Horses as Teachers: The Sacred Space of Possibility Holding the Sacred Space of Possibility | Barbara Alexander

One of my favorite teachers coined the phrase “holding a sacred space of possibility.” I have always loved that concept, and today I learned a new depth to that meaning.

Bodie, our three-year-old miniature horse, must have gotten out of the pasture sometime last night. We live on the mountain where there are coyotes, bear, and some bobcats.

Bodie is the size of our Goldendoodles. He weighs more than they do but he is very small for a horse.

When we came home late last night from a trip, I threw hay down to the horses for their evening meal and I could sort of see them down below in the pasture. I remember feeling that something was strange, but I chalked it up to being overly tired from our trip and just needing some sleep.

This morning, I woke to the door bell. Our neighbor had come up to tell me Bodie had gotten outside the fence.

Dressing quickly, I ran out to the barn to get his halter and lead only to find the barn completely empty and the hay from last night still there and untouched.

Though the horses roam this land freely, they always come up for their hay. But last night it appeared that none of the horses had come back for their dinner. They must have stayed down below with little Bodie who had been stuck just outside the fence.

I walked down the hill towards the pasture and saw the other three horses standing at the gate, they turned and came up to me.

“I know,” I said. “I will get him back, don’t worry.” I looked all around for Bodie, but I didn’t see him anywhere. I called out his name as I walked down the dirt road below the pasture that winds around the mountain.

Within a minute or so, I heard his little hooves cantering towards me from around the curve. Bodie came running full speed right past where I stood. He ran up to the fence, turned around, reared and kicked out. He wanted back inside, and he wanted it right now!

Once everything was back to normal and all the horses were in the barn eating their hay, I had a moment to just be with each one of them… one at a time. In their own gentle way, each one touched my heart with their eyes and I felt a sense of love and comfort.

I knew how much they appreciated my help, and I felt so awed by their commitment to each other. They had held that sacred space of possibility for Bodie to be safe, to come back to them and for life to flow once again…

They couldn’t fix his problem, but they stayed nearby as he kept trying to find his way back in.

It is much like the support we want when we are in a state of difficulty. It is so powerful to have those we love stand by us, holding the sacred space of possibility as we regain our life direction and comfort.

I am grateful for my dear neighbors who offered their help. Word spread so quickly and several neighbors reached out in support to help find Bodie.

In some way we are all holding the sacred space of possibility for each other, because we all occasionally have difficulty moving through scary times in our lives.

During those times, we can really appreciate the support of others who are there, holding the sacred space of possibility for us by just being with us and believing in our ability to find our way back.

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