Coherence In The Face of Uncertainty
There are thousands of quotes to comfort us, but at its core, there is nothing comforting about uncertainty. When we become aware of it, it triggers us, creates misery, disarms us, stresses us out. And yet, we all know, on some level, that life is fundamentally uncertain. So why does it take such a toll on us?
Fear. The idea that we cannot find our way through it and be ok. Our thinking about uncertainty is really the thing that does us in, not uncertainty itself.
The moment we become aware of it (because let’s admit it, much our lives are lived in the illusion of certainty), our small self, the ego, triggers fear. Our mind starts to generate all sorts of thoughts … what if … if this, then that … last time, this happened … And, those thoughts trigger emotions that whisk us off on a not-so-magic carpet ride. Before we know it, we’ve landed on some far off shore that we never intended to go.
Have you ever tried to stop the thoughts? Once, when I was in a 5 day meditation retreat, a fellow student asked our teacher about what he could do to stop the thoughts. Our teacher laughed … do you think I don’t have them too? You can’t.
So how do we live open hearted and connected with the uncertainty of life?
The horses know … reside in the stability of a coherent state.
“Coherence is the state when the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation,” HeartMath Institute Research Director Dr. Rollin McCraty says. “It is a state that builds resiliency – personal energy is accumulated, not wasted – leaving more energy to
manifest intentions and harmonious outcomes.”
Many people have come to our farm to work with the herd, arriving with the fear of uncertainty in tow. Talking about it, carry its story. And, again and again, I’ve seen them walk out with the herd and in a brief time, its charge is gone. Peace has come to the forefront. I’ve experienced this too for myself. So what’s going on? How is it that we can battle the fear for days, even years and then walk out with the herd and feel it suddenly and effortlessly dissipate?
I’ve pondered and explored this a lot over the years living with the herd. And I think, at least in large measure, it has to do with findings from research done by the Heart Math Institute on something they call coherence.
Horses, they’ve discovered have an electromagnetic field around their heart that is 5 times larger than the human field. And, when horses are given choice and allowed to grow and nurture a true herd (different from a group of horses much like a family is different than a bunch of people gathered for an impromptu get together), the field of their collective coherence is incredibly strong.
So strong that when we step into it, our body and heart naturally come into sync with the herd.
And when we’re in this state, HeartMath research shows that we enter into a high degree of mental and emotional stability.
Just think about this for a moment … all life is uncertain. When we live disconnected from the intelligence of our heart, fear takes hold and drives the bus and we feel instability. However, when we live in a state of heart coherence, despite uncertainty always being present, we feel stable. You could also call this flow.
And, you can’t think yourself into this state (or get there reading inspirational quotes). You have to experience it to learn it. And the very best teachers I know are the herd.
It’s time to humble ourselves. To let go of the idea that we are dominant over nature and animals. To risk it all and be willing to learn from the ones we’ve dominated for centuries. The incredible thing is, they are more than willing to teach us.
Are you ready to learn? It takes a brave heart. And, it’s entirely possible.