Day Four Retreat-style Workshops (Sunday, October 20)
To sign up for Day 4 all-day add on, first add the 2019 conference registration to your cart, then look for the “You may be interested in…” section and choose the Day 4 add-on.
Rhythm, Movement, and Mindfulness
How do you derive meaning and personal growth from the overwhelming stress and experiences in the life of a helping professional? Opportunities for connection and peace surround us every moment of every day, but are you aware of them? Do you know how to tap into them and integrate them into your life? Shannon Knapp, Mary Oliver, and Reccia Jobe have created a unique experience designed to help you, the helper, harness the potential of movement, rhythm, mindfulness, and horses for continuous growth and healing in your own life.
- be guided in the practice of simple techniques and exercises to help you experience a richer, more meaningful life
- connect with yourself and others in ways you may have never experienced before
- deepen your sense of being grounded and internally connected
- exercise and regulate the parts of your brain and being that often become neglected or underutilized in daily life
Shannon Knapp, MA, NLC-EP
Founder of Horse Sense of the Carolinas
Natural Lifemanship Trainer
Reccia Jobe, MBA, NLC-EP, Life Coach
Owner of Pecan Creek Ranch
Natural Lifemanship Trainer
Owner of Spirit Rhythms
Your Personal Journey to an Earned Secure Attachment
How aware are you of your attachment style?
Do you know how your attachment history affects your approach to the world and to relationships?
How does your attachment style affect your internal and somatic sense of how much closeness, distance, trust, and/or vulnerability feels safe or appropriate to you?
Do you know what secure attachment looks like? Feels like?
How does one go about “earning” a secure attachment?
In this retreat style workshop we will explore all these questions and more, from a very personal place … from your attachment style. Prior to this workshop you will participate in an Adult Attachment Interview (worth $280 and included at no additional charge) to personalize and inform your process. Most of us who work with clients and horses discern the importance of being able to hold a safe place in the therapy session whether it is between therapist and client or between client and horse. In order to do that consistently, we must be aware of our own attachment capacity and where we tend to struggle to hold that “safe space”. Participants will do somatic work and practice deeply connecting to their bodies through simple and primitive development movements. Through this connection with self we will explore how interpersonal relationships truly affect us. The “work” part of this workshop will be to notice our somatic experience of connection, explore our personal styles and practice how to shift our style when working with the horse and with others so that we can grow towards greater security internally and relationally.
We all come into this work with varied developmental histories – horses are powerful partners in this journey of “earning” a secure attachment. NL Founders Tim Jobe and Bettina Shultz-Jobe and Jim and Bonnie Harlow so look forward to being on a part of this journey with you! Participate in active learning as you explore your own approach to the world, and how intentional therapeutic experiences with horses can move us all toward more secure attachment.
- Participate in an Adult Attachment Interview
- Learn about the different attachment styles
- Explore how developmental movements can connect us more deeply to our own bodies and attachment histories.
- Explore how the different attachment styles show up in relationships with others – including horses.
Natural Lifemanship Co-Founder and CEO
Natural Lifemanship Co-Founder and CEO
Jim Harlow, LPC
Bonnie Harlow, PATH certified ESMHL
Natural Lifemanship for Spiritual Connection
“One of my images of the divine is that it is light in some form, and that the divine light works very tenderly with human freedom. If you don’t believe that the light is there, you will experience the darkness. But if you believe the light is there, and if you call the light towards you, and if you call it into whatever you’re involved in, the light will never fail you.”
– O’Donohue, John. Walking in Wonder (p. 17). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
John O’Donohue’s words beautifully imagine what we mean by “Natural Lifemanship for Spiritual Connection.” It is the process of applying the principles and some of the practices of NL to our relationship with this divine light.
During our intimate time together, we will explore contemplative practices to help us experience a deeper sense of connection with ourselves, with each other, and with God, however we know God.* Contemplation is central to every major religious and spiritual tradition, but often has been relegated to the monastics who live in communities where silence and solitude form the basis for prayerful solidarity. Ordinary folks whose lives are full with work, raising families and other responsibilities have typically been thought to have neither the time nor the capacity for contemplation. Yet there is a resurgence of contemplative spirituality that is now attracting people from all walks of life who recognize the need to root their ordinary activity in deep-seated wisdom. Without people who act with wisdom, the troubles in the world continue to multiply.
Contemplative practices have been passed down through the perennial tradition for millennia. Although transmitted through different religious lineages, what they have in common is the understanding that we as human beings have a capacity for inner wisdom – that this capacity stems from the indwelling presence of the divine – and that accessing it is a gift of the relationship more than it is a fruit of our own actions. So contemplative practice is essentially a practice of building an attuned and connected quality of relationship with the divine presence within ourselves. And from this place of deep connection with the divine light within, we connect with the divine light in all other beings.
We offer an opportunity in this intimate, one-day workshop to explore the dimensions of contemplative spirituality in our relationships with horses, with nature and with each other. Our time together may include (depending on weather):
- Observing horses. Allowing our ordinary, analytical minds to take a back seat to our heart-centered, holistic contemplative minds. Exploring how we approach each encounter with another (horse or human), can we approach the encounter with a contemplative mind that allows a subject-subject (I-thou) relationship to unfold?
- Meditation practices that foster the ability to maintain dual awareness, which is something we speak of frequently in Natural Lifemanship. Connection involves dual awareness of self and other, inner and outer, the specific and the whole. Dual awareness (or perhaps better stated as “triune awareness”) involves the ability to hold awareness of and connection to all three parts of a relationship – self, other, and the relationship itself – all at once.
- Readings from mystics and poets that help spark our imaginations and help us find language for what we already know and sense deep inside, but for which we typically lack words or concepts to express.
- Circle processing – a process of deepening presence to self and other, and through this allowing the divine presence to arise and flow through the group. Circle processing is a traditional restorative practice that builds connection within community.
- Silence and rhythm – Rhythm contains silence within it although we rarely attend to the silent part of the beat. We will practice listening in silence. We may also examine the rhythms that punctuate our own lives and find space for contemplative connection within our ordinary busy routines.
- Mindful practice – building the capacity for presence as we practice noticing thoughts, feelings, perceptions – and letting them be.
- Time for journaling and reflection.
Primary goals and objectives of this workshop:
- SLOW Down; be still and know; be still and be known - experience contemplative connection during our time together
- Gain practices for cultivating a contemplative mind and “putting the mind in the heart” so that your encounters with others increasingly come from the heart space
- Gain language and concepts and practices that help you integrate NL into the spiritual dimensions of your life so that you may help others do the same
*We believe God is much bigger and deeper and broader than any religion or belief system can define. All are welcome. This retreat is non-sectarian – and you will not be asked to leave your spiritual language at the door. We believe we will connect most authentically if each of us shows up and speaks the truth of our connection with the divine using whatever religious language is meaningful to each of us. You need not be Judeo-Christian to attend, although the facilitators will refer to this tradition, as well as Buddhism, since those are the traditions within which their spiritual lives have flourished.
Laura McFarland, PhD
Director of Education and Research for Natural Lifemanship
Kathleen Choe, LPC-S, NLC-C,EP
Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor
Certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist
Certified EMDR Practitioner
School of Self
Mental health professionals have no shortage of skills and training. We spend years preparing for the job of helping others and hours on professional growth and development throughout our careers. Unfortunately, very little of that training is about understanding our own traumas or developing our own relational dynamics. Instead, we are taught to compartmentalize our own emotional needs as we support others.
This workshop provides a deep dive into the relationship you have with yourself. Through a unique blending of the Equine Gestalt Coaching MethodR and Natural Lifemanship, School of Self(SM) helps participants begin identifying and releasing the emotional barriers keeping us from being the best mental health professionals – and even more importantly, the best human beings – we can be. Gestalt tools, such as empty chair or family sculpture, encourage the integration of body, feelings, intellect, and senses. We couple this philosophy of integration with Natural Lifemanship’s principles of relationship and pressure to help participants begin to identify and release the traumas and stories keeping them stuck. All of this is presented within the context of an Emotionally Safe Community(SM).
Facilitator Sara Sherman has 20 years of horse and group process experience. She owns Discovery Horse, LLC, where she has provided equine-assisted coaching for seven years and operated as a Natural Lifemanship trainer for the past year and a half. She is a certified practitioner of the Equine Gestalt Coaching MethodR and dually certified with Natural Lifemanship. She has spent countless hours adapting the many skills and trainings she’s received to blend them seamlessly with EGCM and NL. The School of Self(SM) program is a compilation of a lifetime of learning, practicing, falling down, and getting back up again.
Through guided discussion and experiential exercises, participants will
- Practice establishing and operating within an Emotionally Safe Community(SM)
- Identify and experiment with their personal window of tolerance regarding relational pressures
- Identify areas of out-of-control pressure in their own lives and how the resulting disconnection influences their interactions
- Learn how self-connection leads to stronger professional (and personal) relationships
What to Expect
School of Self(SM) is an EXPERIENCE, not a training. There is no power point presentation and no handy list of steps to follow to healing. You will not be learning EGCM philosophy or NL principles. Instead you will be issued an invitation to experience connection to self on a Deep Dive level with the support of professionals willing to walk alongside you. School of Self(SM) is a beginning … a question … a practice.
Sara Sherman, BA; EGCM; NLC-P,EP
Owner of Discovery Horse
Natural Lifemanship Trainer
Co-Regulating Touch: A Somatic Self-Care Retreat
So many helping professionals begin their careers in childhood, learning early to caretake for others as a survival strategy in relationships. Giving can become chronic to the point where receiving is not just unfamiliar but uncomfortable. And yet, underneath this way of managing attachment insecurity and suppressing needs is often a deep longing for connection and support that goes beyond words. This equine-assisted retreat will offer help for the helpers, an opportunity to explore the felt sense of support as a relational and somatic experience. Drawing on Somatic Experiencing, attachment theory, and relational somatic touch work, the retreat will feature activities with other participants, the herd, and individual horses that include:
- Exploring how the body holds up, holds on, holds in, holds back, and holds together through armoring patterns
- Voicing needs and following the body’s impulses and attractions
- Identifying the conditions and containment that support safety, settling, and releasing
- Experiencing the support of the environment, the herd, the group field, and individual participants
- Consent-based touch-oriented activities, including self-touch, receiving touch, and offering touch
- Developing capacity to work through activation associated with receiving support and with support being removed
- Internalizing the embodied experience of co-regulating support as a resource
A select number of participants will experience somatic touch support on a treatment table in the presence of horses and the group field. Participants who are interested in experiencing table work will do an intake session by phone or video with Sarah prior to the retreat to determine readiness and fit.
Sarah Schlote, MA, RP, CCC, SEP
Owner of EQUUSOMA™
Kate Naylor, LMFT, NLC-P,EP
Natural Lifemanship Trainer