Roger, the Horses and Me - We are our own teachers

Here we go family! Happy Friday! These passed weeks the ups and downs have been evident and I tried to be fully present through them just to understand them better and understand myself better. I even had a very low day, where I felt that I had the hand break on and I could not really advance in any direction so I just sat, and felt and wrote and took naps, hehe. Sometimes I feel a little hypocritical about writing only about the teachings that arise and the light that shines after the darkness rather than writing about the darkness itself. But I received great advice from a new friend and coach that I connected with that told me that sharing the darkness might help people in similar situations and we can evolve together. So there will be a bit more of that if I can channel it right.

Talking about my new friend and coach, his name is Roger Rullen from Management by Horse a company he started himself by connecting the puzzle pieces of his passions, interests and strenghts. These being working with people and helping them work together in good ways and his horses. At first, while when reading through Roger’s webpage and through his messages, I was in awe that this existed 

To give you a little bit of background, on Monday, a holiday here in the Netherlands, I went out for an evening walk with Lupe in the beautiful Bennekom forest that we have close to our house. Upon arriving to the forest we crossed with a couple, Roger and Linda, that were also walking their one-year-old dog. The dogs knew, and I guess our bodies also knew, that there was a connection to be made. Lupe and their dog started playing and Roger and Linda started talking to me in Dutch until I heard the word, ‘Hond’ and ‘Bulldog’. Aha! I know those words, ‘Dog’ and ‘Bulldog’ of course, I said to myself, and immediately replied, ‘No, she is an American Stafford mix’. Instantly the conversion changed to English due to my statement in English and from there on a nice conversation continued. We talked a bit about ourselves and I ended up writing Roger’s information down so we could further connect.

The next morning, I found Roger on Facebook and wrote him a message. He replied asking me to tell him a bit more about my work so I told him about my Environmental IT Consulting work and also about my blog, the permaculture course I am taking, the wellness videos and the Creative Garden which I am currently involved in. I also asked him to tell me a bit about his work and he did. Something opened up in me when he mentioned he did coaching and with horses. I told him that I was intrigued when I found out that he was a coach, since I had been thinking about getting a coach to help me navigate these crazy waters of all these projects and help me find focus and confidence to continue navigating. I guess the Universe heard and provided. Roger mentioned Synchronicity in one of his messages and offered me to do a session for free on Thursday! Wooow! I was so excited these doors were opening up. I was thankful, excited and intrigued to understand what this opportunity would bring and what I would learn about myself. So interesting, right? We feel that we want to learn about all these things when learning about oneself if probably the most profound teaching we can get. So it was booked. Thursday 9:30 am was the meeting.

On Thursday I woke up, excited, nervous and intrigued, not really knowing what to expect. I packed my backpack with my note books and my colored pencils just to be ready for everything and headed towards the GPS location Roger had sent me that showed as a place in the middle of the forest. I biked all across the Bennekom forest, breathing the pristine air, enjoying the scenery and feeling the anticipation nerves in my stomach, and also not wanting to be late to the appointment. Suddenly, I feel like my tire rim bangs against a rock, oh no! A flat tire, I thought to myself. No worries, it will hold up until I get there so I continued my way through the forest paths trying to be as gentile as possible with the bike. Finally, I get to the location, or close to it. I read the instructions and I do not understand them completely. I see the African art referenced in the instruction. The African art was a bunch of totem like sculptures made out of a shinny black stone just presenting themselves in the middle of the forest. 'These sculptures are in the direction instructions', I realize. I start heading in. I message Roger. I talk to a person there and continue going. Suddenly, phone call and it was Roger telling me that he sees a bike I was on the right path. The reunion starts!

The setup was a large field, maybe 2 hectares where horses were gently walking and grazing. We were sitting on a piece of tree trunk on one of the corners outside of the field. The day was mystical, gray in the sky, the climate was temperate and the visibility was excellent. The field was surrounded by the forest so the sound of the birds was really present.

Roger started telling me how he got into his practice and the path he had gone through. He also told me about how the horses are all connected and even connected with us. Even though they seem to be individual horses they are part of a system. One horse might be on the lookout of these new people, listening and hearing every move. Through feeling he or she can communicate to the rest of the herd if everything is ok or if something needs to be done. There is also a hierarchy that gets created naturally based on need, not through power imposition like with humans. And he also told me that horses are reliable allies during coaching because they do not have an agenda, they do not have a need to show you a pretty face, they just act based on your feeling. They communicate with your feeling and not your mind, so they can help you understand what you are feeling so you can then align your heart/gut/feeling with your mind to be able to be in congruent alignment with yourself.

Roger then asks me to tell him why I am here. At first I thought, well life brought me here in a very mysterious way, but then I started telling him my story and the situation where I am at, that I am trying to fine tune the focus of my work. I told him that I am doing a bunch of projects regarding connecting with nature, working with nature and communicating with people about things that I learn that I think are meaningful but that I feel that I am just on the sidelines. That I am not jumping all in. That I am still to find the specific focus point to dive in deep, like Infinite Waters would say. I was telling him about my strengths and I was also telling him about the fears I have regarding being able to support my family doing my own work. He asked me, do you not trust that your own work can provide that? And I said, I do conceptually but I still have the fear.

Let’s go for a walk, Roger said, so we got ourselves up and started walking towards the horses. As we walked, a horse approached us. It had been a while since I had been close to a horse. I love these animals. I am also intimidated by them. The horse came to greet us I think. Roger explained that the horse might sometimes be a bit to nosy and you have to delimit your boundaries. The horse was nice. We had a nice welcome. Then that horse left. We continued walking towards a group of horses that was standing right next to a fence in a semi-circle. Roger walked us right to the middle of the semi-circle. One of the horses broke the line and stood in a relatively protective way, guarding three other horses. After a few seconds one of the horses, a brown beautiful lady, sat on the ground. It seemed like the horses were calm and ok with us being there. So Roger asked me, ‘what do you want to ask the horse now that you have all of their attention?’ I was like, ‘well…. How can I find the path that I should focus on and be confident enough to dive deep into it and I can still provide for my family?’ Roger was, ‘that is too complicated of a question. Let’s break it down. You had mentioned that you want to be able to provide to your family, provide security. Is that correct?’ ‘Yes’, I said, so I asked ‘Can I provide security to my family?’. Roger said, that is better. A few seconds later another horse, this time a white one, sat on the ground. We watched and felt. A couple of minutes later another white horse sat on the ground. Roger, said ‘Wooow! What do you feel? What do you think the horses are telling you?’ I said ‘This is amazing, I guess the horses feel comfortable, they feel relaxed and not threatened’. ‘Yes’, he said ‘and what does that say about you? How do you feel?’ ‘Well, I feel relaxed too. I feel like they are not scared of me, however in my mind I still fear if I can provide security to my family or not.’ Suddenly a fourth horse, another white one, sat on the ground. Roger, was like ‘the message is clear to me. What do you feel? How does this make you feel?’ I felt my body expanding, goose bumps all over and even some tears arising. ‘I feel like I can provide security for these horses. I feel like these horses feel safe with me’. ‘Yes’ said Roger, ‘and what are you doing?’, ‘Just standing here’, I said. ‘Yes, you are just being yourself’, said Roger. ‘What does this mean to you?’ ‘It means that I can make beings feel safe’. ‘Yes’, he says. ‘And by doing what? By being yourself’. Wow! What an enlightening experience! Roger asked me if I had felt this before and I told me that, yes, people had said that they feel safe around me but I guess I had not realized it or not deeply believed in it before. The experience with the horses was showing it to me in a deep level and in a real way. Now Roger said, ‘and what was the other part in your question? What work do you need to focus on?’. ‘Yes’, I said, ‘What work do I need to focus on?’. Almost instantly another horse sat down. This time it was the horse that was originally guarding the three other horses. ‘What does this tell you, Allan?’ Roger asked. ‘That they still feel safe?’ I said. ‘Yes, but regarding your question? You care about these animals. I also saw you caressing a plant when we were talking over there. You care about these animals and even all nature. Is that true?’. ‘Yes!’, I said, ‘I care about all beings’. Suddenly all the horse got up! And the two horses that were being guarded the entire time broke the circle and came directly towards us! ‘They want to tell you something, Allan’. So I stood there with their big faces almost on my face, caressing them. Wow, what an experience. ‘How does it feel to have these several hundred kilogram animals approach you like this?’. ‘It feels good’, I said, ‘intimidating and good’. ‘I respect them’. ‘Yes’, Roger said, ‘I think you got your answers’. We stayed there petting them a while longer. I noticed that I was slowly moving backwards as the horse leaned their heads onto me. Finally, Roger said. ‘If you want to take care of other beings, you first need to take care of yourself, set your boundaries’. Another deep teaching. Even though I was providing safety and I was caring for them by being myself, I was slightly letting myself be pushed back and back. I noticed that. Roger said, ‘I think you have a lot to chew on now’. And he also said ‘If you want something go get it. No one will bring it to you’. A couple of minutes later the horses just spread out.

Roger and I continued talking. I was getting a bit cold so I asked Roger to start walking. So we did. We met another horse, this time a black lady that was just grazing. Eventually we made our way back out of the field. Roger and I talked a bit more about how to stay in touch and I eventually left. The experience had left me speechless. I realized that my bike did not have a flat tire so I biked back with no problem. My mind was in blank. Emotionless, just being, I biked back. I was soaking it all in.

We are our own teachers. Learn to align with yourself, with your feelings, with your gut and learn from them.

Blessings family!