Smiling Counts

“Smiling Counts”.  I can’t count the number of times I heard our Externship Instructor, 4 Star Parelli Professional, Teri Sprague say that this summer.  I find myself recounting those words constantly in my day to day life and it has become a mantra that helps me in so many situations.  

When with my horse and I find a moment where I’m unsure or start to feel at a loss, I hear Teri’s words and put a big smile on my face.   

When I’m with my horse playing with a pattern or focusing on progression and I realize I may be getting a bit serious, I hear Teri’s words and put a big smile on my face. 
 This has trickled out into the rest of my life to so many other moments.
If I’m driving and find myself in traffic or am in line somewhere and begin to worry about whether I’ll get to my next destination, I hear Teri’s words and smile.
If I’m with my husband and we begin to take a conversation in the direction of friction, I hear Teri’s words and put a big smile on my face.  It makes a change in me and will often make him smile too 🙂
Sometimes when I’m doing my daily chores at the ranch I’ll realize I’m not feeling too positive about it.  I hear Teri’s words and smile.  I can then look around and see the beauty all around me and find gratitude.
Hearing Teri’s words and physically smiling as genuinely as I can muster…That simple thing changes my state.  I’ve heard Tony Robbins talk about how we need to sometimes change our state by doing something physical and this is something that works for me. 
I’ve been reflecting on how big an impact a person or experience can have on our lives and this is one of many lessons from the Externship that make me realize how valuable that experience was.  To say it was life changing is an understatement.  These are life lessons that I absorbed so deeply that it comes to me when I need it in a way that has changed the stories I was telling myself, and change my thoughts at the deepest level; which has a domino effect of changing my words, action and character.  
I have such a since of gratitude and pleasure when I’m with a horse and recognize that I am truly changed for the better.  My confidence, abilities and skills have all grown in ways that I know come from being immersed in a place that is focused on growth, emotional fitness, and learning.  Removing the worries of day to day life and being surrounded by others who share a passion in this type of environment offers such opportunities.  I find myself in awe sometimes as I further recognize the huge value of this experience that continues to show up in my daily life in new ways.  
I have clarity that it will continue to show up in various ways and look forward to experiences every year at the Parelli Center as I continue my education and growth.  
My hope is to share this nugget of gold from Teri and that you’ll find her words as valuable as I have.  
May you find moments when you can hear those words and it can make a change for you.  
…”smiling counts”.

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