In today’s equine group, we talked about shadow work. This is not a difficult concept, though often, it’s made into something very complex.
The simple version is, when we are irritated by someone or something, we stop, breathe and ask ourselves, “How am I like that?” An example would be, “Oh, he’s so freakin’ arrogant,” pointing my finger outward.
The work is to recognize when something is getting under our skin and we can’t seem to let it rest. This is the clue that starts the journey to self-ownership. Next, I take a breath and ask, “How am I like that?” In other words, “How have I acted with arrogance.” It is in the moment of recognition, that we shine a light on the truth of the annoyance. In the beginning of our healing journey, it is often easier to put the feeling or label onto someone else, than to see and shift it within ourselves.
After we talked about this concept, we went into the mare paddock to do some silent grooming, to let go of things we were holding onto, and to call in a new intention. As we were about to halter the horses to move on to the next exercise, Annie Two-Moons stepped right up to my side and literally put her nose in my heart. Annie is not a “snuggly” mare. For her to do this told me she had something to share with me and with that understanding a huge Tsunami of emotion surfaced.
As the women worked with Annie in the round pen, she gave each woman a completely unique experience and exactly what each of them needed! She was deeply connected with me, while still attending to the women and I felt our connection the way we used to be when we partnered for the years prior to her move to Wind Walkers.
At that moment, I had a full circle awakening. I remembered I had walked this weekend in honor of my friend and mental health awareness. She and I shared Annie for a few years. She invited me to lease Annie from her after my mother died and I had lost my bearings and True North. In so many ways, this present moment with Annie was a final piece of grief, letting go of yet another huge loss and someone that I deeply cared about, who was profoundly significant to my life and to my equine journey. I also realized that for the last 5 years, since Annie’s arrival at Wind Walkers, I had created a wall between us. I had avoided working with her with clients and groups, it was just too painful, but I honestly didn’t ‘get it’ until the moment she partnered with me and my group. I felt my heart crack open wide, as I allowed the emotions to move, up, out, and through me.
The session I had planned that day was “for the group” and yet as is always the truth, when we are awake as facilitators, there are messages gifted to us within another’s experience. We can always learn more when we are fully authentic and engaged. It is truly a co-creative process.
I don’t know what it will be like the next time I see Annie, however, that day, she gave me and my group some treasured gifts.
Thank you, Annie Two Moons/Two Moms.