In my last post, I talked about setting intentions to achieve goals.  However, it’s not as easy as twitching my nose and it’s done.  There is something in between - commitment. This week showed me what commitment is all about, from Breakfast with Billie, to living the literary life, to being a mom.  

On Thursday, Horse World and Writer’s World collided on my commitment calendar. I had Billie’s hoof trim early morning in another town and a friend, who was speaking about her thriller novel, Shrouded: A Crispin Leads Mystery by Meredith Lee, at The University of Texas at Austin late morning, which I desperately wanted to hear. At first I thought, how am I going to make this work? I thought about not going to Sue Cleveland and Dixie Evatt’s presentation because I didn’t want any anxiety of rushing around to transfer to Billie, hence, a bad trim experience.  But, I really, really wanted to hear them speak about the novel and the process of writing it. So, I did the only thing that I could do - I took a deep breath and told myself, “I can make this work.” On Wednesday, I sent a text to see if Billie could be trimmed first. The answers came back “yes”. I checked that off the list. Then, I got everything lined up that night so in the morning I could just grab, change and go from one thing to the next.

When I arrived at SunCrest Farm, I reminded myself of my intention - to stay present for Billie’s trim and enjoy loving on her for the short period of time. She saw me approaching her pen and as I opened the gate, she peeked around her stall chewing her breakfast like, “Hey, Mom”.  I knew then, everything would go smoothly. It’s like she knew my intention to stay committed to her and appreciated it. She walked to me and sniffed my tea, just in case it was something for her. Then, we walked back to her hay bag together. The trim was relaxed as Billie ate hay out of my hand. It went very quickly.  Even our beloved trimmer, Holly Heideman, who is very much a horse whisperer, commented on how well she is doing compared to just a few months ago. I truly have to contribute it to me shifting from a hurried, anxious mind to a conscious, intention mind and committing to Billie (the being) versus the ride (an action).  

In the past, I would rush out, saddle up and ride.  I was focused, and anxious, about getting in the arena, warm up and start jumping. With my head up, I looked through the jump and committed us to it. No bonding. No enjoyment. And some times, “hello ground” because we were not jumping as a unit. We weren't partners.

Canter fast forward several months and a different mindset; I am committed to Billie the horse, the being. I am committed to strengthening our bond. I am committed to doing more ground work with Billie. No, this does not mean I’m ending up on my back or arse on the ground. It means, I’m feet on the ground with Billie doing drills. I know that in the long run, the simple ground work we do will strengthen our bond and will reflect in our performance jumping as a unit in the arena, or even on an obstacle course. Already, I sense our bond is stronger. I’m enjoying our time together even more. And, I think that she is enjoying her time with me more, too. This might seem like a step backwards, and it kind of is, but for Billie and I, it’s what we need to become committed and entrusted partners to each other.

When I started out on this writing journey, I got wrapped up in the hurried, anxiety of getting published. I attended classes and meetings looking through them. I would rush words out onto paper, only to end up with a lot of revisions at the end of the day. In hindsight, no connection, no enjoyment. I wasn't in a conscious, intention, committed writer mind (the being) but in the anxious, writer's block, resistance mind of hurrying to publishing (action). In addition, life threw some bad and good stuff my way which rocked my world. I even took sabbatical from the words. There were times I thought I would never get back to writing. But, the words, poems and stories continued to haunt me. In addition, I have an inner circle of amazing people who would not give up on me.

Fast tab forward to today and new mindset, I am setting daily intentions, which makes me more committed to doing the work and refining my craft. I am committed to the Writer being and taking care of her. Some days, I feel like I have taken several huge steps backwards. But, I haven’t. I’m actually several steps ahead from where I was last year when I wasn’t writing at all. I’m committed to doing writing prompts (ground work) to reconnect myself with the force that makes my mind and fingers move to write the stories that need to be told. I’m committed to my writing time that I set aside daily, which includes researching, reading, creating other art and writing. I feel like I have a stronger bond to my writing process and work required to live a literary life. I am enjoying playing with the words more than ever on the page. Lastly, I'm committed to my memberships of organizations and to my Write. Submit. Support and critique groups. These authors and writers are integral in my development as a writer.  

My new process of setting daily writing intentions and committing to the work has slowed me down quite a bit. But now, I'm enjoying and connecting with my writing, which in turn will manifest into publication.

Above all else, commit to yourself.

As far as making it to the presentation, I was 30 minutes early. I found a corner to sit, read the daily Storystorm writing prompt and wrote - write where I sat.  It was a great day.

Strength, Beauty and Grace~

Billie and Carolyn