What Does It Mean To Increase Capacity?

Capacity is a word that I frequently use in my work. Much of what I do revolves around finding ways to increase it…

To increase our capacity for big experiences.

To increase our capacity for big emotions.

To increase our capacity for life and riding generally.

In my training session I taught yesterday on Goals, Horses & The Nervous System, I defined capacity as:

The amount of energy and activation your nervous system can hold whilst staying grounded and connected to yourself and your environment.

We are “at capacity” or “outside of our capacity” when our experience in the moment has exceeded the ability of our nervous system to hold it without moving into a survival response (flight, fight, freeze, shutdown or collapse).

When we think of increasing our capacity for experience, we typically think of doing so in order that we are better able to hold the more difficult stuff- anxiety, fear, frustration to name a few.

But equally so, increasing our capacity relates to our ability to hold the good stuff also. Success, things going well, dreaming about what you want, being able to plan ahead… all of that creates a level of nervous system activation that can feel unsafe if our container isn’t big enough to hold it.

The work of increasing your capacity is about making your cup big enough to hold the complexity and intensity of life in full HD colour, not just a single shade of red.


❤️ Jane