“Look carefully around you and recognize the luminosity of souls. Sit beside those who draw you to that.” - Rumi
The luminosity of souls. That is an interesting thought. If we are paying attention, we see glimpses of it in the people who we are drawn to; they have a certain sparkle in their eyes. But what is it that we are actually being attracted to that sparkles and shines? It is said that our eyes are a window to our souls, and our souls are made of energy. So, the high frequency positive energy radiating from a being must be what gives it this shimmering, luminous quality.
Horses can shimmer too. I was taking a lesson with Sharon White at the farm and she started describing what we are trying to accomplish by getting our horses balanced, straight, and willing to do their jobs. She said there comes a point when a horse is moving so well that there is no negative tension in their body. In those moments, they appear to “shimmer” with expressive, positive energy. It gave me chills when she described it; I knew the look. Riding a horse that shimmers is what we are all striving for, although most of the time we fall short of achieving it. Experiencing those fleeting moments of being in flow with our horse is what keeps most of us going.
Then I got to thinking about my own evolution and how horses have made me a better human. Early in my professional career as a reiner, I kept a pretty thick shell around me for protection. I was stepping well out of my comfort zone, starting to show at bigger events, and the shell that I put on allowed me to focus on my horse the way I needed to without letting other distractions enter in. The down side to that approach was that I was severely limiting my experience. I wasn’t open and relaxed enough to make very many new friends. Most people seemed like potential threats to be avoided or competition to be conquered. To those that knew me then, I probably appeared like a total ice princess in response to their attempts to be engaging. If that was you, I’m sorry. I was doing what I thought I needed to do to survive. My defense was so strong that I couldn’t remember certain things; I was habitually blocking out so much of what was happening around me that I wasn’t fully experiencing my life, good or bad.
Over the years, I have come face to face with my defense mechanism. I continue to work on peeling back the layers of my shell, which leave me vulnerable, yet open to life’s possibilities. As I mature, I’m finding that facing my fears are the only way to get through them. As uncomfortable as it may seem, the moment always passes and leaves me feeling more connected as a result. The more connected I can be with people, horses, and my surroundings, the more I’m able to respond to what comes up with positive energy. I hope that one day you will see a shimmer in my eye, too.
Horses can make us better humans (if we will let it happen). There are many paths, but they can certainly be our path to transformation. It is through the tough and trying experiences that our character is forged, and renders us vulnerable over and over. So much is out of our control, and until we are ok with that, life will continue to be a struggle. So this is the process that we are talking about when we say that it’s about the journey. The more positive energy that we accumulate, the more potential we have to be helpful and attentive to those around us. Next time we see a luminous soul in action, be it horse or human, may we let those attractive forces motivate us to cultivate the same positive energy within ourselves.