Today I realised it has been almost 10 months since this little pocket rocket (aka Sparky) came into my life. After feeding the all the horses this morning I came to a strong realisation that I would miss him dearly if he were no longer a part of my life. We had "Weathered the Storm". Sparky had taken me through a whirl wind of emotions. First the need to care and protect him. Then the overwhelming sense that I may not be able to help him and that he may always pose as a possible threat to my physical well-being i.e a few bruises from the bites. Finally, the need to let him just be and to see what would come of it. I used many methods to try and reach this little boy who seemed so intent on being near me but at the same time defending himself by biting and barging (even though I was not asking him to do anything). We made it to some solid ground together when we applied the trust method early on in the piece. However his default behaviour shined through and he would return to his biting and barging. I have to admit there were times I had considered that I would need to let him go. That I could not offer what he seemed to need. I think the inner child in me could not come to the same choice as my adult mind and so Sparky remained. Finally I decided to tell him that I had no expectations of him and he could choose what he wanted. More recently though I had thought to change his name to help him settle but I just couldn't do it. I felt as though I was not accepting him but was acutely aware that my safety needed to fit in here too. Time, he just needed more time, would continually play through my head. So that is what he got time. I had a friend remind me of the phrase "stop it, I don't like it" and I used this with Sparky over the last week. He responded very well. I had also asked him that when or if he was ever interested in joining the other horses in working with people he just needed to show me. That very weekend he did. He eyeballed all the participants during at the waterhole gathering up by the fence, peering under the top fence post to get a good view and stayed around for a beautiful scratching session from one of the ladies. This week I hadn't even noticed how he just stayed close in my presence. No biting, no barging just being which brought me to the realisation that not only I but also Sparky had weathered the storm. He is young and maybe it has been a long time since I had a young horse in my life but maybe he just needed to know that he was safe and wanted. Either way, I suspect he will continue to grow and test things like all youngsters and I will continue to learn and be curious about what is happening. I am glad that I had applied a trauma lens to Sparky (4 homes in 3 years) - it allowed me to keep him central in mind and be curious about all the different behaviours and signs but most of all it allowed for time. Time for him and I to really connect, to feel safe with each and to trust. Sparky aka pocket rocket - Thank you for your teachings and here's to growing with you. For those who may think I am quite mad for talking with the horses - remember they may not understand my words but they definitely understand my tone and my energy. Wishing you all the growth from any storm you may have weathered.
Sparky brought another level to his training today. I had observed him standing on his back legs with the 2 mares but never in his training lesson. While he tried out this new behaviour, his trainer did not miss a beat, she stayed calm and relaxed and continued the exercises. Sparky was able to try different approaches and work out what benefited him and what did not serve him. He was able to regulate himself to the calm trainer.
When we look only at the behaviour only we would see a naughty defiant pony, we don't see what is behind it, what is drives that behaviour. It would be easy to punish that behaviour. The way Sparky has reacted is similar to how children can sometime get out of control (out of their window of tolerance.)
For children, the original reaction is under their subconscious. If you can contain yourself the child will be able to regulate to you. When the Childs needs are meet they can feel safe to explore more, learning to regulate and to become independent.
Horses are great teaches on how to regulate. Children learn that they can calm a horse and also that they can elevate a horses energy through their own energy/actions. I observed this first hand with my niece while making a video for my strategy presentation. This is an important lesson that teaches them awareness about themselves and how they can influence others albeit animal or human. So the next time your child reacts not in the way you would like, you might like to ask yourself what does the child need that is causing this behaviour (while staying in your window of tolerance.)
Sometimes our mind is like a balloon floating around not attached to our body. We use our brain to think about every event in our life. (Past, present and future.) We have forgotten to sense into situations using our bodies as well as our mind. Stress, anxiety, tiredness is often caused by over thinking. By reconnecting our body and our mind it gives a more resourceful approach to handling situations in a positive manner. With practice this can be come automatic again.
Have your every been somewhere and felt your stomach do flips or get a slight shake in your hands, felt tightness in your stomach or had sore and stiff shoulders? Your body is no longer talking to you it's screaming at you. When you learn how to listen to your body talking, you can move the pain or stiffness out of your body, bring about awareness which helps to live a more harmonious and comfortable life. The younger you learn, the less you carry around in your body, the healthier you stay.
We use Horses in this therapy for people as they are renowned for reading our bodies even when we can't.
At rebalance your life I use speciality exercises and body scanning exercises with the horses help to re-engage your physical body back with your mind. This can also be coupled with Reike to include balancing your chakras for those inclined.
This is an effective and easy way to learn to self-regulate and start healing your body.
Today while cleaning our the horse trough, I noticed quite a big beetle floating on top of the water. I used my hand to fish it out. It stuck to my fingers like glue. I immediately felt a bit panicked at the sensation of the beetles legs cling to my fingers. At that point I realised that it was imagined fear. I imagined that the beetle was going to bite me and the pain that might come with it. I thought the beetle would never let go of my fingers. I wished I had used a stick to fetch the beetle out. I tried to coax it onto the wooden post at which it felt like the beetle dug into my fingers. Then I just stopped and took a breath. The beetle stopped too. It was no longer threatened. I continued to fill up the troughs while letting the beetle dry out on my fingers. Once that job was finished I looked at the beetle. I looked at it's colour, it's head and legs and realised how beautiful this beetle was. The fear had completely diminished and in it's place was a kind of awe and beauty. I fetched a leaf and coaxed the beetle onto it. It happily moved to the leave and I was able to gently put it back onto the ground. The sensation of the beetles legs moving no longer contained any fear from me. Something so simple made me think how our imagined fear can set us up for panic. I could of swiped at the beetle which did cross my mind. However by not reacting with panic and observing the situation I was able to calmly remove the beetle and keep my fingers intact. I was able through clear thinking and observation stop the panicked feeling that was rising up inside me. I changed my thoughts and changed the outcome to non fear. While at times we do need fear to keep us safe, a lot of times we apply fear with out thought and make a situation worse than what it really is. The next time you feel a fear rising, observe if it is a real emergency or imagined fear. Your outcome may change for the better and your body will thank you for not getting in the flight and fight mode unnecessarily.
Over the past 12 months I have come to realise that great change can occur when we have awareness. To grow awareness you need to practice each day to make it a natural part of your life. To illustrate this I have written an example of deliberate awareness.
Today I walked along the beach and purposely walked in the shallow water. I started by feeling the sand beneath my feet. I felt the water against my legs and noticed the different temperatures while walking along. I sensed the top of the spot where the water covered my ankle and where it met the air. I felt the sun on one side of my body and the cool breeze on the other side. How my legs felt when wadding ankle, then calf deep in the water. Next I lifted my focus from looking down into the sand and water and glanced up at the horizon. I could still see clearly in front of me but now had a wider view. It was beautiful day and seeing the beauty gave me a sense of peace throughout my body. I mentally scanned my body and noticed that in that moment I was free of any pain or stress. In that moment I was at peace. Later I dropped my focus to just in front and observed the tiny fish darting back and forth in front of me, all the different types of shells laying on the sand being washed over by the water. I raised my eyes again and looked around. I could see seagulls resting on the beach, people walking or relaxing and boats in the water. I was alone but not lonely.
Sometimes we go through life on autopilot, if someone stopped and asked us to describe our day we find it hard to recall the little details. Especially what the body was feeling at the time. If we start to add deliberate awareness to our activities it can become like a mediative state. It keeps us out of the past worries or the future uncertainties. If we did this each day to any tasks we can start to live, think and feel more tranquil. The benefits of living in a more tranquil state are numerous. Lower blood pressure just to name one.
For those who find meditating difficult this deliberate awareness is a great way of practicing without the body having to stay still, you are focusing the mind so thoughts are stilled just like you strive to do in meditation. Leaning to feel all the sensations that are happening to both the inside and outside of your body is the start of aligning the mind and body for greater health. Overtime we have learnt to ignore our emotions which can be stored in our bodies when not addressed. There are lots of different reason for not acknowledging our emotions and at times keeps us safe in the beginning. However if not dealt with theses emotions can cause havoc. Let's say you are driving along a dark street with no street lights and you notice your oil light comes on. To be safe you keep driving till your reach a servo where you pull over and address the problem. However if you continue driving for days with the oil light on eventually the car will start to seize or stop altogether. This could take hours, days or months. The human body is the same , overtime it starts to seize or develop diseases.
If we learn to feel and recognise the sensations in our body we can change how our bodies respond. In EFL (equine facilitated learning -horse therapy for people) we learn how to scan our bodies and feel the sensations to bring about strong awareness. This can start to bring up emotions allowing the body to heal and rid itself of stuck emotions and energy. Practicing awareness with everyday task is one of the best gifts you can give your body and it is free but for those who have stuck emotions and or energy and would like some help clearing these energies, please contact me about a round yard horse facilitated body scan. This is a safe method even for those whom are nervous around horses.