One of the challenges I have been experiencing during the last ten years is finding peace concerning the relationship between the horses and the dogs in my life. These journeys which seem to unfold in the outside world, are actually happening within. A spiritual gymnasium where growth and development leads step by step into acceptance of the present moment.

The horses and the dogs
Rafael and Wilma

Italian greyhounds came into my life when I lost my beautiful whippet Taggie when she ran away hunting. Iggies are happy to stay on the farm, amusing themselves, while I spend time with the horses. Looking back, over all that time and all those interactions, there have been very few incidents. Each one happened for a reason, and each one was an opportunity to grow.  I know this intellectually, and spiritually I am on this journey, going deeper and deeper into fear and letting it go. 

Several years ago now, my beloved Lili, Epona’s first daughter, was killed by a horse. It was an accident which happened when she was sleeping close to where the horses were being fed. This experience, among many others, helped me to realise that feeding horses from bowls is highly stressful for them, and largely unnecessary. It was the time in her life when Lili chose to transition out of her body, and I accepted that spiritually, although the experience itself was traumatic, and that trauma remained.

The Horses and the Dogs

Some time later, Epona was struck by Quaramba who was a youngster at the time and had a tendency to strike out with her front feet. It seemed like a miraculous recovery, she literally came back to life in my arms. The same thing happened when Chai, the little blind one was tumbled over by a galloping horse.

A few minutes of hands-on energy work and he was walking away, when minutes earlier he had looked paralysed and his neck was twisted. Although these were happy outcomes, the trauma kept re-triggering itself. I became hyper vigilant for a while, separating the horses and the dogs. Over time, and with acknowledgment, the fear would fade again.

Everything went peacefully for many years, and then on a windy, unsettled day, Quaramba struck out at Spider, and hurt him quite badly. It felt like the old wound from Lili, and the other near misses opened right back up and that feeling of lack of resolution… lack of a solution rose up bigger than ever. I understood why it happened in energetic terms, and Spider made a perfect recovery, yet still within myself, a genuine peace of mind had not been achieved.

Recently in my energetic awakening group we have been working with the energetic pattern of responsibility. Engaging with it, and discovering how letting it go is tied to letting go of control itself. The final step in processing responsibility is being able to share it. I chose to work on my association with the horses and the dogs. After our initial acknowledgment of the pattern of holding on to responsibility itself, I wrote this account:

I was just thinking about all the ways behaviours are changing as we let go of control and the responsibility finds its true place. What it felt like to let the dogs take responsibility for their own lives. Since then there hasn’t been an issue between the horses and the dogs. I know this is because my feelings are different. Before, I was imagining danger and feeling anxiety about the dogs being around the horses. Now the anxiety is gone, and everything slots into place. There are rarely times when the herd and the pack meet, and when they do, there is no ‘charge’ between them like before. They just slide away from each other.

One funny thing happened, I was miles down the field in the tractor and Chai (the little blind Iggy) was up at the fence and he came into the field close to Quaramba. He couldn’t decide whether to come down or not and was hesitating when I was calling him. Quaramba saw him and decided she would help him out! She trotted this huge big circle, pushing him in front of her – even cantering one stride – and he ran out of the field.

She stayed exactly one foot behind him at all times. I knew then that she knows exactly what she is doing, and she didn’t want to hurt him, just make him take responsibility! It really is remarkable how situations can re-pattern when we acknowledge the pattern we are holding on to. Everything we can see is a reflection of something we feel inside. That goes for all the beautiful things too! 

The horses and the Dogs
Karen, the horses and the dogs

At every stage of release you feel so liberated and free! the world is perfect until the new landscape settles down and you see where your next obstacle lies. So a week or so after this shift, I was out in the field with the horses and the dogs, and the old fear rose up again. I’m not sure it was even connected to an event in the moment, but simply surfacing because I was diving into it so deeply to reach the source. So I tuned into this fear and understood it was the old trauma energy.

In staying with it however, I realised that I was feeling the framework for it, and not the energy itself!  I could clearly feel this, like a button jammed on ‘go’ for panic. As I focused on this button, it began to shift and loosen. The button itself was dematerialising into a vast field of fear. Pure, clear fear itself which radiated out. Different from the confused, buzzing trauma energy. Staying with it, allowing it to fill my consciousness completely, it began to work itself into what seemed to be excitement.

It was the joy you feel when you are anticipating something good. Then I understood what it meant. This joy was the potential of the present moment. It was liberation from past anxiety and anticipation in the future. Surrendering to exactly what is happening now, and knowing that whatever is in this moment, is possible, is perfect.

With this dawning of wonder, the  intellectual making up of stories (possible accidents and what ifs) was detaching itself in a very real sense, becoming dull and further away.. like losing the memory of worry. When I thought of the horses and the dogs, all that came to me was who they were right then, in those moments, and they were perfect. So whenever the mist of anxiety or fear comes into your life, embrace it, because it is the promise of the present moment.

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