If you want the full experience, listen to the reading of this blog so you are able to close your eyes and fully immerse yourself in the story.
Imagine yourself sitting on the ground, legs crossed. The sky is blue, the air is warm, and you are sitting in the shade of a giant oak tree. As you sit, tears wet your cheeks. Not because of the beauty of the day, but because of who is sharing that space with you.
It’s not a person, no- but it is a being. A being with thoughts and feelings and presence. In fact, it’s very presence is invoking the feelings which are in turn causing the tears. It’s physical presence is large, which under normal conditions, is enough to bring anxiety to the surface. But these conditions aren’t normal. It’s a first for you, actually.
How you got here, sitting on the ground, in the presence of this large being? You were invited to follow your instincts, your desires, as you forged a relationship with this horse. And 3 days into the process, you find yourself being drawn to sit in the round pen where your equine partner stands. Not to sit right next to her, but a few feet away from her, giving her space to choose.
And to your surprise, she chooses to come near. Not in a rushed or aggressive manner, but curiously. Gently. She comes and stands right behind you, so her legs are right behind your back and her neck and head are hovering over you. Your rational brain quickly analyzes the risk, the need to self-protect kicks in. For a split second, that part of you initiates a desire to stand, to move, anything but stay put.
But something else inside of you beckons you to stay. Somewhere inside, you actually do feel safe. That the connection being offered here is real. That there is something to discover on the other side of your fear.
As Leta lowers her head next to yours, you feel her warmth, her breath, and those healing waters flow even more freely. Things start to click in your heart and mind. That you can trust. That there is something to be gained through vulnerability. That just because something/someone can hurt you doesn’t mean they will. And all of a sudden you feel as safe as if you were curled up in bed reading a book.
You feel her legs against your back. She shifts her feet in the slightest and you jump a little, reverting back to anxiety. But as you return to calm, you settle in a little deeper to the moment. You actually lean into her legs a little, appreciating the quiet strength she is offering. You know this won’t last long, but the memory will forever be imprinted in your mind- the picture of the safety experienced in true connection.
It’s a picture of you relinquishing your power, sitting on the earth, offering nothing but your being. It’s a picture of her relinquishing her power as well, standing still above you. The choices that forged the way for this moment. The relational connection. The trust.
When you finally stand, fifteen minutes later, there are no words. Just tears of joy, of being known, of knowing another. There is a sense of reverence for the beautiful connection that was just shared.
Questions for Reflection:
What or who did you first imagine before the “being” was identified as a horse? Consider what significance there may be to that, if any.
When was the last time you moved through fear, either in a relationship or in a circumstance? What did you find on the other side ?
Reflect on the relationships in your life in which you allow yourself to be most vulnerable. Think back to the beginnings of that relationship and the steps it took to get to that place of trust and connection where vulnerability can happen.
Now consider a circumstance or relationship where you want to take a risk (vulnerability is inherently “risky”). Imagine yourself taking that risk and what positives may come on the other side of your fear. We are so good at imagining the negative outcomes, but give yourself permission to imagine the positive. Sit with that and know that the choice is always yours. You only have to take the next step if you want to!
Stay tuned for Part Two of this blog! This story was a real experience I had at a training and I’d love for you to hear about the significance this experience had in my life.