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Purpose Statement

The key is our Adventures In Awareness purpose.

The purpose of ADVENTURES IN AWARENESS (AIA™) is to expand Awareness and develop Consciousness while enhancing an individual's capacity to be responsible for self, and thus, contribute to the safety of the group, through work with horses.


Originally expressed as, "I am......................and I agree to be responsible for myself today, thus, contributing to the safety of the group." Sometimes this stated agreement would include phrases such as, "I am responsible for myself, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually..."


This past week as I have been recovering from yet more dental surgery(June 07), I spent quite some time meditating on two Reflection Papers submitted almost back to back by an Adventures In Awareness Internship Program student. Those students enrolled in the AIA Internship Program have committed to a rigorous disciplined course of study and practice of Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning Process Work - a template of structured process that allows the mental health, educational and/or horse professional to offer their individual expression of personal gifts, strengths and talents.

Frequently I have been known to comment, that this course of study is not for the faint of heart. It is two to three years encompassing 4 basic AIA seminars that total 14 days spread out over the time period along with self directed and self selected course work from other practitioners and educators in the field. These Enrichment Courses are in three categories: Equine Skills Development, Equine Facilitated Learning. Equine Skills Development is mandatory and all AIA IP students select course(s) from this category. More information is available on line at:

Reflections Papers, a least two and sometimes three or more in place of the Project Paper, are submitted along the way as benchmarks for determining where a student is in their individualized process of actualizing competency and self expression of the work. All papers and projects are reviewed by the three AIA IP core faculty members Ann C. Alden, Lisa Walters and me, Barbara K. Rector.

The heart of Adventures In Awareness is the Safety Agreement. Originally expressed as, "I am......................and I agree to be responsible for myself today, thus, contributing to the safety of the group." Sometimes this stated agreement would include phrases such as, "I am responsible for myself, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually..." and then what this might mean for me is discussed and reviewed by individual participants.

Frequently for the sake of brevity in large groups it can be recited as a pledge by the whole group after discussion of its various elements. Or sometimes it is likened to Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements:

Be impeccable with your word.
Do your very best.
Don't make assumptions.
Don't take anything personally.
Fifth: Remain Skeptical - Learn to Listen Don Jose & Don Miguel Ruiz

Well, over this past weekend as I am chewing on these two reflection papers and the significant differences in the student's experiences in two different study seminars - one with an AIA short course (my sensitive perception as not so good) and one with a train the trainers seminar for life coaches in business communications and management (again, my sensitive perception as ecstatic enthusiastic), I finally sit down Sunday morning to be present with my feelings and asked Holy Spirit for help in re-perceiving myself, my feelings and the situation.

I asked for help in shifting my perception of the whole deal. I was seeking a higher perspective and move out of the sinking depression. You may know the one, where you border on worthless incompetence - that yucky place where I generally learn a great deal in my intentional attentive moving up and out.

Not a half hour after this quiet sitting, for probably less than ten minutes, and as I was completing some gentle stretches before walking the dogs, the phone rings. It is our about to graduate AIA IP student and friend, Delana Lands. She is developing Equine Facilitated Learning programs at her Healing Ranch in Georgetown, Texas and wants to tell me about her plans to write the AIA Safety Agreement - painted in bright colors on the walls of her Dairy Barn's Kitchen.

The Dairy Barn is the name for her developing program meeting and teaching space that literally at one time was an old farm dairy barn. As I am an enthusiastic Jungian student, you can only imagine my delight in her choice of the kitchen. In Jungian thought, the kitchen is source of nourishment for our bodymindspirits. It is the place where we "cook" the thoughts, images and insights we need as individuals to "feed" and fuel our life's work - manifesting our purpose.

Delana wants me to know she has amended the AIA Safety Agreement and for her and her practice has decided to teach "I am..........and I am responsible for mySelf, my experiences and my perceptions today, and thus, contribute to the safety of the group."

"Ahaaaaaa" I breathe out. "What a marvelous re-frame and oh so needed for me just now. Delana, your choice to add 'perceptions' and 'experiences' as part of AIA Safety Agreement speaks to the heart of this work. I love it; I love it and I intend to use it for myself - giving origin credit to you my teacher/student friend."

Later, I call Delana back to tell her of my continuing delight with her re-frame and to say that for myself, I am likely to shift order of perceptions and experiences because in my world view it is our perceptions that organize and drive our experiences of reality. I am Barbara and I agree to be responsible for mySelf, my perceptions, my feelings and my experiences today, thus, contributing to the safety of our group. AHO (6.07)

Adventures in Awareness(TM)
Adventures In Awareness