First, yes I know I skipped a few days. I had family come and visit, and frankly time with people is much more important than time with the internet. But let’s not let a little gap ruin my momentum, and pick up where I left off.
Visiting with people inspires so much to write about too. This comes from two places – one conversation in real time, and another via a personal online conversation.
Sometimes a passion turns into something that is more useful than just a hobby that you love. It becomes a healing-tool. A method to help you over come depression and anxiety. It gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning, look forward to each day, and greet the day with a brighter outlook. Psychologists call this Assisted Therapy. Using a hobby, or extra-curricular activity to aid in the process of over coming grief, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. Most of us have heard of these therapies. Art Therapy, a love of mine, is considered a therapy with assistance as its ability to heal usually relies on an outside medium as well as the standard talking and listening techniques. Others include; Drama Therapy, Music Therapy, and a newer one Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT).
Equine Assisted Therapy or EAT is working with a horse, usually one-on-one to alleviate any mental distress. It can also be used to help in physical rehabilitation. Many times, these two go hand in hand. This was shown in extreme depth in the movie The Horse Whisperer where the young girl who sustains sever physical injuries and a loss of a best friend turns to her wounded horse to teach her how to get back up. Although a slightly long story, it is incredible. (I am shushing my dad’s side comments here, as he is not one to appreciate subtleties in movies as The Horse Whisperer)
Horse. A hard working animal most commonly found on farms, pulling wagons, or giving joy-rides to young children. To some, that is all a horse is, but to others they stand for so much more. After a brief, but inspiring conversation through good old facebook chat, led me to look up Equine Assisted Therapy.
It makes sense though. I have known a good handful of young women and men who I could easily describe as ‘horse obsessed’. My dear roommate was. She pined for her horses. Going back to my Grade Eight year, my science partner, another horse lover insisted that our Science Fair project have something to do with horses. I am personally not on this horse wagon mind you. I can appreciate the beauty, but I have a pretty decent fear of them. But when I saw how my roommate would return after a weekend with her horses, or my Science partner in the barn while we carefully combed our Horse-Hair Conditioner through her beloved’s long tail, I can sincerely say, horses have a way of connecting on a deeper level.
I believe it would be safe to say that having a passion gives life purpose. When you feel you have a purpose, your mind is less inclined to go to that darker place. Sometimes two or more people can share that same passion, and together you all find a purpose, and a place of belonging. This happened with the funny phenomenon called the Bronies. Basically a quickly-growing group of grown 20 or 30 something men have latched onto the tween TV program, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic which stars cute candy-coloured animated ponies. It seems odd, but they say they appreciate the plot lines. Having seen the show a few times – as it airs on Treehouse – the beloved channel of Little Pea and Peach I can attest that the stories are much more suited to an older audience. I personally find the show to be too mature for Treehouse’s target audience of Pre-school to Primary. My children walk away when it comes on. Although Peach appreciates the rainbows and the one purple horse which i do not know the name of. But these men have found something to love in it. Within that adoration they have brotherhood, belonging and simply something to look forward to. Having a place to belong is one of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. According to Maslow, in order to be Self-Actualized, confidence in oneself to pursue inner talent, ending in creative fulfillment, one must have belonging, among a number of other important aspects of life, first. Without those, Self-Actualization is not possible.
Passions have a near magical way of keeping the joy in our life. They can heal souls, mend broken hearts, ease worried minds, and bring smiles to our faces, even in the darkest of moments.
I may not be super passionate about horses, but I know whenever I have been down picking up a pen or pencil and doodling something in one of my little sketchbooks immediately puts me in a new, lighter frame of mind. For years I have kept a journal, or sketchbook where I would scrawl out all my insecurities, worries, joys and ideas. Thinking of new ideas always brings me out of my slump. It gives me confidence to try the new ideas, face potential failure, and trust in my own abilities. I like to call this Joy-Therapy.