In mind-body coaching, we often work with the message behind the physical pain/symptom. I’ve often joked that I’m somewhat stubborn, to put it gently, and my body really has to give me a good smack to help me make important changes in my life. But, this smack takes a little decoding to understand. To help you decode the messages in your pain, I often write about the common ones I see in my coaching practice.
An extremely common message behind physical pain has to do with setting boundaries. Boundary-setting is something I didn’t fully understand until I went through coach training. I knew that I often said yes when I wanted to say no, pushed myself past my own limits, and let others’ approval trump my own deep desires. What I didn’t know was how to say no, how to put myself on my own priority list, and how to set healthy boundaries without being harsh. It was a confusing issue.
Thankfully, my body told me I needed to set boundaries. It let me know that I was letting unhealthy patterns exist in relationships, and it told me I was not really nurturing myself. But it couldn’t teach me to really understand the messages it was sending me, day in and day out, that were designed to help me set healthy boundaries.
I came across the work of Koelle Simpson while in coach training . It was one of those big aha moments that create a giant leap forward in self-understanding. In one fell swoop, I saw how I could say no, create healthy boundaries, and still be loving, compassionate, and kind to others. The confusing “how” was finally solved.
Koelle is an equus coach, which means that she uses horses as giant coaching tools. Very, very giant, I might add. This sounds perplexing until you understand the nature of horses. Horses respond to the non-verbal communication that you give in each and every moment. Though humans respond to non-verbal communication too (in fact, this is the primary way we relate to each other, even though we may not be aware of it), horses are unique in that they cannot understand language. They also spend much less time around humans than domesticated animals. The upside of this is they treat humans just like they treat other horses.
If you walk into the horse ring and say hello to a horse, it could care less. If you tell it everything you want it to do, it will simply walk off and eat whatever is handy. The only way to communicate with the horse is via body language and energy. There is no fooling the horse. If you are afraid, it knows. If you are angry, it knows. If you think you want to create your own space, set a boundary, and be strong, it will show you immediately whether or not you are actually doing so. If you are not setting firm, loving boundaries, the horse will 1) invade your space 2) not respond to your actions 3) assume a leadership role.
When an animal with one hind leg that weighs as much as you assumes a leadership role, there is no cajoling, begging, or smiling that will make one bit of difference. You have no choice but to learn how to project leadership energy, set effective boundaries, and take charge of yourself and the horse.
My experience in the horse ring was so transformational that I knew I needed to share this opportunity with you, my fellow health creators! The difficulty has been in explaining how a horse is going to help you heal. (I just have to indulge myself and tell you what I imagined you saying: “How in the hell is a horse going to help me heal my hoo-ha?”)
The reality is that a horse will not only help you heal – it will help you heal the root issues behind the pain. There is only so much ignoring your poor body can take before it says “PLEASE! For the love of God, say no, stop living your life to please others, and LEAD YOUR LIFE!” (I put that in all caps because it sure as hell felt like my body was yelling that at me!)
Leading my life does two things. It makes me feel joy, and it keeps me healthy. Then, when I lead my life and set healthy boundaries, the funniest thing happens. Not only am I healthy and happy, but my relationships improve. All those things I thought I had to do to please other people turned out to be getting in the way of true, honest, relationships. Every single relationship I have is now a hundred times better than it used to be. My body is at ease, because I am at ease as the leader of my life.
So here’s the deal: if I could design the perfect experience for you to learn everything about boundaries, listening to and honoring your body, and creating health, I would spend 3 days with you. In those 3 days, I would hook you up with Koelle, take you through several Yo-Ching(SM) classes, and teach you mind-body tools. I’d also plunk you down in the middle of nature, which is extraordinarily healing in itself.
Coincidentally, I have created this very thing.
All joking aside, the upcoming Turn on Your Inner GPS Workshop is this ultimate combination. I can’t think of any better way to share everything with you to further your healing journey. I felt the need to tell you that, because it’s important that you know! I’ve tried to be extremely aware of the financial end of things in creating this workshop, and though it does include Koelle, myself, and Jess Ryan, (yoga teacher extraordinaire and my Yo-Ching(SM) business partner), the price is not any different than one of Koelle’s Primal Leadership Workshops. (If you check it out, remember that all lodging and meals are included in the price.) I really, really, want this experience to be possible and helpful for you! (The Early Bird price is good through Friday, July 16.)
If you’d like to check out all the details, Click Here . You can join Koelle, myself, and Jess on a free informational call about the Turn on Your Inner GPS Workshop on Thursday, July 15, at 11:30 PT/12:30 MT/1:30 CT/2:30 ET. The call will be recorded and sent out afterward, so even if you can’t make it, you can email me any questions you’d like answered. Here is the call-in info: