*** This article was published in the August 2017 edition of Natural Awakenings**
Dark clouds roll in from the West. Treetops sway while wind gusts get stronger. Birds seek shelter and people move indoors with dogs in close pursuit. It’s 5 pm in Piedmont, SC. The daily summer storm has arrived. In a nearby meadow only horses remain. Three resident equines graze peacefully, undisturbed by rolling thunder and bolts of lightning. They do not care if rain soaks their coat. They do not mind the howling wind. They are the calm in the middle of mayhem.
Centuries of a survival-of-the-fittest lifestyle taught horses the power of embracing chaos. They learned to roll with the natural flow and accept chaos as part of life, making them into what they were meant to be. Horses know three choices in every single moment; to fight, to run, or to accept until it goes away. When dark clouds move in, they know how to surrender to the inevitable without wasting energy on worried thinking. They put tails in the wind and stand their ground. They know the storm won’t last forever. It never has, and it never will.
After the summer storm has blown past, the sky turns blue once more. A careful ray of sunlight bounces off sparkly wet leaves. The smell of summer rain is everywhere. Nature comes back alive and horses shake manes to dry off quicker. The chaos is gone, for now. Yet, the horses know just what to do if it returns; simply fight, run or embrace.
A nearby group of women has observed the herd’s behavior throughout the storm. They are participants in a workshop at EquineFlow, a center for horse guided human development in Piedmont, SC. One of the women reflects on the behavior of the horses. She shares the horses inspire her to realize it is OK to just go with the flow of chaos sometimes and that she doesn’t always have to fight it in order to survive. Another participant shared she noticed each horse had its own successful way of dealing with the storm, and how their authenticity opens the door for her to deal with her personal storms in her own personal way.
Reflective herd behavior observations is just one of the many experiential exercises women of the Upstate will be enjoying during the Embracing Chaos workshop at EquineFlow in Piedmont. During a seven week program in September and October participants interact with horses to learn how to maintain their center in the middle of mayhem, deal with emotional pain, stay grounded in tough times and ignite brilliance under pressure.
After seven weeks, participants will have created solid, pragmatic and science based strategies to get through tough times in life, now and in the future and will have identified their personal key to long lasting bravery, courage and happiness.
To learn more about how the horses at EquineFlow can help people find strength, resilience and happiness go here.