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Ponies and Parables

Overcoming Fear

Artistic credit Charlie Mackesy

How are you?

It has been a while since I last wrote a blog, so much seems to have happened in the last couple of months and we are all finding ourselves in a very different world to what we are used to during this pandemic.

Initially I must admit I have had times of feeling overwhelmed by the situation, fearful for my parents, who are both in their 80's, my daughter getting home from a cruise ship she was working on and wanting to keep my family safe. I don't think there is anyone I know who hasn't been affected by this in some way and it is a natural reaction to a traumatic situation.

We know the valiant efforts our amazing NHS and key workers are doing in daily battle against this virus, the bravery they face every day and the complete exhaustion with giving so much of themselves at this time. Somehow it makes our own fears seem not as valid, as we can always think of someone else who may be having a worse time than us, but our fears are still valid. Pretending they don't exist or trying to push through these feelings can be very difficult and tiring mentally and physically.

Horses can teach us so much about fear and how they regulate themselves. Being herd animals they are wired to react fast in flight mode when they sense a threat or danger. They react, but when the threat is over, they very quickly return to their natural state of "rest and digest", scientifically known as homeostasis. They don't push their feelings to one side, pretending they are not happening. We can learn a lot from them about acknowledging when we feel afraid, it is after all a natural state for all humans and animals at times, the problem we can have is when we get stuck there, and it consumes our thinking, which leads to anxiety and becomes a negative loop that becomes habitual.

Knowing that you are not alone with your fears can be very helpful, talking them over with a trusted friend, or family member can help. I would like to reach out to you during this time and offer you a discounted session by zoom for £25. If you are a key worker or NHS, I am happy to do this free of charge during this time.

Although you can't see the horses in person, there are techniques I can offer you to help yourself. We know watching the news constantly can trigger anxiety and also social media, I would encourage you to limit the amount of news you watch. Get outside, be in nature if you can, look for things that give you joy, and just set yourself small goals to give yourself some structure and routine.

Think about what you are thinking about, this may sound obvious, what you give your focus to we become like. It's not easy, and it often comes down to a choice.

Choosing to not allow fear and anxiety to control your life

Choosing to guard your heart, (i.e. be careful what you watch, read or speak)

Choosing to focus your mind on what is true in the midst of uncertain times.

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up" proverbs 12:25

Like horses, try to stay present rather than focus on the "what ifs", they are really good at being mindful and in the moment. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own". Matthew 6:34

This time will pass, and maybe the social isolation is a time to reflect on how we might like to go forward in the future, a time to re-evaluate, see what is truly important to us, and re-connect with ourselves and others. A time to look at our lifestyles, values and hopes and dreams and help each other make a better world.

In the meantime, the three amigos and I send you our love and hope to see you again really soon.

From the heart

Emma and the Three amigos

Hephzibah Horses

IFEEL Safe Professional


BHS professionally accredited coach

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