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What horses can teach us about EMOTIONAL AGILITY

"Emotional agility is a process that allows us to BE IN THE MOMENT...

changing or maintaining our behaviors to live in ways that ALIGN with our INTENTIONS and VALUES" Susan David, Ph.D.

Emotional agility allows us to manage these thoughts and feelings and learn from them without being dominated by them.

As prey animals and sentient beings, horses use EMOTIONS as INFORMATION. Linda Kohanov, author of The Power of the Herd, developed the following method to help thousands of people align thoughts, feelings, and actions for better relationships and optimal performance.

Four-Point Method for Emotional Agility

  • Feel the emotion in its purest form.

  • Get the message behind the emotion.

  • Change something in response to the message and

  • Go back to grazing

The first point of "FEEL THE EMOTION" catches most of us. We tend to refrain from feeling the pure emotion because they can make us feel uncomfortable or we are worried about where they could lead.

If you can get past this first hurdle, then the second point is "GET THE MESSAGE". In other words, if the feeling could talk to you, what would it say? What is driving it and what is it telling you?

The third point focuses on CHANGE. What can you do to address this message? If you’re feeling threatened, is there some action you can take to protect yourself? If you’re frustrated, what other approach can you take?

And then finally...GO BACK TO GRAZING. In other words, now you let the emotion go and either get back on task or relax. Horses do not hang onto the emotion nor do they endlessly ruminate over every details of it... and herein lies the wisdom...neither should we xx