

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Hello, and welcome to easier movement, happier horses today. We're going to talk about your future. I mean, what could be more important? Right? And the question I have for you is are you really designing your future or simply recreating your past? So let me explain. We're constantly making decisions in our lives. So for, for anything, any little thing about what to eat,

what to wear, you know, what, what route to take to work, whatever it is, you are making decisions. And most of them are unconscious. You don't even realize that you, you have a strategy working in your brain. That's making those decisions for you, right. Basically at every moment that you're awake. So we make all these decisions.

And most of the time, almost always they're based on what we've done before, what feels familiar, what feels safe. And that, that makes sense, right? Your brain, your nervous system's job, main job is to keep you safe. So if something feels familiar, okay, we've done that before we didn't die. Okay. We can do it again.

That type of thing. Okay. But that really limits you really, really limits you. And has you just recreating some slightly different version of your past it's you're not really designing a future for yourself that you ultimately want. Okay. So, you know, people do resist the unfamiliar. It's, you know, you see it all the time. You see people stay in bad relationships.

They might stay in jobs that are not satisfying, that are super stressful. You know, they might be involved in a type of writing discipline or training method that they never even questioned because it's familiar to them. I have a story in my blog and I've spoken about this before, because it was such a powerful experience that we had, but it was about a woman,

a young woman who was a, she was a Saddlebred writer. So she did all the Saddlebred training and her, she had grown up in that discipline. She married into a very prominent Saddlebred family and she never stopped to question it. She never stopped to question the basically cruelty of what she was doing. She thought, you know, she loved her horse and that was it.

So again, she kept re creating her past and it wasn't until I very gently and helpfully allowed her to see a different future, that she was able to change and get out of that much to her horses benefit and to her own benefit as well. So that's a cool story. I will link to that blog post in the show notes, if you want to learn more about what happened there,

but it was really fun. So we to think about this. So we, again, we mostly make decisions based on our past, but there was a time when you didn't do that, right? Most children for example, are great at using their imagination. They were always creating these amazing scenarios in their heads, right. And role playing and doing all this fun stuff.

And they have a really strong, healthy use of their imagination. But over time we stopped doing that again, the nervous system is tasked to keep us safe. So what we experience, okay, we didn't die. We'll do more of that. Right. But I will say there is a very easy and effective way of teaching your brain, how to start using yourself,

your, your decision making in a more creative way. Okay. And just start really designing your future. So that it's most fulfilling to you. So let's, let's imagine, for example, that you're deciding what to do with your horse on any given day. Now you might think, well, I don't like really make a decision about that. I kind of just do it while you're making a decision,

whether it's conscious or unconscious, you're making a decision, so let's bring it into consciousness. So one scenario that I see a lot is someone will just, they'll basically just visualize what they always do. Kind of just whatever they always do. They'll do more of that. Okay. That feels familiar. We're going to do that again. So they do it again.

Right. So they may have a, a little inner dialogue. Okay. That feels okay. You know, that, that seems okay. It feels okay. We're going to do that. That's one thing you might also just simply visualize your rep, your last ride, and you might think, oh, I want to do better. You know, maybe you were working in a specific dressage movement or you were jumping a course,

or you were doing a reigning pattern or, or trail, you know, an obstacle course, whatever it was. And you think, well, I want to do that better. Okay. So that may be one way of making decision. And maybe in the meantime, you criticize yourself about that. You didn't do it well enough before. So that's one thing you might simply notice what everybody else is doing.

Maybe you're at a barn where basically everybody rides in a similar way, you kind of just are one of the gals and you just do what everybody else is doing. That's, that's one way to make decisions. Maybe you have this like really heavy sense of obligation about your horse. Like, oh, I have to prepare for that show or I have to do better.

I'm not riding well, I don't look as good as Susie or something like that. Or I have to exercise my horse. And it's like, with this heaviness, it's like with this, you know, feeling obligation, not really joy. So that's one way to make decisions. And many people make decisions based on that, a sense of, you know, obligation rather than joyfulness. Okay. Or maybe you, you decide what to do with your horse. You don't really decide you leave it entirely up to someone else. I see this a lot in training Barnes, the trainer is the one who makes all the decisions on every interaction that the person has with their horse. So you, you just give control over to someone else entirely.

So that means even outside of the lessons, like whether you groom your horse or tack up your horse, maybe, maybe you have paid professionals that do that. Or the trainer just micromanages every aspect. So that's, that's another way of doing it. Okay. So whatever way you do it, and maybe you do it some, some different way. There's many other ways you can decide.

So let's just take an example again. We're going to go with, you're going to decide what to do with your horse today. Okay. So let's think about taking an example from your past to decide, because you're doing that already. Okay. But remember when we do that, we're not exploring new territory, we're just recreating the past. So let's think about how we can infuse more creativity into your horse life.

Okay. So again, you're going to imagine what you're going to do with your horse today, right? So think about that. Think about what it is, make that decision, think about it in your, in your head. Now, say something to yourself about that. Say something, this is important, right? This uses a different part of the brain.

Okay. You said something to yourself about it now feel what that experience feels to you when your body, what bodily sensations do you feel? Oh, that's going to feel really good to do that with my horse or, Ooh, that's a little stressful or, you know, what do you feel when you think about that scenario to do with your horse today?

Okay. Now take that scenario, whatever it was, you chose, you chose and change it in some small way. Okay. Again, this is important. You just want to change it in a small way. You just want to make it slightly different. Okay. So maybe you're going to go into a different arena than you normally do, or go down a different trail or turn left,

instead of right. You know, when you get on the trail, something a little bit different, maybe a non habitual place where you groom and tack up, you know, juice something. Can you make a little tweak? So what's a little bit different. Okay. Maybe even starting your grooming on the other side of your horse. And you normally do a lot of people start things on the left.

Maybe you're going to start on the right. Maybe you'll lead your horse from the other side, something slightly different. Okay. Now imagine this different experience. Okay. Now imagine it say something to yourself about it. Okay. Now feel how much you enjoy this. What does this feel like? Does it feel good? Does it feel strange or stressful?

What does it feel like? Again, this is important to do these different steps. Okay. Now imagine a second. Possibility something, something completely different, something different. So you've got that. Now change it in some small way. We're going to just repeat what we did before, but this is a new scenario now. Okay. Different possibility. You're doing something different with your horse.

You're changing it in some small way. Right? Slightly different. Now talk to yourself about this. Have that little inner dialogue. Okay. And then notice how it feels inside you. What, what bodily sensations do you feel learn to tune into that have this deeper sense of awareness of how you feel. Okay. And then repeat this for like three to five times.

So you're going to go through different scenarios. They don't have to be radically different, but something different. Then you're going to tweak those different scenarios. Okay. Just tweak them a little bit. You're going to talk to yourself about each one and then tune in to how you feel about it. Okay. So you're teaching yourself to become more creative, to start really designing your future,

not just remembering your past. Okay. Right. And this will allow you to have more joyful, fulfilling interactions with your horse, because remember, you know, like I said, most of the time we're recreate, we're just recreating remembered experiences. And they could even be something that you haven't done yet, but you've seen others do it. Okay. You've seen others do it.

That's still a remembered image. What we're doing now is actually calling up a whole different part of your brain to come up with something completely new. And we're taking it in baby steps, okay. We want your brain to accept this. We don't want your brain to panic and say, this is too different. This is too new. I'm not going to do this.

So we want to start small. So following these steps, okay. Are very, very important. Okay? So you're experiencing newness in a way that doesn't overwhelm you. Right. It keeps it safe. It keeps it comfortable. And then again, allows your brain to accept that. And then you'll start doing this unconsciously. You will start again. You're priming your brain to say,

this is a good thing to do in this feels really good. So you'll start unconsciously, bring in more creativity to your decision-making and this will spill over into all areas of your life. That's why this episode, I hope you share it with everybody in your life. Doesn't have to be just horse people because this decision making ability applies to us in every aspect of our lives.

Okay? So you can apply this to anything you do and start being more creative. And just to give you another example, how we can apply this to movement in the work that I do, the Feldenkrais Method. So this the work I'm teaching you just now where we're really redesigning the future. A lot of that comes from my training as an NLP practitioner,

Neuro Linguistic Programming. So it deals a lot with how you think, how you use your brain. Okay. You know, designing your thoughts if you will. But I also, I'm a very long time Feldenkrais Method practitioner. So that's why I call myself a movement and mindset. Coach do both of those things. I say fluid fluid movement equals a flexible mind.

So in the Feldenkrais Method, we, again, we work with movement. We work with your body, but we do it in a way that's not overwhelming. And I apply this to horses as well. So we can help improve their movement, have things be more comfortable in a safe way that the brain can accept. So the process is actually very similar and we often find that people will automatically become more creative just from doing the Feldenkrais Method work,

because it does call in those different parts of the brain. And it does have the brain experience newness, right? New experiences, new ways of moving in a very safe, comfortable, healthy way that then you start doing unconsciously. You don't have to do them consciously. They just become part of your repertoire. So that's what I want for you. Okay.

I want you to be creative because so many people think that you're either creative or you're not. It's like a personality trait you're born with, or you're not born with it, you know? Oh, that person's creative, but I'm not, it's not that way. You are creative. Okay. I'm telling you you're creative person and this process can help develop that further.

Okay. So this is a great way to start designing your future. Hey, so you're designing your future from your future, if you will, rather than from your past, very, very important. And remember you can do this so that you'll have more fulfilling interactions with your horse and redesigning your future can start at any age. So I hope you enjoy this episode.

Please share it far and wide because I just love this work so much. I love sharing it with you. Thank you so much for joining me. I so appreciate you listening. And I can't wait to talk to you again. Bye. For now.