Midlife change is inevitable. Authenticity is optional.
Only one thing is certain as we navigate this pivotal time of life. Change is inevitable. And sometimes, constant. Kids are growing up and leaving the nest. Parents are growing older and facing their own new chapter, one that often tends to leave us behind in one way or another. Our friends are all facing their own challenges, and while we try hard to be there for one another, when it gets right down to it, the process is undeniably personal and for each of us, the journey of our individual soul. In other words, we have to find our own way the best we can.
And in the midst of all this constant change, one skill for sure worth developing is the ability to reinvent ourselves to meet every new chapter in the very best and truest version of ourselves possible. “Authenticity” is a term that has been bandied about almost to the point of rendering it useless. What does the term really mean? How do we get there from here. And even more important, how do we know when we’re there?
Ask your horse.
What does authenticity have to do with horses? Everything. Horses know for sure what they need and what is most important to them. Their hierarchy of needs is clear and ordinal: safety, comfort and food. Whatever happens to them, good or bad, that order of priorities applies. Their response is always authentic, and they don’t deviate from it. they know who they are and what they need and so does their herd.
As we negotiate this time of our lives, the better we can get to know ourselves and what we really truly need, the more authenticity we’ll be able to bring to each new situation or circumstance. And, the more we embrace this reality and develop our awareness commitment to o ur own truth, the easier it will become to carry that truth with us around every curve in our midlife road.
And, oddly enough, the more time we spend in nature and with our horses, the easier it becomes to internalize their example of pure authenticity. If we watch them with the realization that they are mirroring us, we can see where we’re deficient and where we are strong. And, in the great circle of life our horses bring, the better we get at this the better we get with our horses.
You can go sit on the shrink’s couch if you want to. I’m going to the barn. (At least the therapists there accept my insurance — grain, hay, and a clean stall — without judgment.)
Do you have a story of horses showing you the way to true authenticity? Let us here from you here or on Facebook, or Tweet your observations about horses and authenticity. Or, if you’d prefer to let me write your story for a future post, drop me an email and we’ll talk. Midlife authenticity is there for us if we’ll remember to just ask our horses and learn how to look for and understand their answers.