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Up Against the Fence

Many years ago in Ireland my partner, Joyce, and I discovered a certain limitation in our lives.

We were staying on a farm near a village with one food store, one gas station, a bakery, and a pub. Our house sat on a hill surrounded with golden fields, bordered with dark-green hedges, which faded into the misty emerald of distant mountains. Our Manhattan-battered ears began to recover in the quiet of a place from which the piercing din of car radios and sirens was absent. We were far more likely to hear the clip-clop of donkeys' or horses' hooves.

We were also, however, quite likely to hear the menacing snort of a steer as it tossed a head crowned with a dangerous-looking pair of horns. There were twelve of the black-and-white beasts, and though the land on which they grazed was fenced, we were afraid of them. In addition to the aforementioned deadly horns, they had hooves, which they liked to stamp. Although we knew that, as vegetarians, they were unlikely to consume us, elephants were also vegetarians, and you didn't see people running up to make friends with them.

All that could be said on the steers' behalf was that we didn't see much of them. It takes time to chew one's way through twenty acres of pastureland, and cattle are nothing if not thorough in their grazing patterns. Most of the day they were some distance from the house, and often trees hid them from our view altogether.

We did not, however, feel at such times that we could walk in their pastures. After all, weren't cattle known for their ability to charge at the speed of light? It seemed wiser to limit our freedom than to die a painful and possibly lingering death.

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Name That Fear

Though still deep in cattle phobia, we decided to sit outside one evening and read aloud parts of The Nature of Personal Reality (written by the late Jane Roberts, who channeled the entity Seth). We read the following passage.

Your beliefs can be like fences that surround you.

You must first recognize the existence of such barriers - you must see them or you will not even realize that you are not free, simply because you will not see beyond the fences. They will represent the boundaries of your experience.

We paused at that point, and looked up to see a dozen pairs of curious eyes, as brown, soft, and friendly as those of any adorable cocker spaniel. We saw, as well, the fence which separated us from the cattle who pressed against it - the fence which literally represented the fears which imprisoned us. We saw that our ideas about the bloodthirsty nature of cattle were beliefs about reality rather than facts about reality - and therefore, possibly untrue.

We also began to see that what we really feared was the magical nature of Ireland. We were unaccustomed to the speed with which our thoughts materialized (a modest example of which had just occurred) and unused to the idea that we shared the land with energies and beings which were distinctly not physical. The cattle became for us a symbol for everything which was strange and frightening - including our own inner powers.

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Fenced In

Imagine that we come into this world with a limitless amount of space to claim as our own and an unlimited amount of energy with which to create our lives, an energy we call on simply by saying "I can." Every time we say "I can't," we draw a boundary beyond which we will not venture, regardless of the wonders and treasures we might discover out there. Every time we say "I can't" we weaken and ultimately destroy the energy of self-created reality, the energy of "I can."

Not everyone has cattle in their lives to help teach them the errors of their thinking. Fortunately, they aren't required. All we need to do is listen for the words, "I can't."

If you're thinking about a problem situation in your own life ask yourself what you can't do about it. Why can't you? What's the fear which makes you say no?

Ask yourself who is the "I" who can't. That aspect of ourselves which is fenced in by limiting beliefs (including our opinions about who we were) creates corresponding limitations regarding how effective we can be in the physical world„but that's only part of who we are.

We are more than our limitations. The part of ourselves called by some the higher self is connected to universal love and wisdom and knows no limitations. It knows instead the choices it will make in order to accomplish its purpose for being in physical existence. The more we become connected to our higher selves the more capable we are of being directed by our choices rather than bound by our limitations.

I don't mean to imply that you're automatically going to become a fearless person. First, you may find it helpful to establish a new relationship with fear.

  1. I have learned that my fears were originally designed to protect me. I may have learned them from my parents, other adults, other children, but I adopted them; I decided that to ignore them was to court danger. Therefore, I thank my fears instead of condemning them (and myself for having them).
  2. At the same time it's good to laugh at one's fears - not with ridicule, but with appreciation for the inventiveness which can make one afraid, for example, of an animal which tiny children lead about and tap with a stick.
  3. Finally, it is not necessary to be fearless to move forward. It is only necessary to decide that fear won't stop you. Once you choose not to give into it you will find its power diminishing, as action diminishes the power of any paralyzing emotion.

Imagination can play a big part in your success. Imagine that the limitations which have stopped you aren't insurmountable, that you can easily climb over them. Imagine them as a fence.

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Over the Fence

We decided that it was time to overcome our fears. After some hesitation and shuffling of feet, we finally edged towards the fence. The cattle, having no beliefs that we were frightening, continued to regard us with interest. Each of us extended a hand, only to become enveloped up to the elbows in yards of tongue.

After that we found the courage to walk in the pastures. We began to leave the cattle leftover vegetable scraps, and on one occasion some apples (That time they knocked down the fence in their eagerness for the fruit, but that's another story altogether).

The evening before we were to leave we sat outside for the last time. The cattle, one by one, approached the fence. We greeted each, cautiously patting a forehead or scratching an ear. For a long moment they all stared at us; then, responding to a silent signal, they walked away in a slow majestic procession, fading into the long Irish twilight.

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No-Barriers Stones

Stone walls are actually a highly featured part of the Irish rural landscape, but the stones we recommend here are for removing walls.

Smoky quartz is the ideal stone for helping you to feel some connection to the familiar while you reach out to the unknown. Although it is technically a dark stone, it is the most light-filled of these. Its slogan might be, "Feet on the ground, reach for the sky."

Amethyst has a special relationship to transitions from one reality to another, and when you expand your beliefs (whilst shedding some during the transition), you will find yourself in a new reality.

Anxiety can be part of transition, and rhodochrosite is the most helpful stone for this sensation.

If you find yourself being either over-logical ("Oh, that's just a cow") or over-emotional ("It's a bull, and it's going to charge") use moss agate helps to balance the logical and emotional aspects of the mind. color bar

Flowers for New Dimensions

Walnut (Bach) is one of the most useful flower essences for transition. It acts as a bridge between your current reality and the future one.

When fear of the unknown prevents you from moving forward reach for Aspen (Bach).

If you have a special fear of harmless animals or would in general like to improve your communications with them Cosmos (FES) can open you up to new dimensions of reality.

For courage on your journey forward choose Mountain Pride (FES).

Beyond the Rainbow
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