Humans are a lot like horses. Watch horses in the wild or in a paddock. They stand together and closely link their actions to one another. The obvious benefit of this cohesiveness is protection from predators but closer analysis of their behavior has significant pertinence to humans. Horses will stand head to tail. Each horse will allow the other to brush the flies from their face with the other’s tail, a perfect example of cooperation and mutual benefit. They will also vigorously bite and scratch the others wither. Not by accident this is the one area that each horse cannot reach themselves. In our fast paced society and modern lives, we have gained the convenience of technology and the seduction of possessions but have lost the community, solace and protection of the herd. We live our lives in a flurry of activity with little time for the activities that nurture our soul and recharge our energy. Women are especially vulnerable to the toxicity of this isolation. Often, we are disconnected from our roots and we may live a long way from family and friends. Messages from the media are frequently directed to our vulnerabilities. We are challenged to look younger, be perfect and to do it all….alone.
As we look to the horse for inspiration, we should also reflect on the societal structure of ancient peoples and primitive people in today’s world. Survival in these settings is built on the protection of the herd. Women in these societies are supported by multiple generations of women around them as they complete the complex tasks necessary for survival. Child rearing, food preparation and maintenance of the household are all conducted within the context of the extended family and as a result, many of the stresses that we as women in the United States experience are defused and lessened. Maybe it is time to reflect on our isolation and work to build the community we so desperately need to support our daily lives, personal growth, spirituality and happiness. We too need the protection of the herd and must work to create it. Share these thoughts with women who are important to you and we can use our collective energy to improve our lives, lessen our isolation and decrease our stress. I am a horse, wild and free to be myself but secure in the knowledge that I have the safety, serenity and support of my herd.