How Horses Transformed My Life - A Lesson in Congruence and Stress
Horses value congruence. Congruence means safety to a horse. When they encounter a person being incongruent, they respond with altered behavior.
Congruency is being in full alignment: body, mind, and spirit. It means that our words, actions, and body language are perfectly parallel and in synch with our thoughts, emotions and beliefs.
When we are perfectly congruent our vibration is true and clear. When we are incongruent, our vibration is ‘off’. The mismatch between the vibrations of our action and our intention is dissonance.
People sometimes say that animals smell fear and will take advantage of you if you show fear. I think animals are reacting to human dissonance or lack of congruency. When we pretend to be something we are not, there are ‘tells’. Our vibration is off and the animals sense this. Horses in particular are aware of this for a number of reasons. Their survival depends on being tuned into their environment and being aware of possible threats. From an evolutionary standpoint, humans are a predator species. We kill and eat animals. If a horse is going to trust a human, the human needs to be trustworthy. When a human is incongruent and her vibration is dissonant, she is not trustworthy.
Being incongruent has a lot of impact in our everyday lives. Acting the part or faking it takes a toll on our health and our very soul. I say this because incongruence creates stress and we all know stress kills. When we choose to act in a way that is not in alignment with who we really are inside, we place ourselves in stress. Our vibration changes when our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are hidden so that we can better fit in or get along with others. When our actions are not fully aligned with who we are inside, we have dissonance in our vibration, and we are in stress.
When I think back on the moments where big shifts have happened in my life there has always been the precursor of growing dissonance. I tried very hard to rationalize my choices but the undercurrent of mismatched vibrations never went away. Evidence was everywhere. There was a knot in my stomach and a sense of dread every Sunday night. On my commute to work, I sometimes found myself being passed on the freeway by faster moving vehicles. When I looked at the speedometer I realized that my foot was automatically lifting from the accelerator. My inner wisdom was telling me that I was not going in the direction I wanted to travel. My heart knew what my brain did not. I was not in a place of congruence with my beliefs, emotions and desires. I was not aligned with my true self. I was not paying attention to the 'tells'.
Living with this persistent incongruence, living with this persistent stress on my body created over time a number of serious health conditions. Once my health reached a point of deterioration where I could not longer function in my daily life, I had to stop and re-assess what was happening.
I made some major decisions and changed my occupation. Over time I also made major lifestyle changes. Now I check in with my body wisdom often to see if there are signs of incongruence. I now want to listen when my body whispers so I do not have to endure it's screams.
What is your body telling you about your state of congruence?