Can you love domination?

It’s day 4 of my Costa Rica trip to work deeply with the horses to help people move through their challenges into more ease, acceptance, and love of themselves.

LOL! That sounds so fancy! Because so far, what I could really say is that it’s Day 4 of the horses kicking my butt (and the workshop participants aren’t even here yet!)!

Amongst the two other facilitators (Debbie and Sally) and myself, we’ve been playing with the horses oh wow – just like all animals, they never stop teaching!

Because of my early childhood experiences with abuse, I was often exposed to dominance, but it was predatory dominance. Predatory dominance occurs when someone dominates you with no regard for you and is only thinking about what THEY want/need.

But in a horse herd, healthy dominance is actually a good thing. It’s actually employed to keep the horse being dominated safe. Yes, that’s right – the dominance is occurring in a positive way, for the outright good!

But since the model I learned for dominance was only predatory dominance (through abuse), and I knew how horrible it felt, I never mastered dominance energy in my own life. In fact, my response to predatory dominance throughout my childhood and beyond was to avoid it in every way possible – including disassociating from my body when it comes up.

And yes, this is exactly what I did when I went to hold dominance energy with my horse. I suddenly left my body.

For real. No joke.

My old patterns kicked in and I temporarily lost all parts of me. I couldn’t move my arm to point my horse in the direction I wanted him to go. I couldn’t go into my brain to come up with words to say. I couldn’t find emotions or experiences within me to rely on. For about 30 seconds I just left myself. I had nothing. I went into the ultimate protection mode.

But here’s the thing: my horse WANTED me to find that dominance energy within myself. Not the predatory dominance energy – but the healthy, I’m protecting you dominance energy. And he waited while I worked on that. He’s used to that dominance energy as it’s a part of the natural order of horses and I needed to prove to him – but really, even more so, to myself – that I could hold that dominance energy in order to protect him and myself.

It took me a lot of trying and failing – or more accurately, experimenting with the different feelings in my body, to understand how beautiful and healthy dominance energy really is. And yes, I did fail at it many times. But it wasn’t a personal failure, it was me, learning something new – a new aspect of living that I wanted to be able to embody beautifully so that I could live more fully and more happily.

And as I worked on that, this whole energy deal became a fun game between he and I. I would hold dominance energy and he would react appropriately to that. I’d move into another herd role energy and he’d shift his energy to react to that new energy.

And although it was tiring for me, he was LOVING it and in no way wanted to stop his fun. I could feel him smiling and going, “nice one!” or “ha ha – nope!” with me as we played and created a little dance together.

And because I became lovingly able to hold that dominance energy, he trusted me to protect him. It was that simple. (Although, so not simple to get there!)

If you’re someone who struggles with saying “no,” or with putting someone in their place (even when you know that this is absolutely the right thing to do), with putting your own needs first – you most likely have some lessons to learn around dominance energy as well.

Perhaps you want to do a little experiment in your body with a close friend (this is what I did and it’s what allowed me to finally understand and embody the difference in the two energies).

Stand with your friend and set the intention to go into predatory dominance energy. Think to yourself, “I have to push her this way. I have to MAKE her do it because it’s what I WANT. Because this is how you get things done you push, push, push!” and move your friend in a particular direction. Feel how that feels in your body. To me, I could do this, because this was all I’d ever known: it was this large spike of energy sticking out from me, almost stabbing the person I was dominating.   This won’t feel comfortable – and to me it certainly wasn’t comfortable. I cried every time I did it, but I did know how to do it.

Now, try dominance energy. For me, instead of sending this spike of energy out to the person, it was me making my energy body solid and full and when I used this energy to move my friend physically in a direction across the arena, it was through a sense of trust. “We’re going over here because this is what will work best for all, and this is what I know” is really how I held myself. You’ll still be telling your friend what to do, but it’s coming from a place of knowing and protection rather than overpowering and belittling.

We’re planning to do more on this today – so I’ll probably have more to share! Why don’t you play with these energies yourself and let me know what you think!

Can you embody both of these energies? Share below!

Love and Light,

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3 replies
  1. Mady
    Mady says:

    Nice read! Got me to thinking of how I give advice in a predatory way sometimes. I too grew up in an abusive environment. I’ll think about this & a better way to guide & keep others safe!

  2. JoAnn L.
    JoAnn L. says:

    I sometimes do not know how to say “no” when I know in my heart I would prefer not to,but I am learning to say no when I don’t want to do something but it still feels uncomfortable for me.I guess its that inner child always wanting to be accepted and liked.I have felt many times that I just don’t belong anywhere.It sounds like you are doing a great job with the horses Danielle and they with you. Enjoy your trip!


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