Photo courtesy of A. Kasarjian Art and Photography
As I walked away from the barn this morning after feeding the horses, I saw the three that were turned out in the pasture moving together and grazing together. When one got left behind, he quickly trotted across the field to catch up. It made me think of our clients. They are on a journey and even though in their hearts they know which way to go, they sometimes need someone to walk with them to give them confidence. That is our job here at PBJ Connections. Maybe it should be the job of everyone.
We use a model of therapy called the EAGALA model (www.eagala.org). Those of us using the EAGALA model to help improve people’s lives believe that people truly have their own answers inside of them; they sometimes just need help drawing those answers out and starting to live them. Horses are so good at this. They always know the answer and never second guess. They are always making the best choice for themselves in that moment. From the human perspective, it may not look like it as they stick their leg through a fence or blast past their handler when someone opens an umbrella. But if you think about it, they are sticking their leg through the fence because the grass truly is better on the other side or because they feel the need to play or defend themselves against the horse on the other side. When they run from the umbrella, it is just self-preservation.
As humans, we learn to stand still in the face of adversity and not react. This is a skill that can come in handy, but it keeps us in a state of incongruency, which is very uncomfortable for us over time and causes much stress and anxiety. It is often the cause of mental illness. As facilitators of the EAGALA model, it is our job to walk with our clients and guide them as they find their way out of that highly anxious space and into a space that is more honest to themselves.
Who do you need to walk with as they take their journey? Who do you need to walk with you?