Letting Go

Equus Magic – lesson from the horse.

Do you ever hang on to things? I don’t mean things like – old love letters, stuffed animals you’ve had since you were three years old or your first car that hasn’t run in 20 years. I mean things like anger, depression, hurts, grudges and less than positive attitudes. Do you sometimes hang on so tight that whatever it is completely envelopes you and steals gargantuan blocks of your time? — I have.

Last fall while participating in another Equus Workshop, I was given yet one more bigger than life lesson from these 4 legged teachers. The horses always provide just the right learning experience at just the right time. Call it universal energy, karma, coincidence, luck of the draw or fate. — I call it EQUUS MAGIC.

Being around horses for more years than matter, one of the very first things I was taught was to NOT hold onto the rope when the horse shy’s, rears or pulls away. Always give slack so you don’t get your arms pulled out of the socket or the skin ripped off of the palms of your hands. In a tug of war you will always lose against the mighty beast. And, yes I’ve been there and done that also.

On to my lesson…

Things had been going very well throughout the weekend. I was grounded, centered, in tune – having a wonderful time playing and communicating with the horses. Then came the “boundaries” exercise – I’d been working on this and was eager to show my Equus Coaching Instructor and workshop leader the progress I’d made since our last clinic. As we were circling the arena horse in hand, start – stop, establish space and boundaries, start – stop, lead – stop, jog – stop. All of a sudden the horse REARS-UP…… I felt the skin on my right middle finger melt as the rope pulled over it. I was asked what happened and reminded to Let Go of the rope. I took a deep breath, checked in with my feelings and thoughts, all settled down and clear, we start again. Jog forward a few steps and boom, up she goes again – no rhyme or reason – just because? Once again the instructor questioned what was happening and reminds me again to Let Go of the rope. This time I’m thinking to myself – “I know, I know – I’m not holding on to the rope – it happened so fast the rope was just pulled out of my hands – there was no time to even think about letting go, it is just gone.” So, once again I took a moment to settle down, take a deep breath and check what is going on inside and move on through the exercise. Then I notice two spots bleeding on my left hand.

We finished the exercise and I was once again reminded to LET GO of the rope when the horse spooks etc. I left the arena thinking to myself “I know, I know, I know and feeling disappointed I had “failed to do it right.” — Yes, there was lots of self judgment going on…….

The rest of the day goes very well, more fun exercises and games to play, with one exception – the word’s “LET GO” kept ringing in my head, and I keep answering “I know, I know.”

At the end of the workshop, we all gathered around the fire pit to reflect on and share what we were going to take away from the last 2 days of body work, coaching, horse exercises, sun, fun and relaxation. My heart was full as I listened to the others around the circle sharing their wonderful experiences. My turn was coming and my mind was blank. So much had happened, how could I choose one thing, and then, which one? Then as I glance down at my left hand there was a major power surge and the light bulb went on. “LET GO, Janene, LET GO.” The message wasn’t about letting go of the rope, it was about letting go of all those “things” I was holding onto in my life, the anger, the disappointments, the frustrations and the judgments. By constantly holding on to these things I was not moving forward in my life or living with a sincere simile on my face. I was frustrated and unhappy because I was continually dwelling on things I had no control over. I was hurting no one but myself.

The bottom line: in this life the only things that I can control are my own actions and my own thoughts.

In all the workshops, training and events I’ve attended – this is the only horse that I had seen rear up, not once but twice. I finally got the message – LET GO.