1. Ian Rowcliffe on March 14, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Just to say that I hadn’t really understood the ‘crescendo’ part previously and did afterwards in the fun, apt and meaningful presentation. Great work!

    • LindaKohanov on March 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks Ian. Glad to hear the explanation was more clear this time!

  2. JosselienJanssens on March 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    What a great session – I couldn’t listen to it live, but just did on the weekend and great to see this discussion unfold.

    Re. Guiding Principel 4 – isn’t the Epona boundary setting approach just the absolute bees knees. It proves itself every time in working with clients – it’s almost like the Universal Solvent because it is a theme wherever people converge, be it in private family settings or at work…

    If the whole world would stick to Rule #1: “The person (or animal) approached gets to set the boundary” there would be no more wars…

    I got inspired by this session to write a blog post about “5 Golden Boundary Rules for Teams” – it’s here: http://www.rayamedicine.nl/2012/03/5-gouden-grensregels/?lang=en – enjoy!

    • LindaKohanov on March 13, 2012 at 1:09 am

      Really enjoyed your boundary blog, Josselien! Thanks for the link, and keep up the great work!

  3. Ian Rowcliffe on February 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Re:Ian…enjoy the living lab. I have a bunch of bankers I’m going to try some of this with. One small step for mankind (womankind too!). Challenging, indeed, Juli – It is difficult to deal with an institution – I am reminded of how difficult it is to break through social norms, let alone banking policy. What a good test for the power of emotional agility! Sending you strong focused beams of support:-)

  4. Susan Garvin on February 23, 2012 at 10:58 am

    supergoodluck Ian, and it would be great to hear your experiences as you go along, your own guinea pig for your continuing research into EI!!!

    • Ian Rowcliffe on February 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks, Susan. Good vibs with the administrator, which led to lots of exchange and setting up a meeting with the Mayor to promote my ideas – she really seemed to tune into the notion of emotional intelligence and agreed with me ‘whole-heartedly’ that education and learning would be SO much more effective with it. Some problems co-ordinating times available, but after a last exchange of emails, she ended saying, not to worry and that there were solutions for everything. Can’t get much more harmonious than that, can you? So an ‘encouraging’ first little step. In terms of the body scan, I felt very at home as I couldn’t pick up any changes in my body base rate, but rather a tuning in. The administrator who had been ill and only just come back to work, continued to apologize for her difficulty breathing – although I did notice her relaxing and opening up as we progressed.

      • LindaKohanov on March 13, 2012 at 1:11 am

        This is VERY encouraging Ian. It just goes to show that many people are beginning to see the need for emotional/social intelligence skills. Best wishes in the continued unfoldment of this opportunity!

        • Ian Rowcliffe on March 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm

          Thanks Linda – I received a follow-up email later on, saying how the administrator was personally very interested and wanted to know more and would like to take part in this approach herself. The paradox is that there is no existing framework to fit this into, so I need to invent one that would bring together other interested parties.

  5. CynthiaFast on February 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Susan, thank you for your comments on my contribution. That was thrilling for me to receive. You read it twice, cryptic to the point of bonzai and full of sap? REALLY liking your writing too!!! The conversation has since gone elsewhere and I still want to respond.
    “(I am vulnerable to being defined as “bad” and treated as such.) Karla McLaren in her latest book “The Language of Emotions; What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell YOu” has a brilliant comment about our current emotional climate on page 26. We have determined that emotions that make us feel comfortable are good and emotions that make us feel uncomfortable are bad. She says “We’ve neatly sewn up the emotions, and in so doing, we’ve sewn ourselves right into a straitjacket. Anyone who feels anything other than the light, fresh-scented emotions is, by association, bad. This simplistic good/bad system imprisons so many of us: we who are angry, we who are grieving, we who are fearful, we who feel shame–many of us with legitimate emotional issues are pushed out of the way to make room for the perky and the superficial.” So that is what I mean when I talk about being vulnerable to being defined as “bad” simply by talking about emotions that make people uncomfortable.
    When I say, “If I can see it for myself and come up with a rationalization for it, read blame, I feel less vulnerable.” The “it” I”m talking about is any place where I’ve shown up as less than perfect which can include but is not limited to any place I’ve shared something that people feel uncomfortable about.
    One of the ways my control shit manifests is that I’ve always had a big thing for being the “one to know” first. Somehow, I feel more powerful that way. I’m the annoying person who when someone is fumbling for a word will ream off a list of possible alternatives with Jeopardy fervour and feel like I’ve won the lottery when they accede to one being “it”. So I have noticed over the years that much of my drive for self awareness is motivated by my need to be the one who knows what I’m doing first, especially about me. When people offer me insights into my behaviour that I am unaware of I feel hugely threatened and exposed. They may not be intentionally using my vulnerability against me but I’ll do just about anything to avoid that moment. I am all for exposing myself as evidenced by my writing but I am almost desperate to be the one to “out” me. So I will tuck my chin and hollow my back so I can be in control of the pain inflicted rather than having my bit yanked on.
    So when I run across a moment when I see someone becoming uncomfortable or taking issue with my behaviour or the emotions I’m sharing, I autorun an immediate back-check on myself, flag all possible triggers and come up with rationalizations for them that are authentic and acknowledge them so I can ask for understanding and apologize. The problem is that the rationalizations usually take the form of negative self judgements, which is why I say “read blame”. If I’m not blaming myself, I’ll choose under the category “circumstances” which includes everything other than myself including hormones, someone else’s behaviour, patriarchy….
    I am acting like I have done something “wrong” or “bad” in that place so that I can control the interaction. They don’t need to confront me, I’m doing it for them and not only that but I got there first. The other issue is that I am taking responsibility for their discomfort and holding myself accountable for it in front of them. Its a rather sophisticated form of “roll over and show your belly” motivated by my fear of the displeasure of others. I think its a strategy I’ve developed for taking incredible emotional risks in “power over” environments. I bravely step forward to speak my piece and then backpedal and grovel like mad. Its become so subtle and unconscious over the years I could really use someone to stand by with a clicker and chocolate to help break the cycle.
    It doesn’t work for me. I take the risk of communicating the message and then negate it the minute anyone gets antsy. In another way it does work for me because I can’t blame myself for not saying something and being part of the problem after the fact. Although I still am because I didn’t deliver my message effectively, at least I can blame them for not listening and applaud myself for at least trying.
    I am learning to sit in my discomfort and leave others to theirs and it goes against my instincts as a woman as my sense of safety is biochemically wired to people feeling good about me. It also triggers the shunning reflex which is one and the same thing at the root. I’m more vulnerable when I’m not in the herd. This works very well for us when the herd is healthy. When the herd is sick then one has to be sick with them to fit in and we have a very sick herd these days.
    You ask also about, “I need to be scared or punished before I will change my behaviour.” I’ve experienced enough negative reinforcement in this lifetime to have internalized the process. It is largely unconscious. Even the thought “I should weigh less than I do” is incredibly violent. In that thought is the judgment that I am not enough as I am. That there is something I should be, that I am not. I am deciding I am god, dictating how much this body should weigh and determining that I have failed to weigh that. It is how I dominate me. To have that thought is to punish myself.
    When I imagine not having that thought I imagine eating whatever I want all the time and weighing even more which scares me. I unconsciously buy into the belief that if I don’t criticize myself or hold in my mind a picture of me being better than who or what I am that I won’t continue to evolve or grow. Even deeper is the belief system(BS) that I am inherently bad or flawed and if I don’t keep myself under “control” I will destroy myself and my loved ones. Sounds pretty dramatic and whacked out when I write it that way but it is the underpinning belief of all the major religions. They provide that structure. Like if they didn’t write it down for us in the 10 commandments we wouldn’t feel bad when we stole or murdered??? Its based on the premise that if I don’t fear the consequences I won’t behave well. Fortunately, its not true. Unfortunately, I didn’t figure that out before I internalized a whole lot of unconscious behaviours around the BS. We are coming to understand now that we are intrinsically motivated toward cooperation and coexistence. There’s a great youtube “The Empathic Civilisation” that covers mirror neurons and this material. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7AWnfFRc7g&feature=share
    Science has proven over and over again that neither punishment nor the threat of it, does anything to change behaviour. This is what I mean when I say, “I do understand now how much harder it is to change anything I put that energy into.” There was an experiment where horses were given a choice of a direction to go and punished when they went the wrong way, their ability to choose correctly diminished slightly and their stress before choosing went up exponentially. So it is way more stressful to make a choice when you think one of them might be wrong. This is why many gurus encourage us to question that it is possible to make a “wrong” choice. So just by believing I have to choose between right and wrong I am punishing myself and acting out of fear instead of from love. So by having the thought that I should weigh less I make it harder to lose weight. I am more stressed, which will support me eating more carbs and I am resisting weighing what I do now and what I resist persists.
    It takes me back to that place in my last comment where as soon as I perceive a “wrongness” in my self, situation or environment I have separated from “all that is perfect” and disconnected from my source of authentic power, thereby destroying my possibility of true collection and perfect frame in that moment. I really think this is crucial. Even if we’ve determined not to use negative reinforcement with our dogs or horses, if it is still ticking along just fine in our unconscious mind we are at risk of ending up there anyway. My dad once decided not to be judgmental anymore and I think he inadvertently achieved a personal best score in the game of arrogance by attaching the righteousness of the nonjudgmental to all the unconscious judgments he was issuing. The “Natural Horsemanship” movement is evidence of this. In many practices its still domination/submission they’re just doing it with a roundpen instead of ropes and a snubbing post. If we’re managing groups and leading others from a place thinking we have to follow the guidelines to do it right then we’re missing the point and we’re not going to be doing it with the stupendous ease of a horse flaunting their grace and beauty to enthrall the observer. I’m not sure its possible anyway, sounds more like an ideal I just made up to me. We have to dis/cover where this domination, using our vulnerability to punish ourselves lives within us in order to move it through us and making mistakes is going to be part of the process. A big part seeing as we’re pioneering a whole new form. There is some way that huge amount of organized expressive energy is more than what is physically contained in the body(which is why we call it “spirit” or “presence”) and beyond being motivated by fear. They don’t look that pretty when they are fleeing. They look all tight, wild eyed, disorganized, flat. low and spattered. I’m saying we don’t have to do it right and not screw up in order to have this kind of energy, passion and presence flowing in our leadership and I’m not saying we can have it when we are screwing up. I am saying that the process of learning to do it will have moments of both success and failure and that our vision and intention need to dwell beyond either of them without being afraid to look at them. I think its what all the gurus are calling “beyond duality”. Whew, I’ve said enough. Thanks Susan for this opportunity to gain clarity.

    • Anonymous on February 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Great personal insights that are also universal for many of us, Cynthia! Thanks for taking the time to articulate this. And I totally agree with your conclusion: “I am saying that the process of learning to do it will have moments of both success and failure and that our vision and intention need to dwell beyond either of them without being afraid to look at them. I think its what all the gurus are calling “beyond duality”. Love the quote from Karla too!

      • Anonymous on February 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm

        Not sure why I showed up as anonymous, but it’s Linda.

    • Susan Garvin on February 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      wow Cynthia this is a great follow-up and I really appreciate your explanations to my questions. I really felt you were putting words to stuff of mine that I’ve not ever articulated clearly even tho I’ve been fully aware of it for some while. Uncomfortable stuff, also, too, but better out than in, so thank you heartily!
      Plus other things that are really crunchy and inviting and I thank you for putting them on the table for consideration “…what I resist persists…….. as soon as I perceive a “wrongness” in my self, situation or environment I have separated from “all that is perfect” and disconnected from my source of authentic power, thereby destroying my possibility of true collection and perfect frame in that moment.”
      What I liked so much about your reply is the way you really did ‘unpack’ the first message and go right into unfolding it all, explaining it all in detail. This has given me food for thought in great measure.
      Being greedy, I would ask you to enlarge upon ‘beyond duality’ means ‘the process of learning to do it will have moments of both success and failure and that our vision and intention need to dwell beyond either of them without being afraid to look at them’. good night from Italy. P.S. I would also do a LOT for chocolate, also clicker training…

      • Cynthia (Thea) Fast on February 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm

        Thanks Linda, thanks Susan…next up, beyond duality. Might need a few more books before I get to that one and I’m due for a fiction bender so it might be a while. I’ll hold it in my unconscious and let it perk a while.

        • JuliLYNCH on February 23, 2012 at 2:16 am

          Hi Everyone;
          I’m reading along as each of you write and waiting for the next post even though I have a million other things I should be doing. You comment Susan:

          disconnected from my source of authentic power, thereby destroying my possibility of true collection and perfect frame in that moment.”

          came alongside Linda’s thoughts

          It is as if emotion is the crucial communication system between the mental and the physical as well as the social dimensions of life, and yet it has been the most ignored in all disciplines. We are at the cutting edge here.

          So is our source of authentic power our ability to engage the emotional intelligence communication system within ourselves? Is it the ability to know how we are feeling (a problem many women have because they’ve been socialized that their feelings are wrong or not real), express what we are feeling with “intelligence” (non-predetory expression like you did Linda with Merlin) and then stand in the power we get as a result of expressing to face whatever the hell comes back at us?And as we stand there we are “in emotional collection” – coiled with power able to move whatever direction the situation takes us (or what people say back to us) without losing our balance (emotional, mental, physical balance that is).

          • Susan Garvin on February 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

            Juli, that comment was not mine, though I would be happy to claim it, it is good! – it was Cynthia’s.
            anyhow, yes I think you are expressing here what I would understand by authentic power- at least mature authentic power. Between where I am now, and the point you describe here, there will be many authentic ‘me’s’ but as I learn to uncover and utilise the famous ‘other 90 per cent’ that authentic self will be ever closer to the ideal you describe “as we stand there we are “in emotional collection” – coiled with power able to move whatever direction the situation takes us (or what people say back to us) without losing our balance (emotional, mental, physical balance that is).Meanwhile holding our role models before us we can learn from our shortcomings and mistakes and overcome our conditioning and the huge pressure society puts us under to conform and not make anyone uncomfortable. We have to learn to sit with the discomfort and bring uncomfortable things out into the open without using them to disorientate people so we can then lead them somewhere that might not be in their – or the world’s – best interests. That is what the sociopath does, as I understand it. So there is this very delicate balance in the way Linda describes ‘sitting with uncomfortable emotions’ and dealing with it which our own embarrassment and panic can sabotage if we are not very careful, so I think this one is very hard to practise!

          • Ian Rowcliffe on February 23, 2012 at 10:53 am

            Yes, I am going to try to keep all this in mind as I have a meeting with the local admin. who would you believe are looking for a ‘teacher’. My wife and I were there dealing with other matters and ‘suddenly’ this came up. I guess this is a really good time to work with Linda’s Body Scan approach and get some first hand experience of EI. They will probably want the ‘tried and tested’ rather than work with the equine orientation we have been discussing here, believing the former safer, but let’s see… creativity and change comes out of crisis. Must take notes of my impressions as I go along. And yes, perhaps it is more important to focus on the need for and benefits from EI rather than on the horses directly.

          • JuliLYNCH on February 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

            Oops. Thanks Cynthia for that comment. Thanks Susan for adding to the thoughts. Ian…enjoy the living lab. I have a bunch of bankers I’m going to try some of this with. One small step for mankind (womankind too!).

  6. Ian Rowcliffe on February 22, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Re: February 21st, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Linda – you posted this in a series of comments on comments so that there is no reply option left. But I just wanted to thank you for the inspiring quote regarding your recent writing. Very powerful and thought provoking – I am all ears!

    I had also returned to thank you for pointing out what a stallion’s natural collection behavior looks like – something that I had missed completely to my surprise:-) I just hadn’t thought of it in that way. In fact, I really wanted to study such behavior more closely but haven’t been able to pin down enough keywords to access it on youtube, for example. Should you have such a link, I would be very pleased if you could post it here.

    Re: what I have been thinking of as a ‘matriarchal leadership style’ – if it is defined largely by the other 90%, it is ‘natural’ that it hasn’t been ‘talked or written’ about much. Indeed, what we tend to see are woman leaders who have beaten men at their own game rather than develop a contrastive approach. Margaret Thatcher is a prime example – (called the only man in Britain by Reagan I think). Golda Meir. So we need to identify leaders of a different nature such as Mother Teresa and Ghandi – who clearly made use of emotional intelligence in hitherto unimagined ways. Otherwise, I am reminded of the powerful women of north England who clearly ‘rule the roost’ and those in Ireland and Portugal as well.

    There was also a very different independent Mayor of Strasbourg, Catherine Troutman – described in Theordore Zeldin’s book, An intimate History of Mankind although she got promoted to become the French Minister of Culture and suddenly seemed controlled and ineffective. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Trautmann). I haven’t been able to find a connection with horses, though:-) But will keep looking…

    • Susan Garvin on February 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Ian – Thatcher, the Only Real Man in Europe, I believe, and yes, it was Reagan.
      Queen Wilhelmina of Holland was described by Churchill as ‘the only real man among the governments-in-exile in London’ during the second world war.
      Seems women could only be called good or great leaders/soldiers etc if they were likened to men, there was no terminology to herald their prowess otherwise….Lakshmi too was likened to a man in the popular ballad celebrating her prowess on the battlefield – ‘How valiantly like a man fought she, The Rani of Jhansi ‘.
      I’ve already mentioned Aung San Suu Kyi, let me add Mary Seacole (rejected by Florence Nightingale because she was Jamaican and therefore black, Mary set up her own service in the Crimea undaunted by the insulting behaviour of Florence.) Together with Florence, however, she showed remarkable calm and compassion in the most terrifying and horrific of circumstances, surely an example of a number of our guiding principles and emotional heroism.
      But I digress yet again, need to re-listen to the latest conversation and get back on track in my comments!

      • Ian Rowcliffe on February 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm

        No digression, Susan: very thought-provoking – thanks! I was struck by a comment when following up your points:

        “England, of course did forget Mary Seacole. She was awarded a Crimean medal, and a bust was made of her by Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, sculptor and nephew of Queen Victoria. The last 25 years of her life, however, were spent in obscurity. When she died on 14th May 1881.”

        Once again, we can note that this approach is lost for the most part, rather than becoming part of a more enlightened new tradition.

        • Susan Garvin on February 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm

          yes indeed Ian, that struck me too, horrible. When you say ‘this approach is lost’ what do you mean? just that then, as now, enlightenment was not in it?

          • LindaKohanov on February 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm

            Thanks Ian and Susan for great examples of progressive women leaders. This is a topic that, while I can’t fit it into my book, is completely welcome, and arguably essential, on this web symposium. And I appreciate this inclination to build upon the guiding principles and other leadership qualities the horses help make conscious: In your discussion above of Mary Seacole and Florance Nightingale, Susan, you cited their ability to remain calm during horrific circumstances, showing emotional heroism.

            As we integrate the Power of the Herd principles into daily human life, I think we should continue citing and publically praising leaders who exemplify these qualities (and most will not be horsepeople as we move forward), as they are ones who are examples of leaders of the future. It’s also enlightening to show how the women leaders of the last century, while pioneers in simply making headway in a “man’s world,” were essentially let in the door because they acted like men, in some cases even exagerated versions of predatory male leaders—-with Thatcher leading the pack!

            And great point too Ian, that a lot of the leadership qualities women have shown happened in the realm of the other 90 percent, so it was hard for anyone to isolate these qualities consciously and write about them, let alone teach them to others. It’s taken me years to get to the point where I can write as clearly about these nonverbal elements as I currently can, which still is difficult. That’s where writing takes me such a long time, and I get stuck in these limbo places like I was in yesterday. I’m seeking ways of turning the unsayable into words, or at least using words to point to these nonverbal and un-photographable qualities of leadership presence.

          • Ian Rowcliffe on February 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm

            Yes, it is as if we have a blind spot to all this and I guess we do as part of our conditioning. For example, we know that there are different sounds in other languages but, try as we may, we just can’t hear them at first. It takes a long process of sensitization. Yet a young child has no difficulty assimilating such things. Or it takes a catalyst or ‘midwife’ like a horse, to facilitate the process…

          • Ian Rowcliffe on February 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm

            Well, I was thinking that Mary didn’t create an entity to continue her work – although it might be argued that the nursing tradition has … to some extent… if that is still true. Often people manage to set up trusts or foundations, don’t they?

          • Susan Garvin on February 23, 2012 at 9:54 am

            I see what you mean. Of course Mary Seacole was destitute and totally broke after the war ended and was not recognised by the British government at all, being of mixed race and not part of the upper classes to boot. however there was a fund-raiser for her and I believe she did manage to live decently after that, but for sure there would have been little money left over for setting up trusts etc.
            I like to think that Florence, Mary and all their heroic nurses have morphed into Médicins sans frontières or something 🙂

  7. Susan Garvin on February 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Yes, Linda, the point had slipped off my screen, the focus on horse training and the development of skills and qualities for interaction with people I wrote a longer answer which then vanished into cyberspace (another pc out the window :-)) anyway to cut a longer posting short, I hear what you say about finding accounts of trainers/leaders who are women. However, my search led me to some fascinating discoveries, the most striking being the Rani of Jansi (aka Ladshmi Bai), key leader of troops into battle against the British in India, depicted on her horse in statues, killed in battle too. she lived 1835-1858.
    Elizabeth 1st, yes, an accomplished horsewoman in the sense of being fearless out hunting side-saddle and always demanding hotter and faster horses, but am fairly sure she wouldn’t have been a compassionate horsewoman, although she is known for her compassion as a leader and a ruling monarch. perhaps she learned to be brave and make rapid decisions while riding, she certainly was not afraid to join her troops in the field and make impassioned and rousing speeches (the most famous being at the battle of Tilbury).
    I would also have nominated Aung San Suu Kyi as a person with clear leader qualities and charisma but for sure no connection with horses!
    this was a bit of a diversion for me too, hope it has encouraged the unblocking of your writing!!!

  8. JuliLYNCH on February 19, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Oops…my comment was for the call today and it ended up on the chat here. This was in reference to Linda talking about collection – horse collection and emotional collection. I asked about the parallel (if any) or metaphor of forced or mechanical collection in a horse (side reins, pull downs, draw reins, heavy hands) where the horse is not coming through from behind where their power is but rather forced into a false carriage. I wonder about humans being forced into a false collection – internally they strain against restrictions that do not allow them to be free to think and feel and express who they are. Linda also pointed out the person who is incongruent, who needs to keep “a certain look” or certain posture – in denial of their emotions or the emotions around them – collected yes but in a false sense. Interesting. The call has me buzzing with ideas. Thanks Linda and Mark.

    • Ian Rowcliffe on February 20, 2012 at 9:57 am

      We already have this notion in general expressions such as being ‘calm, cool and collected’. However, I am not sure whether the horse analogy is that helpful given that it represents the special case of a rider on a horse needing to adjust the horse’s center of gravity to compensate for the additional weight – simply put – not that I am an expert on these matters. Hence, I feel the ‘metaphor’ needs to be clarified a little more. How is it different from being centered or balanced? Maybe, that is why LInda goes onto talk about coiled energy – but is this what we are aiming at when we interact with other people?

    • LindaKohanov on February 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      That was a great question Julie, and I like your input on the answer as well. And yes, Ian, it does relate to humans: what any great teacher/parent/leader does is much more sophsticated than reining in a young person’s energy, instincts, and talents. It is similar to a great trainer that teaches the horse to “carry himself,” and it’s not just about optimally carrying the rider’s weight. It’s about teaching the horse to build upon his natural ability to collect himself, which he usually shows when wooing mares, but through a rider, can learn to do at will in many more situations. Advanced horse-rider teams exemplify a partnership where the rider has an independent seat (not clutching the reins for balance) and the horse can collect himself. Only when both side of this partnerhsip are operating at an optimal level personally, can they approach greatness together.

      In nature, the stallion is collected emotionally as well as physically at those moments when he woos a mare, in that he’s containing a powerful, amorous urge, channeling rather supressing the energy of his desire to engage in sophisticated dance-like movements where his every step seems to be spring loaded yet sumpremely controlled. If he wasn’t collected, he’d just be trying to jump on the mare for immediate gratification. Free mares will kick the tar out such a presumptous inconsiderate, uncontrolled male, sometimes causing fatal abdominal wounds.

      Julie, your anaolgy of society creating “false collection” in people is so significant and quite enlightening to me as a metaphor! Many of our educational and relgious systems do not teach people to optimally manage their own energy and creativity for the good of the whole, they rein in that vitality, supressing genius in favor of treating people like work horses to serve the status quo. This book is about the skills we all need to collect ourselves, to release our genius, without vicitimizng others with presumptuous, inconsiderate youthful energy. Uncollected genius is a great example of the opposite of false collection. A good example is Steve Jobs during Apple’s mid years. He was brilliant, but he was very cruel and insconsiderate of everyone around him. Like a stallion brutalizing the herd, he was expelled from Apple, though it seems that he eventually learned a better way. But he and the company both suffered for his lack of emotional collection.

      • JuliLYNCH on February 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm

        I see that everyday in the organizations I go to consult with. People reined in unable to express their emotional, intellectual brilliance. Gosh it starts in kindergarten (or pre-school?). Here is a thought to ponder. True collection in a horse comes from behind. The most powerful part of the horse is engaged, the haunches are dropped and the legs step under with flexion of the hips, hocks and fetlocks – the coil (the spring you talked about on Saturday?). From this gathering of power from behind the horse is propelled up into a rounded frame – from tail to head and if done correctly the rider feels a lightness in their hands that is like holding onto air and beneath their seat they feel the spring/coil of power that is so present with a thought and only a slight cue brilliant movement can be achieved.

        So I think of tai chi, yoga, Qi Gong, Akido – the practices that bring our power from our core; dantian, chi, prana. The practices that put a human into a similar collected frame as the horse. And if you do any of these practices you know that they are physical, emotional and mental. When I first started tai chi – my thighs ached as the instructor had us drop into our power stance – bent knees, ankles and hips so that we could access the power from our core.

        It is not an intellectual/mind endeavor is it – to become emotionally collected. I sense it comes from somewhere even more powerful than our rational selfs. We are a society that allows the draining of personal power by “holding people back,” “reining individuals in,” forcing a collection (obedience, status quo as you said Linda).?

        How do we teach that to those who come from an intellectual paradigm that has been seperated from the body. Just my ponderings on a cold day in Wisconsin.

        • LindaKohanov on February 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm

          I really believe that building emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills are key as I have seen many advanced, highly accomplished horse trainers, yoga practitioners and martial arts afficiandos act in unproductive ways around other people, particuarly when it comes to collaborating with others. (Yoga and martial arts training systems can be quite heirarchical, just like any other systems we see enacted by humans.) It is as if emotion is the crucial communication system between the mental and the physical as well as the social dimensions of life, and yet it has been the most ignored in all disciplines. We are at the cutting edge here.

        • CynthiaFast on February 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm

          Yum, this is getting interesting! I want to speak to the “artificial frame” Juli’s pondering. I’ve been delving into NonViolent Communication and now Radical Forgiveness with a bit of Radical Buddhism thrown in for spice. I’m also a big fan of Byron Katie. All of them talk about how acknowledging the perfection of every situation happening for you instead of to you on your journey to wholeness. BK calls it “Loving What Is”.
          It requires mastering the mind and holding it in a state of collection. I think that might be the “missing link” in terms of being able to really hook up with our power. It’s the attitude of “wow, what’s happening here?” open curiousity instead of the “those people shouldn’t be having interpersonal difficulties, it’s interfering with our production” Linda was talking about holding in business meetings. As soon as I veer down the path of judgement – that is so wrong!- then I tip off into victim and go to war and totally lose connection with that power center.
          That’s my experience anyway. I usually go straight from having “new awareness” into condemning myself for my innocence by thinking I “should never have not had that awareness.” Thinking that there is something wrong with me that I didn’t know that before and that I’ve been a burden to people or messed things up because I didn’t.
          Now that I’m beginning to see that moment I’m able to hook back up and really move forward with power and energy and my emotion feeds the interaction and fires it up in a good way and I feel less tired.
          It is only relatively recently that I have really come to experience people not holding my vulnerability against me, like Linda talked about in Chapter 3. I know people have been doing it all along and I didn’t recognize it because I was so attached to doing it to myself. I can also say with some confidence that it is how our “power over” patriarchy works and I’m certain I’m not the only woman “too hard on myself”.
          I come from mennonite ancestry so “shunning” is in my blood. I was the problem that people got rid of. I am finally not abandoning myself this way, anymore. It is how I learned to deal with conflict, though. Use my critical thinking abilities to identify the problem and fix it, which involves control and force. One of the underpinning beliefs of this process is that I need to be scared or punished before I will change my behaviour. I do understand now how much harder it is to change anything I put that energy into.
          It also prevents me from having new awareness. If new awareness is a stick I pick up and instantly bash myself over the head with then I’m going to be less inclined to pick up the next stick. Fortunately, my enthusiasm for sticks borders on the golden retriever fixation level so I never have stopped. I sure have been tired and sore headed, though.
          I really want to tie this back to false collection. Here’s how I’ve become so motivated to be in perfect frame all the time, or at least appear to be and learned to be so hard on myself when I’m found out not to be. In our comfort loving culture anytime I do anything to make myself or anyone else uncomfortable I am vulnerable to being defined as “bad” and treated as such. If I can see it for myself and come up with a rationalization for it, read blame, I feel less vulnerable. If I can see first that I’m the problem and acknowledge that and fix me then I can control whether I get kicked out of the herd or not. The metaphor works on a horse level too. They tuck their chin, even if it causes their back to hollow and they’re no longer able to weight bear without pain because if their headset looks “correct” the rider stops pulling on the bit. So at least they have a little more control over the pain being caused. So I have learned to cause myself pain to avoid the pain caused by others.
          Those were the only options available for a time and now the possibility for something else exists and I am learning my own way there so I can eventually lead others. I am leading my horses through this transition too and they are leading me. So nice to be able to cross trail with the Epona herd now and again to know I’m headed in the right direction and know that others have gone before me who aren’t the Buddha.
          One last comment. I’ve noticed how we’ve slipped in this talk of power and collection into masculine metaphor. Stallions may put on shows for mares but mares also put on shows for stallions when they are so moved. It is time for the rise of the feminine, women are being called to the front lines to stand in their power. Lets not keep imagining ourselves diligent Martha’s to George’s heroism while we are awed by the magnificent power of the stallions, here. Women and mares in beauty, collection and collaboration are what will eventually bring into balance that magnificent masculine energy running rampant and raping the world right now. I know we are both masculine and feminine within and I also know that most of us in this webinar manifest in womens’ bodies. So many of the “leaders” we are looking at in the book are males, I’d like to hear more about scary, and impressive mares in the posts. If we haven’t already met the mare in our life who taught us more than we wanted to learn, she’s out there waiting. I’m just asking for what I want here. If there were women leaders down through history and there were, they didn’t get written about much and if they did the publishers didn’t publish those books much…and so the body of research is not there and I understand the preponderance of masculine mentors in the book so far. However, as women we’ve learned to shut up and keep a low profile over the years as well and if we do come into view let us all be pointing at the stallion saying “wow” when it happens lest we be burned, beaten or banished. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….I’d just like to do something else here and encourage others to join me if they feel so inclined.

          • Anonymous on February 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm

            Cynthia this post is amazing, I have read it twice and need to read it again about another dozen times. it is cryptic to the point of being bonzai small and so full of sap it will take me a long time to digest. there are some things I get right away and others I am not sure about at all – one example is: “(I am vulnerable to being defined as “bad” and treated as such.) If I can see it for myself and come up with a rationalization for it, read blame, I feel less vulnerable.” I’m working through this one but not sure I have understood your meaning fully . lots of food for thought!
            Another bit I am not sure I understand is “I need to be scared or punished before I will change my behaviour. I do understand now how much harder it is to change anything I put that energy into.”
            What I am sure about, and what I was going to write myself too, was the last bit, about female leaders. surely there have been and are women who exhibit good positive leadership qualities – what about Florence Nightingale? I am a hopeless case when it comes to any history or historical figures but surely, surely, there have been women battling against horrific odds and leading the way through them? what about leaders in the concentration camps, in the pioneering history? I know most women through history have had only a claim to recognition and being heard in the reflected light and glory of their men…..but hidden away in less glamorous spots there must be women who can stand alongside our heroes……?
            And on a lighter but still relevant note, in the little herd of four that I share with a friend, there are three geldings, and all of them clear out quick when the one mare just swishes her tail and swings her ample bottom round to claim whatever territory or food or whatever she wants….all their posturing is as nothing when Mer says ‘I claim……’ 🙂

          • Anonymous on February 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm

            anonymous again, it’s me, susan

          • LindaKohanov on February 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm

            This is such an exciting discussion, and as I seem to be having a bit of trouble writing today, I keep coming back to it just to stay at the computer and stay on topic to work out writer’s block I guess.

            Women leaders who were also exceptional horse trainers/riders are very very very hard to come by. That is the focus of the leaders I’m covering in this book. And once you find a few of these women: Katherine the Great, Queen Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II, it is almost impossible to find any information about actual riding or training incidents that could shed some light on their leadership development or approach. Most history seems to be written by men, for men, about men, and when these accounts are about women leaders, they all seem to emphasize what conventional men would be interested in, which is rarely ever about these leaders’ connection to horses.

            But since my first book was about a woman’s journey, and the second book was mostly about women, I’m not worried about giving women equal time in this book, because the truth about the history of power is that women were NEVER given equal time, and so we must learn mostly from historical accounts about men in order to move forward. What I do know about women and power, is that we are finally, only in the last thirty years or so, free to use it.

            As a result, women have not been taught how to use power effectively. And they are suffering right now from superficial male role models, very few of which actually know how to use power well either. And the sad truth of the matter is that during this time of transition, I see women who’ve been repressed and abused by men now stepping forward to shame and brutalize men at times. My stallion Midnight Merlin was brutalized by a woman trainer, sad to say, one that seemed, due to her own lack of authentic power, to use abusive dominance and actual toruture techniques because she was afraid of HIS power and vitality. She didn’t just want to correct him, but shame and punish him.

            I realized also in rehabilitating Merlin that kindness was not enough to heal the wounds of misused power. I had to be powerful myself, yet in a much different way that most people would expect. I had to use the horse as a model for non-predatory power, and look at a handful of leaders in history who managed to stumble across that kind of power and begin (just begin) to use it effectively.

            Actually I’ve been writing about Merlin this week for one of my last chapters, and considering the abusive treatment he experienced through a woman’s misuse of power, I also look at several major religious leaders as some of the very few who actively promoted non-predatory power. Here’s an excerpt from a section that comes out of a discussion on taoism:

            “When I first encountered Lao-tzu in a college religion course, his words sounded so whimsical, so paradoxical; so delightfully mystical. But his advice turned out to be incredibly practical when it came to training horses, prompting me to realize that this shrewd yet compassionate Chinese master was actually offering helpful, grounded hints on how to succeed in life—with the least amount of grief and effort possible. From this perspective, the Tao Te Ching was clearly an ancient improvisation on the theme of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, written for the entire human race.

            But Lao-tzu’s words, no matter how intriguing, didn’t come close to teaching me what I needed to know. They were a thin layer of icing on one massive cake. In my early thirties, I was compelled, more by necessity than philosophical curiosity, to explore the deeper, experiential wisdom of the Tao—focusing, as it turns out, on the opposite of Lao-tzu’s advice for feuding Chinese war lords.

            Growing up in the 1960s, before the women’s liberation movement, I had been trained to submit, to be a “nice girl,” to intuitively feel what others were too proud to ask in order to soothe, support, and please them, to let beauty speak louder than words while saving sex for marriage. My yin had been over-emphasized, and distorted, stretched in seemingly opposing directions by fashion magazines, movie stars, and conservative, understandably paranoid parents. Well into adulthood—despite one divorce, a brilliant second marriage, and, at a professional level, numerous management opportunities—I realized that I most certainly did not know the yang. Outside the pleasures of romantic relationships, I didn’t even want to know the yang: The competitive, survival-of-the-fittest, adolescent-alpha models of leadership I witnessed actually made my stomach turn.

            And that’s where horses, masters of non-predatory power, became my greatest teachers. Through years of frustration, trial and error, they helped me understand what power really was—and, initially at least, what it was not….”

            Ah well….back to writing with this next section about the Buddha and the rarely acknowledged fact that before he became enlightened, he was known to be an exceptional horseman. There’s even a story about his taming a dangerous horse, though once again, the details are sketchy. But it’s clear that as his early interactions with horses gave him a leg up on the mindfulness principles he later translated to purely human situations.

  9. JuliLYNCH on February 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Also..sometimes people are in a “culture” where they are “forced” to think, act, talk a certain way and inside you are straining against what is happening there.

  10. CynthiaFast on February 17, 2012 at 2:44 am

    I’m thinking about how in George’s relationship with his wife and in his mother’s with her husband it seems they were relationships beyond dominance and power. Many people in my experience as in my own chose relationships with people they perceived as being more powerful than themselves and then people who they perceived as being less powerful than themselves. It truly required a measure of vulnerability and emotional balance to engage with a partner of equal power to oneself. Having achieved this in my lifetime I can see it as having achieved a measure of maturity. Having had parents who I perceive to have actually been equals but engaged in a life long power struggle with each other it took me some time and self development to claim this for myself. Much of their struggles I see as resultant of the imbalance of power in the broader cultural context. My mom was smart but had to quit school to work like a wife for the widow next door when she was 13. Her wages were paid to her father. My dad was a Phd. While mom did go to night school after work as a young woman to finish her high school diploma she never felt equal to dad intellectually. She was furious about the inequity as you surmise was Washington’s mom. Particularly as she partially paid dad’s way and supported him otherwise in completing his studies while she gave up her job to raise us. I just wonder if this is a piece of the puzzle in terms of vulnerability and leadership. I also wonder if this isn’t what inspired in the young George Washington the ability to endure inequity while struggling to develop in all the ways allowable to him and create change. I wonder if one of the guiding principles isn’t the ability to share power. Not just to have it or wield it wisely but also to be able to not have it, to be able to let it go and surrender to a larger context without feeling powerless. I want to say also to be able to play whatever role is demanded by the situation or even move beyond the dualistic thinking in terms of being able to be a servant to one’s own mastery or that of another. Somehow I want to communicate how being a great leader means being a great follower too, of vision I suppose and I think something else as well. Great leaders aren’t attached to leading as in the “passive leadership” of Mark Rashid’s observance. I wonder if they’re lead by an intact unconscious. One that somehow hasn’t been decimated by the violence inherent in our culture. Its the reluctant hero myth again. Hero’s don’t generally become heroes because they set out to. I wonder if great leaders don’t become great leaders because they set out to. So how is this relevant for those of us who want to become great leaders? Isn’t it just more idol worship motivated by ego and aspiring to be something other than who we are now, in this moment, in this lifetime? I’m somewhat intrigued and inspired, supportive of the concept and still struggling to relate. I also don’t know that’s its evolution. It could just be aberration or related to the fact that extraordinary parents can produce offspring who do extraordinary things. Its not as if people around him were able to pick it up or that he was able to teach it. It didn’t seem to pass itself on so how was it evolution? Its not like it was the end of centuries of profiteering, slavery, war and genocide.

    • Ian Rowcliffe on February 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Some interesting points and observations, Cynthia. Thanks. Re: ‘passive leadership’ – in an interview with Mark Rashid, he was asked if this meant not having an agenda.

      I think his answer was summed up along the lines of a relationship of mutual benefit and trust, but you may like to check it out for yourself (he goes on to talk about his amazing notion of soft, which so impressed me that I ordered his latest book, Nature in Horsemanship).


      But I wonder really if we are looking at a type of agenda-less leadership where the aim is to come up with the ‘right’ thing to do – you know, the best, healthiest solution in the direction of the greater good, given the information available. It is hardly surprising that such a diffuse style of leadership hasn’t become the norm. So this is a point that Linda may wish to shed some light on…. perhaps, a new term is needed such as ‘matriarchal leadership’

      Reading the Chapter, I got the feeling that George was holding on more than anything else, no mention is made of a clear guiding vision. It all seems so hit and miss. Could it be that the ‘evolution’ is only about to take place now?

      • CynthiaFast on February 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm

        Thanks for the link Ian. Always into further exposure to Mark Rashid. Wasn’t “Nature in Horsemanship” wonderful? I really enjoyed it and I’m still digesting many of the ideas in it. I want to clarify that my idea of agenda-less leadership doesn’t mean you don’t have an agenda or an idea of what you want to accomplish, more about not having an attachment to being the one who leads it or cares particularly if people get behind you on it or even whether you actually achieve it. I don’t think Gandhi would have been any less Gandhi had we not known of him or people not followed him. We certainly wouldn’t have heard of him but that wouldn’t have made his life any less worthfull. The engagement in the process and the learning along the way are enough if its motivated from a place of soul compulsion. I wonder if it isn’t somehow about the agenda you have being intrinsically motivated and in line with your life purpose instead of from a place of justice, righting wrongs, or addressing problems. These things can all happen as byproduct and become what people organize around but the leaders of these movements just couldn’t not do what they were doing. I’m incredibly motivated to shift beyond dominance in my relationships mostly because I’m so bloody reactive to it when someone does it to me. I’m happy when I find workshops and other communities like this that are in line with my agenda or can feed into it and yet I have no real clear idea of what this will all manifest in as an outcome. I think its also being able to hold the relationship you have with every individual primary to the purpose or agenda of the group.I just attended a non violent communication workshop and it was all about staying out of the dualistic polarity of right and wrong, approaching with curiousity and openness and being comfortable in that place of not knowing. There was also an essential element of respecting the perfection in everyone and everything and surrendering to “what is”. As soon as I move into opposition, even in my thinking then I beget resistance. I wonder if any individual determination of a course of action for the group isn’t opposing the group, that the leader’s job is to support the flow of the group toward an action instead of determining what it should be. I’m really unsure of the relevance of studying men who excelled in conditions of war, violence and power over to creating a new paradigm of leadership over horses who have not the language or experience of any of these things. Sure they exhibit behaviours akin to bullying, opposing dominance and that look like violence but I don’t think its with the same cultural overlay or understanding or interpretation that we have..

        • LindaKohanov on February 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm

          These are great insights and questions Cynthia and Ian, some of which will be addressed in soon-to-come chapters. George was truly able to be with “what is” (even if it was truly horrifying) while doing what he could to ease suffering, to stand up for those who were victimized by callous opportunitists and temporarily insane trauma survivors like Tanacharison. George is not in this book because he fought wars, but because he rallied people to move beyond the fear and self interest that led to such violence. That we are even considered “free” in this country is his greatest achievement as he was facing a much better funded, better trained military force—while constantly dealing with “Americans” who were always willing to sell out their professed goal of freedom to the highest bidder, allowing, as we saw in this chapter, the tragedy of Valley Forge. And against all those odds, he won. Just barely, but he won.

          But I believe it was George’s endurance and emotional heroism that were his greatest strengths, his ability to feel the suffering of others rather than become numb to it, to be present for incredible violence without shutting his heart down and rolling over into a fetal position and giving up because the task was too large.

          It was a great point, Cynthia, that George was an “aberration” in the sense that he wasn’t able to teach this level of leadership or pass it on to any offspring. And that to a great extent is the point of this book. To look at the emotional and social intelligence skills, and the nonverbal aspects of exceptional leadership that history books keep missing in favor of discussing the details of battes and political intrigues etc. George was a colossal exception to the rule, a kind of freak of nature really, and this leads us to the main challenge we face in the social, behavioral and cultural evolution of humanity. We cannot leave this to chance anymore. We can’t wait another thousand years or so until the right combination of personality and experience creates another exceptional leader to take us to the next level. We have to stop acting like children waiting for a parent-healer-warrior-savior to come along. We must be able to isolate and teach ourselves the skills of effective-leadership-in-collaboration-with-others, which is a bit like pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps at this point.

          And yes, sharing leadership is one of the Guiding Principles: #10 “Engage Consensual Leadership.” But shared leadership is not truly possible until people have the emotional and social intelligence tools to become both effective leaders—and empowered, compassionate followers as you mentioned. As you well know from the apprenticeship, everyone who WANTS things to be different shows up with a few mostly unconscious talents in these areas, and some equally unconscious EQ challenges. It requires incredible patience and compassion for groups to learn how to harmonize and collaborate, and even learn the few new skills we HAVE isolated.

          It is a large task, a cathedral building task. And I don’t think that we as a species were capable of exploring “shared leadership” until the end of the 20th century as the civil rights movement and the women’s liberation movement were necessary elements. I also think that the internet was a crucial element.

          The past 200 years or so have been about slowly but surely getting to the place where, in our part of the world at least, people are legitimately free enough (in practice and not just theory) to begin to co-create the next level of our own evolution. We are all pioneers here. We are all stepping out into the unknown together because the old models of leadership and social organization need to be modfied in ways we are only now beginning to imagine. And so, ultimately in this regard, we all must become visionary leaders—who know how to collaborate with other visionary leaders. Whew, what a task! And yet, we don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel if we are interested in taking the time to look at historical figures like Washington who were in some sense “freaks of nature,” who constellated some key qualities we need to purposefully develop in the population at large. These leaders exemplified a wider view of human potential, but couldn’t teach it to others because they were managing the sheer chaos around them that called them to do something extraordinary. It is up to us to pay attention to these leaders in times of peace when we can think straight. When we have enough food on the table. When we don’t have to deal with the trauma of having our families killed or enslaved. When we can appreicate that we stand on the shoulders of others who showed extraordinary herosim (when they were arguably justified in shutting down, giving up, or seeking revenge—and they did something else instead), and that maybe in our day to day relationships with others, we can show a modicum of that kind of heroism to endure, to remain open, to create something new.

          • CynthiaFast on February 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm

            Thanks Linda! That was great, its challenging to read a book chapter by chapter and give feedback along the way because you don’t get the overall picture, unless the author chips in and so generously provides it again and again. That was really clear and I can get behind it easily. So nice to be able to communicate what I’m thinking and have that be welcomed instead of having to shut up if I’m not all in. I can acknowledge my resistance around honouring powerful men and war and politics, so glad you can meet it with understanding and use it as an opportunity to nurture clarity and create an opening for me to feel herd.

          • Ian Rowcliffe on February 20, 2012 at 9:01 am

            Yes, joining in with Cynthia in thanking you for expanding on these points.

            Re: When we can appreicate that we stand on the shoulders of others who showed extraordinary herosim

            I seem to be tuning into William Blake with your recent comments. To depict the above idea, he has a painting with the child on the Giant’s shoulder’s, hasn’t he? I was wondering whether a painting depicting a child on a horse’s back might be an interesting way of re-presenting this new kind of leadership as it could exist without the terrible war associations – I wonder what Kim would come up with…

            Just tried to google this for more information and came up with this:

            Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play. Heraclitus …. If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. … William Blake, opening stanza: of “Auguries of Innocence”

  11. Ian Rowcliffe on February 3, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I must admit that this chapter seemed to echo the grim description of the process in the first chapter… the fact, that Washington’s letters to his wife were thought better destroyed may have to do with the utter despair and desperation he may have expressed in what appears to be a process of transformation.

    I am reminded of Linda’s comments in Riding Between the Worlds of the likely effects of exposure to what we are now calling emotional intelligence exposing the false self etc.:

    ““When the horse mirrored authentic emotions, some participants felt raw and exposed, “like an egg, cracked out of its shell and left quivering on the pavement.” as one woman put it. ….these people initially wanted to run as far as possible from this new information, or fight it tooth and nail.” p 93 RBTW …( if the person hasn’t developed a sufficiently confident and adaptable Authentic Self) .

    “People who tap this underdeveloped sense through equine-facilitated work go through a period of agony and ecstasy.” P 97

    All this to say, that life tends to get progressively more complicated, so the preparation and advice we are able to share here is heaven sent.

    I keep thinking of just what the False Self is – it is the socialization that each of us has been subjected to so that we ‘fit’ into dominant mono-culture that is consuming the world. And what is clear is that there is no place to run to … so we must rebuild from within…

  12. Ian Rowcliffe on January 31, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Laughed at ‘encouraged to leave the original herd’

    ‘equanimity’ – you certainly introduced new insights into that word for me.