The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 138: Forcing vs. Flow

Today I talk about how forcing things, trying to make things happen, trying to control situations is really something that we could benefit from getting away from. We see that in our rides and runs that any time we try to make a horse do something that doesn’t work out for us. Whenever we try to control an outcome, whether it’s in a relationship or in business, we usually learn lessons around that. So let’s talk about this particular lesson today about how, when we force things, trying to make things happen generally doesn’t turn out that well for us (and what to do instead).

Usually when I share podcast episodes, it’s from what I call a scar, not a wound. You know, sharing information once you’ve somewhat healed from it, once you’re through it, once you’ve embodied the information rather than sharing it from when you’re in the thick of it. But this podcast episode…. I’m not sure I’m ever going to get this mastered. So just as a discussion I want to share about working through or finding the beautiful balance, I’m not sure we ever get there, but working towards finding the balance of where we’re not forcing things to happen when we’re not controlling or trying to make things happen. And this relates to both in our riding and in life in general, whether it is in business or relationships or making your dreams come true.

It’s not about making anything happen. There needs to be a lot of good planning, a lot of systems, perhaps scheduling, checking, checking boxes, off, being assertive in things, but any time we go to force and try to make things happen, there’s tension, there’s resistance. There are blocks and lessons that are going to jump up in front of you that are going to remind you that you are not in control and you can’t make anything happen as much as we would like to.

So let me talk first about making a run happen, making your horse do certain things any time you get into that energy, even if you just think about okay, let’s do this. We’re going to do this. There is a sense of tension connected to it, and this is definitely something that has been brought to my attention lately from many different angles, that this is a thing for me, where, if we just set energy in motion, whether we find our flow or we take the next step, it needs to have some ease and flow with it rather than grit, which results essentially in tension that can even come through some force.

Because here’s the thing: you’re not going to make someone else do something. If I grabbed you by the shoulders and tried to make you walk out the door, well, if I haven’t prepared you for this, you’re going to have a lot of resistance because you’re not sure what’s going to be happening there. Whereas, if I prepared you for it and we had a conversation about what was going to happen and we said, hey, let’s go out the door. You’d be more apt to come with me, so think of that in the sense of your horse too. When they don’t speak or they don’t speak English, you can’t say this in words, so they need to be that much more prepared and have that much greater understanding of what you’re about to ask them and how. That relationship or level of communication is also even more so important.

But any time we try to make someone, whether it’s a person or a horse, do something, the first response is always some resistance and we don’t need any help with extra tension or resistance because as horses go, whenever there is some tension, safer and bracing. You’re going to be slower because it’s the smooth runs, that clock, not the ones where there’s lots of action and kicking and pulling. Those are not the ones that clock. In jumping, you’re going to end up knocking rails. There’s resistance. You’re not going to be set up for your next jump appropriately, any event that you’re competing in.

Anytime there is a tension, a resistance, you’re not setting yourself up for your best ride or run. The thing is, any time you try harder, like you really dig in and you try harder, you create tension and this tension is going to create resistance. So this is not the answer. Trying harder really is rarely the answer to anything, as much as that’s our go to, that’s a more masculine type of energy. Method of approaching something is like try harder, work harder, get this done, do all the things, but that actually creates a lot of resistance. And what we’re looking for here is some flow, some smoothness, some balance really is what we’re looking for: the end and the end between our desires and our action or our faith and our ability or our intention, and then mixing in some patients and allowing within this this bubble of allowing things to manifest in our lives.

I’m not saying just sit back and see what unfolds for you, but I’m saying: think about what your goals are, think about what your intentions are, create a plan of how you will move forward towards your goal. Trust the process, trust the people that you have on your team, trust that you are being taken care of and as and things will unfold as they should now. This does not mean sitting back and not communicating with anybody and assuming that everything is going as it was planned, but taking some action to make sure all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted as you move towards whatever. It is your goal, because really, when you try and force things to happen, it’s essentially an attempt to control a situation. You’re not going to control your horse, you’re not going to control other people. You’re not going to control the outcome generally.

There’s really not a lot in this life that you can control. You can control how you respond to situations, but you cannot control others. That’s an illusion, us thinking that we actually can and we end up getting in more trouble thinking this, believing that we can and trying to control things. We end up just creating conflict and resistance within events and relationships as well. So currently, how I am trying to get better at this is to find more flow. It is a practice and this is what I’m saying, that I am not through this. I do not have this mastered. This is probably going to be a thing for me forever and probably for a lot of other humanoids out there, that it will be a practice for you too to find that balance between taking care of business. I mean we’ve got to enter the rodeo. It’s just not going to enter itself, but we’re going to pick our preferences but recognize that there are some things that are out of our control.

We don’t always know when we’re going to get set up and to be able to just go with that. There might be times where you may need to trade there. There may be times where you are not able to get a trade. You’re not able to get a trade and you do have to go with the flow and not try and control everything. You’re not going to be able to control where you end up in the draw.

Taking care of business is being assertive, but it’s not becoming a control freak and trying to manage every single outcome, because this is going to set us up. When we try managing these outcomes like that, it’s more likely to set us up for disappointment. It’s more likely it’s more likely that we’ll end up thinking that we, you know we’re lost. We’ve lost before we’ve even started because we were not able to set ourselves up in a situation or outcome that we wanted.

Back to talking about horses. It’s unrealistic for us to think that we actually are in control of these 1200 pound beasts. I mean they’re going along with it, but ultimately, the greater we can get at communicating with them and being assertive in our requests and not trying to make them do anything, the safer they’re going to feel. And the more likely they are to play nice with us and to play these games that we like to play with them. If they are feeling happy and not forced into situations, they will show up and be their greatest selves and they’re show up as their greatest athlete as well if they’re not feeling forced into things and we can get them on board, with it being somewhat a great idea, a good idea for them to participate in.

There’s times where we, we do, need to take action, but then we just really need to hand over the reins, whether it be to our people, to experts. I am experiencing this right now, with breeding season, breeding some mares. I’m putting trust in my vet that she has my best interests in mind, my horses best interests in mind. I can’t control when these mares are going to ovulate, but I can trust that she’s going to keep tabs on it and look after that. For me.

However, I’m not going to sit back and expect her to call me and tell me when my mares need to be there. I’m going to be on the ball and have it in my calendar so that we can work as a team so that we both remember and get this all on. Get this all on schedule, but there’s definitely times where it can be frustrating, where we end up making assumptions that things are taking care of when they’re not, which makes us then lean back towards wanting to control things. But that’s really never the answer, because we need to find flow, trust, balance, allow others to support us, allow others to do on their journey as well as we are on our this, forcing things and making making things happen can be a habit that we get into without consciously recognizing that we’re doing it.

So I would suggest that you pay attention to this in the saddle to see if you are trying to force an outcome with your horse, if you’re trying to force them to pick up a certain lead or if you’re setting them up and allowing them, because the right answer. The best answer for them at that time is to pick that correct lead. So that might be a good example of how we can force a lead or we can allow a lead to happen. And if you feel into that energy of when you know you’re really trying to force a lead and you’re just not getting it, you’re not getting it, not getting it, or when you allow the horse to choose the lead that you’ve set themselves up for, it’s a lot different energy and a lot different feeling and it’s this flow that I encourage you to look for in your life, and I think that it will also carry through into your ride and your runs, where we’re stepping away from being or desiring such level of control in our lives in general that it transfers into our ride as well.

Now, I’m not saying, you know, head to the mouth of the alley and holler, Jesus, take the wheel or anything, I mean you still have to have, have some guidance and plan there. It’s not just you know, dropping your reins and and losing all control, but this is the same in life as well. Is that you? You are going to ask for a right turn. You are going to ask for a left turn, as you will in life, where you will ask for what you need, where you will book appointments, where you will listen to your doctor, but you will also make your own informed decisions.

With regard to the example of a doctor that just came into my mind, I think that we have to be careful that we don’t relinquish all of our control, all of our thoughts and our knowledge to an authority figure just because they have the certificate on the wall. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t then still advocate for, advocate for ourselves and have our own knowledge-based and best interest in mind throughout this journey, because I’ve recognized they’re seeing a lot of people. Just hand everything over to the experts, but you’re then just relying on what they think they know is best, and you are losing control of your health, because there’s there’s always more that you can investigate in as well and and influence and have a conversation back and forth, instead of just handing it all over and saying you’re you’re you’re a doctor. You can take over that for me, just like you know that might be comparable to buying a seasoned horse when you’re not that knowledgeable and just saying okay, I’m going to hold on and you do your thing. Well, that’s going to end up backfiring after a couple of runs because they’re not being held to their highest standards or their best interests, because you’re not participating in this conversation anymore.

So I feel like there’s that balance between trusting, trusting your horse, trusting authority figures, trusting mentors, trusting others, trusting your vet, but also having having a piece in the conversation and recognizing that what you bring to the table is valuable as well and that you can help support through your grounded nature and through your flow in, through your patience, to keep this situation moving smoothly, without tension and without force and without trying to control it.

Because it’s just this, control is really just bringing out  your insecurities and lack of trust and confidence in others, and maybe yourself, and what I think is helpful is just to recognize that ultimately there is a greater plan in place that we may not have privy. We’re not privy to that outcome or that information, yet we don’t know how it’s going to go, but we’re really never in control of the outcome. There is an outcome laid out for us. There are lessons to learn along the way. The sooner we can learn these lessons, the more aware we can be of ourselves as we move through them. The more likely we will be able to move past these lessons and move through any tension that we’ve created, through our attempt to control things and move up and on to the other side, where you are achieving your goals, where things are falling into place for you and you’re manifesting the outcomes that you desire, because when you’re controlling this, tied into manifestation as well, if you’re trying to control an outcome, if you’re trying to make a win happen, you’re actually operating from scarcity mentality, which is saying that you don’t believe you’re already there. So when I win, I’ll be. This is basically saying I’m not this, I have to win before I have it. I’m not a winner, but once I win I will be. 

You’re operating from energy. That’s saying you’re not that already trying to control an outcome, whereas if you showed up in the energy of I am a winner, it doesn’t matter what the outcome is, because who I am doesn’t change based on the outcome. So it’s a different energy, it’s a different vibe and it is a practice. Like I’ve said something I’m currently working through. I am working at finding more flow, more grace and understanding and patience for others, but also not making myself feel annoying because I’m towards others because I’m trying to take care of business for myself. So there’s that it’s a balancing act. There’s a fine line, but I think that if we’re aware of it and aware of how making things happen and catching ourselves when we’re trying to control a situation, control an outcome so that we can step back from that and find more flow, relinquish some of that control, to then release a lot of that tension that we’re carrying, as we’re trying to create an outcome instead of putting out our intention and allowing it to unfold for us with a lot less control but a lot more ease.

There’s this ease that we want to find through our lives, where it flows. Things unfold for us easily and our runs clock because there is smoothness through it, there is safety in it, whereas any time we start trying to force and make things happen, it’s actually triggering to our nervous system and it would be for our horses as well. So I’ll leave you with that for today. I just wanted to consider: I want you to consider and really think about where you might be forcing things to happen and where you might be creating tension. That’s not necessary, that you can step back from that, find a little bit more allowing where you can still be assertive.

You still take action towards your dreams and goals, but recognize that there are parts of it that you need to step back and just allow the magic to unfold for you, because the universe really does have your back. The universe is working in your favor, but if you don’t step back and allow it to do its work, it’s going to be hard for it to. It’s going to be harder for things to unfold for you when you’re trying to make them, you’re trying to iron them out and make them happen for yourselves.

We’ll catch you on the next episode until next time. Feel free to find me on social media. You might also like to join our free facebook group, the Rider’s Mind Community, on Facebook, or download my free mining course called Next Level Mindset. It’s a three part audio series that you can download at michelledavey.com/minicourse. All right until next time, Breathe deep, stay present, ride the stride.

Join the Stride coaching group waitlist: www.michelledavey.com/stride  It’s in Stride we work at becoming mindful barrel racers so we can show up present and ride with great partnership.

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