How many things in life do we find ourselves drawn to and we don’t quite understand all of the reasons why? Those things that pop up as possibilities to say YES to. Maybe it’s a job or business that intrigues us; or maybe it’s an opportunity to play & create in ways we’ve never done before; or maybe it’s a new person we meet who we feel an immediate connection with; or maybe it’s something we are ready to let go of because it simply doesn’t feed our souls anymore. Whatever IT is there is a spark of joy and hope and curiosity and “what if” that lights up inside of us. We can’t stop thinking about it. We want to know more. We want to say YES and take the step towards us. And yet, something holds us back.
This musing isn’t about those somethings that hold us back. While I could write about that too I find myself thinking a lot these days about all of the things I’ve said YES to in the past dozen years or so and what has been made possible because of those YESes, things I couldn’t even dream of when I said YES to what I thought was just about me. So I wander down some of the paths I have taken because I said YES – some so quietly I could barely hear them myself and some so loudly it’s as if the world would hear.
Because I said YES…
*to running a horse farm that felt way too big, unwieldy and hard for a family who was homeschooling 3 young children, Avalon is here today.
*to my own health – body, mind, spirit – I have learned how to make the changes I need with the support I need to listen to what my body needs, not just what my emotional being desires for comfort. I know I can restart as often as I need to in order to have the best body freedom possible. I love how great I am feeling again!
*to teaching horse back riding lessons, camps, field trips, and dozens of other programs thousands of kids have had the opportunity to feel the magic of horses. I’ve done some of the math and it is well over 1000 kids and several thousand more adults who have felt that joyful magic that only horses can bring.
*to writing and publicly sharing my own grief, healing, life journey others have been able to experience the possibility that someone else understands a little bit about their own journey.
*to offering “I am a Warrior” women retreats, vison board playshops, women’s circles (WOW) and other healing retreats women have found ways to dream bigger, love themselves a little bit deeper, and find ways to say YES to more joy in their lives.
*to my own health, 100s of people – family, friends, new friends – have been able to create healthier habits for themselves. It brings me great joy that I have been able to encourage others to believe they are worth living their healthiest life. Being part of people going from feeling completely out of touch with their bodies and hating them to listening to what their bodies need and loving themselves right where they are – ahhh that is powerful stuff!
*to letting go of Avalon I now get to watch Emily live out a life long dream of her own to have a farm. Watching her grow and transform Avalon into her vision, feeling the love she has for what she now gets to do, is an honor to behold. My YES connected with her YES and we both took big leaps that are now impacting so many other people.
*to Penny when it made almost no sense to, I have ridden more than in the entire 12 years I actually ran Avalon. More importantly, I have rediscovered my confidence in riding a horse and experienced profound wonder as we have learned to trust one another. Karoly helped me to Just Breathe through the early years of my grief. Penny has taught me to trust the sweet joy of freedom.
*a year long mentorship about Equine Facilitated Learning there are now dozens of women who are experiencing the deeper, very profound connections that horses offer us. Connecting with our deepest selves while being in the space of a horse is such an amazing gift. I said YES to that mentorship mere weeks after Russell died and it provided healing I very much needed. It took me years to be able to be ready to share it more broadly, but I am loving it now.
*listening to my kids and what they most need for their own life journeys, I believe I am closer to them than if I had simply set their paths for them. I don’t always get it right, but I hope they know that my commitment to keep them as my number 1 priority will ALWAYS be true.
*to selling the first farm that Russell and I loved, we now live in a farm cottage where I can daily see some of the prettiest sunrises I’ve ever seen; see my horses outside of my front window; and walk to one of my “jobs”.
*trusting my intuition, that quiet inner voice, I have learned to love myself more than I ever realized I could. I’ve learned how to say no to what I need to and yes to what I want to. I trust that I know me better than anyone else possibly could.
*when Russell first entered the hospital to allowing myself to dance in the shadow space where the light and the dark threads of life meet, I have life tools that I am now able to share with others who feel like they are stuck in the muckity muck of life. That shadow space is where I find my MOJO and I very much want to help others find theirs.
Because I say YES every single day to seeking joy and growth with the passion of a warrior woman, I know that I can continue to grow, dream, learn, and create a life that feels better and better and better all of the time. I invite each and everyone of you reading this to listen to that part of you who is wanting to say YES to something new. That thing that you can’t stop thinking about might lead you down a path filled with joy and purpose you can’t even imagine right now, if you just say YES.