Summer can be very hot in the Piemonte region in Italy. There’s this dry, ground cracking , soul purging heat surging from the Earth, floating in the air. Rain comes at night to soothe the burnee soil and refresh the sweaty skins of animals.
Though I am not much of a fan of warm weather I took joy in having my cheeks kissed by the sun while the sweaty t-shirt was glueing to my skin. The air smelled like dirt, horse poo and excitement. I was taking an Extravaganza class with horses.
I had grown up between blocks of flats. I knew nothing about horses other than what I had been reading in adventure books, watching the horses graze close to the hills at the end of my street, or admiring their force and power in circus shows. I adored them and I was incredibly scared of them. I might have approached some horses occasionally, I even took a few riding sessions, yet the fear of this majestic animal was still present. Therefore Extravaganza was for me one of those unexpectated opportunities to experience horses differently.
For 4 days, I and the other participants, seasoned or totally beginners, were immersed in a different reality with horses. Our ‘job’ was to be the totality of the miraculousness we truly be, including and receiving the contribution of the horses. We were running body processes on these amazing beasts, inviting them to relaxation and releasing tension from their bodies. All we were asked to do was to be present with them, with our judgements, with our fears, with our points of view.
I chose to work with some phenomenal ladies on a 26 years old horse named Fantastic. He came in the stall as a shadow of a horse. Weak, old and… resigned. He didn’t like to be touched. He didn’t want to be held. He had no interest is being ‘healed’ in any way. My first reaction was to pull away altogether. It was obvious that the horse didn’t desire anything from me. I had almost stepped in the spiral of: “too much” even for a horse, covering myself in judgement. . The facilitator of the class approached our group and suggested running a different energetic process and to ask the horse what was the intesnity he was willing to receive.
The pouting and punding horse suddelny calmed down. He lowered his head and settled in front of us. His breath became regular and deeper than before. I was holding the reins, checking on his reactions and wondering if I was doing a good job. My shoulders were contracted, my eyes bulged down. When Fantastic shook his head forcing me to step aside, I realized that he was talking to me. He asked me to relax. He demanded from me to be there and not in my head. Which I did. My colleagues were working on him and I surprised myself thinking: “I am of no use. I am just holding the reins.”
I started feeling useless. There was no thing I could do. Nothing significant. Anyone could hold the reins, right? I looked around and I saw all the other participants deeply involved in touching, manipulating or guiding the horses. They looked so confident, as if they had spent all their lives on a back of a horse. The horses seemed relaxed and enjoying being spoiled with so much care and gentleness.
As if coming from far away, the voice of the facilitator reminded us that the person holding the reins was the one controlling and commanding the horse. That demanded presence and confidence, trust and leadership. Fantastico blew some air loudly to the ground pounding with his right front hoof. He was compelling me to acknowledge that I was holding him. He trusted me, I had to trust myself and stop diminishing who I was just because I wasn’t doing anything spectacular.
When Fantastico turned his head towards me, I had tears in my eyes. I had realized that nothing was what it appeared to be. I was the one in charge… and I hadn’t noticed. I was contributing, yet I was not receiving my contribution. All the others seemed to master their part… I was busy judging who I was not. I knew right then that I had to change my point of view for it was sticking not only me in a weird space of non-receiving but also the horse.
We started to talk, Fantastic and I. I was asking questions, he was answering. I insised that he talks to me in a way that I could grasp. “I am stupid, make me understand”. I felt so happy. When I didn’t have to know everything, or force myself in knowing anything, I could finally be aware of everything! It was so beautiful! I mattered!
Every single one of us mattered, there where we were. We were all contributing our magic and skills to soothe, relax, calm, heal and empower horses. We were all creating a reality together much richer than we could imagine.
The next day I was waiting for Fantastic to be brought to the stall. I was expecting the same ragged horse, barely holding balance, dragging his feet in the dirt to show up at the gates. Surprise! Fantastic was standing pridely among the first horses to have enetered the training space. He looked a few centimeters taller. And there was something more about him… the energy of a handsome leader!
When you allow yourself to free yourself from your imiting points of view, you open the doors for others to choose the same. From a wreck, Fantastic found the joy of leadrship showing around and showing off his magic. It takes someone to hold the reins…
YOU matter! You are a vital sparkle in the unfolding of the miracles of the Universe, my friend. It will never show up the way you expect or imagine to and how much more is possible when this occurrs?