Losing Control

I want to share a personal story that demonstrates a key learning for me, that perhaps may be of interest to you too.

We live on a smallholding in the country with an assortment of animals; goats, chickens and sheep. They are largely separated into different areas, but goats being goats, the young ones are particularly adept at jumping over fences, or crawling through any weak gaps they can find.

As the field is more than sufficient for their needs, I committed myself to improving the fencing, making it stronger and higher, but wherever I placed my attention, they would leave that space alone and force a gap somewhere else in the field. This came to a head recently when the goats got out, came into our garden, ate some of our shrubs, trampled down the chicken wire protecting the chickens and ate their food (which isn’t particularly good for them).

The local foxes then walked over the chicken wire that had been trodden down and killed two chickens. Our dog followed them in later and ate the left-over food we had put out for the chickens, and then promptly threw up on the kitchen rug. AARRGH!

This was my cue to feel into the deeper message here. The more I tried to control this situation, to erect barriers and keep nature under control, the more life rebelled against my plans. I was guided to do the opposite, to surrender and let nature do its thing. I opened the gate to the field and let the goats all walk out as a herd.

Rather than the youngsters dashing into the garden, the herd stayed together as a unit and grazed delicately around the local hedgerows. When they had fed fully, they returned to their shelters and gently chewed the cud through the afternoon. No dramas , no ripples.

So my challenge to myself is to explore what other areas of my life I try to control. Do I have beliefs, visions and plans that are actually limiting rather than liberating? Are my greatest visions for my life actually just barriers, denying me access to something even more amazing that lies out there for me? If I truly let go, allowing the dynamics of natural order to take over, would it be chaotic or serene? The goats have shown me that life has a natural balance, when lived in the moment, outside the direction of the mind. When we surrender to that, anything is possible…..

With blessings

Andrew Kemp