Authenticity in my opinion means being who you truly are, and taking away all masks that we have put around our true self during our life.
We are all born as authentic beings, without any agenda, without judging, without having to pretend anything.
As we grow older, we start to comply to social norms and in trying to fit it, pretend things that are not 100% true and authentic.
This is what we do to be part of something bigger - to belong to a group of friends in school, to fit in to the workplace, to fit in with our family.
At one point, we start wondering how often in a day we are still saying the truth?
In order to not appear impolite in social contexts, we will often hide our true feelings and emotions.
The greatest gifts that horses can give us as humans is to discover our true self again, and to remember who we really are and what really matters.
A horse can simply not deal with our duality of actually feeling something, but then pretending to feel something else.
It irritates them tremendously if we are not honest about our feelings, because they can sense both.
Sensing incongruency makes them wonder what you are trying to hide and what you could potentially be up to - and if they are not getting a clear picture of your intentions, their instincts tell them that you cannot be trusted.
Combined with the fact that we are predators, they just want to get away from us.
Unfortunately, many horse riders are:
Let's take as an example the first riding classes:
You are nervous because today is the first time you are supposed to canter.
The horse senses that and is hesitating to go faster - your body is giving you away: your hunched posture, your shallow breathing, your nervousness all call for a slower pace.
The riding instructor on the outside shouts:
Don't show your fear!" (Well, that is easier said than done)
You do what you are told because after all the instructor is the authority, right?
You use the whip to ask the horse to go faster, she doesn't understand why she is punished when she is just trying to protect you and obey to your authentic thoughts.
This is just one little scene.
And if you go to any equestrian center, you will witness many such sad scenes where the horse always looses because we do not want to admit our fears, worries and authentic feelings in front of others and ourselves.
And is at the root of many human mistakes.
Rather than developing self-worth and self-respect, and to only do things that we enjoy and that keep us safe, many people are too worried about what others think about them.
We want to feel special, rather than accepting us the way we are, with all our human traits, faults, strengths and weaknesses.
If you started riding horses because you like these sentient animals and don't feel that hitting them is the right thing to do - then why don't you tell your instructor that you don't think it is right to punish her?
Because even if you do, he will tell you that he knows better and that the "stubborn horse" needs to obey to his instructions.
You sigh and give in, because it would be difficult to start a fight with someone who has obviously been around horses much longer than you, and you have paid for the lesson, and it is the only stable in your vicinity, and because your friends are watching..... the excuses are endless but both you and the horse suffer in the end from you not being authentic.
I am saying you should rebel against everything and not listen to instructors and parents?
I am trying to say that for real authenticity to happen, and for you to feel happy and at peace with yourself, you need to learn to listen to your intuition.
Listen to what deep inside feels right to you, and dare to challenge others and ask for more information if you are in doubt.
Don't do things because others are doing them or because "it was always done this way" or because they pretend they know better!
Humanity can only evolve if we challenge the status quo and dare to be different.
People who just conform cannot create change, and times are changing for sure!
Be open, be daring, be you!
Tags: Authenticity definition, be true to yourself, how to develop intuition, authentic happiness