How well can we know ourselves if we don’t take time to observe how we’re doing?
Have you taken time to ask yourself what your 2022 looked like? What was hard? What you learned, and didn’t learn? What brought you joy? What would you like to do differently? And most importantly, do you regularly pause and take time to reflect on your life in a way that fosters direction, confidence and healing?
If you’re not observing and asking questions, who will?
We’ve all had those moments when we don’t want to reflect. We don’t want to think about a really tough situation. But we’re missing an opportunity to know the narrative of our life. Through reflection we awaken the opportunity to change our story. We cannot change the story until we know it. We only learn this life lesson through reflection.
Horses are the ultimate “Holders of The Mirror” to our internal emotional world. It’s their essence, and that’s one of the reasons why they are such great partners in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. They observe. We observe. They don’t skirt the truth, and thus, we find ours.
Also, horses have an affinity to observe themselves and address their needs. At Rise Canyon Ranch, our rescue horses, Aspen and Willow, and Savannah have been through a lot. Sometimes we see them being playful and enjoying themselves. Other times we see they’re insecure and they slow down to take-in the world. They demonstrate the complexity of managing life so well in so many ways.
The Take Away: Self-reflection skills are learned and practiced
So, take this time to ask yourself a few questions about 2022:
What were the top 3 highlights of the year?
What challenges did you face and accomplish?
What have you struggled to let go of?
What losses would you like to acknowledge?
What did you learn?
What would you do differently?
What can you do to ensure that you pause and observe your life?
That’s a good start. We encourage you to inventory your observations now and throughout the year by simply keeping a journal in your phone notes or elsewhere. This will enable you to observe progress, growth and healing.
Remember, your life’s narrative is your story to create and unfold and tell to the world. Keep observing and asking questions. It’s definitely time well spent.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with their mental health and would like more information about Equine Assisted Psychotherapy offered by licensed professionals, please contact Rise Canyon Ranch at 714-477-1630 (Orange County, CA) and 928-288-0780 (Yavapai, AZ). Come for the horses. Stay for the self-discovery.
As discussed with: Dr. Theresa Dubois, PsyD, LMFT
Written by: Anne Kruse
Photo credit: Rise Canyon Ranch