The Value of Being Present - what we can learn from animals

The Value of Being Present - what we can learn from animals

Maria Franklin is an EMMETT Technique Advanced Practitioner Level 6, Kinesiology & Nutrition, Access Bars and Emm-Tech Tutor.


In this blog she tells us about what we can learn from the animals around us……


Our beautiful New Forest pony, Cindy, hadn’t been with us very long when I began to realise I was learning more from her than she was from me.


As humans, we often fill our minds with chatter and, while we are focused in the past or in the future, we miss the full experience of the present.


It was a bright sunny morning, a light breeze blowing, and a perfect day for a stroll with Cindy. However, today we had an appointment and I had been delayed, so when I arrived my mind was occupied with what had happened and how we needed to make haste so as not to keep people waiting.


Cindy gave a soft whicker ‘hello’, popped her head in the halter and we did a quick foot check before heading through the gate. I turned and asked her to come with me but she was firmly planted and looking at me with utter disdain. The more I tried to convince her that we needed to hurry, the more intensely she looked at me, and the more rooted she became.


I could see we weren't going anywhere in a hurry at that moment. Then I remembered to breathe which began to relax my body and clear my mind.


The ponies respond immediately to changes in breathing and as I connected with Cindy, she began to soften and acknowledge my shift in focus. I’m sure I saw her smile :) as we set off along the lane.


As we walked along I kept my attention with Cindy and our surroundings. I talked to her about the hedges and verges, how I was feeling, and sometimes counting the rhythm of her hooves on the road.


Being aware with all of our senses, and especially vocalising this connection, can help us to clear the mind and become more centred in the moment.


As Cindy and I became more connected we walked and jogged in unison, step for step along the lane, thoroughly enjoying the moment. And, as a bonus, we arrived at our destination not only in good spirits but also on time!


It is important to the ponies that we are fully present, calm and connected. They respond in the moment and my learning and one of my greatest ‘Gifts’ from the horses is being in the ‘Present’.


These are some simple ways to help you feel more connected and in the Present:


Breathe - Check in with your breath and focus on how it feels to breathe in and out slowly, deeply and consciously.


Experience - Check in with your environment, the air, the smell, the taste, the sounds and how it feels on your skin.


Connect - Check in with your body, what are you feeling, where are you feeling it. If you are with an animal check in with them, it can be a pet or a bird in the garden.


Speak - Vocalising what we are experiencing can help to keep us present and also to acknowledge what is going on that we may be trying to avoid or escape from.


There is so much we can learn from animals if we are willing to listen.


Enjoy the moment.

You can connect to Maria through her page

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About the Centre

The Centre for Integral Health was started in 2013 by director Ben Calder after studying Integral theory since 2011 and over 10 years of professional practice of kinesiology and Bowen fascia Release Technique, coupled with the desire to explore the application of the Integral Model in relation to health.

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