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The Project:

One Mustang directly off the range, One Trainer, Many Students, Communication through body language, Tools used only for safety, never to train


The Goal:

To discover how far Equestrian Art can be developed solely using body language.


Choosing Life


My sister once said to me, “The only thing you can count on in life is change.” I am sure I was in the midst of a depressive episode at the time, and positively sure the grief I was feeling would never pass. At the time she said it to me I couldn’t believe it, but it has stuck with me anyway, able to sink in later when my mind was clearer and become one of those anchors of belief that keep me on track when things feel like they will never be right again.


Having just flown into New York City for the premiere of the movie “Taming Wild”, I find myself in the most beautiful, peaceful, brilliant elation. The world is so full of wonder it is almost unbelievable and life feels gorgeous.


I am reminded of Robin Sharma’s quote:

“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”


Not only do I believe that the one thing you can count on in life is change, I also believe change is a fairly constant state that we all resist to some extent. We resist it because of the ebb and flow of feeling that goes with it. I experience the shifting emotional states perhaps more extremely than most, because of my personal experience with bipolar condition. However, I think everyone feels it to their own degree.


When things start to change, it can feel hard, then messy, and then, as we get comfortable, it feels gorgeous. This can be plugged into Csikszentmihalyi’s chart that I love to think about when addressing the state of flow. When we look at change, we look at potentially doing something challenging enough – we do not have enough skill for it and that feels hard, and then messy as we gain the necessary skills. Then at some point our skills and our challenge start to match, and that is that perfect place of being in the flow, in the zone – life feels gorgeous!


Last night, in a beautiful little French restaurant in Brooklyn with another one of my sisters and her husband, I felt so deeply in the flow of life and perfection. We were talking about making the movie “Taming Wild” and the five-year journey I have been on. My sister asked me, “What was the hardest part?”


Looking back, I had to say the hardest part was persevering – there were so many beginning again moments when I felt like I didn’t have the skills for this, and it was too hard, and was never going to work. During every one of those moments I needed to remember: change is the only constant, show up, do what you can do, and learn what you need to learn. Something will shift, and gradually it will go from feeling hard to just feeling messy… and then one day you realize it doesn’t feel messy anymore, it feels gorgeous. This is life at its best!


You have to revel in those moments, soak them up and luxuriate in them. I talk about this all the time with Myrnah’s process and working with the horses; rest on the moments that are about connection. That thing that you want, just keep moving until you feel a little closer to it; then pause there, breath it in, and enjoy THAT moment. Soon enough you are going to reach a little farther and realize you don’t have the skills for that reach yet; it’s going to feel hard and you just have to keep moving until you gain the skills needed to get the job done. Gaining skills feels messy, and then using those skills so hard won…. That is perfection.


When you feel life as extremely as I do, there is a way of being that becomes necessary for survival. Choosing life.


I know that sounds excessively dramatic, but here is how it works for the overly emotional. (This is important, because I think a great many horses fall into this category of overly emotional, and, if we can help them choose life when they feel like this, we have made the world a better place for everyone.) When emotions run hot, it is hard to believe that change is inevitable. Whatever we feel right now feels so rich and real, it feels like it is going to last forever!


It becomes absolutely essential to break process down to small manageable pieces. If we reach too far, look too far ahead, take on a challenge that is too big, that beginning stage is so hard sometimes death feels like a better option than moving forward. And then the messy stage of developing skills, that feels so messy it isn’t even worth it, why bother, why not give up… becoming despondent and frozen is tempting. When emotions run this hot, taking on something too big can feel akin to choosing death instead of life.


So how did I do this? Why did I choose to take on such a huge challenge? Was it worth it?


Absolutely yes, worth every moment! I think I did it because we get out of life what we put into it, and big challenges have big pay offs. I got it done by taking only one small piece at a time. I learned how to keep my head down and stay focused on the task at hand through the hard and the messy until it started to feel good, then I could take a breather, come up for air, and look ahead at the larger goals and wider view. Then, when I felt rested and at peace with the world, I dove in again embracing the hard and the messy until I could find another moment that felt good. Ahhh, yes, there it is; that is why I do this, this is what if feels like to choose life!


Change is inevitable – Embrace it. Just remember, we each have our own emotional journey to take through it. Choose life, break it into pieces you can manage and just do one at a time.


If you are like me, before you know it you have made a movie, and you are looking back in wonder and awe: How in the world did that all happen?


One piece at a time – choosing life – that’s how.

What is it you want to do? How are you going to break it down into sections that let you choose life again and again and again?


There is a question worth pondering….


Elsa Sinclair



  1. Beautiful post, Elsa. So glad as you approach you experience your premier, life feels beautiful and gorgeous. And as I read your words you just mapped out your way forward in your trauma work. From hard or even impossible to really messy and painful to beautiful and life affirming. I hope you are celebrating and reveling in the joy and accomplishment and breathing and drinking it in to the very depths of your heart and soul. Warmest Regards, Mark.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Your current state of being is beautifully reflected in this wonderful post. So many spiritual seekers remain forever “seekers” ….. always looking outside of themselves to attain “enlightenment”, always trying to “get there” but destined to never arrive because that which can only be experienced, can only be felt, cannot be grasped by the mind. You have dived into life and experienced it directly ….. and fortunately for us you have the skill to then put that into words afterwards so that we can see and appreciate the road you have travelled. Hopefully we will be inspired to let go of the endless seeking and realize that LIFE is HERE NOW …… to be experienced.

    I am sure your film will have the same inspirational qualities as your writing ….. so looking forward to seeing it! Thank you for your inspirations Elsa and enjoy every single moment of this Golden Moment in life that you have created ….. enjoy the premiere and all the positive energy that it generates ….. and then remember your own words ….. “this too will pass” …… but it will not be a sad passing, it will make space for even more joy and creativity to come into your life. This emotional high will inevitably be followed by a kind of “low” but as you say so well in your post we can all take comfort in the knowledge that it is just part of the ebb and flow of life ….. “and this too will pass” ….. you can count on that …. it is impossible to be exceedingly happy and joyous every moment of life just as depressive moments thankfully pass in time …… remembering “this too will pass” we can be internally at peace, come what may.

    Best wishes for a memorable “red carpet” evening! 🙂


  3. Thank you thank you thank you I can truly hardly wait to see your film and can relate to every word you share. Connie Funk

  4. I don’t know how you do it Elsa, but your blogs keep getting deeper and richer. The words in this blog hit me right in my core, and made me realize how often I do not choose life… A hard but very important realization… Thank you for making me see.

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