String together moments like that.
Updated: Mar 2, 2021
“We’re culturally trained to think in terms of milestones and markers. We’ll be happy when we graduate from a good school, get a job, meet the right person, buy a big house, lose those 10 pounds. The truth is, life is made up of moments. Connection, love, laughter, giving from your heart, affection, a hug from your little one or your partner, your brother, your best friend, the feeling of the sun on your face, passing but real connection with a total stranger – all these moments are so filled with beauty. If you can string together a bunch of beautiful moments, you’ll have an incredible day. And if you string together a bunch of days like that, you’ll have an amazing life.”
This was written by Ally Hamilton for this Huffington Post article. I’m not an avid, or even casual Huffington Post reader, but this article caught my eye way back in 2014 on a “reads for you” or whatever LinkedIn calls their email inbox stuffers, and I’m glad it did. I've returned to that quote specifically from that article multiple times.
In an effort to ‘live simply’ and truely treasure who I am, who my loved ones are, and where I’m at in life, and especially in working with horses, the message in that quote just fits perfectly. I want to look back at my life and say I have lived richly. And by that I mean just what Ally said – by stringing together real connections and real moments with other living things. I don’t want piles of money or to sit at a work desk for 60 hours a week, I want to really live an intentional and full life doing things I love with the people and animals I love. Horses are masters at this. They are always living in the present. They learn, yes, and fascinating research studies I'll share in a future post prove that they remember people and experiences way longer than we'd guess, but they don't dwell in the past. They aren't constantly thinking of yesteryear. Nor do they live in the future, they aren't constantly worrying about tomorrows weather, where their next meal is coming from or if the water supply will dry up. Horses live perfectly in the present. They desire safety above all and they are only concerned with what is happening right in the here and now. And if that here and now is comfortable, they are willing to fully relax, sometimes even lay down fully stretched out in the sunniest spot they can find. They are beautiful teachers to us humans about that. I mean when is the last time you stretched out and relaxed in the sun?
This quote from Ally, while longer than what typically makes it into my collection, is one of my favorites. So instead of flipping TV back on after this post, or diving back into the business of my ever expanding to-do list, I’m going to take a moment and connect with another human. Something as small as sending a text to someone you haven't seen in a while with a quick "Thinkning of you! Have a great day." or kick it up a notch and send them an actual card in the old school snail mail. Now, in this era of "2020" and everything that has so drastically changed for us the past few months its more important than ever to have a little horse sense and live in the moment. Connect with a fellow human in the best way you can and string together little moments that will create a beautiful life.
Small choices like putting down the distractions and choosing to be present with the living breathing people around you. That’s one way to create a beautiful moment. Its my way to create a beautiful moment today.
Thanks for the albeit passing, but real connection, Ally the total stranger.