“Grandma, I’m on student council at my school, (age 7; first grade,) and we are planning a dance for our grandparents. Will you come and dance with me?” How precious! With the kindness of amazing people in my life and the effortless re-scheduling that took place, Southwest wings flew me from Nashville, TN, to Denver, CO, simply to dance.
And dance we did- one solid hour of dancing! We danced the chicken dance, YMCA, slow dance (Grandson Aren made it easy to follow), Hokey Pokey, even the Macarena. What fun we had!
I want to thank Madison Elementary School, of Colorado Springs, CO, for the dance of knowledge and relationship. What a joy to see the elders and the youngsters being with each other, laughing, dancing and sweating.
The horses in our lives ask us the same question: “Want to come and dance?” The four beat of the walk or gallop. The two beat of a trot. The three beat of the canter. Let’s dance!
Aren enjoys being Spiderman. He enjoys dressing up by wearing a suit. Whether he’s Spiderman or in a suit, he remains ‘Aren.’ Whether you ride English, Western, or bareback, your horse remains an energy field of rhythm. To connect with this rhythm in an unforced way, it takes knowledge, experience, showing up, sensitivity, timing, balance, and focus to enjoy a beautiful dance. The satisfaction of unity, oneness and harmony is rewarding to us as we interact with the horses and human beings in our lives. There will remain place and space for trouble-shooting, for re-considering, for understanding, but this is worth the effort and priority, because life is so much more enjoyable when we partner! When we connect, whether in a corral, a classroom, or in a community, we build, make progress, and go forward.
In the environment of clipping, washing, sanding, polishing, grooming, and blanketing horses for the Morgan/Open Horse Show, I heard nine words inside me that have changed me from the inside out. “I need you to help me build My Kingdom.” I was aware of the words from the Bible, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven….” However, my non-verbal response simply was “I don’t have a clue what that means.”
In that moment, I became aware that I was understood even in my clueless state, and that instruction was coming. That’s exactly what happened. Shortly afterward, I received an invitation to attend a conference in Missouri. “Building the Kingdom of God,” was the theme. The eyes of my understanding were opened to see that this building of the Kingdom of God comes through HEALTHY relationships.
Now we have a little problem. It’s solvable, but requires change. It’s rewarding, but requires honoring, considering and listening. Our mindset of horses as animals that need to know who the boss is reflects a different relational possibility than a mindset that sees a horse as an animal that needs to know who the leader of the herd is. See the difference? The human arena involves mindsets in relation to marriage, family, education, medicine and the spiritual, to mention a few.
The key word is HEALTHY. Speaking from my own arena of life, I have eye-witnessed how hurting people hurt people. Hurts can come inside a family unit, in the streets, in schools, in churches, in small interest groups, and in your own neighborhoods. Do you dance when you’re hurt? No, you sit this one out, because you’re bruised, sore, lame, broken, or limping. These are not dancing feet.
How many horses have suffered because they didn’t perform like we needed them to? Didn’t run fast enough? Didn’t run the barrels with record-breaking time? Didn’t cross the water out on the trails and caused us to be embarrassed? Wouldn’t load in the horse trailer, and our leadership was questioned by those watching?
This month of May, I am hoping that as you go forth in community and in corral settings, that a question will unfold in your own heart: “Will you come and dance with me?”
I hope you have fun. And I hope you will dance!