As humans (and as artists) we have the capacity to listen in many ways. I've been spending lots of time practicing my listening and I've found new partners. I've fallen in love. I've fallen in love with horses, big and small and donkeys, too! Our human quality of listening depends on the state of our body, mind and spirit, our prior experiences and teachings, and the level of our self and social awareness. Horses are intuitive animals. There's a lot we can learn in partnership with them.
*photo by Amanda Lyons
In hosting a listening workshop outside of Pittsburgh a few weeks ago with my co-facilitator Emily Goodwin, LCSW, (@goodwindholisticcoaching), I had the opportunity to experience my own awareness (and honest lack thereof) by spending time in a paddock with a herd of 8 equines, specifically horses, mini horses and donkeys.
*photos by Amanda Lyons
Their winter coats are so soft. They shed these soft coats - an awesome metaphor for what I need to let go of in my life and reminder that it's okay to let go! All the feelings around 'letting go' are part of that process too, just like horses roll in the dirt to scratch their itchiness from shedding their winter coats.
Is there something you could let go of this spring? How can you safely support the process of letting that go and the 'itchiness' that might come along in the process?
* We'll most likely host this workshop again sometime, reach out if you're interested in jumping on our newsletter so you'll know when the next one is!
* I was first introduced to this way of learning with horses by Jackie Stevenson of Spirit of Leadership at Pebble Ledge Ranch 2 years ago, and when you get me in conversation about it, I get goosebumps every time. Have you ever been to a place that you can conjure up the smell and feel by simply talking about it in conversation? Literally, I feel more grounded in talking about this place... it's where I continued to learn deeper listening on a herd level. I'm drawn to this work and excited to continue to partner with Jackie and her amazing herd (eh hem, workshops coming)!