Earlier this week I received a private Facebook message that stopped me in my tracks.
A Facebook "former" fan of Beyond the Arena, someone whom I do not know and have never met, wrote me this:
"I liked your page because it was about getting conscious and going inward with the power of horses. Comparing a man to a stallion is just as degrading to a man as it would be if a man posted something similar about a women. I, as a woman, do not want to be objectified nor compared to an animal and if you do so to a man...I believe....it gives men permission to do the same to women. I wanted you to know that for a business that is about being conscious...you may want to look deeper into yourself and ask...what this post really represents for you and your image at Beyond the Arena."
Yikes. My first reaction was shock. Then fear that I had pissed someone off and they didn't like me and my company.
Then anger boiled up in response to feeling challenged about what I represent.
Then a cool wave of calmness rolled over me. I thought, hey fair enough, we are all entitled to our own opinion and I'm not here to tone myself down to please everyone.
What it really challenged me to do was to articulate and share what I represent through Beyond the Arena. This is a good thing.
Truth is, no one has control over how people react to different things and everyone views life through their own lens.
My intention is not to degrade men. In my perspective, light-heartedly referring to a man as a stallion is a compliment. The people who are drawn to Beyond the Arena and my coaching style, tend to agree.
But not everyone sees it that way and that's ok.
To me, a stallion is a fascinating horse. When a stallion is unrestrained and in their natural state, they have an undeniable masculine energy that is captivating. A stallion's presence can evoke all kinds of different emotions within humans.
Beyond the Arena is about evoking and processing emotions.
But that's only the tip of the iceberg.
As for permission...I'm conscious that I'm giving myself permission to be who I am and I'm allowing different parts of myself to show up in my business.
My Inner Frisky Filly likes to come out and play (especially on Fridays) as well as my Inner Holistic Goddess and my Inner Intuitive Life Coach and many other parts make appearances throughout my work.
I'm also conscious that every woman whom has worked with Beyond the Arena has benefited from a good laugh as much as a good cry. When I'm coaching, I round up the parts of myself that are going to serve my clients the best, in any given moment.
What Beyond the Arena represents is assisting women in giving themselves permission to express who they are. To explore and accept all parts of themselves. To turn inwards and become conscious to what makes us come alive. And to become conscious as to what keeps us stuck, miserable and depressed.
My intention with Friday's Featured Stallion is to bring a smile to my readers faces (95% of whom are women), a giggle or belly laugh or perhaps a blush on the cheeks.
"The sacred and the sensual/sexual live very near one another in the psyche, for they all are brought to attention through a sense of wonder, not from intellectualizing but through experiencing something through the physical pathways of the body, something that for a moment or forever, whether it is a kiss, a vision, a belly laugh, or whatever, changes us, shakes us out, takes us to a pinnacle, smooths out our lines, gives us a dance step, a whistle, a true burst of life."
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. , Women Who Run with the Wolves
By the way, if you haven't read Women Who Run with the Wolves, I HIGHLY recommend it.
Side note is that one of my goals in life is to write Women Who Run with the Horses...stay tuned on that:)
In our arena, the horses and I have had the honor of coaching and supporting hundreds of women in expressing their full range of emotions.
It is my belief that a deep belly laugh is just as healing as uncontrollable sobbing. No emotion is right or wrong. What's wrong is not expressing who we truly are.
Not everyone jives with my Inner Frisky Filly and her often irreverent sense of humor. That's ok. Those that do, including my family, friends and clients, have shared that it's refreshing and it helps them snap out of a gloomy mood.
To have a sense of humor is an important part of the healing process. It can clear the cobwebs on the soul when nothing else works.
There's something so raw and unfiltered about a woman expressing her sensual nature which is undeniably a part of who we are.
For me, it's a joyful feeling that takes over my body when I post Friday's Featured Stallion. I want the same for you when you see the post.
Here is one of my all time favorite pictures with two of my closest girlfriends that I have known since Kindergarden. We were howling. It was at a joke that some would find inappropriate. I was laughing so hard I lost all body function, hence my hand is in a unique position.
Now that's a laugh that will clear out the cobwebs on the soul. And we did no harm in the process. Just the opposite actually. Here are three unbridled women who are expressing themselves and not suppressing themselves. In my opinion, that's what the world needs more of.
Thanks for reading and I'd love your thoughts and comments. My intention is for you to express your unbridled self to the world. The horses and I can show you how.
Friday's Frisky Filly,