May 11, 2018
Elise’s guest on today’s Because of Horses is Paula Josa Jones — who defies definition. Just when you think you’ve figured out exactly what it is she does and why her work is so powerful, she peels away another layer and becomes something else entirely. Author, dancer, choreographer, performer — it could take hours to discuss all of Paula’s work. Her new book, Our Horses, Ourselves, is no exception to her outstanding body of work.
So often we think of communication as a two-way, interconnected experience. While this is certainly the intent we bring to our interactions with horses, reality can fall short. We arrive at the barn stressed and worn down, which creates tension in our bodies and movement — and, in-turn, we bring negative energy to our horses... Creatures who are incredibly sensitive, intuitive, and adept at reading our emotions, intent, and body language. Despite our own mental and emotional state, we expect our horses to be calm and relaxed, but Paula Josa Jones asks us to think of our time with horses differently — through focusing on being present through intentional awareness, cultivating mindfulness, and focusing on becoming more comfortable in our skin to better connect to our horses.
In this episode, Elise and Paula discuss her book, Our Horses, Ourselves, in depth. Paula speaks about how improving your relationships with horses can help improve your relationships with other people and – most especially -- with yourself. She also discusses her approach to accessing and embodying awareness, how dancing has helped her better understand the universal language of movement, and how our lives and the way we experience the world around us can be so much more meaningful.
Topics of Discussion:
[1:28] How improving our relationships with horses can help improve our relationships with others and ourselves.
[6:41] Can horses read our underlying emotions?
[9:31] The many ways people can experience communication and the relationship between themselves and their horse.
[11:35] Cultivating mindfulness and Paula’s approach to accessing and embodying awareness.
[16:45] How our daily stress can be carried with us to the stable — and in turn, our relationship with our horses — and why we need to do our part in this relationship.
[22:55] Reading listener feedback!
[24:53] How you can achieve a greater connection with your horse by becoming more comfortable with yourself and your relationships with others.
[28:30] What is it about horses in particular that speaks to Paula?
[30:55] Does seeing through the lens of a dancer give Paula a greater sense of understanding horses’ movements?
[35:20] Eliminating judgment and cultivating a compassionate inner witness (your inner voice).
[38:58] The language we should use when we talk about training (and shifting that to better communicate with the horse to achieve a given goal).
[41:49] Thanks to our recent donors!
[42:36] Newly found insights that surprised Paula while writing her new book, Our Horses, Ourselves.
[48:20] What Paula would like readers to take away from her book.
[50:34] What you can expect on next week’s Because of Horses episode!
[51:23] How does Paula balance her passion and creative aspect of her work, while acknowledging and dealing with the business side?
[53:12] What is the price of not following your passion?
[55:24] What does success look like to Paula?
[57:10] Where to find Paula online.
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Discover More About this Week’s Guest — Paula Josa Jones
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