Written by Shawn Carlin, Horse Empowered
Some of my most favorite times are times spent with my horse. Don't get me wrong, I love my time with my wife, my children, my family, my dogs, but there is something special about the moments I have had when it's just me and my horse. Why you ask? It is in these moments when I have been most connected to the truth.
Being "authentic" has become a buzz word in today's society. It is "en vogue" for sure. You can't go to a yoga class, read a book on personal development, go to a leadership seminar or even many horsemanship workshops, without hearing the word authentic. The reality, or maybe the irony of this is that being "authentic" or "real" has never been a more challenging thing to do in our society. Our reality has never been more fabricated or packaged than it is today. Never, have we been in a time where projecting the best version of ourselves to millions through social media has been more adorned, "liked" or "shared." We don't have to look any further than the mass popularity of the myriad of social media outlets to get a sense of what I am trying to articulate. There are over 2.4 billion monthly active users on Facebook! Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users. We are addicted!
Don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful aspects of social media that we can all benefit from. However, never have I witnessed such a low in authenticity, than when I visit the world of social media. Are we being honest with ourselves and our friends when we project a narrative of a perfect happy life, free of any problems, challenges or struggles? The material world cannot itself produce your inner sense of content or happiness. Only you can. Whatever you need to be happy and content will not be found through social media but can only be found from within.
To do this, we may need to seek the help and guidance of others, to provide the tools we need to find our happiness from within. I have found my horse to be one of the best guides, nature's Sherpa, to helping me reconnect with what is most important to me and the most authentic version of myself.
Being with a horse is an "anti social media" remedy. Not only do I get away from the grips of a smart phone, but I get the opportunity to reconnect with nature in its most natural form. One of the greatest lessons horses have to offer is their ability to help us see who we really are, with incredible accuracy. Like a knife, horses help us cut through the layers of the onion and expose the areas we are not being truthful with ourselves, where we are not being real. A horse can help free ourselves from the false narratives or stories we continuously tell ourselves and others, and help create awareness of our limiting beliefs.
How is this possible? As an energy sensitive, intuitive animal, horses respond best to someone who is being congruent. What I mean to say is that a horse appreciates when your outside thoughts and feelings match with your inside thoughts and feelings. They can easily become agitated when you are being incongruent. We can get away with this type of behavior at home or in the workplace, in fact, we are programmed to do this. Acting one way and feeling another has become so commonplace that we can easily forget what is truth and what is fabrication. Have you ever witnessed somone tell themselves their own lie long enough they began to believe it as the truth? When you lack congruency around a horse, you will quickly find yourself stuck, in whatever you are trying to accomplish together. The horse will communicate this to you in a myriad of ways from agitation, lack of cooperation and anxiousness. When these behaviors surface, ask yourself a few questions.
Could the horse's behavior be a result of what I am projecting to my horse?
What is going on with me, internally, that I need to let go of, before I continue with my horse?
What am I projecting that isn't congruent? Am I being honest with myself? Your horse will let you know.
My time with my horse is my time to work on myself. To be real. It's my time to reconnect with my truth, and be the person I know myself to be at my very core. That is when I find my horse connects best with me and when I am able to reconnect with myself. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to be around horses, take the opportunity to listen and learn from one of nature's best truth tellers!
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