In case you did not already know, I’m in Slovenia since a week and here I have the honourable task of looking after 21 more or less wild horses for a few days. But with any task you take on comes the risk of making mistakes. And is that a bad thing or not?
These beautiful horses live fairly freely in the wild, where in summer they eat all day from whatever grows on the mountain. While in winter they are supplemented with hay. Firstly, I have no need or desire to ride a horse. Secondly, I tend to empathise with such a horse and would find myself super annoying as a horse rider. But this task seemed super cool to do and that’s why I came here last week. Finally, it’s a great way to experience this special country. I was inducted for a few days before the owners of the herd went on holiday.
If you want to think about it a bit, mistakes are nothing more and nothing less than learning experiences
First, I rode along in the jeep a couple of times, then got behind the wheel myself and started driving, while being given a variety of instructions to follow, about the route and how to drive the jeep. It’s an old diesel and it’s uphill and downhill, so lots to hear, watch, feel and do. And all at the same time! Well, I have over 40 years of driving experience in all kinds of vehicles and different landscapes, but still.
This morning, for the first time, I drove alone in the jeep to the pasture to water the horses and see everything was okay there.
All in all, I drove there smoothly and the jeep sounded calm. The sharpest memories along the way came from what went “wrong” in the past few days. Like the gear too high or too low or where I took a turn uphill with screeching tyres. Or that junction, where Boris said “right” in German, which I didn’t expect, so understood “left”. Just all those “little mistakes” had formed little clues in my system, allowing me to recognise the route and drive the vehicle correctly. Actually, it was more or less automatic.
Precisely those “mistakes” help us in learning and remembering
Of course, I find it a huge responsibility, because twenty-one healthy big horses means something. Getting the trust of two people, who are very connected to every horse in this herd is huge as well. And driving the jeep on narrow winding roads. I have never been to this country and don’t understand a word of the language. Actually, I do this with the aim of keeping myself flexible. Travelling and learning new things set body and mind in motion. Initially, I felt like a bumbling man in that jeep, but I wasn’t. What you feel or think about how you do it is often wrong. Because apart from all the details, which I had to learn, I drove the thing pretty neatly and safely from here to there and vice versa.
As a result of doing something new, I felt all kinds of insecurities, but in the end, precisely all those little “mistakes” made me get it all. That insight stroke me again today, during that beautiful drive from this village through the mountains. And again, what I create into my mind is usually worse than real life. When I DO it I experience that I just do it and can do it and then the tension goes away.
My days are different, my environment is different, time is different, I miss my own people, it’s bloody hot and I feel great and super strong. I wake up at around 6 am and before 7 am I’m in the jeep. Then I stroll over that mountain for an hour or two, alone or among the horses. I lug pipes to fill the horses’ water bath. I pull heavy iron lids to open street wells and dive in to close and open taps, come up with “push-ups”. More fun than at the gym because it is so deliciously useful.
Pushing limits, letting go, no whining, but thinking and doing it
In short, learning new skills, working and living with new people. It all starts with taking risks, allowing yourself to “make mistakes” and pushing your boundaries. Wonderful!
In the end, that makes life more fun and us as well. So make more mistakes and don’t whine about it. Think ánd act. Also a lot of letting go, old habits, limiting thoughts, shame, insecurity, etc. This morning I received an e-mail from my publisher. The books are again sold out at the Central Book Office. Sales across the country are doing well and translation into English and German is in progress. Haven’t you read it yet? In case you can read Dutch buy it now online. In case you don’t understand Dutch, be a little more patient.
Since it is nice to be with the horses AND it was time to tell a bit more about the next retreat in September, I thought I would combine one with the other. I walked around a bit with my selfie stick and this resulted in the video below. Somewhat distracted, but how could it be otherwise?
Do you want to learn more about reprogramming yourself, being allowed to make mistakes and relax to create the life you have longed for? Join us in Corfu for an unforgettable retreat.