Deepening your connection – Part 5

Other ways of supporting your own wellbeing and balance include:

  • taking time-out for yourself
  • meditation / mindfulness
  • physiotherapy / chiropractic / massage sessions
  • a healthy diet
  • getting sufficient sleep
  • complementary therapies (eg homeopathy, aromatherapy Bach Flower remedies, EFT, healing, etc) 

I personally offer a range of support which can be used face-to-face or at a distance:

  • MetaHealth : This sees dis-ease as a process and, by analysing what is going on for the person, it can trace back to find the original trigger behind the symptoms. The practitioner can then suggest ways in which the trigger can be addressed directly, and cleared, allowing the person to make the journey back to good health.
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) : this uses the same meridian lines followed by Traditional Chinese medicine, however without the needles! It helps to clear blocked traumas and so is a very effective therapy.  It can be used with a wide range of issues including chronic pain, anxiety, limiting beliefs, allergies and phobias.
  • Energy Healing / Reiki : This is a wonderfully relaxing therapy which encourages your body to naturally move into the parasympathetic cycle of rest and repair. It can be used to support a wide range of issues including:
    • healing of injuries
    • detoxification (eg after chemotherapy of giving up smoking)
    • pain relief
    • balancing
    • a sense of wellbeing and calm
  • Nutrition : I am currently studying to be a nutritional therapist and I can advise you on ‘clean eating’ to support health and wellbeing

 

The information in this article was taken from my workshops and video series on giving horses a more natural lifestyle and the benefits that this brings, not only to them but to their owners / carers.  To see more, please follow this link:

www.equenergy.com/horse-care-video-series

If you have comments or questions about anything in this article, or if you would like to book a session with me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: 

            email:              robyn@equenergy.com

mobile:           07980 669303

You can also read more about me and my work on my website: www.equenergy.com

 

(Read the full article here)

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Deepening your connection – Part 4

Given that horses are such sensitive animals it is also very important for us to take good care of ourselves.  This is true physically, emotionally and mentally as any imbalances could affect the horse and his behaviour in negative ways:

  • If we are physically out of balance then this will affect how we sit on the horse, and our aids will be different on one side compared to the other.

    As soon as a rider gets on a horse it changes the horse’s shape and balance considerably. Horses move differently at liberty compared to having just a saddle on, and very differently again with a rider on board.

  • If we are out of balance emotionally or mentally, even just ‘having a bad day’, the horse will pick up on this and it will affect his mood too.

As humans, we often live in a busy, fast-paced world, and have learnt to turn down our sensitivity.  We must often come across as uncomfortably loud and pushy to our equine friends!

Their way of being is much softer and more subtle, meaning that we might miss their signals because we drown them out with our own noise and busy-ness.

Using our breath and getting present can help to:

  • bring our energies down
  • calm our rushing, busy minds
  • bring ourselves more into focus and alignment
  • open ourselves to the world and communication of the horse.

breath

If we are not used to doing this, it can take a little time to tune in at first – to calm our busy minds and find that inner stillness – but the effort will be worth it!  I recommend taking a look at the work of Jenny Rolfe and James French to help with this.

When we are relaxed and grounded our horses will pick up on this energy and respond to it.  They in turn will feel calmer and happier and consequently will be more able to respond to what we ask for – and our asking will be clearer!

We also benefit in that we become more receptive to them, being quicker to pick up on anything that feels a little ‘off’ and therefore being able to respond in a timely and appropriate way.

This kind of interaction will quickly build a deep rapport and trust between you and your horse and he will really open up to you.  Your relationship will reach a whole new level.

When we begin to listen in this way, our horses will teach us so much!  On one level they mirror what is going on inside us, bringing us face-to-face with our own energy, which we, so often, are not fully conscious of.  (If you would like to explore this further and how it can benefit you and your horse you might like to take a look at Rosie Withey’s work through Horses as Teachers: http://www.horsesasteachers.co.uk/)

The information in this article was taken from my workshops and video series on giving horses a more natural lifestyle and the benefits that this brings, not only to them but to their owners / carers.  To see more, please follow this link:

www.equenergy.com/horse-care-video-series

If you have comments or questions about anything in this article, or if you would like to book a session with me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: 

            email:              robyn@equenergy.com

mobile:           07980 669303

You can also read more about me and my work on my website: www.equenergy.com

 

(Read the full article here)

Deepening your connection – Part 2

The tension that we sometimes see in our domestic herds is due to the unnatural conditions in which we keep our horses.  There could be perceived competition for precious resources – eg food, water or space – or frequent changes in their surroundings or herd members resulting in them exhibiting stressed behaviours. 

In addition, when we see the strength and power of these large animals we often feel that we need to keep control by dominating them, and this causes them to fear us and the punishments that we give.  These punishments make no sense to horses.  To them, their behaviours are seeking to avoid a fight.  They prefer a quiet life because, as a prey animal, fighting within the herd wastes energy and distracts you from looking out for prey.

scaredIf we focus on dominating horses, this will come across as aggressive and the horse could feel threatened.  This could push him into one of the stages of the fight / flight response:

 

  1. fidget
  2. freeze
  3. flight
  4. fight

In any of these stages, we have lost his attention because he is focused solely on diffusing or avoiding the tension that he feels.  If we don’t understand his signals, and think that he is deliberately misbehaving, we might resort to punishment which only adds to his fear and distress.

Also if he is tied or being ridden, any attempts to get away will probably be futile adding to his stress and possibly causing him to shut down. 

Another problem with using punishment is that the horse will probably not make the connection between what he has done, and the punishment he is given.

For example:

A horse refuses a jump and the rider comes off.

If the rider then picks himself up and goes to shout at the horse, who is now calmly grazing nearby, the horse will not understand.  To his mind he has moved on and is just looking after himself.

Even if the horse does make the connection, he is learning what is not wanted, not what is wanted.

Fear based relationships are unstable and unpredictable.  The horse might comply as long as he is more scared of the human than the environmental trigger.  But what happens when something comes along that is more scary than the human?

Viewing things from the perspective of dominance versus yawnsubmission also means that we are less likely to spot the subtle signs that horses use to maintain herd cohesion and harmony. eg

  • looking away
  • yawning
  • stretching
  • licking lips
  • relaxed ears

When working with a horse (or any animal) it is very important to be consistent and clear, with the signals we use, our boundaries and even our behaviour / mood.  Doing this helps the horse to feel safe around us because he comes to see us as predictable and learns that he can trust the relationship.  This particularly applies if you are not the only person working with the horse.  If he gets different signals from different people, it could be confusing for him.

Our signals also need to be clear, that is, not contradictory.  Sometimes horses struggle because we think we’re saying one thing, but our body language / energy is actually saying something very different.  For example if we’re trying to teach boundaries to a horse when we’re not clear about holding these for ourselves.

The information in this article was taken from my workshops and video series on giving horses a more natural lifestyle and the benefits that this brings, not only to them but to their owners / carers.  To see more, please follow this link:

www.equenergy.com/horse-care-video-series

If you have comments or questions about anything in this article, or if you would like to book a session with me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: 

            email:              robyn@equenergy.com

mobile:           07980 669303

You can also read more about me and my work on my website: www.equenergy.com

 

(Read the full article here)

Deepening your connection – Part 1

looking-with-heart

In this series of 5 blogs I will look at the interaction between our horses and ourselves:

  • how we can develop a deeper understanding and connection with our equines

  • how having us in their lives affects them

  • how we can do our best for the horses in our care

bossThe traditional approach to working with horses has been to assume that we need to establish who is the ‘boss’.  Horses are generally bigger and stronger than us and so people have tended to believe that we need to hold a dominant position in relation to them.  Many of us have also been taught that this model is taken from how horses organise themselves in the wild.  We hear stories of the lead stallion, or the alpha mare, and while there is some truth in this, the reality is more complex. 

In fact, horse herds often act as a single entity.  They will spread leadershipthemselves out to graze, each animal facing in a different direction, effectively giving them an all round view to watch out for predators.  A horse’s usual way of interacting is therefore one of cooperation, synchronisation and leading / following, rather than dominance.  Any member of the herd who sees a threat can lead the others, by starting to run.  The rest sense the movement and follow.  This cooperation encourages cohesion within the herd, allowing them to live together peacefully, so maximising their chances of surviving.  The horses will also follow leads in terms of moving off to look for new grazing or water.

In the day-to-day life of the herd, horses tend to defer to those who are older or more experienced.  These horses are the ones who appear calm and assured, rather than those who are nervous, or even bossy.  Horses like to feel safe, and they are attracted to those who make them feel this way.  They are also very sensitive to the energy of others and they can quickly assess who makes them feel relaxed and who doesn’t.

In the next post I’ll look at why domesticated horses sometimes appear to be less co-operative.

 

The information in this article was taken from my workshops and video series on giving horses a more natural lifestyle and the benefits that this brings, not only to them but to their owners / carers.  To see more, please follow this link:

www.equenergy.com/horse-care-video-series

If you have comments or questions about anything in this article, or if you would like to book a session with me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: 

            email:              robyn@equenergy.com

mobile:           07980 669303

You can also read more about me and my work on my website: www.equenergy.com

 

(Read the full article here)

 

What happens in an equine healing session and how does it work?

If you’ve never had a session of Reiki or Energy Healing it can seem a bit ‘out there’ so I thought I’d share a little more about what happens in a typical session and why this is such an effective therapy.

When working with horses I generally start a session by taking some time to just be quiet, using my breath and my body language to help them relax.  I also try to get a sense of how they’re feeling: for example, are they confident, anxious, excited or withdrawn?  I then follow their lead.  Some prefer me not to come to close, while others are happy for me to place my hands on various points of their body.  They will sometimes also indicate the areas where they want attention, for example by looking round at their flank or a leg, or by moving and positioning themselves under my hands.  I constantly watch their body language to see how they are responding.  Licking their lips, chewing and blinking are signs that they are processing.  Yawns, sighs and stretches are signs of releasing.

sam-yawning

Flicking ears, twitching muscles or a swishing tail can indicate areas of discomfort or tension.  I’m also watching the eyes to see if the horse is beginning to relax. This can even progress to the point where the horse begins to doze.

sleepy-dave-3

So what’s going on that causes this to happen?

Most people are probably aware that the brain gives off electromagnetic signals, but did you know that the heart also has an electromagnetic field, and that this is much stronger?  This is how we can sometimes sense what another person is feeling, and why feelings can be ‘contagious’.

heart-em-field

Research by the HeartMath Institute (https://www.heartmath.org) has looked at something called ‘entrainment‘.  This is where one person’s electromagnetic field affects another’s, causing it to fall into the same pattern.

heart-entrainment

This diagram is taken from “Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance: An Overview of Research Conducted by the HeartMath Institute

This is what is happening in a Healing session.  I hold a particular energy – in this case focusing on relaxation and appreciation – and offer this to the horse for them to share.

Relaxation is a vital part of wellbeing.  In order to be healthy we need to find a good balance between activity and rest.  The same is true for horses.  If something disrupts this balance it can lead to dis-ease.  The body is an intelligent system and it generally knows how to restore its equilibrium.  All cells have an inner ‘blueprint’ of how they are supposed to behave: if the skin is torn or a bone gets broken, the body knows how to repair the damaged cells, returning the injured area to its original state.  When the body is stressed , however, it goes into ‘flight or fright’ mode and is unable to give its energy to restoration and repair.   This is the Sympathetic Nervous System.  It produces hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol preparing it for attack or escape and distracting it from maintaining the healthy blueprint.

In contrast, when the body is relaxed it enters the Parasympathetic Nervous System which allows for improved digestion and repair.  Energy healing encourages the body to enter this state and to redirect its energies back to creating a state of wellbeing.  This makes it a highly effective and complementary therapy which can be used for a wide range of issues.  It also has no negative side effects.  For example it can be used to support:

  • the immune system Ÿ
  • cell repair
  • detoxification Ÿ
  • enzyme function
  • oxygen uptake Ÿ
  • absorption of nutrients
  • wound repair Ÿ
  • pain relief
  • balancing Ÿ
  • release of endorphins
  • a sense of wellbeing and calm

Research has shown that “horses are sentient beings…reflecting various emotional states when stressed or happy” – Ellen Kaye Gehrke, Ph.D.

Gehrke and her team studied Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and discovered that when they put a horse together with a human:

“The horses perceived, in the moment, coherent or incoherent human HRV and began reflecting that human HRV in their own behavior. It became apparent that the horse’s heart rate would synchronize with the human’s”

This has profound implications for the horse-human bond.  Horses pick up on what we are feeling and their behaviour mirrors those feelings back to us.  For this reason it can be very beneficial for people to share an energy healing session with their horse.  Not only will it help them both to feel relaxed and promote wellbeing, it will also enhance the bond of love and trust between them, allowing them to work more effectively as a team.

If this sounds like something that would be of interest to you, please contact me for further information or to book a session:

email: robyn@equenergy.com

mobile: 07980 669303

You can also see more on my website: equenergy.com

 

References

Can I avoid networking?

networking

This was the question I asked myself when, earlier this year, my business coach advised that this was a necessary next step for me.  My only experience of networking to this point was a meeting of my local Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and I had felt so out of my depth that I didn’t relish the thought of having to do that sort of thing on a regular basis.  I can tend towards being an introvert, particularly in new situations where I feel out of my comfort zone, and I have generally avoided speaking in front of groups of people, so networking was rather unappealing and my brain was frantically trying to think of excuses and alternatives to avoid this situation that it predicted would end in embarrassment and discomfort.

My coach, however, persuaded me to join her at her next 4N breakfast meeting.  This was a more informal setting and I had more of a chance to speak with the other attendees and realise that they were regular human beings.  They were a lovely bunch and welcomed me with open arms, but I still didn’t feel that I really fitted in.

I then remembered another group that a recent contact had recommended to me.  I felt that she and I worked in similar fields and were also alike in disposition so I thought I’d look into the group that she belonged to.  This led me to visiting my local Women Mean Biz group.  It’s not actually the one that my colleague goes to but it’s about 10-15 minutes from my home so I thought I’d dip my toe in the water there first.

The group was very welcoming and also very relaxed.  It was smaller and more intimate which suited me, and as it turned out I already knew one of the members.  I was still nervous doing the 60 second presentation about my work, but I got through it without major incident and survived!  I wasn’t sure that there were any businesses there that I could immediately connect with – my work is very niche and very different from the accountants, solicitors and estate agents represented there – but I felt more comfortable with this form of networking and actually considered becoming a member of Women Mean Biz.

I returned home and decided to visit their website to explore this further.  While browsing I spotted the group that my colleague belongs to and thought I could visit them too.  I had discovered that the format used by Women Mean Biz felt like a good fit both for me and for my business and knowing that a colleague in another group was working in a similar niche convinced me that it would be worth visiting there despite the fact that it’s about an hour’s drive from my home.

As soon as I arrived at the venue I knew I was going to enjoy the meeting!  The group meets in Combe Grove Manor Hotel on the outskirts of Bath.  The grounds of the hotel are stunningly beautiful with woodlands and spectacular views.  The hotel itself has recently been refurbished and boasts some amazing artwork and furnishings.  In addition the food is delicious – even for me as a vegan!

combe grove

As soon as I entered the room where we were to have lunch I was greeted warmly and made to feel at home.  I instantly felt that this lovely group of women was a ‘fit’ for me.  It is very relaxed and, well, cheerful!  The group leader, Maria, is a perfect example of this – always upbeat and very easy to talk to.

I joined Women Mean Biz a few months ago and in that time I feel that I have benefitted so much from being a part of the Bath Combe Down group.  We meet on the second Tuesday of every month and it’s wonderful to have that opportunity to share time with such an amazing group of business women.  They might be relaxed and cheerful but they are also focused and proactive.

wmb

Our meetings start at 12:00 with the chance to catch up and do some informal networking for half an hour.  We then sit down to a ‘working lunch’ where we go round the group, each giving our ’60 seconds’.  There is then a Member’s Slot followed by a guest speaker and then the opportunity to raise any issues that you might be having with your business to see if others can offer suggestions or advice.  We finish with a ‘Thank you’ round where everyone has the chance to thank others for referrals, contacts and 1:1 meetings.

I was rather taken aback to be approached by Maria to be the ‘Member of the Month’ a couple of months ago.  As I said earlier I am not comfortable speaking in front of people.  I can get through the 60 seconds – still with some nerves but knowing that I can read from a script if I choose – but a whole 10 minutes!?  I think I’d been assuming that as I was relatively new I would have several months – hopefully a year or more – before this was asked of me.  But how could I refuse?  Wasn’t this what I was there for?  To challenge myself and to reach out and make connections (which included letting people know more about what it is I actually do)…

I convinced myself that as this is a small group of lovely women who have become good friends it was a ‘safe’ environment in which to speak, but as it turned out there were lots of guests that particular day and so I was faced with a larger than normal sea of faces, many of whom I didn’t know.  I was extremely nervous but quitting would be more embarrassing than trying!  I was acutely aware that the information I would be sharing was probably very new to most people there and perhaps not even in their area of interest.  All those faces seemed to be staring blankly at me as I ploughed on through to the end of my slot.  When I finished there was a pause… and then lots of questions poured forth!  I learnt a valuable lesson that day – blank faces does not mean people have switched off!  They were just taking it all in and processing it.  It was such a great confidence booster to hear all the positive comments and also to get people signing up for the taster sessions that I offered.

We also meet outside of the group, for 1:1 sessions, to find out a little more about the other members and their businesses.  This is the part that I like best and where I feel I get the most benefit.  It feels like an extended family where everyone is supporting everyone else and willing you to succeed.  The organisation also provides great training – often for free – on things like creating a compelling ’60 seconds’ and how to get the most out of a 1:1.  I also recently attended a workshop on how to use Facebook to help grow your business.

Through this process I have discovered that there are lots of networking options out there and there’s bound to be one that suits you.  They range from formal to informal and from large to small.   I can now say that I’m glad I didn’t listen to my fears and excuses.  It took a while but I’ve found the group that works for me.  So if you’re setting up a new business, or wanting to grow the one you have, I recommend trying out some groups until you find the one that is right for you.

If you think our group sounds like one you’d like to try then you are very welcome to pay us a visit.  Why not come along to a meeting and enjoy the glorious scenery, the delicious lunch and some fun social time – with the added advantage of it being ‘work’ towards building your business!  To see the dates of our upcoming meetings follow this link: Bath Combe Down meetings

There are several of these groups already up and running and there is a new one launching in Shepton Mallet on Monday 3 October from 12:00 – 14:00 at Bannatyne’s Charlton House Spa Hotel.  Click on this link for further details: Shepton Mallet launch

In addition the organisation is now branching out to run groups to include men as well.  These will be called We Mean Biz and will be launched at the Radisson Blu hotel, Broad Quay Bristol on Monday 26 September, again from 12:00 – 14:00.  Click on this link to see more: We Mean Biz launch

 

Interview

I was recently interviewed by Sue Ellam of Soulfully Connecting.

Sue says:

When the idea for Soulfully Connecting unfolded, I searched far and wide for somewhere that linked all the people that were benefiting the planet and couldn’t find anything.  There are lots of fantastic people and businesses doing wonderful work, but it took me a lot of time and research to find them – they never seemed to hit the mainstream media.  It occurred to me that the corporations and people who are damaging the planet seem to have a very solid network.  If there is an extensive network out there for the people who are trying to repair and/or prevent the damage, then I didn’t have any luck in finding it. Hence the reason that Soulfully Connecting is as large and diverse as it is. Can you imagine what could transpire if people from completely different fields of expertise got together in one place and started to talk and share their skills?  The sky is truly the limit!

Sue has interviewed several people who advertise on the Soulfully Connecting site to learn more about their work and what they offer. You can see our conversation here:

Why not take a look at Sue’s amazing website and see the wide range of amazing people out there.  Perhaps you’ll find someone that you connect with!