Lessons from the Horses #4 – Control (Or Lack Thereof)

Lessons from the Horses #4 – Control (Or Lack Thereof)

October 26, 2011

Just last week, I reflected upon a beautiful story of horses, flow, and magic carpets. I tapped into a lovely nirvana of perfection that lifted my sense of mind/body connection to a whole new level.

Sometimes there are inherent dangers in such a reflection.  Statements like the one below tend to return in bold italics, new fonts, with twinkling lights around them to deliver another lesson.

If I'd been in my head, instead of in my body, it would have been totally different.

You guessed it.  I got to experience with my body (oh yeah, my whole body) exactly how different it could be.

As Monday rolled around again, I confidently showed up for another ride. Ready to repeat last week's success, I was assigned the same ornery horse.

No problem. I've got this. I graduated to a new level last week.
I pulled my confidence up by its bootstraps and away we rode.
Up hills, down hills. In the flow.
Unrestrained by confined trails, there was a request to canter.
In an open field.
On an ornery horse.
(Did I mentioned that already?)

The magic carpet returned!  For about ten seconds.
Instead of floating, I hesitated just long enough to buy into a really little, heavy thought and my energy shifted.  There was a simultaneous unraveling of the magic and the carpet.

"Too fast!" I thought. "I must control this!"
That's all I remember.
She bucked once, then twice.
Suddenly, all that movement jarred to a halt with me to the ground and Dama looking at me from above as a horse will after successfully tossing her load.

“The hell with your control.”  I’m pretty sure that was her message.

After a body part inventory, catching my breath, and climbing back in the saddle, we were riding again. Our energies were so entangled. 

Looking back, I can see that I was still in a stunned, adrenalin induced fight or flight mode and disconnected.  Outwardly, I was trying to act cool and remain in control.  Inwardly, I just wanted to make it back to the barn alive. I was NOT listening to any of the cues my body was giving me.  Dama was ONLY listening to the cues my body was giving her.  It was quite the dance of dissonance between the two of us for a few minutes.

Then I heard the whisper: 
“Jennifer, get back in your body."
"Feel. Allow. What is it you want to do?”

All I wanted to do was cry.
Relieved that I wasn’t hurt.
Relieved that I was back on the horse.
And I wanted to admit that I was scared.
I surrendered and slow tears slid down my cheeks through a stream of release.

And just like that, Dama calmed down.

I was honest.  I was in my body. Even though I was crying and scared and not “in control,” I was fully present.

Now, she could trust me to lead.  

We rode on for another hour.  Not a magic carpet ride, but a calm ride of mutual respect.

In Truth & With Love,



photo credit: LSOphoto 

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