Sarah came to me a year ago, wanting to just relax and find a sense of rejuvenation. She led a hectic life at home with a more-than-full-time focus at work.
Sarah had not taken many vacations. In her mind, sitting and doing nothing was not fulfilling, and most of the time she spent her vacations checking in with work and slipping in emails to the office.
After meeting Sarah, I could feel her desire for more in her life, as if she wasn’t sure if this was all there is, or if she could make a change somehow. She wasn’t angry or de-pressed. She had just been on a steady diet of living with tension and being “on call” for the majority of her waking hours.
Like many women, Sarah was extremely capable and was a multi-tasking expert. She had so much to do, explaining she was the first one in to work in the morning and the last one to leave at night. “There just aren’t enough hours in the day,” she said. When she really opened to what she was looking for, she realized that she wasn’t enjoying life, that she really wanted. She wanted to know how she could find contentment in her life.
Sarah chose an alpha gelding named Zorro to work with in her personal session. He was beautiful and very attentive to her. She said she felt a connection to him right away, even though she had not spent any time with horses in her life. She always thought they were so majestic.
Sarah walked into the arena and Zorro came over to her. After greeting her, he stood next to her side. She reached up, petting his back, and he leaned into her hand for a deeper scratch. “My dog does this,” she said. “He loves a good scratch in places he can’t reach.” Then Zorro stepped forward a few inches and she stopped. “What’s he do-ing?” she asked, and I explained that he was communicating with her, giving her a message. “Oh, he just wants more scratches, but in this place now.”
She continued to scratch his back and he leaned into her pressure, enjoying the deep tissue message. But her arm was beginning to tire so she stopped and stepped back. He immediately turned completely around to the other side and stepped up once again, lining up his side very close in front of her. She had to take a step backwards. “He just wants more,” she told me.
So Sarah started in on the other side, until her arm tired once again and she stopped. He stepped another step forward, placing his hind end right in front of her this time, but she stepped to the side. He put his ears back and walked away from her and she felt sure she had hurt his feelings. Then she stood there for a moment.
“It’s never enough, is it?” she said it more for herself than for me. Sarah began explain-ing what she had just experienced. She said that it was the same thing she gets at work. No matter how much she does, it was never enough, there was always more. She said that at first she wanted the connection to this horse, and he gave it to her, but then it stopped feeling good.
Sarah had never learned how to feel when her boundaries were being crossed, even when she was the one crossing them, which was a pretty advanced awareness. She had not set healthy boundaries so that she could have mutually healthy relationships at home or at work. Throughout the rest of the retreat, she learned about her own core energy and how to adjust her energetic body with biofeedback from her greatest teacher, Zorro. He was amazingly consistent as he helped her learn.
He taught her, on the most subtle levels, how it feels when she was getting out of balance, and she knew it the moment it happened instead missing the initial signs. She said it was like a switch had been turned on within her.
In that moment, Zorro completely relaxed and gently stood next to her. This time he was respectfully close, but no longer pushing on her or asking for something she didn’t want to give. Zorro released a heavy sigh.
Before she left, Sarah said she felt a deep sense of peace and gratitude, and that she had learned so much, on such a deep level… she would never forget how it feels. She knew that she could make that change she was looking for, now that she was aware from within herself.