I did a thing this morning which is something that I talk about with the glorious peeps I work with; I started searching for articles, podcasts- anything I could get my hands on really- about the subject of vitality. As I hit play on a podcast that popped up in my feed, a little voice in my head said to me:
Jane, you’re doing that thing.
You need to stop.
You’re doing that thing where instead of sitting down and sharing what it is you know; you’re convincing yourself you need to know more.
You’re in the “I don’t know enough” cycle.
You’re in the “I need to know more” cycle.
Sound familiar to anyone?
It’s a cycle that many of us revert to that stops us stepping up and showing up as we are now, and sharing what is true for us in that moment.
I admitted to that little voice that that was, indeed, true and with a sigh, closed the window of every article, every podcast, every bookmark I had opened until it was just me and the blank page sharing space together.
The subject of vitality is on my mind because in a couple of weeks’ time, I’m teaching a workshop with Rupert Isaacson on that exact topic. It’s a workshop that I’m really excited for because at the heart of my work lies the desire for the restoration of vitality.
The pathway there might look different for everyone; the challenges each of us experience may hold their own unique flavor; but ultimately, we are all looking to feel the essence of our own aliveness and to be able to hold that energy without turning away from the conversations that are important to us.
Horses provide us with a portal to have conversations that we would not be brave enough or supported enough to have without them.
They free us to say,
I am experiencing anxiety or
I feel lost or
I can’t find my way or
I’m struggling in my relationships,
by allowing us to think that it’s about them, just enough,
that we can turn towards what it is that is happening and begin the conversation.
They teach us different ways that we can save our own lives.
Ways that ultimately become more graceful as we become more skilled at holding the energy that’s required.
As humans, we are constantly working to save our own lives. We do this in ways that are both immense and minute. When I speak of saving my own life, I’m speaking of recognising that in this moment, in this situation, I’m in a reality that does not serve me; where the container has become too small (or perhaps even too big) for what my current form wishes to inhabit, and something needs to change.
It might be physically, but equally so, it’s mentally and emotionally and spiritually.
The grace and ease with which we make that change is directly proportionate to our ability to face the conversation without reducing or diminishing ourselves (or others) to something that we are not. And in the beginning, that can be kind of clunky.
As we become more skilled, we become more adept at holding the many different realities that life presents us with without the need to shut down or fire up or flee.
We learn to hold the in between space where our feet are on the ground, our head extends to the sky and our heart projects our wants at the centre, with whatever or whomever we are in relationship with.
The ability to hold this space is, to me, the foundation stone of vitality.
The experience of vitality does not require the absence of challenge.
It is not an emotional state that excludes emotions that we might label as negative or difficult.
It is not a place of constant physical buoyancy.
Vitality, instead, is the ability to face forwards. The ability to join the conversation. The ability to HAVE the conversation and to recognise your needs and desires within it.
And to be able to consistently step into that space even when you are challenged to turn away from it.
Vitality is not an island that you land on when all the things line up in your favour.
Instead, it’s a state of being that you inhabit that allows you to step forward instead of back, to be expanded instead of reduced, and to keep taking action, even if you’re walking a gravel road.
If you’re interested in joining us for our Vitality workshop, we will be exploring the practical means to access your own vitality. You can learn more or sign up here.