How aware are you at any given moment? Are you aware of being aware? Do you ask yourself, "Why am I thinking about what I am thinking about?" If you are, then you may be one of the rare humans who live "in the moment" with people and actively listening is a key leadership skill.
If you are not sure whether or not you are aware, chances are you're not. If you are in a leadership position, you may wonder why your team is not responsive or is consistently performing subpar.
Working with horses in a horse-assisted learning environment can help us become aware of the inconsistency in our thoughts and behaviors. Horses always live in the moment. They have to..As a prey animal they are continually scanning what is changing in their environment. Horses don't post rationalize situations and because emotions and behaviors are aligned, they are always congruent. This is a beautiful model for integrity for the rest of us to aspire to.
In contrast, people spend the majority of time worrying about the past, trying to predict the future and rarely 100% in the present. And yet, if you ask us what they want from one another we will almost almost always answer "honest and authentic connection." Horses remind us (without judgment) to look to ourselves first and indeed be the change we want to see in others.
To horses, consistency of feeling and behavior is the same as integrity. Consistency of actions and mood is how trust is built with humans also. People want to know where they stand, and what will be the likely response in any given situation. In order to be consistent, we use our whole bodies to listen, not just our ears. Horses as sentient beings are using every aspect of their senses and capacity. We instantly feel seen, felt and held in their presence. Spend some time with a horse to feel and see integrity in action.