November 2, 2016

TrishBits #28: Step Into Your Arena

TB 28


 The arena is a metaphor for showing up and doing your best.  Because you’re the star of your own life.

Boxers, hunter-jumpers, and gladiators do their work in arenas.  Athletes, musicians, comedians, speakers and preachers and politicians enter arenas, too.

Your arena is where you shine, where you’re challenged, or where you’re in the spotlight, like it or not.

It’s a metaphor for showing up and doing your best.  What is your arena?
Is it your work?  Your family?  Your physical challenges?  Is it that novel that’s wanting to be written, or that calling to serve that you’ve been resisting?

Roosevelt’s famous speech and Brene Brown’s books have brought the arena metaphor into our cultural awareness, but, in horse work, we’ve always stepped into our real, live arenas with horses. 

In the arena with a horse, on the ground, with no lead rope or halter, you are at once transported to a place of honesty and awareness.  You cannot make your horse do anything.  You cannot insist, control, lie, or pretend.

What can you do?

You can only be who you are.  If you try to fake it, your horse flees.  If you are anything other than transparent, aware, and intentional, then your horse tells you so, with a swift trot away.

The next time that you enter your arena, pay attention to how you tend to ‘armor up’ or wear the mantle of warrior, or performer, or trapped victim.  These are the ‘stories’ that you tell yourself about how to survive and thrive in your arena.

But – these are stories that you can change.  Do you need your armor?  Instead, what might it be like to stay vulnerable even while you are strong?

Must you call on your inner warrior?  Instead, try calling on your inner magician, or your inner diplomat or your inner sovereign. 

Is your life one performance after another?  What if there is simply nothing left to prove?

Are you trapped in the arena?  Are you sure?  What if you took an early exit, and found a friendlier arena?  Who says you can’t?  Do you really want those people in charge of you?

Step into your arena, the arena of your own heart’s choosing, and risk being who you are.  It’s the only way to win.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”    Teddy Roosevelt, 1910

3 responses to “TrishBits #28: Step Into Your Arena”

  1. Lucia Gilliland says:

    Very thought provoking for anyone and beautifully presented.

  2. Phyllis Redding - King NC says:

    Love your writing – like a breath of fresh air! Sweet, freeing, uplifting, and refreshing!
    I’m watching the log cabin being built INSIDE your house? What a novel idea! I hope to see the whole house completed.
    Phyllis Redding, King NC

  3. Phyllis Redding - King NC says:

    Hmmm . . A physcologist who works using horses! I’m aware that’s successful in helping handicapped children
    but not used in this way. I admire the muscular look of horses and watching them in motion. Other than that, I’m scared of them. Beautiful vistas in your view also.
    Blessings to you for helping people become brave enough to be real!

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