This morning Noah and I went on an early morning ride before coming back and giving the horses their breakfast.
I stopped and watched as Ladybird, Noah’s pony, munched her way through her feed. She absolutely loved it. Watching her enjoy it made me happy. It got me thinking about how much we get from giving if we do it in the right way.
In the mindfulness session that I led today I went on to make the theme giving. I was explaining what a benefit it can be to us when we learn to be kind to others. When we are kind and we have acted in an ethical way, a way that we are happy with, this gives us peace of mind. It gets rid of negative mental chatter that could have otherwise arisen.
It really brings happiness.
The first step in achieving this lovely state of happiness is to really be aware of the act that you are doing. Being present in the moment whilst you do the act means that you see and feel the good that you are doing and the happiness you are spreading. We also need to be genuine in everything we do, there is no pleasure in being false or pretending. Finally, we need to do the act without anticipating particular thanks for it. If you are awaiting a big thank you then you might be left upset if that is not forthcoming.
Giving the horses their feed each day is by no means a massive act of generosity. It is expensive, but they need feeding, and when you enter into owning a horse you accept that during the winter you have to do it. Nevertheless the way that you do the act makes all the difference to what you get out of it.
Making the feed as nice as it can be for them and taking the time to mix it well means you are making it as nice as it can be for them. Making sure they are in an environment where they can relax and enjoy it to the full adds to their pleasure. Giving them plenty of time to lick the bowl clean extends the experience. All simple steps but putting that little extra effort in makes all the difference.
A horse will never really thank you for their feed. Obviously they can’t talk, but even through their body language they simply move on to look for the next patch of grass to graze on or the next bale of hay to chew through! Despite their lack of thanks watching them enjoy it so much gives me a real sense of pleasure.
So try it yourself. Do an act of kindness today. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture and it may well be something you do every day but just haven’t thought of in that way. It might be feeding your pet, or looking after your child. It might be getting in touch with someone you haven’t made contact with for a while. Whatever your chosen act do it with thought and you will certainly feel better for having done it.
Come on a Revitalise Day to see how you could get more out of your everyday activities. Adding a spot of mindfulness can make all the difference to an otherwise ordinary act.