The Heart: Power and Freedom
Today, like most Thursdays, I went up to work horses with a good friend of mine (a very prominent figure in my life and one of the most intuitive people I know). It began like most days, though I was unable to work with Thunder as his foot was sore from stepping on a harrow. Walking slowly in the corral to round-up the horses we planned on using that day I said to Dee, “Hey let’s work with Bolt since we can’t work with Thunder.” He had other ideas, and I’m glad he did.
That’s me: work was on my mind. Work the horses, work with clients, work with meditation; hell I could turn eating Cookies into work. Dee suggested we try to refine my riding skills a little more and use a horse that knew the signals. See, Thunder and I are both fairly new to this professional riding thing, and Thunder is new to riding all together. Dee taught me, and I trained him (I bet I learned more from Thunder than he learned from me), I even took him on his first ride a few months back. Shasta, (the head of the herd) on the other hand is very well-trained and responds quite easily to the smallest signals. Horse riding is all about delicacy, about seeking refinement and about getting more with less. Sound familiar?
A little back story: Over the past year or so, I’ve got the opportunity to work with Dee and his fine animals, learning from him, absorbing his seemingly infinite wisdom about horses, life, recovery, intuition and how to be morally correct. Gleaning from the horses how to be present, open, honest, trusting and trustworthy. How I approach and work with the Horse is how I approach and work with my life. At least that’s Dee’s theory. I completely agree. (not that it doesn’t still shock me when Dee asks me “What in your life are you trying to control so desperately?”)
We worked the horses (the French term is Dressage) shoulder in, hip in etc. against the wall for twenty minutes or so before Dee decided that we should just go on a ride. It was too beautiful of a day to be working inside anyway. Off we went down the road, crisp Winter air in our lungs, the Sun on our backs. Just two friends on two beautiful horses. We walked and talked. Discussed the good things in life and the joys of living it. I was beginning to relax, to let go. Today didn’t have to be about work, it could be about Love if I didn’t push too hard. At the end of the road we cut off into a field to circle back around, the horses were feeling frisky and chomping at the bit.
As we walked further in the field, I loosened up my grip (I still have to think I have control, the signals are all in the feet) and the horses took that as their queue to let loose themselves. We rode for a good five-hundred feet and then met back up. Talked more. About Freedom and Power, how over the last year I’ve been able to stand more and more in my Power and about having the Freedom to do that. Tears were welling up in me, the Joy was almost too much. My Heart felt like a freight-train pounding in my chest. Power and Freedom. Horse Medicine.
We walked further and further in the field, horses still wanting to push their limits. Dee points to a far off mound of dirt and says: “Let’s let them run there.” I thought I had pushed Shasta pretty hard the last time; I was wrong in the most blissful of ways. I posted and she ran as fast as I’ve been on a horse in twenty years. A smile on my face from ear to ear, my Heart screaming: “Oh my God, this is AMAZING! Let go of control, let me be a Horse, (as it often does) Nathaniel please, let me be free.”
I finally got the message today. Go fly Heart, be free. I let go of control, Heart. You lead the way and I will follow. You show me what is real and I will believe you. You teach me, and I will listen.
The Heart is a lot like a Horse. You push too hard and get no results, but if you meet it halfway, creating a safe environment to flourish, it will blossom just like a Horse. Have you ever tried to control fifteen-hundred pounds of raw Power? The Heart will eventually stage a revolt if you keep it controlled for too long, either that or its Spirit will be broken. A Horse that has had its Spirit broken is a sad sight to see. The Heart is the same way.
Isn’t it about time we let our Hearts sing their tune, dance their jig and live by their rules? For this Horseman, it couldn’t have come soon enough.