Category Archives: Self Awareness

A Journey to Horsanity

Chances are if you are reading this, if you are not yet a horse owner, you are at the least someone who’s dreams resonate to the to sound of galloping hooves or the distant neigh on the wind. As horse owners, riders, lovers, dreamers  we are all, to some extent, aware of the almost mystical hold they have on us. In our horses we find something that talks to us without words, that binds us with emotion,  that both calms and excites our energy. It is not an accident that the horse has accompanied humans in their journey through the ages from wandering hunters to cubicle dwelling knowledge workers .

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Those ancient hunters did not have our sophistication of language, of tools, of machines to do some of our thinking for us. Rather, like the horse, they survived by being able to absorb and interpret the subtle changes in the world around them, to know without needing to analyze, to connect without having to explain. As we have flooded our bodies with the energy of our thinking brain, of our worry about the past, our concern about the multiples possibilities of the future, of the endless what if’s we have lost touch with being fully in the present with our bodies. We have silenced the messages of our emotions in response to everyday life and decisions, sidelining them into a small part of our lives, distrusting their power, their ability to trip up our rational, dispassionate, logical thoughts. Yet thoughts that do not listen to the messages of our energy, that rely purely on words, miss the largest part of what both others and our own bodies are trying to communicate.

Those of us lucky enough to have horses in our daily lives, even if not consciously aware of it, are able to take that metaphoric walk alongside the horse to that place where we can live in the now. By tuning into them, we tune out the maelstrom left over from our day at work. By joining the horse in the now, we find our own sanity.

Thus three women, corporate warriors all, were brought together through their knowing, from their horse sponsored sanity, to designs journeys for others to embark on; reigniting the creativity and innovation and leadership so much needed in our, doing, striving, busy corporate world. To bring together the wisdom of the horse and the creativity of the human. To open the doors of self-knowledge and awareness and to build paths to understanding and working with each other. To look not just at the individual but to look at the whole system in which they operate. To look at an organisation not as a machine which works like clockwork, each part meticulously carrying out it’s predetermined function, but as an organism that must always adjust and accommodate in order to reach peak performance. To take people out of their four walls into the paddock where they can reconnect with a forgotten or hidden self, but also take that approach back into the design of long term cultural change and leadership development initiatives.  To create Horsanity.

Love is 2

On this we agree

There is a joke that says that there is only one thing two horse “experts” can agree on (and expert is used very loosely here) and that is that the third horse expert is wrong.

We can agree on breed but disagree on discipline, or we can disagree on discipline but agree on colour or disagree on colour but agree on tack. We can disagree about just about every manner of husbandry, training or any other thing remotely connected to our beloved equines.

There is one thing, however, that we can probably all agree on. What goes in one end, must come out the other end. Our gorgeous, powerful, dainty, impressive, cute, old, young, tired, playful, strong, timid, fearless equines are all, without exception, perfect machines for turning green stuff into brown stuff. And that means someone has to clear it up, and it is never them.

That is why they have us a body slaves.

More than you need to know? Why am I telling you this?

You can treat it as a mindless task. A mechanical picking up and clearing up whilst your mind wanders off to think about the argument you had with you boss this morning, or how you can attract the attention of the cute bloke at the feed store. There are a multitudes of tasks like this that we do in a day; and so the day slips past, half unnoticed and we wonder where all the time has fled. So I have started applying a form of mindfulness to “poo patrol”. It has its practical side of course, you can tell a lot about the health of your charges by considering their poo. Does it look different today? How many little piles and so on. That is not what I mean however. I mean being fully vested in the process and aware of my surroundings . Instead of think about the emails still to attend to,the bills to pay, the shopping list I keep my attention on the sun on my back, the feel of bending and straightening and lifting and tipping. Of the sounds of the birds, a car in the distance, even the faint sound of a train.

Surprisingly having my attention on the now of what I am doing seems to make the job go faster but the time is not lost, instead it expands. I can move on to those other tasks without the tail chasing feeling of never catching up because I have experienced every moment as it occurs.

And of course it can be applied to everything we do, not just picking up poo. Living life to the fullest does not have to mean a bottomless pocket and a candle that burns at both end as you grasp at more and more experiences, but rather getting more and more out of each experience you have by being present to it.

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Do you have the courage to step into your internal unknown?

For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid

There is a country to cross you will
find in the corner of your eye, in
the quick slip of your foot–air far
down, a snap that might have caught.
And maybe for you, for me, a high, passing
voice that finds its way by being
afraid. That country is there, for us,
carried as it is crossed. What you fear
will not go away: it will take you into
yourself and bless you and keep you.
That’s the world, and we all live there.

William Stafford
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We cannot live only for ourselves

Whether these words are derived from the works of Herman Melville or the sermon by Henry Melvill is but one of the ripples that affect the web of inter-connectivity. It is the message in the words that is important.  And it extends beyond man. Written in the 19th century man was held separate from other animals, from the fabric of the planet, but now we know that the inter-connectivity goes far beyond our species and that the whole planet is just a large system made up of a myriad cascading smaller systems.

When I go out and be with my horses I carry with me every thing else that has happened up to that point. I can choose to let that wash over them, not so good if I am angry or upset or just frazzled. Or I can choose to open myself to them and let my human hurts and concerns float away into the past, and instead just accept the now of their world.

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