“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
The American Journal of Preventative Medicine reported that in 2020 depression was prevalent among nearly 1 in 10 Americans and almost 1 in 5 adolescents and young adults.
Neurologists, Psychologists and Social Scientists are in agreement: human beings are wired to connect. Societies which demonstrate the most pro-social behavior, boast the happiest individuals. The further we deviate from our ideal environment (one of strong emotional bonds) the less satisfaction we experience in our lives.
According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, over 40 million adults in the U.S. (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, approximately 7% of children aged 3-17 experience issues with anxiety each year.
Life's stressors can "narrow the window" (Dr. Elizabeth Stanley) on our options for responding to external stimuli as well as hinder our ability to understand our internal physiological cues. Lost sense of our own internal landscape makes it very difficult to be present and authentic to ourselves, empathize with others, and successfully navigate relationships.
A 2021 article in the National Library of Medicine confirmed that nature exposure improved cognitive function, brain activity, blood pressure, mental health, physical activity, and sleep. "Results from experimental studies provide evidence of protective effects of exposure to natural environments on mental health outcomes and cognitive function."
In an effort to dull the pain of overwhelming emotions; grief, anger, depression, anxiety...many turn to substances. Self-medicating can take the form of non substances as well such as addictions to shopping, sex, eating, self harm and thrill seeking. None of these efforts to "feel better" have sustainable effects and lead to further challenges.
Life will have stressors. We can't change that. What we can change is how we respond to the challenges around and ahead of us. When we start to look at our emotions with curiosity and without judgement, and understand how our emotions effect our physiology, we learn that we have more choice and control. We have the ability to respond instead of just react to a stimulus.
Kairos is a Greek word that speaks to the qualitative time of life - the opportune time. At Kairos Spring Farm we seek to employ the elements we have available to us to promote that opportune time for gaining emotional agility: being aware of and in control of one's emotions.
Exercises that work with our neurobiology to regulate our nervous systems, combined with the horses' unique ability to attune with and fully accept us wherever and however we are, can guide us to a better sense of well being. We provide participants with tools to help them make new choices when faced with stress and tap into the innate resilience which we all possess. By improving our ability to adapt functionally in the face of change, we are more effective and self-actualizing in our decision making. This enhanced agency contributes to a greater satisfaction, and even joy, in life.
GROUP SESSIONS: Up to 8 participants, meet for four consecutive Fridays for an all-day program. Lunch is included.
Sessions are a mix of horsemanship and "classroom" time where we explore elements of emotional agility.
INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS: also available
“Emotional agility is a process that allows you to be in the moment, changing or maintaining your behaviors to live in ways that align with your intentions and values. The process isn’t about ignoring difficult emotions and thoughts. It’s about holding those emotions and thoughts loosely, facing them courageously and compassionately, and then moving past them to make big things happen in your life.”
Susan David, PhD.