Friday, February 18, 2011

Moving My Psychic Furniture

I’ve been trying to figure out why my internship with the horses at the Rescue Ranch has been so psychically and emotionally difficult and so exhausting, despite how much I love it.

I think it’s the rearrangement of my psychic furniture—things that have been in place for fifty or sixty years kind of get stuck where they are, and it takes tremendous energy to move them around, much less to contemplate getting rid of them.

I’m finding that a lot of things make sense these days that didn’t before. Some of this understanding started with the seminar on Jungian typology that psychologist Mary Ryan gave last month to our local Jung Society. Afterwards, I realized several things:

First, it’s no wonder that my Dad and I were at loggerheads all the time. Growing up, I was an INFJ; Dad was ESTJ. Not much in common, there! Mary explained that the “J” types meet the world with their rational function—the T or the F, Thinking or Feeling—and that becomes their dominant function. So Dad and I saw the world differently, and had totally opposite ways of making decisions. No wonder we had problems!

She also explained that the Auxiliary functions—for Dad and me, Intuition and Sensing—are both accessible to the individual, but one may be favored more than the other. Dad was a Sensation type—if you can’t see, feel, taste, smell, and touch it, it ain’t real. Intuition, which one supposes he had, was certainly downplayed. I had/have intuition in spades, but because of my Dad’s example (not to mention his demands), I learned to pretty much hide or ignore—and distrust—my intuitive knowing.

I already knew the what of all of this, but Mary Ryan helped explain the why. And now I can understand why my otherworldly Coaching Staff actually had to use a physical means of contacting me the first time: If I hadn’t heard their initial messages with my physical ears, I wouldn’t have/couldn’t have believed it, because I’ve shut down the intuitive part of my psyche over the years. It also explains why I have such a hard time cultivating my intuitive side—I’m still battling my internalized father figure, who doesn’t believe in such nonsense.

So. Back to the Ranch. The horses are challenging me to open up again to the non-verbal, non-rational side of things, and that’s the very part that I’ve spent nearly sixty years suppressing. There are times out there when I feel just raw—not with emotion so much as feeling—I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s still below conscious level, but it’s there, and becoming stronger. Sometimes I can feel what the horse is feeling before he reacts in a way that expresses it.

That happened the other day when we had Duffy out in the arena—we tried to get him into the trailer first, and when he was balky (though he got his front feet in without any resistance at all), Jay took him back over and through the “trailer tarp” system. As he came back through the second time, I said to Jay, “Oh, look—he says, ‘I remember this now!’ He just got the image.” Just as I said that, the horse dropped his head and snorted, obviously relaxing all of a sudden. So Jay could see it, too.

Anyway. There are days when I come home just shaking with fatigue. Yesterday I had to go back to bed, and once there, I slept for four hours without even moving.

This reminds me so much of the Pacifica experience—another time when my psychic furniture got radically rearranged. Well, onwards and upwards, I guess….

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Blessing

Wow. How’s this for synchronicity:

I just re-posted to my facebook page a link to a piece on my Alchemical Horse blog from last September. The article was on Mia, a little rescued filly who touched my heart. You can read that post here.

One friend responded right away, saying that it had left her in tears, and asking how Mia is doing now. (Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to that.)

I had just finished posting a piece on that blog about how I’m glad to be able to contribute a little to world peace by doing a week’s worth of writing for and about the Rescue Ranch where I volunteer, because we’re getting the word out about our work with relational horsemanship—a way of working with horses that’s based on relationship, not on dominance.

As soon as I returned to my email, that very instant, a email was delivered from the Red Cross (to whom I have not donated this year, alas…):
Dear Kay,
Today, many hearts are happier and lives are better because you chose to put compassion into action. This Valentine's Day, may your heart be filled with joy by stories of lives changed and hope restored from around the world. From my heart to yours, thank you for making these stories possible.
Tears in my own eyes, now….