The body has the most beautiful way of organising itself, and many times, our well-intentioned efforts to calm down when we feel we are “up” or manipulate what and how the body is presenting gets in the way of that happening.
Part of that has to do with the pressure to conform to what we consider to be socially acceptable presentations. For instance, we may feel a strong emotion to cry in certain settings, but we stuff it down or swallow our tears as we feel they’re inappropriate or not ok for the situation we find ourselves in. The narratives around tears often tell us they are a sign of weakness and fragility, and so we internalise the feeling, along with the story in the hope that it will somehow evaporate. Instead, it mutates.
The other part has to do with our fear of unconscious reactions of the body. Shaking, fast breathing, anything which feels like it’s outside the mode of our conscious control is embarrassing, unwanted, and concerning to us. These organised patterns of integration and processing for the body in response to high-stress states become disorganised over time as we develop a hyper-focus on “calming down”; we force ourselves into a slow breath, favour static stillness over movement and in the process leave a residue of stored energy in the system as a clean (or dirty) swap for the appearance of outward order.
There’s work involved in increasing our capacity but we don’t do it to prime ourselves to fit the story of who we think we should be, or who we’ve been told we should be, or what we think is appropriate. We don’t do it for the clean swap of the appearance of outward order. We do it to expand the window of possibility for what we are able to hold- emotionally, energetically, and experientially- but we also do it to get a clear idea of what works for us and what doesn’t. For what we are available for and what we aren’t. For what is a yes for us and what is a no. Ultimately, we work to increase our capacity to get a clear idea of where and for what we stand for, and when we have the clarity, the system is free to organise itself in the way it’s naturally primed to.
From that point, we can show up for our horses with a clear sense of self and what we bring to the partnership. A tangible sense of differentiation in order that we can truly experience integration.