Today I volunteered in Detroit fixing up abandoned houses. The lesson I learned: a little effort goes a long way, especially when there are many hands to help. Make A Difference Day has been at Oakland University for the past three or four years. The way it works: a few different sites are available for anybody to volunteer at. Usually they are assigned to a group so there is an equal amount helping at each group. At each site, people gather from all over the state just to help the area. One person actually flew overseas just to help at our Detroit site because she fell in love with the city from his or her previous experiences. I thought that was incredible; someone would travel such a long distance just to put in a helping hand for a city in need. We probably had close to 100 people working on the houses in Detroit. Our group of six covered about four houses. When you add up the numbers, that’s a lot of hands and a lot of houses that were cleared up. We had one of the neighbors come out and thank us for the hard work and offered to get us a cold beverage or anything we needed. It was an honor to be a part of such a charitable event.
With the combination of being sleep deprived and malnourished from eating pizza and other junk food the past couple of days, I was exhausted. I decided to stop off to get a coffee (just to add to the non-healthy trend), why not share it with someone? I drove over a hot chocolate to one of my most fabulous friends. To be honest, I just needed some best buddy bonding time! It was a much needed six hour hang out. We made strawberry jelly (more like talked while she made the jelly), discussed life, and kept it real while smashing peach pits with a hammer on the cement in her garage. Did you know those things have little peach almonds inside? CRAZY! Can’t get much better than that!
I’m so grateful for what I have in my life. That leads to me the question my brother posed to me: Are you attached to anything? Imagine how great life would be if you let go of everything that you THINK you “need”. You would be free. Horses were of course the first thing I thought about when my brother thought this up. But then I thought, no, technically I do not NEED horses. I would continue to exist if I did not have horses in my life. My heart would probably beat, my lungs probably would circulate oxygen to my body, and the earth would most likely still rotate. When you tell yourself you need something, you obsess over it, and focus more on what you need to do in order to keep it in your life rather than taking time to enjoy it taking place in your life. To need something produces fear of losing whatever that is that you “need”. Fear leads to a restricted life style. Why live your life in fear of loosing something if you could let go, live freely, and view that sensation of whatever you “need” in your life as a gift?
For my life, I do not NEED to receive lessons or ride in clinics. I do not NEED more students. I do not NEED to sit and watch my horse and his pasture mates roam around the field. However, I sure do appreciate every moment I get the opportunity to experience acquiring knowledge from someone with a different point of view, sharing my knowledge with other people, and just sitting and taking in a breath of fresh air while looking over acres of horses grazing on the green pasture. I had to go through the transition of letting go in order to appreciate it more though. I talked a bit about this in a previous post, where I took a break from the chaotic lifestyle I was putting upon myself because I thought I NEEDED that to succeed. Now that I am creating a negative-stress-free mindset for myself, my business is doing better than ever. Not only the quantity of horses and riders being reached in the business, but the quality of training being put into my students. I feel enthusiastic again. I feel honored. I let go of my needs, and I decided to observe what life has to offer. I feel free.