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The sisters crossed nursed and raised their piglets: I couldn't even begin to tell you which piglet came from which mother from the very first 5 seconds of life. They all spent the next couple of months nursing (lots of that), sleeping (lots of that), rolling in mud puddles, and playing in the tall grass. At one point they were with the sheep, cattle, and goats all in the same field and what a beautiful sight to see all species napping together under the shade. 

Opportunity

MollyMike Peterson

My Dad has told me several times "Perhaps the best opportunities come about at the most inopportune times." Let that register. What I taught myself about opportunity is that you had to create your own. Hard work, patience, perseverance, and a little bit of luck would bring about any opportunity that you desire. If this were the truth then why would the best opportunities come about when it seems as though our lives are most hectic?

Perhaps that's a sign that however much we feel that we need to be in control, we are ultimately at the hands of the universe. I am completely guilty of this. Sometimes I feel like the more I can control every situation of every day, then I will somehow have control over the outcomes of those situations. Rotational grazing is an example of this. I feel as though I have some type of control over our grazing management with our cattle herds. As much work, preparation, and physical exhaustion that goes into this, I still am at the mercy of the current mood of the cow herd. If an animal decides today is the day they are going to break the fence, get sick, or (worst case scenario) die, then I am there to respond in a reactionary mode. Having the ability to evaluate the scenario and react is incredibly important, but it glosses over the larger problem. Perhaps if we didn’t try to control every situation in our lives, we would have more opportunities to prosper.

I realize that sounds counter-intuitive, but it makes sense to me when you think about the idea from my Dad. When I slip back into the ‘prove it’ mode, meaning my work and my passion are only there to prove to others that I am worthy, I tend to spend 60% of my time in the reactionary mode. If I’m doing a task because I love it and it fulfills my desires, my head is clear, my heart is full, and I spend much less time reacting to a crisis and putting out fires. One of the big issues with always trying to prove yourself is that it’s based on a fear mentality. I’m afraid that I might lose my job at any given point, so I need to work my tail off to prove that I am worthy of being employed. What if I operated from the perspective of gratitude. I am so grateful that I get to do what I love and get compensated for it. How does that feel? Should feel pretty light and present you with the OPPORTUNITY to fulfill your own self. If I rotated our cow herd and planned our rotational grazing because I love it and am grateful for the opportunity to work with these animals, let my face absorb the warm sun, run my hands through the soil, and be open to the results of that work, then these opportunities I am looking for will be presented. Animals will still be animals, but when something unusual happens, I will be much more useful to them when I approach the situation from the perspective of love and gratitude. A cow came down with an illness? That stinks, but what can I learn from this? How can I prevent this in the future? Being angry with her for getting sick and interrupting your day will only make the situation worse.

Operating in ‘prove it’ mode usually means that you’re spending your days with blinders on, so focused on finishing tasks and moving on to the next that you’re going to miss bigger opportunities that may be presented because you won’t recognize them as opportunities, they’ll be presented as a distraction. Living with gratitude will allow you to accept opportunities as they come about, whether it feels like the right time or not. When your life seems most chaotic might be when the best opportunities are presented to you. It’s usually a sign from life that we need to change course, slow down, and be open to what the next step is. Evaluation is important, but listening to your heart will always lead you in the right direction. Learn to listen to it and let it guide you.

-Mike