Do you know with what
I offer my words?
They are so much more
They are my trust
that if you don't understand
you will at least respect.
They are my faith
that I have not misread
the longing in your own soul.
They are all that have
and all that I am
given because the need to write
So I offer my words
as a song to your heart
and if we touch for a moment
a place of perfect understanding
the connection is complete.
© 1997 C A Crossman
I am above all things a writer and as Rilke said, I write because I must, that others choose to read what I have written is truly a gift for which I am always grateful. Beginning in 2000 and continuing for the next decade, I wrote a newsletter that supported my life mission to create safe and sacred space for my Self and others to think and act in new ways. My newsletter was highly personal, "write what you know" common wisdom and that worked for me. My hope was that my words would cause my readers to pause and think. Health and personnal challenges in the last two years have caused me to put my public writing on hold, I hope to begin writing in some public form again soon, please watch for updates.
Below find one of my favorite issues and subjects to tempt your thought palate-
Forget the Fence, Ride the Line
In a marvelous old photo book about horse shows called The Equestrian World, there is a photo of Pat Symthe, member of the British Equestrian Team on her horse Scorchin’. They are shown jumping a wall during the final round of a speed competition. (A class won entirely by the horse and rider’s ability to jump high fences at the fastest speed.) Aside from her perfect form, what is so marvelous about the picture, is that her head is turned toward her next fence. This is called riding the line.
The principle of riding the line is simple. With a few exceptions, horse show jumping classes follow a course that designates the order the fences are to be jumped. If you are riding in a suitable category, your horse will be physically capable of jumping whatever height and width obstacle is included in the class. To the horse an obstacle is an obstacle, if the approach and speed are right, they will jump it. Therefore, the key to riding a successful course, is to focus on the path or line and the obstacles will take care of themselves.
The majority of stops, spills and knockdowns during jumping are caused when the rider focuses on the fence and is distracted by its perceived level of difficulty. Bright colors and designs are there merely to frighten the rider. The horse jumps because he has been trained to respond to a signal, if the rider can put all thought of how scary a jump looks out of his or her mind and just ride the course, the horse will more than likely jump whatever happens to be in the way.
Learning life is like learning to ride a jump course. If you want to learn to show jump, then you find a coach and a horse that knows how. You study theory; you go to a stable that has the facilities; you surround yourself with others who are successful, learn from them and above all else, you practice, over and over until you can concentrate on the course and not the fence. Achieving any goal follows the same format. First you do the groundwork, you learn to trust yourself and the strength of your vision, then you study and learn the skills you’ll need and finally you go for your goal.
“If you throw your heart over the fence, the horse will follow” counsels one last piece of advice. Unless you are ready, willing and able to ride that line, you’ll stop at the first fence that draws your attention away from the course. If you can become clear on who you are and where you want to be, then you can ride your line and the fences will take care of themselves.
What fences have you psyched out before you even enter the ring?
What challenge is looming in front of you and distracting you from riding the line?
Ignore the bells and whistles, see the true size and difficulty of the obstacle and do what it takes to clear it. Don’t listen to the other riders who tell you how difficult something will be. If you have done your groundwork and learned the skills you need, if you have memorized your course, and if you have trust in the strength and ability of your higher power, then you are ready to ride the line. Forget the fence or problem! Once you’ve made your approach, you’ll handle it, you’ve done the work, and all you need to do is ride the line!
© 2002 C A Crossman
"Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your emails.
You have a real gift for seeing the beauty of the moment, and seeing the message in the beauty.
What you write always comes across as though a good friend of mine was over having tea
and sharing an insight. Never preachy. Thanks!"
Watch for my upcoming book:
Step Out of Your Life and Back Into Your Self,
mini retreats for the overworked, overwhelmed and overscheduled