I recently had the good fortune to spend time at Raven Ranch in Tucson, Arizona studying with Barbara Rector, our much revered and beloved Matriarch of Equine Experiential Learning.
At 70, Barbara has been fostering the horse/human connection to assist people in cultivating a deeper awareness of themselves and their inner world, and ultimately live healthier, happier and more balanced lives for over 40 years. I feel both privileged and honoured to have had the opportunity to spend time with, and learn, from her.
During my stay I was also a student to five very wise four-legged teachers – Domino, Kai, Wild Thing, Mikey, and Roho. Each offered their own unique lessons, but one in particular touched a place deep within my heart.
Domino, a 17.3 HH (5’ 9” at the withers), Hanoverian seemed to touch the deep emotional fabric of my being.
A looming presence with his large muscled frame and hooves the size of dinner plates, I suddenly felt dwarfed in his presence (which at my height, is not an experience I am all that familiar with). But his soft and kind eye spoke of a ‘gentle giant’. As I began to work with him I came to recognize an uncertain and vulnerable soul still learning how to inhabit this great physical presence he’d been given.
As we like to say in this industry, we can only recognize in another what we ourselves possess. And indeed I did recognize it as my own.
As I continue to walk further along the path of my life’s purpose and, along with my own wise herd, touch more and more people’s lives, our presence in the world is growing ever larger. I hear of my name and accounts of my personal journey being passed around circles of virtual strangers. People are being drawn in by the sheer inspiration of my desire to live a dream.
This is both very humbling and scary all at the same time.
Like Domino, I’m still learning to inhabit this great presence in the world. The ‘little me’ inside says “Who are you to ……(fill in the blank with any number of limiting beliefs)….”. But my soul keeps urging me onward, baby-step after baby-step.
It takes great courage to stand in your power; to stand alone in your passion and carve out your own path, rising above the nagging limiting beliefs that keep us living small – in fear of judgement, in fear of failure.
Through the love and encouragement of his owner, Domino is flourishing and learning to stand in his power. Not only in his role as an equine teacher but also in the world of competitive Dressage. I am told he has come a long way from the once frightened horse that arrived in Arizona several years ago from Germany.
I, too, am learning to flourish with the love and encouragement from those around me; not the least of which is my wonderful herd – Romeo, Cricket, Cassi & Rayne.
I’d like to share with you Domino’s parting message to me, through a process Barbara calls Energy Gestalt (also known as Reflective Roundpen) ~
“Stop encasing yourself with limiting beliefs;
Leave your ‘sh–’ at the gate.
Surround yourself with community;
And always return to center.”
A wonderful message for all of us. We were all born to live a life of passion and purpose! What’s yours?
What limiting beliefs are holding you back?
When we can identify and release outdated limiting beliefs and leave our proverbial ‘sh–’ at the gate, we can open ourselves up to a community of support that will encourage us and remind us to always return, and navigate our lives, from our core center; that which is our true passion.
Consider joining me, and the Wisteria herd, for an IN-lightening experience and begin to tap into the vast potential of your life!