If you missed the Introduction to this 12-part blog series, here’s a quick run down. In February 2016, my beloved horse Jove died. He was my best friend and my teacher, and he helped change many people’s lives. To honor his memory and teachings, I am writing this series, Lessons from Jove. You can read the introduction to the series here.
In order to have healthy interpersonal relationships, you have to know where your energy is.
Jove was awesome at showing people where their energy was, as are most horses, because they’re animals of prey. They also live in herds, and rely on their sensitive energy fields not only to stay safe from predators, but also to rapidly communicate with other herd members to maintain a solid social structure.
They do all this without talking.
Whenever I facilitated a session for one of my clients with Jove, I would explain to them — before walking into the ring — that he was like an instant barometer of where their energy was in that moment. They could expect Jove to move around and interact with them based on which of the following four energetic states they were in at the time.
I want to be clear that these energy states aren’t permanent (like your astrological sign is). You can shift in and out of each orientation in a moment…and that’s actually what I would teach people to do in each session. Jove provided instant feedback, like a litmus test, showing how much (or how little) they shifted in real time.
The Four Energetic Orientations:
1. Energy Forward
In sessions with Jove, people often really wanted to be near him and touch him, which meant they would be very “energy forward.” Most of the time, he would just walk away from them. They would say “He’s running away from me!” But it wasn’t necessarily because he didn’t like them, it was that they were pushing their energy all over him and not giving him any space to connect.
Every time you initiate connection with someone, whether you’re walking up to them, starting a conversation, or leaning in for a kiss, you are being “energy forward.” You can be “energy forward” in a detrimental or a beneficial way.
If you’re “energy forward” in a detrimental way, you’re being insensitive to what the other person is experiencing. You’re aggressive, in their face or controlling, and you end up pushing them away.
If you’re “energy forward” in a beneficial way, you can approach someone, while also being sensitive to their experience. You’re confident, engaging, and make people feel wanted, by initiating a connection.
Once that connection is established, though, you have to be able to rock your energy back and give the other person space to reciprocate.
2. Energy Back
A lot of times, clients would feel in awe of Jove and be afraid to get close to him, so they would be “energy back.” This often caused Jove to lose interest and wander off. They would say, “Why is he walking away from me? It’s like I’m invisible.”
If you’re “energy back” in a detrimental way, you may think that others don’t like you or don’t notice you, but usually that’s not the case. It just feels that way because you’re not truly open to establishing a connection.
Without shifting their energy to a more receptive space, the newly budding relationship with Jove quickly went sour. But when they learned to rock their energy back, they were able to establish a healthy connection with him.
When you’re “energy back” in a beneficial way, you open up space that’s inviting for the other person.. where they want to move closer to you. It fosters authentic communication that flows easily between you. It’s the kind of space you’re in when you’re hanging out with old friends, drinking a glass of wine, and lounging together on the couch.
3. Energy Vertical
A lot of the strong, independent women Jove and I worked with had successful careers, but didn’t always have meaningful romantic relationships. They were in the “energy vertical” orientation. They’d show up in the round pen with Jove like, “I’m here. I’m ready to do this thing.”
Jove would wander over to them and give them a little sniff, but he wouldn’t stay. They weren’t creating a space for him to connect, and he could feel that, so he moved onto something more interesting… like a nearby patch of grass.
My job became helping them explore different energetic orientations that would allow them to connect with Jove. But, there is a time and place for being energy vertical. It’s a great place to be if you need to stand your ground, or set a boundary to protect yourself, and stay safe. It’s a good place to be if want to stay calm in the midst of chaos or connect to your own truth.
If you want to create a connection with someone, and allow for an exchange of energy between the two of you, you need to be able to move back and forth between all of the different orientations we’ve covered.
4. Energy Dance
Once clients started to feel more aware of the energetic state they were in, and the one Jove was in, we could start playing with the “energetic dance.”
I would invite them to join Jove in a sacred dance, where they had the opportunity to explore approaching him in different ways — oscillating among energy forward, energy back, or energy vertical based on what felt right in the moment and how Jove was responding.
When you’re learning this dance, it’s common to over-correct one way or the other at first. If you realize you’re being overly “energy forward” and in the process of trying to shift that, over-correct and move too far in the other direction, be patient with yourself.
With time and practice, you’ll get better and better at playing with the energy dynamics: learning where and how to shift your energy based on the simultaneous awareness of – and respect for – where you both are in the moment. This leads to vibrant relationships, where you and your partner feel loved and appreciated for exactly who you are.
Which energetic orientation do you think you’re in most of the time? If you tend more towards one particular energetic orientation, how might you benefit from spending more time in one of the others?
Stay tuned for the next Lessons from Jove on Tuesday, July 5th. You can subscribe here to make sure you receive every blog in this series directly to your inbox, and feel free to share it far and wide. I’m so excited to bring you these stories so you can experience the benefits of Jove’s messages and wisdom for yourself.