I’ve been working with a business coach recently which has resulted in me taking a fresh perspective on the work that I do. It struck me how much my work with horses feeds into, and enhances, my therapy practice with people. In this series of 6 posts I’d like to explore what I’ve learnt and how this has influenced my work.
I believe that this is key in my work, and indeed in any relationship.
To me, there are (at least) 3 elements to this:
- connection with Self
- connection with the moment
- connection with the client
1 – Connection with Self
In order to be able to fully connect with another, we need to be true to ourselves. If I’m wearing a mask, the horse will think that something is up. Horses don’t wear masks. They ‘wear their hearts on their sleeves’ and (unless they have shut down due to trauma) they are always clear about their emotions in the moment.
(We might not be able to fully understand the horse’s body language and facial expression but this is something we can learn. If this is something that interests you, I cover it in more depth in my workshops and in Video 6 of the series available through my website: www.equenergy.com)
If I attempt to hide what I’m really feeling, the horse will become suspicious and nervous. To him, you only hide something if there is a threat, so effectively I would be signalling that there is some form of danger, therefore putting him on edge. This, of course, is the last thing I want in a wellbeing session! I therefore need to connect with myself and become aware of what is going on in my body and my emotions:
- Am I holding tension?
- Have I had a stressful journey?
- Have I recently had an upsetting experience?
- Do I need to take a moment to release that energy, or at least to acknowledge it?
- Is this even the right time for me to approach this horse, or do I need some time to deal with my feelings first?
The same is true when working with people. I need to check in with myself and see if I’m holding any emotion or tension which will affect my ability to focus on my client and to run an effective session. We, too, can be very sensitive to subtle clues that someone is distracted or not being fully honest with us. This makes us feel uncomfortable and we unconsciously feel that the person is not to be trusted.
In my work I seek to offer people a safe and non-judgemental space where they can feel free to explore their issues and the solutions that will work for them, therefore it is essential that I ‘show up’ with authenticity and integrity.
In the next post I will look at the other two elements of connection: with the moment and with the client.
If anything here has resonated with you, or you have an issue that you’d like to explore in a safe and non-judgemental space, please contact me:
phone: 07980 669303
You can also see more on my website: www.equenergy.com
Taken from Giving Healing Some Horse Power. You can read the full text here.