Sipping tea after a morning ride on the horses, looking out over the fields and mountains, the sky flushed with clouds. You can often hear the birds talking to one another, the breeze and wind blowing the grasses and leaves, the occasional sound of human activity added to the chorus. Breathe in.
The first human comes in, a dark cloud over their head. They talk about disappointment, hurt, betrayal, heartbreak, feeling hopeless. In my heart, there is a willingness to meet them there, because we have all been there, and many of us just need our hand held so we can find our way out again. Times goes by, their heart feels broken open and full of life. Good bye lovely human. Breathe in.
Next person walks by. They are pulling away. Times goes on. They say very little, but they show everything. The horses nudge them, trying to understand why they are frozen and stuck. “I’m not sure” I whisper back. We walk and I ask them which way they would like to walk. They stand still. “I don’t know” and we talk about will, how we want to move in life, and the paralyzing fear is spoken to - “I am afraid of my own choices.” They tear up, but don’t cry. They make a choice of where they want to walk. I will see them next week, where we will decide together, me following their lead and supporting their journey to choose. Breathe in.
Lunch. A quick nourishing and a pause to give all the feelings back. Its’s time. Breathe in.
Next human. They can’t wait to play with the horses! Their flying feet prance out to the field, excited for what magic might unfold. The laughter and joy and excitement and questions are mimicked by the horses. Everyone is tuning in and the love for life is beaming. This experience is followed by a desire to connect deeper. In the stillness, they still feel the joy, but it is concentrated. They take that wisdom with them as we say good bye. Breathe in.
The next human comes in through the door. Flustered and buzzing, they ask to go for a walk. We meander to the open space where there is just land and sky. They breathe heavily while they talk and process, in their case, a sign that they are letting go of stress. They say they feel clearer, more able to see what they are needing in life. Good bye sweet human. Breathe in.
The last person comes in. They smile and light up. The feeling they bring is raw, open, like their heart lives on their sleeve. We sit for a while and have tea. They talk about their love for those around them, the sadness they carry for those who hurt and are in pain wishing they could do more. We talk about watching those we love betray themselves in one way or another, loyal to the wounds that have once protected them from harm. Clarity is not always a gift, it can painful to see the truth, but it helps when you know you are not alone in it. I will see them for our monthly time next season and we say good bye for the gratitude for one another. They leave. Breathe in.
The silence of the office, the land, the feeling of just me for a moment. I sit down and reflect upon the day. The rivers of hurt, fear, joy, stress, and sorrow run through my veins. I feel them vividly, creating movement inside. My breathe feels like it is deeper, like I am that much more connected to something outside of myself and I allowing that something to move me. I thank those folks who came in that day, thank the horses for their facilitation in those moments that matter, as well as the land for holding all that came up and helping to carry this river of feeling that runs through all of us.
*These are absolutely not based on actual clients but archetypes of feelings that we all have.
Kaia Livingstone is a psychotherapist who runs a private practice outside of Boulder, CO. She specializes in helping horses and humans bond in order to help them relate and connect on a deeper level as well as heal and grow.