How much is enough and how much is too much? Learning to stand in our power teaches us a delicate balance at the most advanced levels.

As a standard of practice we are never taught how to become intuitively aware of non-verbal communication. Most leaders just go blasting their way into the wild blue yonder… and then there are those who follow in their wake. Which one are you?

Joanne and her husband Mark came to work with me six months ago. They were Brittany’s parents and Brittany was one of the children that I had taught during a school program. Brittany had learned so much about herself during her sessions with me that she wanted her parents to experience and learn the same things, in the hope that they would find a healthier way to communicate.

When they first arrived, we spent time getting to know the horses, but something very interesting happened.

Brittany had been working with me for several weeks and had learned about non-verbal communication. We talked about the dynamics between humans and horses and how they help teach us about human-to-human relationships. She learned how to observe rather than react so she could get the information necessary to move forward.

When they arrived as a family, Joanne didn’t know much about horses or the teachings they had to share, but because of her daughter’s enthusiasm, she was eager to learn. Mark remained quiet, partially listening and partially questioning what this whole thing was all about anyway.

As they learned about mutual communication and being open to feeling the non-verbal dance of connection, Joanne felt empowered and wanted to brush Cierba. She was a bit timid around 1200 lb. horses so I stood near her and had Cierba on a long lead.

Joanne had the brush and she reached out to touch Cierba and Cierba stepped away. Joanne approached her again with the brush in hand reaching up to brush her shoulder. Brittany watched as Cierba quickly snapped her head in Joanne’s direction, putting her ears back in warning. Joanne said, “You know, I don’t think she wants to be brushed today.”

Before I could respond, Dad reached over and grabbed Cierba’s halter by her face band, took the brush out of Mom’s hand and proceeded to brush Cierba’s neck sternly saying “here’s how you do it Joanne!” Cierba’s eyes were wide open as she rolled them to the side looking down at him in shock.

Mom stepped back and their daughter still stood there quietly watching. The dynamics of this family had come flying out in a matter of moments but nothing needed to be said. There was no projected shame, only the truth of the moment.

Brittany clearly and gently shared that this was much like how it was at home in so many other circumstances. She said that she was enjoying watching her mom and saw that she was aware of Cierba’a boundaries and that it felt to her like Cierba did not want to be brushed at that moment when her dad stepped in. No blame, no shame, just observation.

Brittany knew, from her past experience with me in her classes, that mutual respect builds healthy relationships. She had learned that connection comes from tuning into our own intuition combined with the simultaneous awareness in connection with others. Through relating in this way we can respond with mutual respect and learn how to create a healthy connection in relationship to humans or animals.

Brittany had learned this same lesson in much the same way. The students had grown in their own intuitive awareness over the past weeks and it was so powerful to see this 12-year-old girl calmly evaluating and sharing in a nonjudgmental and positive manner what she had witnessed with her mom and dad.

We took a short break to allow things to settle and integrate into their awareness. I call it licking and chewing, because that is what the horses do. If you are patient enough to watch horses as they are learning, it seems they need time to think about what they learned and when it is settled in their mind, they start to lick and chew. That is how you know when they are ready for more. Those who are conscious trainers always wait for those critical moments.

Brittany’s dad later shared that he didn’t realize how aggressive he had been until the experience he had with Joanne and the brush with Cierba. It was obvious that he felt bad for his actions and that the awareness was a surprise and something he did not want to repeat in the future.

We all get caught up in habits that we have created over time. Being able to learn about others and ourselves in this very special way opens our awareness to creating deeper and healthier relationships as we move forward towards a richer and deeper joy in life.

Author's Bio: 

Barbara Alexander is President and Founder of The Sacred You Academy at Epona Ridge - a magical place where women have come for years to gain insight about their inner lives and seek a greater awareness of their hearts' true calling. Barbara serves as their mentor and guide as her retreat participants go through their individual journeys towards true happiness, joy and inner peace.

Barbara has worked with over a thousand people as a spiritual life and business coach, teaching transformational techniques that shift core energy awareness providing a more joyous life experience.

After many years of a successful career as a business executive, Barbara has dedicated her personal and professional life to mentoring women and men, in building their life as well as their business with a stronger foundation for wellbeing and personal fulfillment.

Barbara provides techniques for enhancing the mind/body connection, personal core energy awareness and personal empowerment. You will love the feelings of rejuvenation and inspiration that you experience at the Epona Ridge Retreats.

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