I've been sitting in the pasture with my horse Blue Angel while she grazes, making it a practice to just observe. None of the horses in her herd have free run of the grass this year, as the farm where Blue lives makes hay to sell instead of using the acreage for pasture. So I take her out to a corner of the property where the grass is lush and sit on the ground while she eats. But sometimes, if the fields have just been irrigated or hay is waiting to be baled, I have to find other places where Blue can graze.
There’s one place by the ranch road among the trees called the bosque where mostly weeds grow. If I look closely among the weeds, though, grass born of seeds carried on the wind from the hay fields pops up here and there. I climb up on Blue bareback. She saunters out to that place. I jump down and sit among the weed-grass while I watch Blue sort.
I’m fascinated with the way her big nose touches all the green growth, moving aside broader leafed foliage to find the tall, sweet grasses that hide among it. In the process she moves dead leaves and hidden sticks out of the way, too. She is a master at sorting what feeds her from what does not.
I wrote a previous blog about discerning between nourishing and depleting relationships in our lives. How hard it can be, but how necessary it is, to set the depleting relationships aside so that our souls can be fed. I watch Blue in her delicate sorting, how it is second nature for her to know by feel what’s what. Her big white nose does the sensitive work. I marvel at her focused ease, hear the crunch of her munch, take in the satisfaction of her savor as I consider how sorting, if I didn’t let my considerations get in the way, might be second nature to me.
I’m taking another look at my relationships--which are nourishing and which are depleting. Like Blue, I only want the nourishment. Unlike Blue, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find nourishment from those who only offer old leaves, the deceptive green of toxic leaf, or bouquets of dry stems. Blue’s big horse nose shows me that it is simpler than I thought to sort it out.
Take out your journal, pen and colored markers.
- Who or what in your life shows you how to say yes to what feeds you and no to what drains you?
- Pay attention to how they know.
- Notice what consistent actions they take to separate the weeds from the good grass.
- Draw a symbol or picture of what that boundary looks like.
- What is one step you will take today to set aside or set a boundary with a depleting person in your life?
- What is one step you will take today to allow a life affirming person to nourish you?
Lynn Baskfield guides her clients through rites of passage with storytelling, writing, creative expression, ritual, retreats, nature and very centrally, the wisdom of horses. A lifelong horsewoman, she partners with horses to evoke insights and learning that her clients cannot get by thinking, reading or talking only. It is Lynn's experience that when her clients connect with themselves through the horses, confidence, joy and creative solutions emerge naturally.
Lynn holds an M.A in Human Development and is a certified life coach, transformational educator and the author of two books. As owner of SpiritDance Coaching, she has been coaching, training and doing retreats for individuals and teams since 1997. She also trains equine guided professionals around the world. To coach with Lynn or learn more about her work go to www.lynnbaskfield.com.