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My adventures in horse racing and other random things

 doug kelley/

doug kelley/

I recently took part in a horse race, a first for me. This was not your typical horse race, mind you. I have not pivoted so far in my career as to transform into a jockey, but did find myself, while out for a casual bike ride, smack dab in the middle of competition with a Mennonite horse and buggy. How many can say that? (All of my neighbors in Amish country, lower your raised hands and quit stealing my thunder.)


Here’s the play by play as reported by the imaginary race announcer:

[Cue scene: Shonda dreamily biking along a windy country road…]

Hold on folks, what’s that up ahead? Why, it is a simple black horse and buggy carrying a Mennonite family home from church this beautiful Sunday afternoon! Shonda, with lightning fast reflexes, quickly registers that this road is not wide enough for both of them and begins to pedal more quickly, approaching on the left, smiling and nodding a friendly greeting to the family tucked cozily within: a young couple with their cute tossled-hair toddler and chubby blue-eyed baby nestled on their laps. (There is no direct acknowledgment with the horse — blinders and all. But he knows she is there.)

As the narrow road begins to incline upward there is no more time for exchanged pleasantries. Shonda, feeling the mounting pressure, must make a split decision to either fall in line behind the horse, potentially dodging road apples (that would be horse manure for you city dwellers) as if caught in the middle of a video game, or passing. Here comes the straight-away, what is she going to do, folks?

It looks like she is going for it! Shonda pedals harder and passes on the left. Pulling out in front, she takes the lead. The clip clop of horse hooves is close behind her. (I’m pretty sure the horse, a tired, old work horse, is taking it easy on her, but we won’t focus on that right now.) Shonda is giving it her all. She’s managing to stay out in front. And she does it! Shonda is victorious as she makes a sharp left off the race road, heading home to her family. What a glorious race to behold!

What does my horse racing tale have to do with anything, least of all mindfulness? Not a whole lot, I suppose, but it was much too fun and wonderful not to share. I do hope it convinces you to get outside, explore, and play — you never know what you might encounter right around the bend (neigh).

A few more random (but wonderful) things:

If you want to:

Listen in to an awesome podcast with two empowered women:

Had a blast chatting with Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr of RockYourBliss fame, where we discuss letting go of guilt, learning to savor the good, dealing with imposter syndrome, and much, much more. Tune in here.

Increase Balance and Decrease Burnout:

Carve out time to connect with your friends and prepare for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. On November 7th I am teaming up with Lynn Mull of Redwood Leadership and Cheryl Rutkauskas to bring you a workshop focused on boundaries and prioritization, meditation and mindfulness, and nutrition.

Cheryl will be curating tasty mocktails and dessert while dishing up some nutritional tips for you and your family. Lynn will be giving you the scoop on boundaries with an exercise that will blow your mind. And I will teaching easy 5-minute mindfulness practices to make everyday moments a chance to find calm and feel more connected.

Optimize your energy, let go of guilt, craft a blissful holiday season, and be mindful enough to savor it. Space is limited. Ink it into your calendar now before the holiday season is upon us!

Sign up here and bring a friend!

Have your organization be on the cutting edge — bring mindfulness to work:

Book your mindfulness workshop or keynote here.

Take part in an amazing free online conference:

The Mom Conference is 29 life-changing conversations with parenting experts (I have the pleasure of being one!) It’s online October 1-5th so you can attend while folding the laundry or working out. Sign up here.

Dive in deeper with Mindful Parenting:

I’ve found a parenting course that fully aligns with everything I believe in, and makes real change: Mindful Parenting with Hunter Clarke-Fields. This 8-week program (with a year of support) is the parenting course to get you cooperative relationships with your family without losing your cool.

Why do I recommend this program? Mindful Parenting not only gives you the tools, skills, and exactly what to say to create willing cooperation from your child, but it also gives you the roadmap and practices you need to reduce your reactivity — so you can use those tools! Mindful Parenting starts with an 8-week course, and continues with a full year of access to the course and live coaching calls to give you the support you need to implement what you’re learning. This is not your quick-fix online course. This is a true inside-out transformation that teaches you to disarm your triggers and reduce your stress response so that you can learn exactly what to say to create willing cooperation with your child. I invite you to check out the course through my affiliate link here. This means I may earn a commission should you chose to sign up. It’s okay – I love this program, and you will too!

Have a wonderful rest of your week!


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