Shamanic Simplicity: Integrity and Awareness, and Horses

Teri DluznieskiMy journey as a medicine person has come to a place where most things come down to 2 very simplistic foundations: awareness and integrity.  Also, energy-in, energy-out..

Awareness applies to everything: that we operate on many levels, and we need to become aware of what we transmit and receive on all of them.

Physical level– what we do, actions in our bodies, our interactions, activities

Mental level– what we say and think, know

Mythic level: dreams, beliefs, inherited/ acquired values (some known/ unknown), our stories.

Energetic level: the movement and use of the energy in our bubble, the bubbles around us, and where we source from (nature, environment, universe, wounds,others)

Are all of our levels acting harmoniously?

Are we saying confidence but feeling fear? That is not synchronous.  It is also not being in integrity.  To be truly in integrity, means to align our different levels, and move forward with honesty and sincerity.  It means we own where we are at, release guilt and blame.  And we make, or try to make, wise choices based on the information we have, based on what our awareness informs us.

Energy-in, energy-out:  mainly sums up all of the rest of shamanic teachings.  We need to receive clean pure energy, from our source and from Nature, NOT from the people around us.  And we need to release the heavier energy that holds us back.  Again, we release to Nature, the environment, recycling the energy to a safe and acceptable “compost” pile.  Natural energies will digest this and transform it into something healed and healthy and nurturing.  This is the alternative to dumping our hucha, our heavy energy, or negativity, onto the people and environment around us.

Personally, I have found horses and animals are excellent teachers for these things.  They serve as teachers and mirrors.  They serve as a feedback mechanism to inform us when we are in our integrity.  Are they relaxed, happy, fluid in all their motions? Are they healthy, vibrant and trusting of us and the world?

When we are not in our best integrity, horses reflect back our mixed messages.  Horses inherently read all our messages, all our levels: much more acutely than the people around us.  People have learned how to be deaf to the chatter, the white-noise, the incongruity that we broadcast perpetually.  When we are around horses, having a hard day, and pretending everything is fine, we are not in our integrity.  We are trying to “lie.” Horses don’t buy into this.  For them, they KNOW the real deal.  This is confusing to them.  It is something like trying to watch a movie in a different language.  Worse, the subtitles do not match the activity they are seeing.  They don’t know  to which information they should pay attention.

When I see this in my own work around horses, and in my riding students, I know it is time to step back and regroup.  Literally.  Take a breath, check in with myself.  Own whatever is going on. Then I can either apologise to myself, or my horse, and bring myself into focus and clarity. Where am I at? What am I trying to accomplish? What is my body, words, and assertion (belief) saying.  And is my energy clear and working towards these.. or is it distracted and being diverted by the other things? This is not about guilt or blame, but rather, just acknowledging.  And letting go of whatever “background noise” has come along for the ride.  After this, there is a better relaxation, cooperation and partnership. the horse begins to cooperate better, is relaxed and happy.

Horses, and all animals, can teach us what a truly loving partnership looks and feels like.  Through them, we can learn how to step into awareness and approach others and Life, with integrity. 🙂



I am an Education Specialist, Health Coach and Author. I work with aspects of the teachings I have learned from Andean shamanic and cosmology, to health, nutrition and education.  Everything is energy. Energy must flow. Like water, when it does not flow, it stagnates and is not healthy. These techniques help your life to flow. I have been initiated into many of the ancient lineages and learned ceremonies, rites of passage and healing techniques.  I have worked as a healer and done workshops and taught some of these aspects – passing the teachings on.

Author of:
Dancing in Your Bubble : ancient teaching, modern healing
Natural Support for Alzheimer’s
Getting a Handle on Happy : find and fix causes of stress and depression
The Naturally Smarter Kid : a parent’s guide to helping kids succeed in school and life
Cafe of the Hungry Ghosts : behind the veil of ordinary – a paranormal-ish fiction book