The horse shows the way

“I was returning from high school one day and a runaway horse with a bridle speed passed a group of us into a farmer’s yard, looking for a drink of water. The farmer didn’t recognize it so I jumped up to the horse’s back, took hold of the reins and said ‘Giddy-up’ and headed for the highway. I knew the horse would take me to the right direction; I didn’t know what the right direction was. And the horse trotted and galloped along. Now and then he would forget he was on an highway and would start off into a field. So I would pull on him a bit and call his attention to the fact that the highway was where he was supposed to be.”

“And finally about four miles from where I had boarded him he turned into a farmyard and the farmer said, ‘So that’s how the critter came back. Where did you find him?’ I said, ‘about four miles from here.’ ‘How did you know he should come here?’ I said, ‘I didn’t know; the horse knew. All I did was keep his attention on the road.’; I think that is how you do psychotherapy.”

In coaching, your conscious mind is the rider, and your unconscious mind is the horse. Rather than trying to rigidly and scientifically script all life out of your suggestions and inductions, why not relax a little? This doesn’t mean charging in blindly, with no goals, and it definitely does NOT mean ignoring planning! It means you have an overarching plan or outline, but allow yourself to be guided by your intention. Be flexible, be creative, go with the flow, while keeping yourself on course, and you’ll be amazed by just how easy hypnosis – and life – really can be.

Forget the intention, and you’ll fall off into chaos. Forget the flexibility, and you’ll choke in orderly boredom. Give being chaordic a shot, and you may find your hypnosis improving 100 fold!

2 thoughts on “The horse shows the way

  1. Interesting theory…

    Does this mean that one’s subconscious mind has the power to be in a state of unconsciousness as well as consciousness at the same time?

    Or have i got it all wrong?

    • Dear Niranjala,

      Often the terms of subconscious, unconscious and so on are a bit misleading. As regards learning NLP-students differentiate between four states:

      1) Unconscious not knowing. You do now know that you cannot do this, you do not have any awareness of a deficit in this field.
      2) Conscious not knowing: At this stage you feel the difference between what you are supposed to be able to do and what you really can do. Often learning starts with the awareness of this difference.
      3) Conscious knowing. This is the state of someone who has learned something recently. He is still aware of the steps someone has to go through in learning this.
      4) Unconscious knowing: At this level there is less awareness about the activity learned than skill to just do it.

      So, in our case, the horse has reached to level four. At a certain stage it had to learn the way back to his home, but know this knowledge is just here, even not at a level of full awareness. If a coach is aware of these states, he can easily support a person at the level required.

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