The Naming

The Naming

Not just anyone can name you. Often times our first name is given by our parents. It seems only right that our mother and father who have brought us into the world should have the first right to place their seal and connect their authority through the use of name. Often the second people to rename us are the peers within our group. There is often a hint of teasing and jostling for position connected to these renamings within our American youth culture. In many native cultures renaming is connected to a coming of age ceremony, through which one learns or acknowledges their personal role within the society. It is usually connected to their personal giftings by the Great Spirit or the recognized deity within that culture. In the Bible there are stories of renaming that are usually connected to a change of situation, personality or character. When women marry often there is a change in name associated with the change in position in life.

My renaming was attempted by many. There were the kids who tried to tack their labels on me. Some stuck with pricks sharp enough to motivate change. This led to a struggle that wounded the fragile sense of image that I clung to, until the day the Lord began my renaming. I say, began because my renaming was a process that continues on today. First He un-named me. He tore away at all the labels and mis-conceptions that the enemy of our souls had tried, through various means, to adhere to my soul, destroying who God had created me to be. As He stripped back the layers of lies, He began to expose the truth, who I was in Him.
There were a few mentors that the Lord has brought into my life, to speak truth into my soul. This truth speaking drove back the lies and began to break through the hard exterior I had wrapped around my soul, protecting it from the barbs. Strange, how the self-protective methods we use, often keep us from what we need or really desire. One such mentor was Curtis Wright. One day up in Yosemite, among the grandeur of the tower pines, sequoias and maples, Curtis called me by name. Funny, how you can recognize your name, though you had never been called out by it before. From that day on, I have aspired to live up to that name. It is how this blog got its name, Dances with Horses.

Yet, ultimately my most important name is simple. It is found in a possessive pronoun. It would be unidentifiable admist the others who could claim it. Yet, when He calls me by this name all else fads away. Nothing else matters when I truly allow the truth of who I am to settle in to the crevices of my heart. Who am I? Simply, "His."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Let’s Dance

Come dance with me

     my fiery steed.
Let’s prance together
     let neither lead.
With graceful moves
     well defined,
the music
     of our souls combined.
Upon your back
     may I ride,
our motion
     together, our mood describe.
The artist
     and medium shall become,
in an instant,, 
As our audience
     come undone.
We paint a picture
     feather light,
A twenty by sixty
     canvas bright.
To show the brilliance
     display our thought,
no sign
     of all the hours wrought.
          Let no one
guess the strength it takes,
Let only
      passions in them awake.
To dare.
      To dream. To reach those heights,
to risk
      the fall but win the right.
To take us further
      to truly enhance,
the urge in all
      to learn to dance.
~Kristen Hoover 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

To Learn to Dance

When it comes to dancing with a partner, one must learn to have awareness of three things.  One, one must be aware of one's own body.  The posture and frame of the body must be a controlled movement that is then connected to another.  Two, one must be aware of one's partner's body.  The partner moves and carries his or herself apart from you.  Three, one must be aware of how what you do effects your partner and how what your partner does effects you.

The same is true as a rider.  You and your horse are dancing partners.  To learn to dance one must develop the level of awareness between the two of you.  The way you sit, the posture, your carriage and your frame all you do and feel will effect your partner.  Yet, all your partner does must effect you for there to be a chance of unity of movement and feeling between you.

There are riders who lack awareness of themselves.  This leads to an inability to purposefully connect with their horses.  One cannot change something that one is not aware exists.

There are riders who lack awareness of their horses.  This also leads to an inability to flow and move in time with the horse.  The horse moves and sways and the rider does not respond.  The feeling changes and the rider never knew.  The disgruntled partner leaves the dance hall.  The startled rider looks up and suddenly finds his or herself unable to dance for the partnership has become a battle ground.  The rider is  unaware of when this began and baffled by the change of circumstances.  Longing for unity and the sense of camaraderie, the rider wishes to be one of the mystical few who can dance.

Then there are the riders who can sense themselves, and can sense their horse, but begin to be confused at what happens when he or she tries to put the pieces together for the dance itself.  The rider cannot pinpoint what he or she did that caused the horse to ... though he or she is aware that the horse did do something.    Or perhaps, the rider is aware of how the horse effected his or her balance, but is not sure exactly what to change in order to regain the sense of unity.

In order to progress as a duo it is best to develop the individual parts.  Before the rider tries to influence the horse it is always best to start with his or her own body awareness.  There are some really good exercises to help develop body awareness out there.  Just one to start with as I sign off...start with some off the horse awareness.  When you stand do you stand even or put more weight on one side?  If looking in the mirror, is one shoulder higher than the other?  When you carry things, do you prefer to use one arm over the other?  Take your overall awareness of the way you move and balance off of the horse with you back to your horse the next time you ride and take your dancing to the next level.