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May 17, 2014

Life Lessons from Horse Manure. ~ Dr. Tonia Winchester

horse manure

I was walking with a friend on the land where I live.

We were looking for nutritive nettles.

At one point on the trail we came upon a pile of horse droppings.

The neighbours must have been doing some riding recently. As we passed it the natural gardeners with in us got excited. “So good for the garden!” we commented.

But we kept walking.

A few minutes later we came across another pile. “I’m going to take some!” my friend beamed.

“You’re going to put poo in your backpack?” I questioned / judged.

“Yep! I have an extra bag.”

Right! She was prepared for nettle collection. And then she did it. She got out a plastic bag, bent down and scooped up the pile of horse manure. Then in a bubbly, sing-song voice she said, “Happy plants!” She even followed it with a “La la la!”

“Please don’t put this on Facebook,” she requested, possibly realizing what she had just done. (And fret not, I do have her permission to tell this story here—anonymously.)

So here is the truth: horse poo is icky. It’s smelly, and it comes out of a horse’s butt. It’s everything the horse doesn’t want.

But add some sunlight, some heat, and some time and it turns into a nutritive substrate that can increase the volume and nutritional yield of your garden and voila—happy plants!

The big lesson of the day.

Let’s pretend the manure is like your emotional baggage. It’s the stuff you carry around in your psychological backpack, safely wrapped up in plastic. You don’t look at it. You don’t smell it or interact with it, but you know it’s there and it bogs you down.

It could be related to trauma you experienced in the past. It could be about hiding your true you-ness. It could be a pile of belief systems that you picked up as a young lass that you’ve been carrying around and that is filtering the world you live in.

(By the way: it is no coincidence that the acronym for belief system is B.S. Boy! Does that tie in nicely with my analogy—although in this case it would be more H for horse S.)

Often we’re scared to look at this stuff. So we instead, we bury it away and carry it around.

Commonly the anxiety around looking at the “stuff” is worse than the actually looking at the stuff.

Our emotional story—or baggage—can actually be nourishing. Our ‘shit’ can actually help us grow—if we allow ourselves to shine a light on it.

We have to warm it up so it can transform and heal. We have to expose it to the elements of love and compassion so it can turn from sticky, icky poo to a nourishing foundation of healing and expansion into a delightful, thriving, fulfilling pain-free life.

It is not until we see our ‘baggage’ as a part of our growth can we can experience a a truly fulfilled body, mind, and spirit and achieve our greatest successes.

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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Wikimedia Commons 

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