I know it’s November, and it might seem too predictable to write about gratitude. In the buffet of Thanksgiving offerings this month, I hope you find something here that has a novel twist.
Rather than reminding you to be grateful for your family, friends and all that you have, I’d like to urge you to consider the transformational possibilities of gratitude. Generating a feeling of gratitude can change your entire outlook.
It transforms a dark mood into a sunny one, a critical thought into an expansive one, and a feeling of lack into a sense of bounty. It’s all about your mindset.
We high achievers often get caught in a downward spiral of what is not quite right—what we need to improve in our riding, how our training program isn’t perfect, or how something else needs to be changed or overhauled. As strivers, we always look for things to improve. We don’t sit down and appreciate where we are. While I’m all about continuing to improve, I know this mindset can also lead to perpetual dissatisfaction.
Can you strive and also appreciate the beauty of what is right now? Can you simultaneously work toward a future goal and be in a state of gratitude for the present time? I think yes. Here are some examples.
And, here is the bonus: connecting in to gratitude also reduces stress, calms nerves, and brings your competition brain into sharper focus.
Gratitude is an elixir. One serving can bring in joy, appreciation of the details, and even awe of the small things. A continual flow of gratitude magnifies wonder, and fills you with the grace of what is present. Gratitude means being full. Full of what is, rather than yearning for what isn’t. When we are full of gratitude, we are wealthy, satisfied, and appreciative. We savor our experiences rather than rushing past to the next thing.
While this sounds delicious, why is it hard for us to do? Why do we insist upon being unsatisfied rather than feeling full of what is? I’m not sure I have the answer; you and I will have to mull that over for ourselves. I’m here to pull the curtain back and say, there is a choice to be made. There is a bounty of gratitude for those who wish to partake, and the best part is, the more you take, the more you get, and the more you have to offer others.
Best wishes for a bountiful Thanksgiving season!
For over 25 years, Darby Furth Bonomi, PhD has facilitated positive transformations in clients of all ages. As a practicing psychologist and consultant, Darby has worked with many people to achieve lasting change and establish the foundations for mental wellness.
Now in her primary role as a performance psychologist and family consultant, Darby merges her life-long experience in the equestrian world—as a rider, parent of riders and owner—with her vast toolbox of psychological and coaching interventions to help riders of all levels and their families reclaim the joy in their sport, leading the way to improved performance and better health. She loves helping clients untangle the complicated situations that tend to arise when horses are added to families.
A dynamic speaker and change maker, clients have sought out Darby to help improve their lives, both in and out of the saddle. She is devoted to making the equestrian world—and the world at large—a kinder, gentler and more respectful place.
Darby currently shows in the amateur owner hunters and equitation with her horses Little Wing and DaVinci, alongside her teenage daughters. She is married and has a college age son who steers clear of the barn. She lives in San Francisco.
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