The Power of a SPARK

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Monday Morning Message

My oldest daughter Jenna is eight years old and it doesn’t take long when talking with her to begin to discover that one of her sparks is horses.  When she was four years old, she took her first pony ride up in Apple Hill and she was hooked.  She seemed to have an almost immediate connection to horses and in particular Luna, the pony she first rode (which she still rides today).  From that moment on, almost everything she had an interest in involved horses to some degree.   Here are some of the things that I have discovered about how her spark has impacted her growth:

  • Her spark gives her energy and joy[i]

Whenever Jenna is around horses she is more regulated.  It doesn’t matter if she is looking at them, riding them or taking care of them, whenever horses are near, she is happier.  In addition, when Jenna does something around the theme of horses, it elevates her anticipation and she seems to be able to do more things.

  • When it is expressed, she feels alive and useful, that her life has a purpose.

I don’t know how else to explain it, Jenna feels connected and confident when she is around horses.  She knows who she is and what she wants to do with her life (at least at this point).


  • When she is in her spark zone, she loses track of time.

When Jenna is doing something that involves horses (it could be decorating her room with new horse posters), time stands still.  She gets lost in her own little world and it is a very happy world.

  • It cannot be forced on her, in needs to come from inside of herself.

There have been other things that I have tried to encourage Jenna to get involved in, to be honest, many of them are things that I think would be fun and engaging.  Some of these things she has embraced on her own, some of them she has set aside.  When it comes to horses, Jenna initiates and pursues them independent of the influence of others.

  • Her spark is not just about things she likes to do.  It is a prime source of meaning, self-directed action, and purpose in her life.

Jenna loves horses.  Her love of horses comes also from a place of what horses do for her inside, horses are an outlet for her to share with the world who she is as a human being.

  • Her spark has the potential to make the world a better place.

Jenna has already learned so many wonderful lessons from horses.  She has learned to care for others, she has learned about service (her horse riding birthday party this past year supported the care of a horse for two months), and she has learned the value of responsibility.

When we reflect on our own children, the youth in our clubs and even our own lives, let’s remember the value in identifying sparks and the power that this kind of self-discovery provides to the world around us.  Our sparks ignite life and make the world a better place.

[i] Sparks by Peter Benson, Ph.D. p. 19


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