My own growth has been huge this clinic, noticing and being present to all sorts of feelings about things that I was so used to, that I hadn’t noticed them before. The three of us teachers have been working quite intensely ourselves too and one of the things I’ve had many ahaa moments about, is how utterly unique our teaching styles are – and yet they are all based in a desire to support you and your horses to reach your goals as happy people with happy horses.
We thought to share these teaching styles insights with you and celebrate our own differences, as a means to emphasise and increase your comfort zone with your own uniqueness.
Let’s start with me. I’m talking about quite a few of the threads of my life here, so that you can start to reflect on all the threads of YOUR life that make up the uniqueness that is you and then the uniqueness that is your horse.
My genetic pre-disposition is disconnection. I suspect that’s why I’m such a good teacher of connection – I personally know all the steps that make it up! lol! Then the violence of my childhood and the fear generated by that, is also a gift that I bring to my work and my teaching style, bringing a big focus on helping human and horse feel safe. Notice that I no longer think of my up-bringing as a negative thing? My experience in life IS what makes me who I am, sensitive to the nuances of safety – mine and others.
My background as a “healer” has me coming at every issue from an overall well-being point view.
What threads of YOUR lives are making up YOUR uniqueness? I’m not asking you to answer that question right now, but to be open to notice the answer some time.
OMGoodness I’ve had some insights over these weeks leading up to this clinic about getting out of “fixing” mode as a healer that is related to all the threads that make up the uniqueness of people and horses. And oh the power of it as we help people to tap into their own innate power – that’s what “healing” and “training” is really all about. I must have done 50 layers of this over the last few months – and that’s only a slight exaggeration! All those insights about how every time I go into me being the “fixer”, I’m basically saying to that person or horse “you are not enough” – not powerful enough, not smart enough, not strong enough, not right enough – to do this yourself. And yet nothing could be further than the truth with a capital T.
I… am… enough…
You are enough. We are ALL enough… My body even, is enough….
What about you makes your glorious uniqueness? What of YOUR glorious enoughness have you not been noticing?
WHAT ABOUT YOUR HORSE, all those ups and down threads of their lives, their health, their well being, makes up their glorious uniqueness? Their enoughness?
So back to the teaching style thing. My teaching style is to get people to feel into their minds bodies and spirits in such a way that each session leaves people more capable of doing their own well being themselves – whether that’s about a health issue or a horse relationship or even a horse “problem/opportunity issue.
My experience of being Present is that it has come in layers, from that simple commitment to not wander off in my head somewhere else when I’m with the horses, all the way to feeling the horses connect and disconnect, feeling the circuit of energy when it’s flowing and when it’s not and very occasionally, something much deeper.
Sue is the most Present person of my personal acquaintance. Some of the stuff we’ve talked about this week has awed me. She’s deeply Present EVERY time she’s with her horses and doesn’t settle for anything less. As we’ve been talking this week I’ve realized why she has that incredible ability to be so in the horse’s skin – and that’s because just about all her lessons have been from the horses themselves – it’s come from listening deeply to them and being guided by the herd themselves into her way of being with them.
Sue brings this deep listening from her horse skills to her teaching. You’ll find her listening and not saying much – and I guarantee that when she does, it will be some small but profound guidance into a different point of view or a practical option. I’ve been working from the car window with Rapunzel increasing her exercise to cope with the spring grass and an ever so casual remark from Sue has us expanding that leading from the car, a little bit more every day into liberty work from the car. Gosh just imagine the possibilities! A whole herd playing at liberty at high speed in a 4 acre paddock? From the window of a car! I am excited about the possibilities and it appears the horses are too.
Caroline’s Heart Feel is enormous. Her open hearted ability to automatically see behind a person or horse’s problems or behaviours or situations, to what’s REALLY going on – that’s a big Heart Feel. And she combines that and the intuition that flows with it, to the practicalities of her training as an equine behaviourist.
It’s that Heart Feel that takes being Present from the time slowing down super awareness thing of martial arts and speed lovers, to an all encompassing “Being At One with everything” that is demonstrated for want of a better word, by this song that Sue dances around with her horses to, called The Rhythm of Life. It seems like it was actually written by someone who had experienced this deep connection with all things, so I thought you would enjoy the lightheartedness of it. If you’re interested, you’ll find the lyrics here.
Sue taps into her rhythm and then their rhythm and it’s the rhythm of the universe. Counting is one way of starting to find rhythm.
Heart Feel, if it’s not our automatic strength, is an intention. I know from personal experience that the admiration I felt for Caroline’s Heart Feel, got me into hot water when I tried to copy it. The thing for me, was to be inspired by it and use my OWN strengths and feelings to find it. I notice that I have a LOAD more automatic Heart Feel these days than I used to have. And it came from both the desire and the INTENTION.
I define Heart Feel as the automatic ability to look beyond the problem and behavior to the Truth of what’s really going on here. Pause and feel into that – where the truth is… And the Truth is what makes things easy – it takes the struggle out. There’s no judgement or making people or horses WRONG in Heart Feel. When we don’t have that as a natural strength ( which I sure didn’t!) then we CAN aspire to it – be inspired by it.
It’s such a big deal, that I’ve asked Caroline to talk more about Heart Feel and also about Intention and Goals and the way they all intertwine. This diagram is one that she’ll use during her explanation. She’s also going to talk about something that happened with her horse Star this week and she and Sue are going to discuss it.
Setting Goals is wonderful for setting you up for progress. However, if your focus is purely on the goal, then you are setting yourself up to miss all the little steps needed to reach your goal. You are setting yourself up to miss out on building your connection. You are setting yourself up to miss your horse trying to communicate with you, and understanding what they are trying to say. You will miss out on so much.
Setting your “Intention” with your goal in mind, opens you up, and makes you available for a more fulfilling, experience rich time with your horse. It opens you up to goals you might not even be aware of. And your journey to your original goal, be it big or small, becomes an expanded experience, for you and your horse, in ways you wouldn’t have imagined by just focusing on setting your goal.
Think for a minute about YOUR intention, YOUR uniqueness, what about YOUR differences is there to celebrate?
What about your horses differences is there to celebrate?
Task/s for the week
Expanding the Feels / connection/ Presence into more tasks where and as appropriate.
Moving into new mentors
Sue and I know Frances so well, that we decided to leave her with Caroline for at least another week. We’re open for that to change for the last week, because we want everyone to get some time with Caroline’s special skills.
So we have Oriana and Marla with me
Mary and Anna-Karin with Sue
Felicity and Frances with Caroline.
Here’s Caroline’s notes from her Heart Feel talk
They won’t be exact, because there was lots of talk and discussion, but I thought it would help those of us who absorb best by reading. 🙂
So I will explain what Heart Feel means to me,…. But before I start….see if you can set your intention, to be OPEN….. to allow something of what you hear to land…. Allow something to resonate and FEEL an understanding flow through you. Just take a moment now…..
Heart Feel, gives me the ability OR the opportunity, to understand a perspective of another person…. It enables me to hear, what they are saying….. without judgement from my perspective….. it enables me to hear what they are saying… without the layers of my own experience. And… it enables me to ‘Listen’…. without having my own thoughts running through my head…. getting ready to give my answer…..
With this as a foundation, it helps me listen….. with an open mind. With an open mind, I am able to RECEIVE AND FEEL a different perspective…… it helps me understand their point of view….. See things from a different angle…. It helps me to feel into the truth.
To see things from a different angle, expands the way I might approach something….. it opens me up to a much bigger bag of tools….. a much bigger bag of ways I might say something…… a much bigger bag of ways I might approach a task with my horse…….. especially… when THEY are trying to say something about it.
All of this, gives THEM the opportunity to feel safe in what they are expressing,….. they feel they are being listened to… and heard….. and with practice…. Understood.
With practice, it gives them the chance to speak to us more quietly….. they don’t feel the need to shout so loud when they are speaking to US…… they learn to trust that we will listen. And with practice…. We learn to hear them, when they ARE speaking quietly…. In the subtle ways that they do….. through their behaviours…. and their body language.
And with practice, if we choose….our Heart will automatically be open to listen……, with every encounter in life…. Whether it’s with our horse….. or a family member….. a friend or stranger.
With an open Heart Feel…. we extinguish anxiety in ourselves…. We extinguish the need to be right, from our own perspective…… and in turn we extinguish anxiety in others who we interact with. We are open, to expand our ways of thinking and feeling in the world…… and we are open to find joy in a new understanding….. or even a new belief.
Here’s something for you to think about and maybe understand….. When someone….. your horse…. is in a good mood, happy, relaxed, content, confident, they don’t act out in an offensive or loud way, they don’t speak in an offensive or loud manner, their energy is good to be around. See if you can think about your horse being in a good mood.
When someone is having a bad day, is upset, stressed, angry, that’s when they are having a hard time about something.
Here is an example…. Someone cuts you up on the road, speeds past, and cuts in right in front of you, maybe they give you a look, or even a gesture. Without heart feel, you might be pissed off, angry, maybe even wanting to retaliate in some way.
With heart feel, you would understand that their day isn’t going so great. Maybe they’ve had a row with a loved one, maybe they’re late for a meeting, they might lose their job, or maybe they’re rushing to the hospital or the vets. Maybe they are rushing to save their dogs life, and the gesture was one of thanks or apologies.
But the best thing with heart feel is, you don’t get hooked into that state of being angry or upset. Your thoughts don’t spend time going over the event, keeping you in a state of being upset, angry, or defensive,…. justifying to yourself, why you should feel that way.
Instead the event slips gently into the past, it has no negative effect on you and you can get on with your day peacefully. You might even find yourself hoping everything turned out ok for them.
That’s the Heart Feel. For me it is on automatically from practice, and it ramps up and gets bigger when I’m in what might be a tricky encounter, with a horse or a person.
At the beginning, I asked you to set your intention to allow some of what you heard, to land or resonate….. To FEEL an understanding flow through you.
What I was doing, was guiding you to open your Heart Feel…… and the words I’ve used are just my way of explaining how Heart Feel feels for me.
Did you feel an understanding for yourself, in your own unique way, did anything land inside for you?
And this leads us into “Intention”… when your Heart Feel is open your intentions feel good…
Discussion around goals and intentions……
our understanding of ‘intention’ being the driver of our goals. Discovering that intention with each interaction sets us up for being open to possibilities, activities and goals which we may not have considered. Expanding our connection in a different, open and expansive way rather than a focused mental way.