Excerpt from Sheri’s upcoming book:
Shovel S**T, Carry Water.
Today’s Awakening: In one of her books, I think it was The Places that Scare you, Pema Chodron talks about noticing her restless mind, mimicked by the barking dogs of Nepal. Today, while cleaning the barn and performing my “Shove S**T, Carry Water” duties, I had an awakening that the baby ravens, nesting in the eaves of the barn, ravenous and screaming to be fed, were mirroring the negative voices of resentment in my head.
It’s easy to go to resentment about where I find my life at this time. It’s unrecognizable from the life I knew a year ago. It would be easy to cave and throw in the towel and say, “What has become of me, what am I doing with this one precious life?”
And then I remember that inside all of that is a place of stillness with precious nuggets of wisdom. One of those came to me the day before yesterday.
The horse routine was changed up and I put the horses out in a paddock they generally aren’t grazing first thing in the morning. As I came back across the field after dumping a load of S**T, I saw one of the horses intently staring at me across the fence. At first my mind said, “Of course, he wants to come out, but sorry no grass this morning.” But then a strong feeling kicked in that it wasn’t about the grass. I walked to the fence line and looked closer at him and realized that what he was communicating was that the gate to his water had been locked off the night before, by someone who had put them to bed. I opened the correct gates and he walked in and took a huge drink. He would have been in the paddock all day with no water if I had not taken the time to stop, be still, check in and listen.
The horses have become my greatest teachers in the art of mindfulness. My mind can be like a run away horse. What I’ve learned about herd behavior is that when the danger has passed, and the herd has determined it’s safe, the herd stops running and goes back to grazing. “Going back to grazing,” is a place we humans aren’t as familiar with, we like to ruminate endlessly about how it should be and what it isn’t. I raise my hand here fellow travelers. I’m human and perfectly, imperfect.
And so I share with you one of my Creative Awakenings for today, it’s hard to be still and listen to what’s truth and not illusion, when the baby ravens are ravenous and screaming with hunger.
May the horse be with you.