This morning I was able to experience something totally wonderfully new, equine therapy. Wow! If I was only able to give you one word, that would be it. Wow! I feel like my soul is shining a bit brighter this afternoon. I feel a bit lighter and more confident in my abilities to achieve my dreams and goals for the future.
I went to the stable with no predetermined idea about what would happen. I knew very little about equine therapy, but held tight to my hope that it would heal a hole in my heart, and melt away a few very strong emotional blocks I cling to that have been limiting my life. I’m pretty much an open book (I write a blog, helllo!) and am not shy to admit that I suffer from a lack of confidence due to limiting beliefs about my worthiness to do the work I long to do. I think that will come as a huge surprise to many, because I work diligently to appear confident in all that I do. After a whole lot of soul searching for many of my mid-adult years, I understand the events that happened in my childhood that helped to create these cinderblocks of emotional crap that I cling to like a child clings to her favorite doll. I just haven’t been able to shake them and tell them to take a hike. That is, until today. (I am now hopeful that I feel the same way tomorrow!)
When I arrived at the barn, I met Devon, my wonderful equine therapist. I’m not sure that is really her title, but that is what I will call her. I really should call her “the horse goddess who brings out all good in people!” Devon briefly introduced me to her two four-legged, thousand pound coworkers, and then invited me to sit in a chair facing her outside the ring. One horse, Detail, was in the ring, and the other named Playboy was tied at the side of the barn across from me. I was a bit bummed because I wanted to spend loads of time petting and loving on the horses, but I was willing to just go with the flow and see how this all worked. Horses have incredible energy and I was just as anxious to see what secrets the horses would reveal.
We chatted for a few minutes, did a grounding meditation, and went with whatever I began to talk about. I felt like I could just spill my whole life story to Devon, but we only had an hour and a half, so I had to get to the point. I just really didn’t know what THE point was. I thought I knew what I hoped to accomplish in this session, but I was open to just letting what was supposed to happen happen. Before long, she took out a large deck of horse cards and I was able to choose one in whatever manner felt comfortable. I closed my eyes, felt the cards in my hand, separated them a bit and let my fingers slide over the back side of each card. My finger rested on “the” one, so I pulled it out of the deck. What a shocker – though not really – when I looked at the card with the beautiful white horse on it that reminded me of a unicorn, and it said, “Seeking Direction.” No kidding! I laughed out loud. I AM literally seeking direction, and my hope for the session was that I would get some clarity around how to do the healing work I want to be doing with people. First I needed to get rid of this a-hole inner critic who has me bound by the ankles and bullies me day and night into thinking I’m not good enough to do the work. Wow, I know. It’s a constant struggle…a sort of tug-o-war between my soul and my inner critic.
Before long, Devon moved us closer to the ring with our chairs facing the ring. Detail was quite a distance from us and chose to face away from me. We did some “hard” work around the pieces of me that I know… the teacher, healer, dreamer, (SHOOT! I forgot to add dreamer to that list!), inner critic, unworthiness, lack of confidence, etc. I had to choose the ONE that I feel drives the bus for me, and that was definitely the Inner Critic. I was also instructed to choose the one I would LIKE to have driving my bus, so I chose Healer. Before long, I was describing what I feel like as a healer, and then I changed chairs and talked about my feelings as the bully inner critic. Wow. I was able to tell my inner critic to take a hike and get the F outta my life. That was very liberating. It didn’t happen without a few tears, though I tell ya. Detail expressed her “opinions” in her own way and held me accountable throughout the entire experience. It was awesome!
Eventually, I was invited into the ring with Detail and we did much healing work together. She did a lot of heavy breathing and huffing, which is a horse’s way of expelling negative energy. It looked like a yawn with a bit of a neck stretch. After a bit of time, and me expressing my true self, Detail began to shuffle back and forth and “dance” next to me. It was AWESOME! She also leaned on me like my great dane does, and put her huge nose on my chest and stomach and kind of kissed me several times. It was all very loving and I trusted her incredibly because I knew she was helping me to heal the wounds of my past.
There was more, but I don’t want to ruin any experience you may have of your own in case you choose to experience this amazing equine therapy for yourself. I can’t express enough gratitude for all of the people who made this possible for me. This is nothing I could have done for myself right now, but friends gathered together and created an incredible go fund me page with some very beautiful and heartfelt words about me and the work I do for others. I am so thankful that I am able to experience this extraordinary horse therapy twice more in the next month.
I feel like I am going to FINALLY be able to live the life I am meant to, which means I will create healing workshop retreats, and offer coaching sessions, classes, etc. to those who are wanting to improve their overall happiness and quality of life! I am also hopeful that there will be horses in my future. I have wanted 2 horses for longer than I can remember, and now I think I understand why. They will help me in my healing work, both personally and with others.
If you are in the Denver Metro area and are interested in Gestalt Equine Therapy, I highly recommend contacting Devon Combs at Beyond the Arena. I think you will find it pretty mind blowing and life changing! If you are not in the Denver Metro, just google and you will find the creator of the program, I’m sure that there will be a coach near you.
*I am not affiliated in any way with Devon Combs and Beyond the Arena.