As I move through life and seek to become the human being I aspire to be, I find I gain clarity on things progressively. I’ve come to look at it as peeling back the layers. Like an onion. For example, last year I truly saw the importance of learning to control our thoughts. I understood and absorbed that our thoughts truly do create our reality. However, conceiving of it and being able to do it are sometimes two very different things. But I’ve come to believe that’s maybe not the best way to look at it. Rather than thinking in a way that highlights how imperfect I am or the situation is, why not choose to see it as part of the process? Today, I’ll get it at this level and that’s how it’s supposed to be. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I will process this lesson in this way today, and as I grow and have more experiences, I will continue to process each lesson at a different level and with more clarity. Peeling back the layers. Regarding the concept of thoughts create our reality, I’ve had some key lessons. We must choose to focus on the thoughts we want based on the life we want. In setting my intentions for 2012 with a simple written plan, I gave myself permission to let go of the “noise”…meaning the worries about what I SHOULD be doing or guilt about what others might expect…or I might expect of myself. Almost on a daily basis, I consciously give myself permission to put the things that speak to my heart and make up who I am as priority. Two mantras I have for 2012 are MY THOUGHTS CREATE MY REALITY and I AM WILLING TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE TO BECOME THE HUMAN I WANT TO BE. I find many moments where those come in handy and allow me to keep moving forward. With an externship scheduled this year, I expect to have lots of opportunities for both mantras to come in handy:) The key difference in years past is that I don’t have any resolutions and I don’t expect to “get somewhere” by the end of the year. I have intentions based on being more clear on who I am, authentically. I have a clear vision of following my heart and an understanding and willingness to allow life to unfold as it should…without expectations of what the result will look like. I know I will be uncomfortable at times, but with the clarity of who I am beginning to truly unfold for me, I welcome those moments and have strategies on how to get through them. I am willing to be gentle with myself in the moments I don’t get through the discomfort so gracefully and expect that to be part of the peeling back of the layers of my growth. I am letting go of preconceived notions of “issues” I think I have so I can move forward and not hold myself back with these thoughts. Through my first year as a Parelli Professional and the Culture Sync courses based on the book Tribal Leadership (an offer facilitated through Parelli) I have gained some tools that validate my beliefs in positive thinking, but added strategies to actively create the life that is waiting for me. I am clear on my commitments, I am clear on my purpose (called a Leadership Declaration in the courses), I start my day with gratitude and a plan based on my values and learning needs, I end my day with gratitude and rating my ability to find balance in all areas throughout the day. Things like attitude and rejuvenating are on the list we learned to rate ourselves on and let me tell you, those were not things I had really considered and couldn’t recognize, originally. I discovered there were rejuvenating moments in each day, but I didn’t allow them to rejuvenate. All the noise in my head kept me from being rejuvenated. Interesting, isn’t it? As I move forward into what I expect to be a life changing year, I am committed to reminding myself that each lesson is another layer and, just as in horsemanship, our life lessons will continue to unfold and we will be better for each experience. There is a gift in each one and I am finally ready to accept each one as exactly what it’s supposed to be, with the knowledge that the process of my learning and growth will continue to progress. I have discovered my desire is to help others find authentic growth and hope this blog has inspired you in some way to listen to your heart and be gentle with yourself. As Linda Parelli teaches us, learners are fragile. Just as our horses are, so are we. Finding Parelli is such a huge gift and opportunity for all of us to grow in amazing ways and be surrounded by others who share Core Values, Passion, and genuine beliefs that support is a key ingredient we all need.