Asking for help.
How does the thought of that make you feel?
It doesn’t matter how many quotes we see on social media telling us that we should “reach out when we are struggling” or “there is no shame in asking for help”, the idea of actually doing so leaves many of us feeling a bit uncomfortable. It’s not that we don’t know that technically these quotes hold some truth, it’s just that there’s also some other niggling feeling or thought that prevents us from “reaching out”.
This is especially true when it comes to getting help in the form of working with a coach or therapist. Or joining a programme or workshop that focuses on inner healing and connecting with our emotions. In fact, I have a lot of conversations with people who long for a change but are reluctant to invest in themselves in order to work towards a more fulfilling way of being. This isn’t because they are lazy or even necessarily due to the financial investment (although this can be a concern, of course).
I thought I would share with you some of the more common concerns that I have noticed hold people back from getting started with Equine Facilitated Learning and my thoughts on each one.
How will I know if it will be what I’m looking for? Will it resolve the issue?
Before we start anything new there is always the uncertainty that it may not result in whatever it is that we desire, and I have felt the same way. When I set off to Arizona to start my Eponquest journey I didn’t know if it was going to be the answer. All I knew is that something was drawing me, and I just had to trust my intuition. If you are drawn to something, then chances are it is worth looking into further. But it is absolutely ok to not know for sure whether it’s the right thing and maybe ONE conversation will be what you need to help you decide.
The training programme is lengthy and a time-consuming commitment.
This is something that I can relate to as I have experienced this objection myself too! The tipping point for me was when the level of discomfort to stay where I was (lacking purpose and direction) became greater than the level of discomfort I felt about the commitment needed to make the change and face fear and vulnerability. It’s only natural to be resistant to change but at some point you will get to that ‘tipping point’ and only you can know when that is! The golden lining is that when you make that commitment you can connect with the excitement which also comes with a new adventure!
I should be able to work it out for myself!
This is SUCH a common belief. So many of us have been conditioned since childhood to believe that we should be able to figure things out for ourselves. From hearing things like “you’ll only learn if you do it yourself” or “haven’t you worked that out yet” as children, we start to feel shame around asking for help when we truly need it. The truth is you are not lazy and there are some things that are impossible to figure out without support. Old stories and expectations, passed down to us from previous generations, create energetic blocks which are then stored in the body. We get stuck in the cycle of knowing we need help but not being able to reach out and seek it.
I’m so glad that my intuition drew me to Linda Kohanov in Arizona because it’s my training in the Eponaquest Approach of Equine Facilitated Learning which finally gave me the skills to effectively work through old stories and emotional blocks. Once you know shame for what it really is it reduces its ability to hold you back from what you truly want.
It gives me even more ‘to do’
The important thing to understand about the process of learning by interacting with horses is that it is not about more theory or having more ‘to do’ to reach a desired outcome. The process you go through involves an embodied experience and enables you to shift your way of being so that it becomes second nature. So yes, you may learn to practise a meditation daily, do a regular body scan or memorise the emotional message chart (and these things certainly help) but the real benefit lies with learning what the emotions are and allowing yourself to feel them and responding from a new way of being. It’s this that impacts your daily life without a need for more reading and theory.
Fears about what it might bring up
This is a relevant concern, as many people have past trauma that they may be scared about bringing back to the surface. Perhaps they have talked about it in therapy sessions, or they have been told that the only way to “get over it” is to move past it and focus on the future. In my experience, in order to move past the energetic blocks that these stories will have created, we need to reconnect with them. This doesn’t necessarily involve talking about these emotional traumas or blocks in the same old way we may have done before, it is more of an embodied experience. We travel back to the root of their cause and feel the feelings in our body and in so doing release them.
I have recently read Michael Singer’s Book, The Surrender Experiment and in the chapter, The Secrets of The Spiritual Heart, he sums up how energy can become stuck in our bodies, which I will try to explain in my own words:
Imagine you are driving down the road and you pass trees and buildings, other cars and pedestrians. You notice them but they don’t leave a lasting impression and for the most part you forget them as soon as they are out of sight. These are experiences that pass into you, you learn something from them, however minor, and then they pass through. Basically, everything that we experience is a lesson in some way and so it’s all valuable. And in an ideal world this is how we would experience everything, take the lesson and then move on.
In reality, however, what actually happens is that while some experiences pass through us, others enter our bodies and become stuck. For example, you’re driving along passing the trees, cars, buildings and people and it’s all passing through you until you see something that distresses you in some way. Suddenly you stop noticing the trees (and the other things which passed through you) and become fixated on the thing that is distressing. This is how life experiences become stuck in your body and can cause a barrier to you moving forward.
The next time you drive down this road your body reacts as if the distressing situation is still there, even though it’s not!
When you have the courage to sit with and feel your feelings you can acknowledge that the previously distressing situation is no longer there, take the lesson from this experience and move on.
If you are considering Equine Facilitated Learning as a way to help you through a life transition, then I hope these points have helped you to recognise that you certainly aren’t the only person who has niggling thoughts holding you back from taking that first step!
If you can think of any other mental or emotional blocks which I could add to this list do let me know. Or if you’d like to talk further about anything I’ve mentioned in this blog, please do get in touch.