Extraordinary Power | Barbara Alexander

During a beautiful morning of We Wei, the art of just being, I chose to work with a lovely horse for our afternoon equine experiential session. 

Another woman in my class had also chosen this horse, and what I was about to learn was surreal. 

By the time it was my turn, this particular horse had become wild with frustration and anger. It raced around, slamming into the 6′ high steel panels and shaking the entire round pen during the previous session. 

I don’t know if it was the energy of the woman who preceded me or if he was angry that someone had fed the other horses, but he had become an amazing force to behold.

Witnessing enraged energy mirrored things I had seen over my lifetime, and I had questions about the use of power and the consequences of abuse, which felt primitive and ignorant. 

Humans misuse power with animals, children, and adults, creating obedience through force. We regularly confuse the process of training horses with words like leadership, relationship, connection, and even “natural” horsemanship.

Dominance and submission of spirit can be subtle on the outside, but on the inside, it is overwhelming. The outcome is a spiritual level of separation and fear; if you are sensitive, you can feel the emptiness and sadness.

Before my experiential session, the facilitator asked what I wanted to learn from it. After seeing the force of angry power reflected in the previous session, I responded, “What is the greatest power?”

When I entered the round pen, his sheer size was overwhelming. 

I was initially afraid; however, something within me felt this would be important. I soon learned I also had an extraordinary power.

When I entered the round pen, I stood away from the horse and filled my lungs with slow, deep breaths to help calm my nervous system and be fully present. I could feel my heart’s energy expand to fill the arena. Though my back was to the horse, I could hear his frantic behavior easing. Within moments, we met in an inner and outer world of acceptance and calm connection. 

Physically, his approach from behind was silent, with the tenderness of a butterfly. His massive chest barely touched my shoulders, and the next part brought tears to my eyes; his head slowly came around and across my chest and stomach in what felt like a horse hug.

That’s when I heard the answer to my question, followed by free-flowing tears as he enveloped me. “Love is the greatest power.”

I unexpectedly stumbled upon this soulful horse, who helped me understand that I can access the most extraordinary power of all: the power of love. Through love, we access forgiveness, detach from anger and fear-based interactions, create from mutual respect, and discover more than we ever thought possible.

Thank you to all sentient beings with whom we have so much to learn.

Look into their eyes and see their heart… Breathe… Connect… Learn from each other…