Raising Windhorse: Step into your Personal Power this New Year

Dec 30, 2022

Imagine yourself standing in a field of tall grass. There is nothing but a nearby orchard and the ground beneath your feet as far as the eye can see. Notice the fear thoughts of doubt, worry, frustration, overwhelm, chaos, or any other undesirable thoughts racing through your mind. Scan your physical body. Are you holding on to tension in any certain areas-your brow, jaw, shoulders, back, hips, legs? Observe your normal breath. Are you holding your breath back from filling up your lungs? Is it fluid and restorative? What does your heart rate do with your breath? No judgment or action needed here. Just notice. 

You take a deep inhale and exhale as you close your eyes. 

The sun immediately warms your exposed skin as the breeze gently passes over your face. You can almost taste the sweetness of the apples of the neighbor's trees. The wind picks up the crisp smell of both air and farmland. You can hear the grass sway back and forth with the wind as you detect something or someone approaching from a distance. This creature is evidently large as you observe each step getting louder as it gets closer. Slow and steady, it advances as you open your eyes. 

Coming toward you is a medium to large sized horse. Unconcerned with its surroundings, it inches toward you as if it knows you. The horse’s eyes tell a story of the past infused with a noticeable glimmer of softness and kindness. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this special animal is meant to be here with you. What color is it? Does it have any special markings? How do you feel in its presence?

The horse is just inches from your face and beckons for your hand’s caress. As you pat its forehead, you can sense that this horse has something it wants to tell you. The more you pet this magnificent being, it melts like butter as it finds its way to hang its head just over your shoulder, giving you a hug like an old friend you haven't seen in a while. After several minutes in this knowing embrace, the horse bows to the ground, then abruptly plops down on its side. Without hesitation, you drop down to lie with this gentle giant, resting your head and upper back in the crevasse of its leg and belly. The horse sighs as you notice your breath synchronizing. Your worries, doubts, frustrations, and any other negative thoughts and feelings melt away. You are calm. You are free to be. You are trusting. You are confident. You are present. 

This is Raising Windhorse.

The Windhorse, or Lung-ta as referred to in Tibetan Buddhism, is a winged horse inscribed in the center of the Tibetan prayer flag and surrounded by four other animals at each corner. The horse is decorated with the wish-fulfilling jewel of enlightenment, which represents good fortune and luck. However, Windhorse has a much deeper meaning which says it has power that can influence events in nature and society. In general, horses are widely accepted as symbols of strength, confidence, courage, and ultimate freedom. Windhorse is no exception to the outstanding symbolic meaning of this animal. As typical of Tibetan culture, many partake in meditation practices like that of raising Windhorse. 

So what exactly does it mean to raise Windhorse?

In order to define and understand this practice, we must first understand what it is like to be human in today's world. More now than ever, there is greater visibility of the challenges that we face individually and collectively. From homelessness, animal cruelty, deforestation, sexism, racism, culturism, and ageism to familial abuse, societal challenges, financial strain, mental health concerns, and so much more in between, being human can be hard. Whether perceived big or small, obstacles are practically plastered at every turn, and no one is immune.  

In conjunction with the challenges of being of this earth, the one thing humanity will never escape is our own thoughts. Thoughts generate beliefs which manifest as embodiment. This is the human condition. 

For example, if you have a limited belief that you are not smart enough or experienced enough to receive that promotion at work, you will likely not even strive toward that new position. When you actively choose not to create a more positive experience or outcome for your career, you are choosing to remain in the fear-based thought that you are not enough.

Conversely, what if you choose to apply for the promotion despite the limited belief? Maybe you get the job, maybe you don't. Either way, you may receive valuable feedback that can help you better align with future opportunities that allow you to expand your career experience and pay scale. 

This simple example demonstrates the ability to reclaim your inner power and actively create your life experience despite the inevitable fear-based thoughts that we all have tasted. Many people apply for new, better paying positions and get told "no" in order to learn the job isn't for them or that there are further credentials or experiences that may make it easier to attain that job in the future. 

Reclaiming your power isn't a one-off process. It takes cognitive, emotional, and physical shifts.  Neuroscience points out that in order to create new preferred and positive pathways in the brain, we must consciously catch the old limiting thoughts when they are present, and not just think, but respond differently. LEARN MORE

Recalling the example above, this could look like you having the thought, "I am not smart enough for this new promotion, so I am not going to bother to apply," then shifting it to something less limiting like, " I am smart enough to spend some time researching this position so that I am empowering myself to interview well for this job." Behavior change is a direct reflection of conscious reclamation of our inner power. So remember, over time and with repetition, we can stake claim of true embodiment within the power of self. 

I think therefore I am. 

Raising Windhorse is about listening to your inner wisdom and stepping into your power. Spiritual leaders in Tibetan Buddhism encourage mindfulness practices and high vibrational habits like regular exercise, healthy eating, breath work, and sufficient rest, which are said to make it easier to consciously catch, and therefore choose, who we are becoming. These healthy lifestyle choices and practices are like the air beneath the Windhorse's wings, lifting it higher and higher, making it easier to step into your power.

So as you go into this new year, ask yourself:

  • What limited beliefs are holding me back?
  • What automatic patterns am I ready to change? 
  • How may I catch these thoughts and shift them to be more in alignment with my truth?
  • How will I call in my power this year to live a life I am proud of? 

Want support uncovering and stepping into your power? We at Wellview are here to support you. Click HERE to learn more about the services available to you.

– Casey Edmonds, MPH, CILC, CHWC, CMS, CPT

Editor-in-Chief, Health Advisor, Personal Trainer| Email Casey

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