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Horses and Elevators: Going Up

Yesterday I went to Possibilities Farm (best name ever) in Wilton, Connecticut, for a networking event. I was eager to go because they do equine-facilitated learning there, much like what I experienced with Mr. Big on my Costa Rica trip last April.

So in addition to getting to know many lovely people, I met the three resident horses, Sweet Potato, Magical Mere, and Paddington. Our task was to choose one of the horses to give an elevator pitch to in the pasture. I chose Mere, the white horse, and attempted to explain my life’s work to her briefly, before we reached my floor (or hers for that matter).

Mere was everything I’d hoped she’d be—attentive, still, and focused while I was speaking. From my experience partnering with a horse last spring, I knew how important it was to be authentic and centered while speaking my truth to her. As prey animals, horses have an incredible heightened awareness to the energy around them and would know in a second if I was faking it or distracted (in which case they’d probably walk away and find something real to occupy their time). The loveliest thing is, the three horses were super focused and receptive to everyone in our group as we each spoke our pitches…meaning it was a real, authentic group of people talking about what they love.

Even the horses who were not being pitched to in the moment stood close by, paying attention to what was happening. What struck me was when Carrie the facilitator explained to us that the horses know they have a choice—they can work with the people in the moment or they can choose not to. She said there was plenty of hay in the pasture and they were free to go eat it or retreat into the barn. But they all chose to be present for the people at this event. Carrie explained that because the horses know they have a choice, they show up for this work and do amazing work with people, over and over again.

So then I realized how freedom and authenticity go hand in hand. When we have freedom to do what inspires us and makes us happy, it paves the way to step into our authentic selves. And when we’re true to ourselves, it’s easier to build a life of freedom of choice. If we’re in a job or relationship that’s not in line with our passion, we often feel stuck and restricted, and disconnected from who we really are.

So know you always have a choice, even though that may be hard to see. You can create a life doing what you love. It’s taken me many, many years to get there myself, but I don’t think the horses would fault me for that. It’s just been a longer elevator ride up…and I’m glad I met Mere on the way.

It’s all about the magic. 🙌

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