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  • Writer's pictureRachel Ory

Tell me what you want, what you really, really want

Updated: Feb 27

Have you ever said to yourself “I won’t be satisfied until __________ ” (Fill in the blank.) “I won’t be satisfied until I win a Lawson bronze trophy in reining’’, or ‘’I won’t be satisfied until I earn my gold medal in dressage.” We've all played this mind game to push ourselves to do great things at some point. Once our goal is accomplished, however, there’s a need to create another goal, and on, and on, because without that carrot on the string, what actually drives us? Now, I’m not saying that lofty goals are bad, but using goals as a bait-and-switch tactic rob us of enjoying the process. Let me explain:

In my early twenties, I trained a 2 year old by Wimpy’s Little Step with the goal to win the Michigan reining futurity. I was working for Tom Pierson, a horseman with 30+ years experience. (we still collaborate to this day.) He guided me through the entire process, from starting the colt, all the way through preparing this horse for the show. I was relatively new as a professional, and I wanted people to take notice of me as a capable reining trainer. We went to the futurity and won all 6 divisions - 6 Lawson Bronze trophies and eight thousand dollars in prize money. I should’ve been over the moon happy over this accomplishment, it was exactly what I wanted. Instead, I felt relief that it was over and that we had accomplished our goal, and the next feeling was… what’s next? There was no room inside of me for enjoyment or celebration.

The actual experience of winning was just a fleeting moment. The congratulations felt good, but the show went on. I still had to get up and work the next day; it was as if nothing had changed. As I reflected, the real enjoyment seemed to be in the process of doing the work each day. Over time, my intention became clear: to make myself a better trainer and teacher so I can be of service to the horses and humans that come into my life. By finding enjoyment in the process, we learn to go with the highs and lows and not get thrown off track by external goals. The next best thing to riding and winning should be riding and loosing: It’s the process that counts, the everyday effort, it goes back to why we started riding in the first place.

“Instead of capping ourselves at the level of our mind’s goals, if we allow ourselves to go inward because we want to learn more about ourselves, we will learn to surrender to the flow of life and let it show us something better. Your mind understands goals; your heart understands intention. Your heart is leading you to something that is so much bigger than whatever your goal is. No matter how big your goal is, it’s nothing compared to what life is wanting to show you and bring into the world through you.”

-Kyle Cease, The Illusion of Money

For me, making the shift from goal setting (I’ll be happy if, then) toward intention setting allowed enjoyment of the process to enter in. An intention is aiming you towards your internal direction for expansion. What is your heart’s intention, the thing that will carry you beyond your goals? It's ok if nothing comes to mind immediately; just holding space for it is a good place to start. When we go beyond what the mind wants to what the spirit needs to grow, we have the ability to achieve more than we ever thought possible. The things that we think we really want are always shaped by the little voice in our head. We have the choice to follow that voice, or to go beyond it and align with our higher purpose. Enjoyment of the process naturally emerges when we are in proper alignment with the laws of nature.

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