Cows as teachers

I am currently shifting and anchoring energy at a retreat in the Black Mountains of NC. One of my teachers here is a horse called Windfall. She teaches me about being present in each moment and how to communicate with animals through energy.

Some days ago her owner rode her up to the top of the mountain where a herd of cows is grazing. They know each other and it was a treat for Windfall to see her friends. Looked like the cows enjoyed her visit and decided to return the favor. Two days later I drove up the mountain seeing five cows and one calf grazing along the gravel road. I decided to bring them back to the pasture.

The conscious way to move cows
I had seen the pasture where they came from but I didn’t know the way from where they were grazing. I decided to let them show me the way. I also was curious how cows react to energy and decided to explore it. To get there attention I had to raise my arms and clap my hands a little bit to get them moving in what seemed to me the right direction. I followed them slowly, allowing them to pick their own pace. I was laughing with delight as they moved slowly up the mountain, sometimes taking a pee brake or catching their (and my) breath.

What to do with adventurous cows
The one in the rear was white and seemed to be the adventurous one. She kept looking for other interesting paths to explore. But a snipping of my fingers was all it took to move her forward. Sometimes I would talk to her, sometimes move a little bit closer behind her to keep her going. I deeply enjoyed how easily and calmly it all went.

Communicating with images
Half up the mountain I heard mooing behind me and discovered that the rest of the herd started to join us. We were at a narrow path, an incline to the left and a steep decline to the right. I decided to stand at the right side and ground myself, becoming very present. A technique I learned from James French. A calf was in front of me, eyeing me curious and nervous at the same time. After a minute it decided to pass me. I kept sending the cows an image of the whole herd passing me calmly. Some hesitated, others rushed but most of them made it past me calmly, joining the six in the front.

Then there was one left and with surprise I saw it was a bull. That created a brief blip in my present and calm state. I too send him the image of passing me by calmly. It helped to know that I was standing beside a tree and could get out of the way fast if needed. The bull seemed undecided. He lowered his head but didn’t seem aggressive. He then decided to make a b-line up the incline to create a bigger distance while passing me.

With lots of hello and other conversations the twenty or so animals moved up the mountain slowly but consistently. The leader in front calling them all to follow, while the white one brought up the rear.

I always find it fascinating that cows never seem to return to the spot where they broke through the fence. So sure enough, we ended up at the closed barbwire gate. The herd started to split and I decided to move slowly through the herd to open the gate. That worked relatively well and with sending them an image of moving through the gate half of them did. I managed to surround the split off group and point them back to the gate. However, the leader started down the mountain again and gave me some extra mileage, but in the end they all ended up in the pasture.

It was exhilarating to see how sensitive these animals are and how willing they were to go back to their home without much prodding. I couldn’t find the hole in the fence they broke through but hoped the owner would.

The unconscious way to move cows
Four days later I heard again a lot of mooing on the mountain. I was sure the herd was roaming again. I went down the trail we had come up before but didn’t see them. I decided to let it go and let the owners take responsibility so that they would be motivated to check the fence. I went to spend time with Windfall.  

One hour later Windfall and I heard human shouts on the mountain and a lot of mooing. Windfall rushed out of her box to listen to the racket. I remembered chasing cows in my childhood and creating a similar racket as we heard that morning. I was grateful for the peaceful experience I had a couple days before.

Sharing a grounded state
Windfall came back into her box anxiously listening to the animal and human voices. I stayed calm and present beside her, telling her what I perceived was going on and that her friends would be okay. She calmed a bit and got more grounded herself, resting one of her hind legs but being alert with all her senses.

The shouting went on for a while and I could feel the chaotic energy fading as the herd moved closer to the pasture and away from us. I was struck how Windfall and I mirrored each other in stance and state of alertness. I enjoy spending time with her and experience her life as a horse. We have come a long way in the last weeks and the cows provided us with a perfect situation to deepen our trust and state of groundedness.

Thank you to the cows for a fun, deeply insightful adventure.

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