I am just finishing Mark Rashid’s A Journey to Softness. In the book, Mark talks about kindness, and putting the intention of kindness into every part of your contact with the horse — actually into everything that you do. I write about my experiences in attending some of Mark’s clinics in my book, Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body, due out in September.
Two things come to mind. The first is that I have been observing the coming and going of kindness in my life and in my riding. Kindness is easier to sustain while riding than it is in the world at large in the current unkind, caustic climate.
I am curious about the blending of curiosity, kindness and clarity in all parts of my interactions with my horses. Curiosity because I always want to be interested in learning more about what is absent and what is present in each ride and each moment with them. Kindness because I can immediately feel the attunement, willingness and enthusiasm from my horses Sanne, Amadeo and Capprichio when that is how I initiate each contact. And clarity because offering enough guidance helps us to stay in alignment and communicate more clearly. Not only my clarity and direction to them, but the clarity and direction of their responses, and my willingness to hear what they are communicating to me.
As a movement therapist, I am interested in the idea and experience of interstitial kindness. What that means to me is inviting mindful kindness into the small, in between spaces of your relationships, the way you treat your body, and your actions – especially the small, casual or seemingly unimportant ones. Notice how you touch the keyboard of your computer, how you make the bed, how you wash your face or fold the laundry. What is kindness in those moments? And how does that shine a light back into your body and mind?