DISCOVERING THE AUTHENTIC SELF

with Paula Josa-Jones, CMA, RSMET, SEP

How can horses help?
Horses mirror our physical and emotional expression and show us when we are "out of sync" - that is when our inside feelings and outside behaviors are not in harmony. Unlike humans (or any predator), horses are always congruent - their behavior always matches their feeling. The simple non-judgmental presence of a horse can help us calm and ground ourselves physically and emotionally. Learning to be with a horse in a quiet, embodied way - how to slow down and feel the body - builds confidence and helps you to see and feel yourself with greater clarity and compassion. This heart-centered way of touching and moving with horses can dramatically shift your relationships at home and at work, and inspire you to move courageously toward goals that may have seemed impossible or out of reach.

What is trauma?
Trauma exists in many forms. It may be the result of an accident or injury, a profound loss, abuse, medical trauma, or family history including birth trauma. Signs and symptoms of trauma may include anxiety, hyper-vigilance, low self worth, compromised immune system, depression, hopelessness and chronic anger or rage. We may feel shut down, inhibited, or overly sensitive. Our emotions may be unbearable or feelings may be absent, with an array of somatic symptoms. Our system is in a constant state of fight or flight.

What about recovery?
The first stage of recovery is just learning to live one day at a time, one moment at a time, without drinking or taking drugs. Beneath that is what I know to be the "great opening" of possibility and pleasure that begins with sobriety. Horses can help us notice when we are feeling vulnerable, and support us in becoming more grounded and trustworthy to ourselves and those around us.

What does a session look like?
It starts by just standing with a horse, noticing the horse and our own responses to simply being together. Work can take place in the stable aisle, in the stall or in a larger enclosure. Each session has its own organic structure, sometimes involving touch, leading, or simple, ordinary movements. We break things down into simple steps, noticing when we are moving too quickly or asking too much of our equine partners or ourselves.

Who can this work help?
  • Women who wish to feel greater confidence and pleasure in their personal and professional lives.
  • Those seeking a more authentic, conscious and compassionate relationship with their bodies.
  • Individuals suffering from injury, physical or emotional trauma, or recovering from addiction.
  • Children and adults on the autism spectrum.

    No previous riding or horse experience is necessary. All work is done on the ground.

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    Discovering the Authentic Self