No Worries

No Worries

Just for today, I will let go of worry.

–Reiki Principle

When you’re feeling down—financial worries, job anxieties, an argument with someone dear—do you ever wish you could trade places with your dog? I know I’ve said to my Eskimo more than once, “Boy, Elika, you’ve got one good life. You don’t have to worry about anything.”

And it’s true. She gets fed twice a day; goes on long walks twice a day; and gets to play in and around the barn for hours three seasons out of the year, helping me to spread hay and clean manure, chasing mice and rabbits and chipmunks, keeping a watchful eye while I groom, eating delicious morsels of frog when the trimmer comes.

But it’s also true that I—like Elika and my horses, Tara and Fuersti—don’t have to worry about anything either. Worrying is a choice. This truth has taken me quite a while to learn well enough to be able to say that I’ve actually learned it.

Some years ago, during a particularly difficult time, I remember waking in the middle of the night clutched by a fist of anxiety, unable to go back to sleep—night after night. As you can well imagine, this didn’t solve my problem.

But the Reiki principle, “Just for today, I will let go of worry” helped tremendously. When I began working with this principle, I began to see immediate results.

I began by stopping myself whenever I found my mind grabbing hold of a worrisome thought, night or day. I would gently say to myself, “Is this helping?” It never was, and so I would put the thought down and turn my thoughts to something more pleasant, more life-affirming—a project I was working on or had plans to work on, a book that I was enjoying, a specific step towards a future goal. These new thoughts would almost immediately bring relief from the stress, softening my muscles, deepening my breathing, often even bringing a smile.

Our animal companions are happy (or miserable) because they live in the moment. As a rule, they don’t drag their childhoods around with them (unless they have been terribly abused and are living in fear), and they don’t hold grudges. While we have much to teach our animal companions about how to peacefully live with us, our animal companions have much to teach us about how to live in peace.

Shortly after bringing my equine companion Nikos into my life, I went to California for two weeks for a segment of a two-year training in animal movement education. When I came back, Nikos, who always greeted me with nickers and nuzzles, turned his hind end to me, clearly expressing his unhappiness. But he just as clearly accepted my apology for causing him pain, which I had not realized I had done, and soon all was well. He did not worry that I no longer loved him; he did not worry that I might not feed or care for him; he did not worry that I would leave him again; he did not worry that he would be returned to the awful circumstances that I had taken him from. He did not know what tomorrow would bring, but he did not worry.

Worry is a sneaky thief. It steals time, sleep, health, creativity. It blinds us to the abundance and joy that is all around us. When we worry, we welcome into our lives the very things we fear. Stop, change the station blaring in your brain, plan a tea party with a little girl, take a long walk with your dog, bring to heightened imagination the job you truly want, invite a child to discover the ecstasy of touching a horse.

Just for today, let go of worry.

Until next month . . .

Be well,


*This column originally appeared in From the Horse’s Mouth in May, 2009.

© 2009 by Pamela Sourelis