“When we touch paradox, we are closest to healing.” Pamela Gawler-Wright. How can we invite paradox and accept that seemingly opposing things can and sometimes need to exist both at the same time to create healing?

ADADSU eNews April 2016

In this month’s newsletter we have added some suggestions for good yoga sessions to support our monthly theme of nurturing ourselves and dealing with overwhelm. This is in addition to the usual monthly meditation suggestions, recipes, and this month’s podcast and short YouTube video themes, which are on equine-facilitated psychotherapy and learning (EFP/L).
The yoga sessions are available at Movement for Modern Life, and if you are interested, the first two people that respond to this email can receive a 50% discount for subscription with them. So let me know if you like to take advantage of it!!

“When we are experiencing paradox, we are closest to healing.” Pamela Gawler-Wright.

So this month’s theme really follows on from last month’s “emotional spring cleaning”. It is about making promises to ourselves and making ourselves accountable for following through with these promises. Sometimes this can be difficult. In our modern hectic life, we will find umpteen excuses why we cannot make space, take more time for fun things, for nurturing ourselves or just to just “be” a little more.
Excuses like being busy with work, running a tight schedule, running the home, the kids, projects, dealing with people that make demands on our time without us getting much back from it, emails, the usual… It is quite normal to slip into thinking: “Next time, just one more week or one more month, once I have finished x or y, and then I will take a break and some time…” You know how it goes!
This month my business partner and I had to make a difficult decision. We started on an exciting project last year to train in equine-facilitated psychotherapy and learning. The last module and final qualification for this course was due to run this month.

But the last six months had been so turbulent - from selling a home, moving, travelling overseas, my horse getting sick and having to move yards a few times, including other personal and professional circumstances that there just seemed to be no space to complete the course. Also, since having the crazy idea to take on a traumatised Spanish rescue horse earlier last year in 2015, time has not stood still. Not being a professional horse trainer, I have had to make extra study and training time for a more natural horsemanship style of training. This has meant another wonderful project of learning to do things differently and working with the psychology of the horse, more than implementing dominance and control dynamics often observed in the “conventional horse world”.  However, trying to find the right environment close to London to allow a more natural horse living and horse therapy centre to evolve is not easy! So all in all, we didn’t feel ready and we wanted to give up, and cancel the last part of our course.

Feel the fear and do it anyway...

It made rational and financial “sense” to complete the course in the next few years even if it meant starting all over again. Considering the financial investment, time, loss of income for the time off for the residential course, travelling, as well as requiring a new car for the job since the old one packed up, not having any weekends free, not having done our client practice cases – you name it, it just seemed more than impossible.
Yet, in our hearts, we knew we had to do it and yes, it seemed very irrational and lacked any sort of sense or return on investment ideas! It seemed crazy to do this so unprepared and take out time when it felt like there was no actual time to take.
Cutting a long story short, we decided to go ahead, be crazy and irrational and indulge in yet another course, spend the money we didn't have, and take time out that wasn’t there. Crazy right?!
But we were pleasantly surprised to find that once we made the actual decision to bite the bullet and do it anyway – things started to fall into place as easy as pie!

The new car, which wasn’t supposed to be ready for a few months, arrived the day before the training module, so the muddy off-road experience to the countryside was saved without risk of getting stuck in the mud. The trainers took our challenges into consideration and we were given lots of opportunities to practice and make up for our lost study time with peers, colleagues and surprise practice clients. Though we don’t yet have access to our own full herd at this time, we made much closer contacts and friends with our peers and colleagues at the course, who started offering their own herds and yards from which we could practice!
As you may or may not have seen from the various Facebook posts in our quest to get some practice clients, the responses to get some willing “guinea pigs” for some equine therapy practice sessions has been overwhelming and the therapy weekends for this are now fully booked!
And on top of this, even though I was upset to have to move my horse to yet another yard, it turned out that this new yard in Hertfordshire, just outside of London, seemed open for me to see clients and use some of their horses in addition to my own for this work. So fingers crossed in the future we can offer this exciting work at a number locations!
Our group of LEAP graduates this month with our trainers Mike Delaney and Ella Bloomfield - and the special training herd horse Simba.
See our latest blog here also
All in all, it just shows again that if we didn’t do something crazy that “felt right” though seemed nonsensical, rationally speaking, this action generated paradoxically more in return than just making up for lost time and money. It created needed healing space for us, new unexpected friendships, business opportunities and ideas, and it was overall actually really fun to get away for a few days. It reminded me a bit of a book I read years ago about “feel the fear and do it anyway”.
So it comes back to us being accountable for ourselves and for our promises to ourselves to make our dreams happen. Even if it seems a bit crazy, and it helps when it starts with a passion – to keep us motivated.
This new horse therapy project has been created out of my own personal passion for these animals. A few years ago I would have never thought that it is possible to incorporate this into my professional life, or even personal at that point!! However, after having witnessed it working for a range of people, with various issues (without having to be a “horsey person”), including experiencing it for ourselves, we just wanted to add this to the ADADSU portfolio. The upkeep and cost of this work is much less sustainable without subsidies than the traditional talking therapy. However, seeing that it works and can increase the effectiveness of room-based work, makes it reason enough to keep going and figure out the next steps as we go...
Often the fear is not about turning a passion into a job or a viable business, but the fear of not knowing if that passion is the “right” one. And many of us don’t even know what their passion is or “should be”. Though the rational mind needs to be employed for the practical things like accounting, and return on investment calculations, it is our heart that needs to speak to us.

There is also something about “trusting the process”. When we experience things as difficult, hard work, like “wading through treacle” then something needs to be done differently. Once we find out what that is, which often includes taking risks that seem irrational or not sensible at the time, things may actually just start to flow and go so easy and fast, that it may be completely unexpected and surprising us.
The quote this month about paradox is fitting because it is about accepting, and going with the not knowing, that creates the fear as well as the opportunity at the same time. Though we may often be tempted to label things as good and bad, right or wrong choices, scary as well as exciting - both can often exist at the same time. Taking time when we don’t seem to have time, doing something we love, when we think we “should” be doing something more sensible first is not necessarily what brings us fulfillment, happiness and purpose.
So!! Despite the longer rambling newsletter this month, I hope that you can feel a little inspired to make some more space for yourself, take some time to do the fun things in life, to allow yourself to be more creative, to nurture yourself, to stop – and breathe and just be. Trust the rest will follow.

This Month’s Meditation Questions For You

  • At this moment, how is your physical, emotional and mental vitality?
  • Are you taking care of yourself now? And in the future?
  • What do you need to do more of to feel more grounded and secure?

These questions are very much linked to your 1st chakra, the root chakra of support and vitality. It is linked to our basic needs for food, water and shelter and safety, as well as emotionally for trust and letting go of fears. When these needs are met you can feel more grounded and safe, meaning that there are less worries on a day-to-day basis.
Ask yourself these key questions: "Can I be accountable to create more safety and grounding for myself? Can I commit to making promises to myself that support me? What is currently still stopping me? How can I trust myself more to allow more creative flow and being more open to what “feels” right to me rather than what makes sense to others?”

The root chakra is predominantly associated with the colour red. It can be useful to explore these questions if you do any form of meditation or seek a calm space and see what comes up when you try and answer these questions.
(Watch this space as we continue to explore more useful questions associated to other chakras in the next ADADSU eNews.) 

Below is another monthly recipe that corresponds to the colour for this chakra. Hope you enjoy it as well as the process of creating something nurturing for yourself!
Of course, all of us could do with a little help in the process of opening up more, to move forward and create the changes we want, that make us happy. If it is difficult for you to talk to family or friends about this, having a good therapist can be invaluable to talk things through and explore difficult feelings and challenges that keep us from fulfilling ourselves. If you need some extra support this month or know someone you care about does, do feel free to forward our details or contact us for a free initial call.
Enjoy opening up to prepare fulfilling your desires this month.
Happy Spring-time!
Recipe of the Month: (for colour red) Beetroot & Tomato Soup with Feta, click here for the full recipe. 
Lynn Thomas – Equine Assisted Therapy [40 minutes] Click here to access the podcast.

In this month’s podcast topic is Equine-assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), which is the same as equine-facilitated psychotherapy really (EFP). It seems to be used more commonly in the U.S. and this podcast is an interview with Lynn Thomas who is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). In this interview she describes this experiential modality, what it is and is not, and describes what it means and why it is so effective to use horses in psychotherapy. 
You can also read a short explanation on EFP/L in our glossary section.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy with Mike Delaney and LEAP [5 minutes] Click here to access the video.

This short video interviews one of my teachers and trainers at LEAP for equine-facilitate psychotherapy (EFP). Here is a case presented of a woman called Teresa who had a life long struggle with addiction. It is a case in point to show and explain how EFP can help with a wide variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, co-dependance, relationships, PTSD, behavioural issues. 

NEW! Yoga session of the Month: Dealing with Overwhelm [22 minutes] Click here to access the video.

A gentle relaxing video to being more in the present with breathing and body exercises to calm overwhelm. 

Remember to contact us in case you are interested in getting a 50% reduced membership with Movement for Modern Life! We have tickets for two people!
NEW! Yoga session of the Month: Yoga for Anger [34 minutes] Click here to access the video.

We added a second video just as this seemed fitting. Overwhelm and stress can often lead to feelings of frustration. Feelings of having limited freedom, no choice, powerlessness and helplessness. Without having to be rational. It can easily trigger unresolved anger that we may be carrying around from much earlier in our lives. Leila is an amazing teacher and this session may be really beneficial in letting go of this angry energy.

Remember to contact us in case you are interested in getting a 50% reduced membership with Movement for Modern Life! We have tickets for two people!
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