Have you ever heard a whisper that seemed significant and stopped you in your tracks?
My Granddad raised thoroughbred horses on a hobby farm in Langley, British Columbia where I spent countless childhood hours roaming the fields and exploring the never-ending hallways of the old barn. I didn’t know it then but during this exposure the horses were softly whispering to me. I recall feeling all of curious, intrigued, intimidated and fearful towards the horses. When Granddad passed on we sold the farm and I lost only the physical connection to the horses. For years I longed to get that feeling back but not until a year ago did horses really speak to me again.
It was then I had an opportunity to visit friend, fellow Life Coach, and equine (horse) specialist Betty Hames on her ranch ‘Where the Willow Was’ in Sunnyside, Washington. Upon my tardy arrival Betty didn’t say much other than “the horses are in the field, go introduce yourself to them.” I couldn’t tell if it was a punishment for being late or if it was all part of her master plan to introduce me to the practice of Equine Assisted Learning (EAL). I later learned that it was just one of many simple activities she led me through to discover more about myself. For the next three days Betty guided me to speak with the horses and experience EAL firsthand as a participant. What emerged from this retreat was the rekindling of my child-horse connection and an opportunity today to co-lead a similar experience from a life coaching perspective with troubled youth, their families and war veterans.
Betty’s horses are rescued and rehabilitated from owner neglect and have miraculously experienced all or one of starvation, malnutrition, near death, and abuse. Each of them has their own unique story. Despite their adversity these horses are now strong and healthy. By loving these animals, Betty has created endless opportunities for people like me to love myself and to breakthrough my own self-limiting behaviors. Training and uniting with the horses has empowered me to co-facilitate workshops comprised of hands-on activities with the horses as the guides.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains un awakened”
What the whispering can teach you…
Horses live in herds. They are skilled at keeping safe and creating the optimal conditions to survive. These instinctive behaviors are necessary for their health. We, like horses have this same innate ability. Are you harnessing your natural traits to keep you safe and healthy?
Reflecting back on my time with my Grandfather I see now that the horses were whispering to me all along. For whatever reason as I approach the age of thirty the real lessons from their informative powers are finally surfacing. Now I am ready to listen to the whispering.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
Horses have been and always are a natural mirror and teacher. Horses feel you and I. Working with the horse and its body language response to our actions highlights both strengths and patterns in our behavior that can be transformed. In the workshops I’ve co-led I’ve seen participants entrust horses to show them the way back to their health. The hurtful turn compassionate. The ignorant become empathetic. The abusive show respect. The limitless create boundaries. The chaotic gain self control. The misunderstood communicate. The lost get connected. The unloved feel loved. The self-limiting break through. The fearful find courage.
“Even though I am scared I am still brave.”
~Gr.4 student participant
Whispering comes in many forms. For me it speaks from the horse. I challenge you to reflect back and consider any patterns of messages, metaphors or whispers from any source that may be trying to support you to break through repetitive self-defeating behavior. Listen to the whispers. They are trying to guide you inside to find the solutions and strategies for you to reach a natural state of safety and optimal health.
Jordan Birch, CPC, MSc cand.
Jordan is a Certified Professional Life Coach living and working in greater Vancouver. His passions drive him to empower you to eliminate self-destructive and limiting behaviors so you can breakthrough insanity—doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. In his private practice ‘Get Out Of Doors™ Life Coaching’ he fuses transformational Life Coaching and a partnership with nature as a metaphor and medium for change.
To breakthrough and reach a natural high, connect with Jordan: