The patient was a 95 year old man with Alzheimer’s. He was forgetful and confused—and in deep despair. It was a few days before Christmas, but I don’t think he knew that. What he did know was that his wife of 75 years had died a few weeks ago, and he was intensely grieving.
I work part time as a home hospice nurse. Part of my job is to care for the physical needs of patients—checking their vital signs, making sure they are taking the appropriate medications, providing the medical care to ease any symptoms like pain or nausea. The other part of my job is dealing with the emotional and spiritual needs of hospice patients. It is this aspect of the work that called me to be a nurse.
By Ann Kerr Romberg
Not having enough time seems to be a recurrent theme with all of my clients working in corporations. “I have too much on my plate.” “I get to work, switch into overdrive and get at much done as fast as I can.” “I never have time to think or be creative.” “I long for time to reflect.”
We started by having him simply lead the horse and see what came from that. He walked to the end of the arena, stopped and simply stood quietly for 10 full minutes with the solid, beautiful Gypsy Vanner named Zanna. When he walked back and I ask what happened, he said he felt so calm and peaceful and that he hadn’t felt that way in months. The typical coaching questions around his next steps to bring his purpose forward didn’t seem appropriate, so I simply asked him to describe in more detail the body feel of this peace. He closed his eyes and reflected deeply. He described his relaxed stomach, throat and whole body.
Now I know this is a bold statement, but I have lived it, so I believe it to be true. Equine facilitated learning and yoga is the revolution to change the world (at least the world I’m most familiar with) to be a more positive, and happy place! The Dali Lama has said that if we just meditate for an hour a day on compassion, the world would become at peace. Now although I am a huge fan of the Dali Lama, seriously love him and his teachings, I think that is just too much for the average American to get their head around. Sit still for an hour and try to be compassionate towards that jerk that just cut me off in traffic, or the boss that just berated
Photo courtesy of Linda Guanti, Yoga With Horses, Pemberton, Canada
me in front of others, or the husband that buries his head into everything else except for what is under his own roof?!?!? Yeah, right! Great concept, but not meant for us, says the western world. I’m too busy!! (Now I have been inform the average American will not read beyond 400 words in an article ((our cultural conditioned ADHA, you must multitask, or your lazy and inefficient!!!)) so please stick with me, this article is 770 words.)
I learned compassion from horses. They respond to our every request, and it is our job to be aware of what we're requesting! They don't judge whether our leg is in the right place, whether the rider is a good person, whether their life is appropriate. They simply live, share, and love for the sake of love.
The amazing work we do to assist, empower, and heal each other in the presence of horses is
Photo by Travis Anderson
By Ann Romberg and Lynn Baskfield
Wisdom Horse Coaching
Today Training and Development leaders worldwide are looking for ways to help their organizations adapt to change, develop leaders and become more effective. Because horses are finely tuned for survival in a constantly changing environment (outside) that requires leadership presence they are naturals at teaching for organizations.
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