This is a story about self-actualization.
One year ago, on a whim, I reached out to EQUUS INSPIRED, a self-mastery and leadership organization, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Horses: working with - learning-from - guided by. I had no experience with horses in general, so this was a leap of faith. I had been following Kelly’s blog for awhile, intrigued by her teachings and inspired by her words. I was slowly generating a fantasy of booking a retreat someday, taking the time to discover me. Since motherhood, the sole adventure had been tricky, not easily accessible. I called in October 2019 and asked her directly: “Would you design a 3 day program focused on growing connection between me and my kids? She said yes. I remember distinctly being honest about my fear, and she told me it is a wonderful motivator, that most bold moves cannot exist without it.
The night we arrived, we immersed ourselves in a Spirit Animal Ritual led by a Shaman. Mine is Orca- fierce protector of family, courageous, adaptable, with a huge capacity for learning. I am born with this medicine and it is always with me, available to support, guide and nurture. The next morning, Artemis, a beautiful white mare and leader of her herd, chose me. Turns out we have a lot in common. For three days we worked together while she taught me to believe in myself and to trust my intuition, "No Doubt" was her message. We discovered that power in communication is not limited to words. For our family of three, the heart of our connection stems from intention and whole being.
Kelly soon invited me to participate in a Wisdom Circle of 8 members. We committed to working together for 6 months. My intention was FREEDOM, to activate it in all aspects of my life and to discover a new career path. We held hands, virtually, through the onset of Covid-19. We could feel the depth and value of our connection from the beginning. The gratitude we grew was a beautiful addition to all the 'upside down' generated by the pandemic. There were a few practicing coaches in our group. I had never met one before, had no reference for this type of work. I asked Dan if he would coach my family as I was seeking support to bond us during pre-teen chaos. I can barely remember this stage of maturation in my own life and the current twists offered a type of dissonance, exposing confusion and irritation for all involved. As a single parent, I am forever seeking positive structures for us to lean on. He said if he coached me alone, my transformation would benefit my kids. He went on to describe the Co-Active model, I remember drawing the pyramid as he spoke, the "Relationship" is held at the top, and each of us represented a slanting side, "Coach" on one and "Client" on the other, leaning in with 100% of support. We agree to showing up, we commit to being curious, we both honor our responsibility, and all the wisdom/energy/knowing we generate is in full benefit of the Client. When I got off the phone, I began researching Co-Active Training Institute (CTI). Turns out their Northern California headquarters is located six blocks from my home. Thus began the percolating of my design, an expression of self in a new direction.
Here was my challenge. If I pursued my dream of being me, would it take me away from my family business? If it did, what would happen? Always plagued by an inflated sense of importance (like the sky would fall if I chose to pivot), I had to distinguish my priorities: living my life on my terms or living it for others. I had been doing the latter for years, primarily, as I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Fantasies are separate, right? They represent an idea, not a reality. But I can tell you this, my dreams have always been present, big and bright, with a distinct power that surpasses the influence of all my saboteurs/negative self-talk put together. As disconnected as I got, my life to date has been filled with adventure. The lags and heaviness that have paused my momentum were only temporary. Wading the muck and living in the dark has its own rewards. Knowing what I don't want has tremendous value. The color and flavor that surround me are initiated through risk. It is the full spectrum of experiences that comprise the woman I am today. I have no regrets.
I booked CTI Fundamentals in April 2020 and discovered a tribe that brought me home. I have completed 104 hours of training to date. Certification will begin in September.
Setting myself free is the key to this story. I am the one who fastened the shackles that kept me from growing. My continued self-criticism bound me to stakes that prevented expansion. It is only through acceptance and heart felt appreciation that I am able to embrace my truth. My willingness to feel everything reveals my courage.
Five courses through CTI have encouraged my shift. "Fundamentals" introduced me to listening and the benefit of transparency. It showed me different ways to grow connection. I decided that living my life on my terms is the best lesson I can teach my kids. Listening to my intuition and allowing it to guide me forward can deliver a rich quality to my life I had only before imagined. It was here that I signed my coaching agreement with Dan. "Fulfillment" delivered my Life Purpose: I AM THE LIGHT THAT BRINGS YOUR RAINBOW TO LIFE. Naming my Leader Within and ever growing team of Allies gave me an internal support system. Self-Acceptance and Self-Authority are mine, they strengthen my knowing."Balance" introduced me to the power of being versus doing. Slowing down and recognizing perspectives became my portal to activating choice. I no longer felt compelled to fake it, to ignore myself in doing for others. Self-sacrifice no longer held any appeal. I learned to say NO to unneeded responsibilities, NO to obligations that lacked personal value and NO to people pleasing. Freedom arrived. "Process" blew me wide open. Inclusion is the gateway to transformation. Absolute acceptance made sense to me. “Thank you” falls from my lips often, even in the heart of discontent. "Synergy" invited me to acknowledge my inherent talents and to explore them in my coaching. This ability to access my personal design delivered a beauty and power I have unconsciously kept hidden. Unfolding was like seeing myself for the first time, all those little bits and pieces I had tucked away, come forth and colored my world with a depth of knowing: This is who I am, being me is enough.
I create nurturing space and cultivate conditions to promote self-discovery. My service is to broaden consciousness and help others awaken. I am purpose, my light shines forth on the rays of my enthusiasm, it is contagious, and I use it to liberate potential in others. I initiate renewal through personal investigation. I offer healing and contribute to the love revolution. I am a seeker of knowledge, dedicated to learning with great capacity. My courage is forged in the fires of challenge. I am an Alchemist. I transmute struggle into opportunity. Curiosity compels me toward risk, which forever sparks my adaptability and dares me to grow. My strength is rooted in my being and enables me to soar. I am capable. I am sturdy. I am durable. “No Doubt” is my mantra, delivered from Artemis, my equine teacher, I hold this close to my heart. I am a gentle guide, an intuitive mother, a fierce protector of family, an intentional writer, a sensitive painter, an imaginative cook, a safe companion, a loner at heart and a brave soul. I am forever changing and growing. I am surrounded by amazing beings and do not walk my path alone.
So here I am. Living my dream. I told my family I am pursuing a career adventure that defines me. I know in my heart I can manage both, supporting our mother's legacy and creating my own, with integrity. THINKING my dreams will never come true is no longer my story as my life is now filled with wonder and excitement. I have made close to 28 new friends in less than a year, a combined result from my explorations through Equus and CTI. Life is only hard when I refuse to live it.
I set my intention 4 months ago (beginning CTI) to pursue a new career, build my own website and start my business by the end of 2020. It is all happening now. To add to this dream: My coaching skills develop quickly and I am able to incorporate other talents/techniques into my practice like art making, writing, meditation, mind mapping and movement. In six months I will have a minimum client base of 15. My circle will grow fabulously because I am living my dreams and activating my creativity on every possible level. People from all walks of life will show up to broaden my experience and knowledge. My life will be brighter and rich with flavor. My vegetable garden will be planted this year and my family will be living off our land come next summer. My partner will show up within the next 10 months. Our intimacy is fulfilling and extraordinary, it is daring and deeply valued. Our connection is breathtaking, for the first time in my life I am appreciated for who I am the way I am, there is no confusion and no pretending. My kids will have a beautiful representation/experience of mutual LOVE in action. In 2024 I initiate a house swap with a European family for 2-4 mos so we begin to taste the world together.
I am living my adventure as it shows up. I move when the wind fills my sails and relax when it chooses not to blow. Flexibility is key.
Feeling safe is not bound to my familiar, it is woven into the wings I use to fly.
When I show up for myself, all is possible. This was a story about my BECOMING!