Observing my cat, Bryngwyn, got me thinking. My ever present ‘assistant’ was helping me muck out the horses’ stables (in truth, he was more a hindrance, as he buries his pooh in the bed which is difficult to find and otherwise ends up on the bottom of my boot) and went to great lengths to drink from the small amount of water left in the horse’s bucket.
I have strategically placed easy-access ‘cat water’ in various places on the yard and on that particular morning, I had also broken the ice on the water, as it was extremely cold. But no, Bryngywn (who usually drinks the cat water) much preferred to do the splits to reach the water in the stable. What type of peculiar logic was that? In JFK’s immortal words (which I approximate) ‘we choose to go to the moon not because it’s easy but because its hard’. Obviously, Bryngwyn was thinking the same!
As I finished doing the yard, I found myself musing about this thing called ‘logic’ and its bed-fellow ‘intellect’, which are so valued in our culture, our education and our training and which dominate the way we lead our lives and how flawed this paradigm actually is. Don’t get me wrong, intellect and logic are very useful indeed. It’s just that they shouldn’t take the lead in everything we do.
It’s taken a long time for me to re-connect with my instinct as the prime determinant in decision-making. But it has led to far better outcomes. Instinct is something we are born with and in the very early years of life it’s the force that motivates us. But education suppresses it because it trains the intellect / logic duo. Instinct is still there but it’s buried. A man has ‘gut instinct’ and a woman has ‘intuition’, though neither have much credibility in our world.
Ironically, instinct is our best ‘sat nav’ in life because it gives us the heads-up as to where we can find information and opportunities that lead us to the things we want. So, the order of work should be: instinct first – for direction and logic second – to work out the detail.
At times, we are aware of a fleeting thought that whizzes through our mind and out again before we have had time to properly register it. We might be busy doing something else which overtakes our thinking and only remember it with hindsight, often after choosing a different course of action that didn’t turn out so well!
So how do we reconnect with instinct and how do we hear it above the noise of life? Unsurprisingly, we have to train ourselves. It’s how we learn any new skill. Practise makes perfect until a new habit is created that no longer requires effort. But first, we have to discover what instinct feels like and where it resides in our body and our consciousness. This is tricky and very subtle and it’s different for all of us, so I have given examples from my own experience in a podcast entitled ‘Training your instinct’.
For many of the day to day decisions such as diet, supplements and exercise for me and the horses, I distill my instinct into a pendulum. This is instinct on the end of a piece of string which has the advantage of being visible. I have learned to trust it based on results and it saves a lot of guesswork, time and money! So, this will be subject of my next video coming soon.
The power of instinct cannot be overestimated. I would hope it will be taught in schools one day because it’s an essential ingredient in creating the life you want.
Pics: Bryngywn does the splits to get to the water; snow stops play for the second time in 10 days; Talisman and Seren share a stable for company on a snow-bound day; Bryngwyn leaves his signature in the snow; Talisman waits patiently while I put up some jumps early one morning in an effort to beat the snow which arrived, on cue, as we finished; Talisman’s shiny new snow shoes!
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