Airing of the Fears

Airing of the Fears

At the beginning of each of my animal communication classes, I ask each student to pair up with another student for a short exercise: Airing of the Fears. One student in the pair, student A, begins airing her or his fears about the class or animal communication in general, while the other student, student B, responds with a simple “OK.” The idea is to not get into a discussion about the fears, which would give them more substance and weight, but merely to acknowledge them.

“I’m afraid I won’t be able to hear anything,” student A may say.

“OK,” student B responds.

“I’m afraid my family will think I’m crazy,” student A continues.

“OK,” student B responds.

The exercise requires student A to continue airing her or his fears for a full two minutes. Initially, students often feel this will be impossible. They aren’t afraid of anything, at least not class-related. They’ve paid their money; they’ve come to class; they’re ready to learn. But as the exercise continues, they come to realize that they do, in fact, have many fears.

“I’m afraid I’ll think I’m hearing something, but I’ll just be making it up.”


I’m afraid I’ll hear a cry for help, but I won’t be able to do anything about it.”


Interesting, isn’t it, that the student starts out afraid of not being able to hear and circles around to being afraid of being able to hear. This is really common.

The wonderful thing about airing your fears in this way is that by bringing them to the light and having them acknowledged, the fears shrink, sometimes even disappear. Getting into a long, involved discussion about why you can’t hear the animals or the awful looks you’d get from your friends if you told them you were doing this or how silly you would feel trying to hear an animal and not being able to do it isn’t effective because the discussion just draws energy to the fear. You don’t want to feed the fear. You just want to say it, have it acknowledged, then let it go.

Where do these fears come from? Well, we’re not born with them. As I’ve said often in this column, each of us is born with the ability to hear the animals. So the fears about not being able to do it come from our environment, our culture. We can buy into the fears, feed them and allow them to grow; or we can let the fears go, and we can return to being the fearless creatures we were at birth.

If you think about it, all of the fears really boil down to one fear: The fear of not being in control. This is ironic because letting go is what allows you to hear the animals.

Then go do what you’ve been wanting to do, but fear kept talking you out of: Find yourself an animal communication class and sign yourself up!

Until next month,

Be well,


*This column originally appeared in From the Horse’s Mouth in February 2007.

© 2007 by Pamela Sourelis