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  • nancy willbern

Updated: Jun 27, 2020


Earlier this week, I posted a blog (see Blog Post, Heart to Heart) about how moving into a state of Coherency (which means a state of inner balance) can sometimes have the power to draw a horse towards you. So, Monday morning I went out to the barn where I do my Equine Assisted Psychotherapy sessions and decided to give this a try for myself. I brought my HRV (Heart Rate Variation) monitor with me. As I entered the paddock with Pete, (the Rescue I am in love with), I very respectfully approached him, rocking back and sighing every few steps, not wanting to intrude on his space. When I got close enough to him, I stretched out my arm in his direction and offerend my closed fist for him to sniff - which is one way to shake hands with a horse. He sniffed it, acknowledging my presence but moved back into his reverie - one back knee released, eyes barely open. So, I left him to his slumber and sat down on a rock.


In a few minutes he meandered over to the water trough and then to the hay bin to eat a snack. I decided to use that time to turn on my HRV monitor and see if I could breathe myself into a sense of well-being. I clipped the electric node onto my earloble and held the monitor in my hand. I began to breathe in to a count of 5 and breathe out to a count of 5. I watched the blue line move up and down in concert with my breathing and the tiny colored light at the top to see if I was coherenct or not. It started with a blue light which means you are not fully present with yourself or with your surroundings. Then it changed into a red one, which means you are getting closer and over a few minutes of time it made its way to green, the signal that you have reached coherency. I focused on the green dot and the rising and falling blue line. I heard cluckng of the barnyard poultry in the background as I moved into the zone. Pete did not seem to notice how together I had become, still more interested in the hay. Oh, well.


After a few more minutes, I heard a surprised gasp from the direction of the covered arena. A rider taking a lesson, stopped her horse, pointed in my direction and exclaimed, "Look at all those chickens!" I looked up and found that I was surrounded by a full flock of chickens! Jess, the riding instructor leaned around a tree to get a full view and hollered out, "Nancy, is that you over there with all those chickens?! You look like the pigoen lady in Mary Poppins!" I said, "I know. This is so bizarre! I'm expecting one of them to come and perch on my shoulder!"


You know that old adage, "You want to know how to make God laugh? "Tell him your plans." So, that's what I pictured in that moment, a group of Celestial Beings laughing at me... with me... as I remembered once again that we never really have a clue what Life will bring. Our job is to stay open and curious and trusting, rather than planning and predicting and unconsciously assuming that we know what this Thing is all about. Here's the message the chickens brought that day, "Back to Beginner's Mind, Nancy. And don't take life so seriously. It wants to play with you."


Footnote: I just looked up the symbolic meaning of "chicken." Among other things, it represents the unpredictability of life, keeping a sense of humor, new beginnings and has been used throughout history as an animal with the power of divination. Alrighty, then. Cluck, cluck.


Stock photo from Pixabay


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Posting Etiquette

It is important to me that this site be one that feels safe and respectful for everyone. To make sure we are all on the same page, please note:

1.) Comments shared in this space, remain in this space. Readers do not have permission to copy or shave off little bits and claim as their own -- anything anyone else has shared on either the Blog Posts or Comments without written permission from the author.

2.) This site may not be used for partisan purposes. Disrespectful or contentious comments will be removed.

3.) The purpose of this site is to expand our awareness and open our hearts. It takes all of us to keep it within its intent.


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  • nancy willbern

Updated: Jun 27, 2020


Confession: Last night I posted a blog, entitled Your Light. When I went to bed, I thought the post was OK, but I had some doubts about it. I woke up this morning at 6:00 AM – trust me, early for me – with my mocking, inner critic - think, Draco Malfoy,* (the bully in the Harry Potter series ) attacking my wounded child – think, Dobby (the elf and house slave of the Malfoy’s in the Harry Potter series). Draco was merciless with his shaming and name calling – “That piece was dull and lifeless. You wrote it from your head! Do you think anybody felt anything from that?! I bet most of them didn’t even read it to the end. They didn’t get as far as all of that climbing in the heart… removing the bushel… and letting it shine, shine, shine bit which was the only part in the whole damn thing that might have caused a nostalgic smile. That piece didn’t even rank as much as a catch in the throat…. “

I slowly began to sink back into that deep, dark dungeon inside myself. There I was Dobby, the house slave dressed in a burlap bag gaping around my skinny little arms and shaky little legs, again.

I used to stay in that dungeon for days. Over the years, it morphed into hours. Now, I can sometimes remember to do my ABC’s as a teacher once explained to me. “Whenever you get triggered. Stop and ACKNOWLEDGE what you are feeling. Label it and then actually feel it inside your body. Give it its full due. Then stop and BREATHE into it, sending oxygen and attention to all of those unpleasant sensations. Last, CONNECT WITH COMPASSION. Bring all of your separated selves together, right there in the dungeon with the wounded child (my Dobby).

So, that’s what I did. I stepped into my Nurturing Adult and let her take the lead. She stood by my inner Dobby as she called in Draco – understanding his bullying as an unconscious and misguided attempt at self-protection. Then she called in my Guardian Angels. As soon as They entered the room, the dungeon was filled with a glowing light. Their compassionate energy was palpable. We all calmed down. In the middle of our connection, I told my Guides that I needed help with my writing. I wanted to come from my heart to the heart of the reader, Soul to Soul. And then I heard them say or maybe I intuited it:


Nancy, you spoke your truth yesterday in your blog post. And We have no doubt, it will reach some readers. It has its own kind of value. But, if you are not satisfied with it, if you want it to touch more deeply, you could rewrite it from a more personal perspective. Say everything you said yesterday, but this time, tell it as a story.


And then they just said three simple words: Big girl panties. I laughed and knew exactly what they meant. So, this is the re-write of Your Life from yesterday, as suggested by my Inner Guides:

Last week, I had two clients who came into my office with dread and trepidation. Each one was facing the option to take a really big step into her deeper, but inexperienced truth by speaking up at an important meeting. It wasn't just about speaking up, about being more assertive, it was about saying something that would move the whole trajectory of the organization. Each one was standing on the threshold between who she knew herself to be and who she would become if she stepped beyond her comfort zone. To take that step was daunting for both of them. As each got to that fateful, threshold-point in her description, feeling all tense and constricted inside – terrified at the thought of moving forward into truth - she stopped and said, “Well, I guess I’m just going to have to put on my big girl panties.” At this we both laughed. As women raised in the south, we had trusted in those Big-Girls our whole lives.

After the laugh, with both of them I said, “No, big girl panties don’t help in this kind of situation. Big Girls help us speak up, but it takes something bigger than that to shift us into a qualitatively different identity. Big Girls fortify us on the outside. Inner connection strengthens us from within. And that’s what you’re going to need to take this next step. Now close your eyes.” I then took each one inside herself, just like I do to myself when I am terrified, had her gather all of her scared, self-doubters, as well as her judging critics into the dark dungeon with her. And then I asked her to bring in the image of her inner Loving Wisdom. “You might see it as an angel. It might appear as a sacred figure or a totem animal or you may just feel its Presence or see a glowing light.” They each saw an angel. “Now, check in with your body one more time. How does it feel now? They both said they felt so much better, more relaxed, more open. I had them really take that sensation in, to expand its light, its warmth and its strength throughout their whole bodies. And then giving them all the time they needed, asked them to open their eyes when they were ready.

Both clients left their sessions feeling more prepared and stronger in the face of their upcoming meetings. As each one left, we both knew that the fear would sneak back in again, but my hope was that when it did, they would remember to go inside and re-connect to the power beyond their Big Girls.


Epilogue:

As soon as one of the clients got home, she shared with me a text that her sister had sent her during our session. It read, “I sure hope Laura** doesn’t have her panties in a wad at the meeting tomorrow.”



*Draco Malfoy is a fellow student of Harry Potter who makes himself feel better than others by taunting and belittling them. His family owns Dobby, the elf, who is enslaved as a house servant in their home.


** Not her real name.


Stock photo from Pixabay


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Posting Etiquette

It is important to me that this site be one that feels safe and respectful for everyone. To make sure we are all on the same page, please note:

1.) Comments shared in this space, remain in this space. Readers do not have permission to copy or shave off little bits and claim as their own -- anything anyone else has shared on either the Blog Posts or Comments without written permission from the author.

2.) This site may not be used for partisan purposes. Disrespectful or contentious comments will be removed.

3.) The purpose of this site is to expand our awareness and open our hearts. It takes all of us to keep it within its intent.

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  • nancy willbern

Updated: Jun 27, 2020



There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.

-- Martha Graham



I call that unique life force, the Soul.


In any given moment, we have 3 levels of identity available to us: 1.) the ego, 2.) the Soul and 3.) the Spirit. The ego is our programmed self, the self we made up that we needed to be to feel safe, experience some sort of power and control, and to win us affection and esteem.* After about age seven, this level of identity becomes our default position. In other words, we live out of our ego-identities unless we consciously choose to move out of them. We consciously choose to move out of them when we begin to realize that the self we know ourselves to be – our ego – is suffocating us, is keeping us stuck in old, worn out patterns that in fact, do not lead to power, affection or safety, after all.

Our Spirit identity is that part of us that is at one with the All. Always has been, always will be. It is a given, even if we are not aware of it. This is our shared identity. We share it with each other and with all that is Divine At this level, there are no distinctions. We are all melded into the Whole. The Whole is Reality. Reality is another name for Truth. And Truth and Love are just flip sides of the same sacred coin. Our truest identity is Love.

Our Soul identity, the one in between the separated-ego and the connected-All is the aspect of the self that we were born with, but have forgotten. It is our pre-programmed self – pure, innocent, perfect just as it is. It is the part of our identity that is uniquely ours, alone. When we are living out of our Soul, we experience both greater connection and greater freedom, all at the same time, with no effort on our part. We become like a flame that extends light and warmth out in every direction, just because that is its nature.

The process of personal growth and development is the process of consciously choosing to participate in the evolution of the experience of the self, from ego-identity to Soul-identity. This evolution cannot be self-directed through any sort of hard work or analytical problem-solving. It is not a cognitive process, at all. Quite, the contrary. The evolution requires deep humility – a gut-level-recognition that we don’t know how to move ourselves from ego stuck-ness into the Soul’s expansion.

But here is what I have come to know in my heart of hearts, if we move into that deep humility – into “beginner’s mind” as the Buddha put it or if “we become as a little child,” as Jesus suggested – and ask to be shown the way. Big, powerful, loving wise Forces come to our aid. All They need is your invitation and then, hold onto your hat because They will open your heart, crawl inside, dust off the alter, and lift the bushel off your little candle - so you can - you know - let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


* See Thomas Keating's: Open Mind, Open Heart


Source of image unknown

__________________________________________________________________________


Posting Etiquette

It is important to me that this site be one that feels safe and respectful for everyone. To make sure we are all on the same page, please note:

1.) Comments shared in this space, remain in this space. Readers do not have permission to copy or shave off little bits and claim as their own -- anything anyone else has shared on either the Blog Posts or Comments without written permission from the author.

2.) This site may not be used for partisan purposes. Disrespectful or contentious comments will be removed.

3.) The purpose of this site is to expand our awareness and open our hearts. It takes all of us to keep it within its intent.

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