In Native American shamanic traditions, the warrior’s path is one of self-mastery. Within the path there are eight pairs of warrior attributes to be mastered. In each pair there is one masculine and one feminine attribute. In this tradition, POWER is a feminine attribute. It is the ability to stand in a moment and accurately perceive what is needed; and then to respond, for the good of all.
Life today asks most of us to act from STRENGTH, the masculine partner to power. Push to do more; drive for results. We’ve become human doings. The result is we’re all going faster than we’re competent. And we’re burning out, losing touch with ourselves, others and true joy.
Horses rest in being, completely aware of themselves in every moment, alive in connection to each other and the environment. They don’t act until something calls them to do so. And then they return to being. We too have this ability but we’ve lost sight of it in our mad dash for “more.” Rebalancing ourselves by integrating our masculine and feminine sides is essential to bringing a new balance and ease to our families, teams, organizations, and more globally, to government, business and the planet.
Last week I had 27 executives from a national retail chain at the farm for a workshop. Their intention was to better perceive how each of them shows up and the impacts they have on others. They wanted to be more conscious of themselves and their relationships so that they could be better business partners.
My horses are brilliant at this work. And the work can be hard on them. Human energy is often chaotic, ungrounded and ego-driven. We’re unconsciously spewing it about most of the time. Our animals feel it all, and it’s stressful for them. In the past I could only ask a horse to work with 3 to 4 people in an entire day and generally they needed a break after two. Well this day, I had 27 people and only 5 horses I could use. I needed “greater productivity” from them and I wasn’t willing to sacrifice them to the assignment.
That’s all I knew entering the day. I did not know how I would accomplish it. Turned out the answer was easy to find and the results came quickly. All it took was standing in my power.
As soon as I saw a horse begin to stress I stopped until I could feel the right response. I named it as stress for the human participant and then asked us both to take a deep relaxing breath and fill our heart space with gratitude for the horse with us. It never took more than 30 seconds for the horse to release the stress, begin to lick and chew (a gesture of completion) and be ready to engage again.
I was astounded when I noticed that my horses were each working with focus and enthusiasm with up to six people without a break. Even my most sensitive mare, Whoopi, played happily with five people that day. We needed only to acknowledge their stress, relax our energy and express heart felt gratitude for how much they were helping us. Again, all it took was 30 seconds!
At the end of the day the herd was as refreshed as they began it and they didn’t need a couple of days vacation before being ready to go again.
That ‘intervention’ came to me because I stood in my power, sought only the highest good for all, and allowed the answer to come. Had I done anything active or strong I would have only added to their stress and resistance! Instead we all came out of the day joyful, and with fabulous results for the humans and the horses.
I’m a driver by nature…more has always been the right amount for me. The horses have been very patient with me these last 17 years, as I’ve asked repeatedly how to better BE with them and then rushed past any answer they might have given me. I feel I’ve struck gold, not only for myself but for all us humans that just plain don’t feel good about how we go about living our lives today…. professionally and personally.
Experiment with these tips:
- Take a week or two and become more aware of how often you’re PUSHING something…yourself, your kids, your team. Notice how it feels…to you and to them. Pushing creates resistance; the harder we push the greater the resistance.
- When you notice you’re in a contracted state (e.g. pushing, impatient, anxious, angry, worried) STOP! Acknowledge it, breathe deeply towards relaxation and find something for which you’re deeply grateful and fill your heart with the feeling of appreciation. Notice your energy relaxing and expanding.
You might also like to join me and Rose De Dan of Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing on March 23-24, 2013 for our next collaborative and groundbreaking adventure. During this very special weekend we will:
- play with the horses to see how we limit ourselves.
- spend time in sacred ceremony and dialogue with them to discover the way back to our power.
- experience how the horses, and in fact, all animals, can help us to heal and renew ourselves.
- feel the joy of living, loving and leading from a more expanded place
So that we can experience greater ease and productivity in all our human doings!
Until next time, happy trails,
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