Letting go, I’m just not very good at that…

Loslaten en overlaten, daar ben ik niet zo goed in…

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Maaike made it clear to me that I can let go and learn to take my own space. Gosh, and I thought I had it all under control. But Maaike didn’t agree with me. For example, she showed me that she was anything but convinced by my attempts to set my boundaries. She kept coming at me as I tried my best to tell her ‘stop, not one more step!’

Maaike is a beautiful horse. She was in a small paddock with me. While Brenda – my coach – was standing outside. Brenda watched and occasionally asked a question.

I was standing in the paddock, Maaike close to me, and I was allowed to decide for myself what I wanted to do at that moment. I decided to go for a walk, imagining that Maaike would join me. We would become best buddies. Everything under control. Or, maybe not….

Maaike let me know in no uncertain terms that that was not a good idea. She ‘grabbed’ me by the shoulder and wouldn’t let me walk. She was also very restless. “She stops you. Do you recognize this somewhere in your life, that you have to stop?” asked Brenda. Hmmmm, that wasn’t that hard. My life consists of acting quickly, regularly leaving others behind me. Some let me know that they are not amused by my quick actions, I’m going too fast. Yes, I do recognize this…. I see what needs to be done and I prefer to do it right away. And I know that that often does not fit the timing of others. To be honest, it also regularly does not fit my own timing, because sometimes I hadn’t thought of everything and then the action wasn’t very smart.

Maaike made it clear to me that she wanted to protect me, pushed me against her. “Allow it, just lean into her.”, Brenda told me. When I leaned against Maaike’s flank I was overwhelmed. It’s nice to stop leading and know you’re protected. Apparently this is a need I have? One insight followed another. Maaike calmed down. I now understood that that means that she felt at peace with me, that she now experienced me to be a safe (stable) being.

Then I got an assignment from Brenda. Make a square with these tubes, stand in it and make it clear to Maaike with your body language that it is your space and she is not allowed to enter it. How hard can it be? Very hard it turned out. As Maaike was not very impressed by my communication. Shekept putting one foot forward every time. And then I had to push her back. Making it clear to her: ‘No, keep your distance!’

When it became clear that I wasn’t very good at this, Brenda asked, “What happens to you if you try to keep her out of your space?” Well, for me it feels as if I reject Maaike, that I send her away and then I no longer take care of her. After saying that, I immediately realized that I don’t respect Maaike by always wanting to take care of her. She can take care of herself, of course; or maybe she just needs space to learn this skill. By allowing the other being their space and not arranging everything for them, I respect them. I then also have space to take care of myself.

Letting go was also reflected in the assignment where I was allowed to focus with my eyes closed on my breathing and on myself. I thought I was being quite calm. However, Maaike stood behind me, nibbling, digging and feeling wonderfully restless again. I could laugh about it. Letting go is hard and I know that. For example, I lie on a yoga mat twice a week. The exercises I can do, but letting go of my thoughts… not so much.

I was able to take a lot from this very special hour I was able to experience with Maaike inside and Brenda outside the paddock. With great pleasure I now gradually let go of more things and I am more thoughtful of giving space to others and taking space for myself.

(I did this session with Brenda from ‘Heel kind coaching’ (Whole child coaching))

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