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November 2019

We learn from adversity


I once rode a beautiful but challenging horse around a track at an outdoor school. I knew it was a very difficult horse to ride and that it was very sensitive and easily spooked.

The track was in a circle and was bordered by an 8ft broadleaf hedge with a gap a few metres wide for access. Unfortunately, as I was riding around the track some people suddenly appeared in the opening laughing and making a lot of noise. The horse was spooked, spun round, cleared the hedge and on the way over flicked his body catapaulting me into the air. I landed flat on my back on the track. I lay there able to see everything but unable to move. People came running but stopped a few metres short and just stood and stared. After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was probably only a few seconds, I was able to move my arms. I remember hearing a gasp and someone say, “She’s alive!”

Luckily I’d had the sense to wear full body protection as well as a hat and I’d just been badly winded with no serious damage.

I got up and I knew there was one thing I had to do. I had to get straight back on the horse. I knew that if I didn’t I was admitting defeat and might never ride again. So I completed my session and enjoyed many more hours of riding in the days and years that followed.

The experience undoubtedly made me a better rider. I was able to think about what had happened and what I would do differently in the future. I could easily have avoided going on the horse in the first place and stuck to quiet easy to ride horses or not ridden at all. It was embarrassing falling off but at least I tried.

We don't develop resilience by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.

It’s a lot like this with habits too. The really important thing about habit and habit change is the thing you are training is not the behaviour but the failure of the behaviour. It’s getting back on the horse after you have fallen off rather than never falling off. For example, if you want to stop smoking, or you want to lose weight you don't say "Oh I'm addicted I can't give up!" - you try, you fail, then you try again.

 You just keep getting back up on that horse.

Please support my work by visiting my shop at Jane Redfern Art or by making a donation through Paypal With much love and appreciation. Thank you ❤️

Your imagination gives you wings


Imagination is lighter than a feather and faster than light because anyone can be anywhere at any time. Imagination is more beneficial to people who know that what they don’t know is more than they do know, which sadly, most adults don’t know.

If you look around you everything you see started in someone’s imagination: the inventions, the works of art, the buildings.

Tomorrow the human race will be different than it is today. We are changing and it is our minds that are changing our bodies and our world.

The active imagination is a way of getting high without drugs. Thinking in new ways releases chemicals that reprogram the brain. Thinking new thoughts, therefore, create new a new brain that can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination.

Our mind is divided into two parts, the conscious mind, and the unconscious mind. There is an awful lot of information stored in the unconscious mind; all those stories and experiences from the past, things we thought we’d forgotten all still stored safely away. There is so much in there that we actually remember very little of it when we are conscious. Things move so slowly in the conscious mind that from the viewpoint of the unconscious mind it can seem that the dreamer has fallen asleep when he leaves the unconscious to “wake-up”. The two minds seem to always be at odds but they are like an old married couple that lives on just to be together. The ideal is for them to have a real marriage, for the conscious mind needs the intuitions and feelings of the unconscious mind for it to function properly.

We can explore the unconscious using ‘active imagination’. This means having a dream while we are awake so that what is happening can be followed. You can guide it yourself and explore what the conscious mind regards as a strange country. It is one of the best ways to bring the two minds together.

There is a difference between active imagination and fantasy. A fantasy is more or less your own invention and remains on the surface of personal things and conscious expectations. In active imagination, the images have a life of their own and the symbolic events develop according to their own logic (if your conscious reason doesn’t interfere).

The more difficult the task is for one to do the more valuable the time spent permitting the unconscious mind to come into consciousness.

Concentrate on a mental picture. Let it begin to stir and become enriched by details until it moves and develops. If we concentrate on this inner picture and are careful not to interrupt the natural flow of events, our unconscious will produce a series of images that make a complete story.

Travel to another dimension of time and space by giving your own imagination free reign. You might be surprised how it takes on a life of its own – just as the unconscious has a life of its own, independent of the conscious mind.

As Steven R Covey once said, "Live out of your imagination, not your history."

Please support my work by visiting my shop at Jane Redfern Art or by making a donation through Paypal With much love and appreciation. Thank you ❤️