The blog is back!
After a healthy hiatus, I’m excited to be writing for all of you beautiful readers once again. Check out my short video about that below.
It’s three in the morning. I tried to sleep, but I’m so energized by the last several days that sleep is a distant reality. I’ve given in, turned the light on, and I’m sitting up in the bed of an Airbnb in Missoula, Montana, writing this blog that was begging to be written.
Why so energized and in Montana? I just attended “Healing the Herd”, a four-day workshop led by Linda Kohanov, Dr. Rebecca Bailey, and Sheri Montana – all of whom are great inspirations and leaders in the field of Equine Facilitated Learning and Therapy. There is so much to be said about this experience, but it can truly be summed up in one word: WOW.
Signing up for this workshop was not an easy choice; the summer is the hardest time of year for me to leave home and work. Living on a farm, summer is jam packed with projects and responsibilities, trying to make the most of nice weather and preparing for winter. As a farrier, my summer schedule is also jam packed, with horses’ feet growing faster, and people riding exponentially more which requires more time-consuming hoof care. On top of all that, my husband’s catering business explodes with cottagers ringing his phone off the hook. Clearly, not the best idea to try to get away.
And yet, I had to do it.
About a month ago, I received an email about an upcoming opportunity to learn more about Connection Focused Therapy, Trauma Informed and Polyvagal Informed approaches to the work I do with humans and horses. Something inside me wouldn’t let it go. My inner voice was like a dog with a bone, not resting until I figured out a way to make it happen.
I’ve learned that when I listen to my inner voice and let my (horse) heart lead the way, I live without regret. So, I made it work.
The learning and growth I received was outstanding and multi-faceted. As with other Eponaquest workshops, it was a combination of theory, horse and somatic experiences, and group processing. Luckily for all of us attending, the group was absolutely wonderful, and they gave me the biggest gift of this entire journey: to feel seen.
It’s rare to truly feel seen. Perhaps because we wear our own masks so tightly that we don’t let others see us. Perhaps because we are surrounded by people observing with lenses that simply can’t perceive who we are. Maybe it’s a combination of the two. In the end, we are so often left with the feeling of being misinterpreted, under- or over-valued, and yearning for more clarity and connection.
I don’t mean to infer that I never feel seen. I’m grateful and privileged that I have many people and experiences in my life that satisfy and nourish that need. What is rare, or maybe even a first for me, is to feel seen by so many all at once, and many of whom I’ve never met before.
This was truly supported by the horses and other four legged creatures, and by facilitators whose prime focus was connection. That focus primed us all to open our eyes and take off the armour with each other, and with ourselves.
As I return home, I carry these new learnings and experiences back with me, excited to weave them into my day to day life, and into the work that I joyfully offer. I’ll also give the gift of seeing others as much as horse heartedly possible.
How can you help others feel seen?
How can you help others see you?
How can you help see yourself?
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This is part of a continuing story, click here to start from the beginning.