The image – Vienna hung up on a metal gate. Her front feet are hanging just above the ground and she is wheezing because her windpipe is compromised by the top rail that her head and neck are resting on.
During the course of me feeding the afternoon grain, Vienna became impatient to get out of the corral, and started pawing, a signature behaviour! Somehow, she got not one, but both her front feet through the space between the two bottom rails of the metal gate. Her feet were hanging above the ground. All her weight was on her two back legs – all approximate 1500 pounds of it. As she tired, she leaned the top of her neck on the top rail of the gate. This compromised her breathing. She was audibly wheezing.
My first idea was to try and support her by running a girth under her belly and attempting to lift her by each of us, Zabrina and I, pulling on a lead line attached to each end of the girth. I thought she might feel enough support to pull her legs back.
While I ran to the tackroom for ropes and a girth, Zabrina propped Vienna’s head up with her shoulder, attempting to open Vienna’s windpipe more. It quickly became evident that my idea was not a solution for the situation. I decided to open the gate, and hope Vienna did not break a leg while wrestling with the unlatched gate. Zabrina and I watched with bated breath as Vienna unhinged the gate, and then wrestled with it, trying to untangle her legs.
Within seconds, she had freed herself. Breathing hard, adrenaline flowing, she stood still, looking at us with big, wide eyes. I felt she was saying: “I am in one piece! Unbelievable! I am safe!”
While Vienna caught her breath, Zabrina and I moved the now bent gate out of the way and off the ground. Vienna trotted out of the corral, towards Kara. She then kicked Kara in an obvious attempt to shake off her embarrassment, and redeem her place as the untouchable leader.
For the following weeks, and months, I pondered the meaning of this bizarre experience.
I quite quickly decided that Vienna herself was being reminded that she is ‘of the earth’. She is not only a spiritual being. She is physical. She has a habit of not watching where she puts her feet. And, like me, she pushes her body without caring for the impact on her physicality. I felt the Unseen was asking her to respect her physical being. However, maybe this request was also being made of me!
Zabrina felt everything that happened was one of those events that enters your life like a lightening bolt from the Universe, a reminder of the power of the Invisible. She was so very grateful she happened to step outside at that moment and was available to support Vienna and I. Unfortunately, her back did suffer after holding up Vienna’s weight with one of her shoulders. Perhaps a reminder to us all to watch how much we ask ourselves to carry around…
Right after the incident, I developed a cough, which lasted around seven weeks! As I coughed up yellow phlegm, I let the image of Vienna hanging on the gate float around in my mind. The first teaching I received was how debilitating it feels to me when I feel unsupported.
I am, of course, very well supported in my adult life. When a sense of being unsupported washes over me, it is the result of a trauma trigger. Vienna’s graphic portrayal of not feeling the earth under our feet reminded me that I am not really living when I feel unsupported. The anxiety takes me out of my body. I am then literally hanging, unsupported. I feel I was reminded to continually come back into the body and breathe in all the concrete supports the world offers me – the earth under my feet, the air in my lungs, and on my bare skin, the smells, the sounds… I was reminded that I have survived with just a few scrapes, as did Vienna. If nothing else, the image of Vienna, wide-eyed, standing square, breathing deeply after untangling herself is a beautiful reminder that I am alive and well.
The next aha came about two weeks after Vienna’s apparent ‘accident’. Zabrina gave Vienna a treatment. She discovered that Vienna had a sore left shoulder due to her entanglement with the gate. Other than that, just a few scrapes on her legs.
My left side is often sore, especially the last six months. I know I overuse my left side. The feminine feels safer to me. I have yet to fully embody my right side. Interestingly, when I was about 19 years old, I broke my left collarbone after being flung into a metal fence by a drugged horse. The horse was so high that he was unable to connect with me, and I lost any sort of control as a rider. At the time, I did not know my riding partner was being drugged, and overfed on grains. He was a race horse, and, I suppose, his owner felt this is how you program a horse to run. What he didn’t realize is that each of us needs freedom to run safely. An observer told me the horse ran into the fence, fell, got up, and ran into the fence again before finally slowing down enough to find his way back to the barn.
When we are running on adrenaline, doing what we think we are supposed to, we are not truly connected to our hearts and voices. It is unlikely that we are able to enjoy our lives and be aware of what is stirring in our bodies throughout the day. We cannot here our Spirits, our Inner Voice. I feel like running into a fence, and years later seeing Vienna hung up in a gate were pushes from Spirit to live from a grounded, thoughtful and personally meaningful place, which is, of course, to be fully aware of my physicality. I need to embody my whole physicality, just like Vienna needs to embrace her physical body. Without embodiment, it is like living in a drugged state.
The last realization I had was that my current life is full of gates that lead to wonderful opportunities. They simply need me to consciously and willingly open them with intention. I do not need to wait for a disaster that forces a less compatible gate open. I need to breathe deeply, open my mouth, and with purpose choose the gate I am wanting, and willing to walk through.