The energy and concept of push and pull, in and out, touch and release, contact and disconnection, and all of the cycles of inner relationship dynamics were streaming through my consciousness before the April EFLC Level One program began. Now with a herd of six, including a barely trained mare with a strong matriarch drive, a once wild stallion with his drive, and four additional and more domesticated herd members, each day I observed their cohesiveness, protection and affection with one another, or sometimes their less affectionate and rather aggressive behavior toward each others.
This dance of self in relationship to others, the sense of oneness and safety within the herd directly contrasting the needs of each individual within that herd, creates a complex system; one that is often changing, some times stabilizing, other times rearranging.
I have been on my spiritual journey now for 24 years; and my journey with Moon, a beautiful dapple buckskin standing 16.2 hands high, for the last 12 years. As I write in my book, Hope from the Heart of Horses, Moon has been my rock, keeping me steadfast in the most difficult job I have ever decided to embrace – teaching others to raise their consciousness through engaging with Horse. Moon has soft, beautiful and soulful eyes, big broad shoulders and a powerful strong head. He holds a heart of gold within his massive chest.
We have been doing our intimate and sometimes (for me) frustrating dance of relationship for many years. Moon knows so clearly who he is and what he stands for. I watch him pull the other horses closer to stand in peace, or stand above protecting the yearling while she sleeps, or, in contrast, give the others, “the look” so that they come no closer than about five feet into his personal bubble. Without attachment, he respects what he needs for his space each moment.
When Moon first came into my life, it was the days that he would indicate to me he needed his space, which were the hardest days for me. For me, his big heart, warm chest, soft eyes and total presence was a safe haven against the incongruencies I experienced within the public barn in which I had first placed him. When he would give me his look and walk away, it was painful, as all I wanted was to connect.
The greatest teachings we receive often come with great pain. It is the pain that is the gateway, the door that is opening, the channel of the river that takes us on the journey, to places unknown, and to that which has not been experienced before. It is always our choice to engage our courage and to take the journey, to received the gift, without judgment of the other; or engage the self-loathing or deprecating thoughts, creating the victim or martyr within our self. It is always our choice; what we do with the information that other beings around us show us.
In all of my years with Moon I have experienced the duality of the connection and disconnect, the push and pull, and the give and take. Moon has taught me how to be deeply connected with him at a soul level, and to also embrace the often separateness of our physical beings. He already understood that dynamic, and with his wisdom and truth he has offered it up to me, over and over. Now, even when he chooses the distance, it is clear in my heart we are One.
And then, there are those times when Moon chooses and asks for the closeness – for the touch, for the comfort, or the connection of our physical beings. And these times, of course, for me, are the most delicious. Sitting with Moon, being with Moon, either to just be, or to now care for his aching joints, transports me to a deep well of peace and calm.
During the April EFLC Level One I felt him calling me to bring the group of students along. Not completely sure of what we would do, I decided to offer the group some ideas on how to care for their “teaching horses.”
As we entered into the paddock Moon was there with Ginger, a calm, intelligent filly. Her body is growing like a bean sprout is in juxtaposition to her ancient soul. Ginger has been watching the EFLC work from a distance since birth just over a year ago.
As the group of students formed a half circle around Moon and Ginger, Ginger stepped forward and greeted each student by placing her head on their shoulder, embracing them and offering her pure innocent heart for them to receive. This gesture stuck me as it is much like how a mare will mother and nurture her foals.
Ginger chose when to move along to the next student and create a new soft and sweet connection. One by one down the line of waiting ladies she moved. The group relished in the purity of her energy and spirit and also the maturity and gentleness of her approach. We all then had a very rich discussion about “how old does a horse need to be before they begin this work with humans?”
Then we brought our attention to Moon. I began to talk about how to care for an equine herd during programs. While I spoke I offered Moon a treatment for his now aging and arthritic joints as he had over extended himself physically the previous day.
Moon is a proud horse; he has never been one to allow another to care for him in the presence of a group. He has always taken such pride in his ability to carry a group into the spiritual realms, transporting them beyond the mundane every day experience here on earth. I was surprised at his willingness to allow me to care for him in front of the group.
As I sat at the bottom of Moons legs and began to work with his joints, he would lift one leg or another to communicate his needs. Slowly his head dropped down almost touching my back, his eyelids becoming heavy, as he went deeply into another realm of consciousness.
Then, of course, I saw the beauty of what he was offering the group. Even in his painful moments, his “beingness” was still offering great lessons for those students who were truly present to his “presence.” As I spoke I also watched and felt the energy of each of my students, all having their own experiences within the energy field created by Moon. Some dropped deeply into process, some were distracted as if the power of his presence was too much, and others locked into the experience and his energy, ready and willing to have what he was offering.
Afterward, one student, with tears in her eyes, thank me for what she experienced as a beautiful demonstration and offering of what “Give and Take” can be within in a relationship. As she hugged me, I then understood why the complexities of relationships were randomly emerging within my mind before the program. My herd, with Moon leading, were already giving me information about the energy of the group coming in; and how, if I continue to lead from the insights that they, my herd, were offering me, that I could serve the participants in the way that serves their highest good. Both Moon and Ginger had brought to this group the dynamic of relationships.
The dynamics of connection and separation, or give and take, will always be present in my relationship with all of my horses. Moon teaches me that regardless of where his physical body may be, it is his soul touching mine, and our unique dance in the realm that is beyond the ego, that will never end. If I am willing to be present with him and receive all of his wisdom, during our earthly existence, and as he moves into his elder years; then, and only then, will I come to understand the duality and the “oneness” in the physical world, and beyond, which is within all relationships.