From the moment my niece came into this world, she brought out play in me. One Christmas she gave me a rusty metal horse. It sits on a window sill, reminding me to play.

Who, or what, encourages play in you?

Some horses excel as jumpers. Others serve as cutting horses. For many years horses went to war or worked on farms. Walking equines around a show ring when they were meant to round up cattle is no more ridiculous than asking people to be who they are not.

When we have given too much attention to climbing ladders or impressing other people, play can help us reconnect to our essence.

Also, as we gravitate toward the people who encourage us to find our way rather than their’s, we remember our forgotten dreams. Somewhere in those dreams is Soul, waiting to lead us to fresh and purposeful expressions of ourselves.

Neither horses nor people thrive by being whipped into submission. If encouraging one another’s natural preferences, strengths and aptitudes is necessary for communal and global wholeness, why would we demand that everyone think, act and believe as we do?

Diversity expands our development. Dualism restricts our growth. 

When we are true to who we are, hindrances eventually fall away. Should they persist, or our creative solutions fail to work, we can learn from Horse and buck off what disallows play.

And if we feel we’ve been stalled too long, we might ask: What, or who, is keeping me from feeling the wind on my face?

Brené Brown’s research has concluded that the most compassionate people have the strongest boundaries. At times, that may feel counterintuitive; however, if we’ve ever been broken, we know it is not. 

As we live into our dreams, inevitably serendipitous moments follow. And if we leave the show ring, the rodeo or the racetrack to connect with the earth under our feet, we can expect people to try to corral us back to familiarity.

Are there parts of you begging to run free again? Learn from Horse.

Making Spirit Flesh*

Who, or what, encourages wonder and play in you?