Where to go when you're always where you are...
What to do when you've done it already...
What to strive for- and what you are rooted in as you strive- that matters?
What actually matters?
Part One: F E A R.
I've been on a retreat of sorts now for 9 days.
I came to untangle myself, to gain clarity, to stop and get perspective. I've been working for four and a half years building a business without much pause. Prior to that I was in medical school for 4 years without any real breaks. Before that I was in my previous life of waking up to who I really was and starting on my healing journey.
Over the past few months, I felt I lost my inspiration...
and that felt sort of like a crisis.
Where was my always-there creativity, daily doses of meditation-induced enlightenment, and supportive connection to higher guidance...?
Who was I without the spark?
What could I say if, when I opened my mouth, there was no divine channel moving through me?
The divine guidance, of course, hadn't left me at all. The message was quite obvious and strong, even if I resisted it: S T O P everything and let yourself be guided.
I got an intuitive message that I'd be doing things in my life differently soon, and thus, to not create anything more from the old energy I was leaving behind. The message was to, in essence, wait. To be in the in-between. To just be.
My astrologer confirmed this message in a session recently. She said I could choose to see the inevitable changes on the horizon from a perspective of fear or excitement.
I now see I came on this trip to, first and foremost, leave the perspective of fear.
I always tell patients and clients that when we really start to feel something, that's a great sign... it often means it's on its way up from the depths, ready to be looked at, tended to, cleared.
And what was coming up for me, loud and clear, was a deep, old, pervasive fear.
Thankfully, I had scheduled a healing experience with horses for the second day of my trip here in Sedona.
(Often, in the midst of change, fears surface as you face the unknown. It's normal and ok, but definitely seek the healing you need.)
Energy Healing with Horses
I arrived to the session feeling rushed, a bit flustered. But I met Penny, the woman facilitating the experience, and it was like running straight into a wall of pure presence and almost stillness... in a really, really good way.
It reminded me of how I used to be... how stillness used to feel to me, how practicing meditation and reading Buddhist books a decade ago massively, indescribably changed my entire life. How presence and pause were my medicines I hadn't been taking.
Her pace was a model for me to remember my own stillness and centeredness.
I couldn't believe just how far I felt from it.
Feel it Fully
We first sat in the back of her van with the door open, gazing out at her horses. It was such a profound pause. I could just be. And with that, I noticed the fears were tunneling straight up with a message that became clear enough to audibly articulate...
"I don't feel safe."
We were out with the horses when this became apparent, and I shared it.
The horses were energetically mirroring it back to me.
I felt so uneasy. I cried.
I then remembered that letting ourselves feel our feelings fully allows them to move and clear.
So, I stopped resisting, felt the waves of it, and eventually started to relax.
When I was young, horses were my passion and greatest joy. I started riding when I was 7 and had very little fear. I was showing, jumping, and riding even the notoriously naughty ponies with poise and grace.
Where did that me go? I wondered as I sat with the horses circling around us during the session.
When Clarity Comes
Penny's presence was simple, powerful, wise. Zero ego, 100% presence. The answers and clarity and guidance came as we simply observed what happened moment after passing moment: what the horses would do, what I would think, how the environment was mirroring me, how everything was actually happening right now and could be shifted right now.
We did some tapping. We talked from time to time. The horses' behavior kept changing as I would change.
It concluded with one horse walking right over to me, in an energy she hadn't possessed prior, and clearly asking for me to pet her beautiful face.
I did. And the first thing I said to Penny was, "she's so small!"
She's not. She's about 16 hands. But I felt so tall.
I realized that feeling tall was actually a feeling of embodiment and connection to myself I had been seeking. KaChing (the horse) and I were meeting as our true selves in pure presence and connection and peace.
She closed her eyes as I pet her, as if drifting to sleep, and I felt an incredible sense of liberation.
I was me, and the fear was gone.
No Fear to Outrun
Fast forward to the following week. I've seen javelinas in our neighborhood, a coyote in our back yard, a dismembered tarantula, bats diving at my head on my nightly walk. I've had reasons to worry and to be afraid... to not feel safe.
But I can hold it in a greater whole of my experience. I have perspective. I have presence.
Last night I jogged away, at first, to get out of the path of the bats overhead.
But suddenly, something else came over me.
I realized I could turn toward them and make a connection.
It was the first time in my life I realized I didn't have to try to outrun my fear anymore.
Dr. Cailin O'Hara is a passionate provider, mentor, and forever student of life here to translate her experiences into hope, wisdom and light.