Thursday, June 21, 2012

Slow down your molecules

Every now and then, I come across a term or phrase that is so right I just have to pass it on. This one comes from our dear friend, Karen Scholl, who has helped Diana and me immensely on our horsemanship journey.

Horses mirror us in many ways. When we are tense or anxious, our horses often pick that up and reflect it right back at us, which can set in motion a vicious cycle of escalating tension. We can break the cycle by deliberately calming ourselves. But simply saying, “relax” or “calm down” or even “breathe” to ourselves or to students often doesn’t cut it.  Karen found a more provocative, visual way to get the idea across. “Slow down your molecules,” she would say. For me, this creates a vivid mental picture that I can work with. I see my tension as molecules whirring about in my body, bumping into one another, and I can visualize slowing those molecules down and creating order among them. This is very similar to the effect of Transcendental Meditation, which I practiced regularly at one time in my life. Both are ways of settling your mind, which is the first step in settling your body and settling your horse.

So give it a try the next time you need to calm yourself. Slow down those molecules! I’m betting it will work for you just like it works for me.

Learn more about Karen’s work at

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I had a gal come up to me and tell me that thirty years ago I had taken her and a friend riding and told them to relax by picturing a helium balloon attached to their head pulling them up straight. This takes care of posture. Look between the horse's ears to tell them the directions where to go. She said that this helped her so much and she was thrilled to be back and tell me about it. I really believe that thinking about where you are going and focusing has helped me avoid problems. I have had quail fly up and deer right in front of green horses and they are relaxed after being startled because I expect them to be relaxed!