COMMIT

Rule #1 when working with horses: Be very clear about your boundaries, while simultaneously respecting theirs. Same with humans! To set and respect boundaries is critical to human communication, and yet we’re not taught how to do it. When we practice this life skill with a horse, we understand instantly how powerful it is. Their sheer size and presence requires…

Continue Reading

PAUSE

Sometimes it’s difficult to build time into our day to simply pause. For many of us, life is one task after another – and often we’re required to multi-task. But when we pause before we send an email or respond to someone’s words or actions, we gain a new perspective that can help us navigate the circumstance better, with more…

Continue Reading

Perspective

Notice anything odd about this photo of the New York City skyline? If you’re familiar with the shape of the iconic Empire State Building (just left of center) you may notice it looks slightly bloated in this photo. Why? From this perspective, the shorter, fatter New York Times Building is positioned directly in front of it – obstructing all but…

Continue Reading

CONNECT

What happens when you’re talking to someone and their phone lights up or ‘pings’? Inevitably they break the connection and either glance at it or address the interruption. To truly connect with someone, we must give them our full attention. This is an absolute requirement when working with horses. The moment you lose focus, the horse becomes distracted and you’ve…

Continue Reading

SURRENDER

We all have patterns of behavior that show up when “troublesome” emotions like anger, or disappointment arise. If you’ve noticed your reactions and thought “Wow I could’ve handled that better” – that’s a huge step in the right direction. While those patterns may have worked for you in the past, that doesn’t mean they still work. Just noticing this puts…

Continue Reading

RESPOND VS. REACT

How often do you reply to an email, text or social media post based on your immediate reaction? The digital culture we live in almost demands an immediate response – instant gratification. Problem is, it can quickly turn into what I call instant mortification. What’s the difference between a reaction and a response? Time. Reactions are quick, agitated, and done…

Continue Reading

WHO’S SPEAKING?

I have a friend who uses a foolproof cue to stop herself from judging others. When you find yourself silently (or vocally) judging another, stop and ask out loud – with genuine curiosity – “Who’s speaking”? as though it couldn’t possibly be YOU judging someone. The more often you do it the quicker you’ll catch yourself being judgy. And the…

Continue Reading

DO-OVERS

At the end of the day have you ever reflected on your words or actions and thought “Oh no, did I really say that? If only I could go back and do it over”… As kids, do-overs were a given. Working with horses has helped me realize that – even as adults – do-overs are not only possible, but they’re…

Continue Reading

REDUCE CONFLICT

Have you ever known someone who can diffuse a situation simply by using humor? Levity, it seems comes naturally and effortlessly to them. For the rest of us, reducing conflict is a learned skill – and it CAN be learned. When we commit to enhancing our emotional intelligence skills, we actively look for ways to reduce conflict on a regular…

Continue Reading