Monday, January 25, 2016

Thoughts Create Feelings and Feelings Create Thoughts

It is true that what we are thinking, affects how we are feeling. You can prove this just by looking at someone who is quietly thinking and see the expression on their face. You may not be able to tell exactly what they are thinking, but you can tell what types of thoughts they are having I.E. Happy, Sad, Evaluating, Comparing, etc, etc, just by their expression.

It is also true that how we feel effects how we think. We have all experienced how what we feel emotionally affects our response in a certain situation. This is because our emotions are an instinct to help protect and guide us through life. Its the one thing in our life that we trust more than anything else in the rest of the world. We take value in our feelings, therefore it affects how we think. When we have a feeling or feel a certain way about something, we tend to see it as fact or absolute which creates thoughts in that direction. How we feel, is and should be, the most important thing to us.

Thoughts creating feeling and feeling creating thought is a very interesting thing. Understanding this its easy to see why humans are habit forming creatures. The cycle of thought and feeling can keep us in places we really don't want to be. This example here to me is the only negative aspect. You see our own conscious thought can break the cycle and redirect us where we do want to go. All we need to do is recognize it and do something about it.

When we go through our daily rituals like wake up, go to work, come home, do our chores, and go to bed. We end up following the flow, living life Unconsciously. Throughout each day our subconscious tries to interfere to help snap us out of the trance we are in. It does this by giving us a feeling or a thought  that we should respond to. Sometimes we ignore it, sometimes we respond to it.
By living our lives consciously, we can be in control of the flow. This is difficult for people who live very busy lives and for those who have little or nothing to do all day. The busy folks are to busy responding to stimulus and the ones who don't have much going on have little to no stimulus at all. But, if you make a conscious effort, it can be done by everyone. Our minds need to be active and engaged, not on auto pilot if we want to make the needed changes.

This cycle can start with a thought or it could start with a feeling. It all depends on what we have for response tendencies. Some people tend to feel more and allow it to control their thoughts. Some think more and allow it to control how they feel. Every one of us have different tendencies. One way is not necessarily better than the other. Each has its own benefits and flaws. So its good to experiment with both. Try to think of things to control your feelings, as well as practice being aware of how you feel in regards to what you're thinking. This way you heighten your self awareness and your ability to recognize, interrupt, and be in control of needed change.

This may sound like a contradiction but I  assure you it is not. Though we need to make a conscious effort, we can still let our emotions and feel take the lead. When I work with the horses, I do my best to allow feel and emotion guide my thoughts. BUT, before I go to the horse, and often while I am working with them, I use my thoughts to organize my emotions and feel responses. Being able to use both thought and feel together at the same time and letting one lead the other slightly, allows our mind to stay actively engaged. Thoughts can lead and we can use feeling to balance the thoughts or if feeling and emotions lead our mind can be used as a filter to balance feelings and emotions. We need to use them together and not leave one out completely. When I get busy or overwhelmed and forget to do this or end up just going with the flow, it affects the quality of my visit. The more I practice this, the more it becomes natural to me.

Some of the things I see to be very common. Is that most people go throughout their day and lives by responding to different stimulus. When they go spend time with their horse they do the same thing, respond to the horse. This often puts them in a follower position and the horse ends up in control. Others go in thinking they need to show them who's boss. This, if not careful, can create animosity in the horse towards them, which can get the horse challenging authority, or in many cases the horse becomes fearful and hesitant.  If we can lead with feel and emotion, we can better connect to their wants, needs, feelings and emotions. By doing this "THEIR" feelings and emotions guide "OUR" thought. When we can respond to their thoughts before they become an action,  they know, that we know, what they are thinking. This makes them trust us unconditionally. IF, IF, IF, I can't say it enough, if we respond appropriately. Knowing our end result ahead of time and not being in to much of a hurry to get there, will help us respond appropriately.  This makes us more effective as a leader because we become better informed. You can "Read Their Body Language" but then you have to translate it. That takes time, even if it is only a second or 2. By connecting with their feelings and emotions and allowing it guide our thoughts there is no translating. We also have better timing in our response because we are thinking the same thoughts at the same time as the horse. Therefore connected by thought and feel. A true partnership.

How a horse feels, controls what they will think. If they are comfortable, they have productive thoughts. If they are uncomfortable, they have unproductive thoughts. If we change how they feel about something, we can change the way they think about it. Therefore controlling the response. Learning to feel and find the line between comfortable and uncomfortable, in every situation, will help us find their best learning zone. Also, by planting a thought in their mind we can change the way they feel. Again gaining control of their response. As I mentioned above about us having our minds active and mentally engaged, the same applies to the horse. We need them mentally engaged. If they are disconnected mentally, they will be disconnected emotionally as well.  Its our ability to connect to how they feel that will get their interest in us. It starts with a little interest, and in a short time you can have full mental engagement.  In just an hour or two, you can be connected by thought and feel. Staying with it, it just keeps getting better over time. 

In conclusion I would like to see if I could get you to try the above exercises. Thinking to change how you feel and your emotional state, As well as emotional awareness in yourself, your horse or in others. This exercise will really help you. I know for me it brings clarity. It also allows me to lead with thought or to let feeling lead my thoughts and to be able to go from one to the other seamlessly at times. It will make a huge difference in your horses ability to understand you and for you to understand your horse. It will also help you in your everyday life like, goal setting, strategies to get there, and interactions with others. You won't be restricted to just one path.
Thank You for taking the time to read this.

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