Hunker Down

“HUNKER DOWN” This is a phrase I grew up using in the Southeast of the U.S.  

We played a game during the Fast Track at the Parelli Center in Florida, called Hunker Down, where we stood on buckets and used the 45′ rope to try and pull each other off our bucket.  Thinking back to my childhood and the phrase “hunker down” I got really low; almost on my heels and settled in on that bucket 🙂

“Hunker Down” has become a mantra for me lately and taken on even bigger meaning.  When we look around at mother nature, there are so many wonderful examples of hunkering down being an instinctual thing.

The ocean ebs and flows.  The tides come and go.  A huge swell may come in with big thunder crashing waves or a gnarly current may come where people, all too often, are taken out and lose their lives.  Then it’s all over and the ocean is back to that quiet, serene, picture of relaxation many of us see as a great way to help us sleep or meditate.

Recently, two wild roosters in our yard fought and one seemed on death’s door.  He disappeared for a week or so while life went on all around us.  Then, today, he showed up again.  No muss, no fuss.  Just a part of the flock.

Three cats were born on our property that I took on the responsibility of care for.  Two of them always come to eat and stick pretty close.  One of them is more skittish and seems to like to explore.  He shows up when he shows up.  I can either worry and stress about whether he’s okay, or “hunker down” and just let it be.  I can purposefully choose my thoughts and create a constant state of excitement or worry or I can just do what mother nature does and allow.

My horse had a on again off again lameness issue for a long time that I couldn’t figure out.  I tried bodywork, nutrition research and changes, essential oils, red light, an animal communicator, shimming the saddle, shoeing, trimming, etc etc etc.  Then, I went away for 3 months to the Parelli Center for an Externship and came back to a completely healthy comfortable horse, with no body issues.  Hmmm.  Next time I’m dealing with something like this, I may incorporate simply leaving my horse alone and letting her get a little fat with no responsibilities (and not being constantly surrounded by my worrying energy) as a part of her healing program.

The way I see hunker down now, is to sit back and allow.  Allow things to happen as they will and remain in a mindful state of emotional fitness.  Things happen; life goes on.  Hunker down and observe rather than try to control.  Be mindful of your state of mind.  As I experiment with this, I see the difference in what type of experiences shape up around me, depending on my state of mind.  It’s part of that quote we hear from Pat Parelli, “Be careful of your thoughts, they create your words. Be careful of your words, they create your actions.  Be careful of your actions, they create your character.  You and I are two of life’s characters, so be careful of your thoughts.”  That may not be the quote word for word, but the meaning is so resonant.

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