An article by Anke Sommer
What is actually the key link between people and animals?
If we manage to let go of our ideas of how the encounter with animals will be then a collaborative space opens up that I use in the process work. It is a space that puts the meeting between people and animals on an equal footing.
The prerequisite for this is that the encounter is left to take its natural course, i.e. devoid of any of the usual form of human approach. This would lead more to a distancing from, rather than a relationship with, the horses’ and ponies’ characters. This form of human approach is exhibited in stroking, holding one’s hand out, riding and using of equipment such as saddles and bridles, but it is a form of approach that leads to both species maintaining a distance between each other.
This prevents communication taking place on an equal footing and thus an informative process. The key link between humans and animals, namely the exchange of intuitive knowledge through communicative means, remains hidden to us.
Learning to honour horses’ healing instinct
Horses in particular embody the gift of intuitive perception. They pick up on everything we are unconscious of. Some of them may even have an instinct for sensing and stimulating, in their own way, illnesses, disagreements and areas of pain. They thus have the skills that we humans, in our western-oriented systems, need to redevelop in ourselves, as our nurturing puts the natural human use of intuitive abilities in the background.
Animals have a strong survival instinct so they react to all signals that indicate the presence of an illness or a disorder that could endanger the herd in the long term. The reaction is segregation and separation from others. It happens subtly.
If, during the process, the horses or ponies push themselves between the person exhibiting the disorder signals and the others present then the separation process begins and the person cut off is afforded an opportunity to become aware of the existence of signals that represent a danger for others, or a health risk to himself/herself.
These revelatory processes take place as part of the workshop. Open people are able to yield to the horses and ponies and communicate with them intuitively from the start. A ‘submissive body posture’, achieved by allowing the head and shoulders to drop, is required for this, as is the gift of being able to recognise and pick up on signals.
This exchange of signals takes place beyond the mind. The signals move back and forth between your somatic awareness and the animal’s body. On engaging with the horses and ponies, anyone still closed will discover a great deal that’s new and gradually learn how to open up to his or her natural ability again.
Recognising and dissolving one’s own boundaries by working with animals
Managers and people in positions of responsibility participate in this by learning to notice how far their own (unwitting) behaviour restricts their impact. Above all, they learn where they’re selling themselves short and cutting off immense life energy by failing to use their natural perceptive skills.
Are you interested in going deeper into this communication world? If you would like to learn how to understand your subconscious and improve your leadership work then feel free to get in touch with us. The work between people and animals is one possibility out of many to work on your process theme.
Click here to find out more about the next Leadership Workshop with Animals or chose the workshop that fits most to you and therefore intuitivly to your current state of personal development.
Feedback on the Leadership Workshop with Animals:
“The workshop with animals was special. I can see how Anke Sommer’s impact is now even stronger. She has become more direct, which means that development takes place more quickly. Anke sees where she can accelerate things, and where she needs to slow things down. The work is now even clearer. In my opinion, Anke shows you how to ‘keep moving towards the goal’, to use a footballing term. She has no shortage of energy to achieve objectives, she is focused, and she forges ahead. She takes the shortest route to the goal.”
“The great thing about the animals, in connection with Anke Sommer, is that they multiply their communication methods, provided people in a position of responsibility are open to taking them up. The animals reflect the processes stimulated and initiated by Anke to a great extent. She triggers processes, which becomes markedly more visible through the animals’ reactions. This is something I noticed. My recognition increases or multiplies as a result of the animals revealing what’s wrong. My process is reflected back at me through the partnership between Anke and the horses. I’m impressed by how she communicates with the animals. There was a moment where a horse wanted to come between herself and another participant. Anke talked to the horse: “It’s OK, this is necessary, I’m in control, put yourself behind me.” The horse then put itself behind her and bore the energies together with Anke Sommer; it was direct communication between her and the horse.”
“I’ve never seen anyone work with horses this way; it’s probably unique. The animals show what’s wrong and do so wholly in accordance with their nature. Anke works solely with the animals’ completely natural reactions, there’s no pressure involved. The animal simply does it. I think that’s great. It shows an appreciation for the animal because Anke notices and takes up what the animal is expressing.”
“This way of working underlines Anke Sommer’s key guideline: action with a positive outcome. It’s a win-win situation for the humans and animals alike. Things of which the human is unaware are reflected back on him or her, and the animal follows its destiny. It works really well. Something happens that animals unfortunately only experience very rarely. Animals are almost always exploited, i.e. they learn to do something they can do but which doesn’t correspond with their original nature. That’s exactly what happens here. In the workshop, the animals started working because they wanted to, and that’s rather unique.”
Felix Richter, managing director and entrepreneur in treating and restoring exposed concrete
You can find more feedback here.