Fear. It has the power to stop us in our tracks. Other times fear can be so strong we want to fight back or run away. Sometimes it works subliminally to sabotage our dreams, our life path, and the possibility of living our passion. Fear can make us small.
The positive side of fear is that it keeps us physically, emotionally, and spiritually safe. Ask any person who has achieved any life or physical goal and they will tell you that they listened to their fear but also had to face their fears to advance themselves.
In my book, Hope…through the Heart of Horses I talk about how I had to address my own fears about horses before I could coach others. It was through that process and my ability to use the tools I had developed that helped me stay PRESENT with my fear while moving towards my goals.
Last spring while I taught the Level One and the Level Two courses in Belgium a woman in the program admitted her fear about horses. She knew her life course was to include horses in her coaching and consulting work. Yet she had to move through her deep-seated fear of horses.
To help facilitate her integration and understanding of fear, I worked side-by-side with Nadine in a round-pen session. The pictures to the right show how we worked together with Spirit–a lively paint horse who was truly light on his feet with a flashy paint face and mane.
At first Nadine shadowed me. We stopped often and I coached her through the Mind Body Method. She acknowledged her feelings, focused on her breath, articulated her fears, and we established our next steps together.
At the same time I taught her what to notice and pay attention to when working with a horse during active round-pen sessions. Spirit reflected to us our state of clarity and commitment. A true dance of communication unfolded. Gradually Nadine moved from being my shadow, to being by my side, and then finally to being in front of me working with Spirit on her own.
I admire Nadine for her ability to step into the round pen and to step into her feelings of fear–feel them-and continue to learn and achieve her life passion.
What fears keep you small in your life? Take these steps to help you move through your fear of horses and the fears in your life:
1. Assess the situation. What do you need to know or do to feel safety?
Nadine asked me to go with her into the round pen.
2. Find a mentor. Someone who had walked the path before you and can help you and coach you through your blocks. Nadine trusted me to help her.
3. Access the feelings of fear in your body. Don’t ignore them but keep conversing with the sensations and messages. This helps you to keep your center and stay in your power. Nadine was willing to pause and check-in using the Mind Body Method.
4. Gain knowledge. Learn about what you are engaging with so you have a strong base of knowledge and understanding. While we worked together she learned about how a horse moves, where to put one’s focus, what the ears, tail and body language is saying. Nadine came to understand horses better.
5. Stretch yourself. Acknowledge what is and decide what next small step you can take to get closer to your goal. Nadine moved from being my shadow, to being by my side and finally in front of me.
Nadine lives and works in Waterloo, Belgium
Anne Caumont took the series of photos. She provides EFLC sessions in France.
To learn more about Equine Learning Programs in Europe.
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