Working with Fear: Choice, Movement, and Listening

Working with Fear: Choice, Movement, and Listening

When something feels scary, learning can be very difficult.

In fact, if the fear is big enough to trigger a fight, flight or freeze response, learning STOPS.  Then you are in survival mode, and no new learning will happen – except, perhaps, learning that this thing you are doing is too darn scary and you don’t ever want to do it again!

One common response to fear is to “push through it”.  There is lots of social pressure that does this. “Don’t be such a baby!  Buck UP!  No pain no gain!”  You probably have some phrases that rush in, when you are feeling a bit fearful of doing something, eh…  And you know how that feels: ICKY.

However, there is another very powerful and effective way to work with fear.  That actually feels…. good.  !!!

It involves reducing the amount of fear, so that it becomes manageable.  So that you can nudge the edge of what is scary, and then move away from it – in order to check out whether that was OK.

And if it WAS ok, then you might do it again… and possibly nudge a wee bit further.  Always knowing you can return to what is safe.

This gentle way of working with fear is a core feature of both the Tellington TTouch® work, and the Feldenkrais® work.   And it is remarkably EFFECTIVE.

So, let’s look at how to take THAT approach, eh.  HOW can we make a situation that feels scary, more safe – so that learning can actually happen, in a way that feels good?

In this video, I talk about – and demo (with a horse) – three things that help make a situation feel less scary – and thus more open for learning to happen.

They are:
– having choice about whether to move IN to a situation (and how far to move in),
– having choice to get OUT of a situation when you have had enough, and
– having others around you LISTEN to what’s enough – for you.

I am honoured to have a fine herd of four horses to help with this video.  They are excellent teachers, and excellent demos!

You can apply what you see here to lots of other situations – for your own self, or working with another person – or another animal.

As I say towards the end of the video, fear can make your world grow smaller.  This stuff here can switch that around, so that your world can open up – more and more.   I love that!  So I am very happy to share this with you.

Happy exploring –


About the Author:

Violet van Hees is a movement freedom specialist who works with people (and with horses) to release tightness and pain, and to transform body "stuckness" into something that you can work with. We then use what emerges to create new freedom and ease in your movement and in what you do, in ways that feel safe and reasonable - and that work - for you. Violet is a Feldenkrais® Practitioner, a Tellington TTouch® Equine Practitioner, and a BCRPA Trainer of Fitness Leaders. She works with a deep interest in and understanding of biomechanics, neuroplasticity, body response to trauma, energy work, and how we learn.

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