Want to breathe again? With so many people feeling helpless and hopeless, there is no better time to remind everyone to ask for help and support. Everything we need to experience a sense of safety and calm is within us, and time at a peaceful oasis is a great way to find it.
Why do humans actually experience incredible benefits physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally when spending time with horses in nature? Read on.
Since I can remember, my relationship with horses truly gave me my identity throughout my years growing up and even into adulthood. When I faced hardship and fear that was suffocating, I would call upon the strength and joy I felt when I was with horses. I am not sure why humans are faced with so much loss and pain, but I do know that we were built to overcome obstacles and are stronger because of them. And horses can help us through those valleys and will willingly carry us back up the hills.
You see humans really are just biological beings with a spirit and brain. Our natural instincts and all of the pieces that make up our nervous system, were put there on purpose to help us survive. Sadly, in the West we are not taught about our intuition, and no value is placed on recognizing emotions and bodily sensations related to our reaction to people, places and events. Instead value has been placed on measurable and tangible rewards of intellect and man-made material wealth. Add on cell phones and we have a society desperately in need of help, starving for real connection.
For example, grief is something we do not get to experience, with pressure to hurry up and get over it. Emotions are hidden and stuffed away and we store up traumas because there is so little authentic connection to rely on when we need to process loss and tragedy. So, our nervous systems, designed to protect us from sabre tooth tigers, get stuck in a perpetual hamster wheel of anxiety, sadness and fear.
Often my clients tell me they feel like something is standing on their chest and they cannot breathe because of the pressure in their throat. Their shoulders are heavy and it is difficult to stand up straight. Jaw pain and headaches, worries about memory, stomach aches and insomnia are common complaints. Most no longer even take deep breaths. Their shallow breaths, combined with a racing heart and furrowed brow, are accompanied by a cascade of words trying to explain everything that is happening, has happened, or might happen. Simply put their brains have disconnected them from their bodies in an attempt to keep them ready to flight, flight or freeze.
So how does working with me at the ranch with the horses help? Many people think of riding horses, but that is not what I do primarily. Instead I slow everything down for my clients. We walk slowly among the trees, paying attention to the birds, the sound of the wind in the leaves, the feel of the sun on their skin and notice the footsteps that they are taking. Oftentimes I will intentionally ask my clients to simply stand still, next to a large oak tree or a horse, and have them listen to the sounds around them, notice the way the bark has grown on the tree, or the way the horses hair grows on its body. Bring them into the present.
Why? I am helping them teach their nervous systems that they are safe, and that the fight/flight/freeze response is no longer necessary. Then through a number of activities, their bodies learn that it is safe to relax, to breathe and to rest. This is hard work. It is exhausting, because for so long their bodies have been prepared to run from the danger, and getting them unstuck takes a lot of work.
I have seen enormous benefits from helping clients regain their sense of calm and clarity. I do not take away the challenges that they may be facing, or tragedies they may have experienced, but I am able to help their bodies, spirits and brains recognize inner strength and build resilience. Clients with Traumatic Brain Injuries have seen their memory and speech improve. Clients stuck in a pattern of dysfunction with their spouses have seen renewal and restoration in their marriages. Clients who are faced with a loss such as divorce or death of a loved one or pet, have been able to process through and grieve loss, recognizing the necessity of healing for quality of life and relationships. Decision-making becomes easier, courage returns, hope returns and a desire to thrive and not just survive, emerges. Colors are more vibrant, food tastes better, surroundings are more noticeable, listening and memory improves and breathing slows down.
You are not crazy. Really. You simply have been trying to carry it all around for too long. Your brain is doing the best it can with the information that it has, and it is okay to be grateful for that, but to also let your brain know that it is okay to relax and be present. If this sounds like something that you would like to try, please reach out and make an appointment. It doesn’t take forever. Each client is different and my goal is to help you as quickly as possible. With so much going on, and so many people hurting, I feel a great sense of urgency about providing relief.
In addition to my weekly coaching sessions, I also have provided multiple day intensives with the therapists that I partner with to provide equine assisted therapy. Three days, on the ranch, with walking, art, horses and nature completely resets their bodies, minds and spirits and it is truly and genuinely life-changing. In addition, there are one-day retreat options available, where simply stepping out of the busyness of life for 6 hours resets and renews energy allowing for peace and calm.
I encourage you to give it a try. It is not woo-woo. It is not witchcraft. It is real. It is science based, and it is offered from a strong desire to see people’s lives changed, and watch as the rings from the pebble that was thrown into the pond, gently start a revolution of change towards growing community through improved communication, improved intuition, a greater sense of safety and eyes to see each other graciously and lovingly. Click here to reserve a session with me. Please share.