What is connection? Google says….
It’s about relationships – and associations. Is that how you would define it?
I went to a Natural Lifemanship training and there were three full pages of definitions. None of them really resonated with me other than this Brene Brown quote, ”
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
For me, that resonates, it’s a felt sense of connection. I feel it internally and it usually involves eye contact, verbal and non verbal communication and some sort of “click”.
What does it mean to click with someone? Does it happen fast or slowly over time? Is it love at first sight or is it a long friendship caught on fire? Or both? Psychology Today discussed “pots of energy” and how when we recognize similar energy, an effortless, organic connection takes place. It’s easy. I know I’ve experienced that myself. (link to story here: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2014/06/why-we-click-with-some-people-and-not-with-others/
We have lots of connections with other people, our parents, friends, siblings, coworkers, neighbors, etc. Connections with others is so vital and life giving. Studies have shown that people who aren’t connected can actually get physically ill and fall into poor health, especially during times of stress. However, the opposite is also true, says Michael Lee Stallard, author of “Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy and Understanding at Work”. When employees feel connected to their supervisors or the people they work with, all the parts of their body work together so they can physically work at a higher level.” (see full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2018/02/28/how-having-a-culture-of-connection-can-impact-your-customer-experience/#5b53208f4520)
Basically, we can’t fully live without connection. With others and with ourselves. Being connected to self is so vital and why I talk about mindfulness all.the.time. If you don’t notice where you are, what you’re feeling in your body and are able to do that without judgment, it’s really hard to be connected to anything deeply. I try to coach people to start to notice these things as they are huge when it comes to connection.
What on earth does have to do with horses?
Although I realize when I observe riders, they are on horses, I’m really paying attention to the humans on the horse and are they connected and what are they actually communicating with their bodies. I see literal connection. There is this lovely intersection between a rider being connected and the horse trusting the connection and something otherworldly happening. One example is Callie Drewien Englund and her horse, Xyder.
* photo credit Neelie Floyd
He’s all of 15.1 hands and by all the comments I hear, should not be able to jump the things he does. When I watch them, I see the horse do things because Callia believes he can and she believes because he does, and he does because she believes, to infinity. I asked Callia about this and how she sees the connective ability to jump and she said, ” She believed she could so she did.” I think Xyer believes it too. It’s their deep connection and it’s both fun and inspiring to see.
** I do NOT coach Callia Drewien Englund but she inspired me to work on connection between horse and rider.
*photo credit Marcus Green Outdoor
Callia is competing next week in the North American Youth Championship the CH-J team at The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. I’m going to be there cheering her on and hopefully connecting with you as I’ll have a booth. Come see me find out more about mindfulness, connection, visualization, and how to take your riding to more connected places.
Quiet your mind. Sharpen your focus. Ride to your peak performance.