What exactly is Gestalt?
Gestalt is a German word that means, "wholeness, or the entire picture. The entire picture is more than what is visible, it's the background and the hidden parts that make up the picture as well. Some describe the visual of an iceberg and we only see the tip of what is truly there. In regards to human beings, it means the whole person - all the person's qualities, likes, dislikes, experiences, memories, preferences, perceptions, combined into one amazing mosaic that makes up YOU. Gestalt is a form of experience. The kind that allows a person to not only talk about things, but fully experience things so that everything comes together. It's like lifting the veil off so that a person has complete clarity about themselves. It's a level of mindfulness that most may never allow themselves to know, but for those that do, their lives are improved exponentially.
Gestalt was introduced to the world by the psychologist, Max Wetheimer. It was his response to structuralism which was defined as breaking everything down into it's smallest parts and analyzing those parts. In Gestalt, the entire whole of something is examined, not just one piece of the whole. Gestalt psychology helped introduce the idea that human perception is not just about seeing what is actually present in the world around us; its heavily influenced by our motivations and expectations. It's also all about our perceptions, not just our experiences. As an artist, I see it as the entire painting, not just the canvas, or the frame, but each and every brush stroke that makes the entire image come to life.
What do horses have to do with it?
Horses are natural gestaltists because of how they live. Being herd animals where each and every horse in the herd has a place, a heart beat and they all read off of each other's energy for the safety and well being of the entire herd. For some reason, humans are welcomed into the herd of the horse. Horses read us the same way they read each other. There is no judgement, only genuine interest and a common desire for our congruence and balance - for the sake of the entire herd. We have been gifted this healing from the horse. When in the presence of these 1,000 pound beings, we can only allow for honest and open communication that bring clarity and enlightenment in the most profound ways. Only the horse knows what you need.
Melisa Pearce, the founder of Touched By A Horse is the true catalyst to this amazing work. She's been helping others for almost 30 years, move past their "stuff" and move towards the life they want to live. Her program is not only life changing, it is uncaging the mind, body and spirit. It is letting your soul breath in all that is here for us. I truly believe it is contagious - a beautiful, sort of river fire - that glows brightly and beautifully for all to experience!