If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the past several years it’s not to judge the process.
When we launch into something we often have a pre-c0nceived notion of how things are supposed to unfold.
It’s simple, right? Have a dream; set a goal; plan a destination and that should be enough to get us on our way.
Well, it is, and it isn’t.
John Lennon famously said that “life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” Often what we don’t understand is that life, no matter how topsy turvy and mettle testing it is at the time, is unfolding as part of the plan to reach our dream. It’s why it’s so important to acknowledge the journey and be immersed in it wherever it takes us. We may reach, or even exceed, our dreams if we just hold on tight and don’t let go.
Eight years ago, after reading “Riding Between the Worlds” by Linda Kohanov, I had a dream to acquire the training I needed to help people heal through the way of the horse. I was already a nationally certified equestrian coach so this would be a natural extension of what I was already doing. In my innocence (or ignorance) I thought achieving the dream would be a simple case of signing up for Linda’s course in Arizona and, once completed, setting up my shingle somewhere here in southern Ontario.
Nothing could have been further from the truth … because I was disconnected from my truth. At the time I was in my early 40s and struggling with life on so many levels, looking for escape. My focus was on running away rather than walking steadfastly toward something.
The dream identified, life unfolded ~ a veritable roller coaster ride:
Down ~ Within months of formulating this dream I was restructured from my job as an advertising copywriter and went into a depression.
Down ~ Six months later the horse I’d been part-boarding for two years died of cancer.
Up ~ Four months later, after a relatively easy search, by all accounts, Bear cantered into my life.
Up ~ One month later training began with Chris Irwin ~ my introduction to healing with horses through his Train the Trainer program and Equine-Assisted Personal Development. This was when I started to realize how broken I was and led to eighteen months of art therapy.
Up ~ In the meantime my partner (now husband) and I enjoyed four years of twice yearly world travel to places I’d never imagined going. (2008 to 2012)
Down ~ A trip to beautiful, battle-scarred Sarajevo in 2009 sent me into five years (and counting) of psychotherapy ~ my own life battle scars screaming for attention.
Down ~ Then early-onset menopause and all the joy that brings took its toll. (2010)
Down ~ Adrenal fatigue and its bitter anti-social pill insisted I shut down my life and focus on healing. (2010 to present)
Down ~ No more public singing performances (my adrenal health couldn’t support it) (2011)
Down ~ The attempted suicide of a family member and resultant trauma threw another curve. (2012)
Up ~ Our beautiful wedding brought immense joy. (2013)
Up ~ A barn change signalled a new beginning for Bear and I. (2013)
Up and down and up ~ The death of old friendships and the birth of new ones tested my emotional resiliency in ways I had not expected.
Yes, life happened; demanded I pay attention; tested my resolve, strength and commitment to the ups and down; the highs and lows of the healing process. Could I weather the storms I was intending to help others with through healing with horses?
It was an honest enough question. How could I facilitate in others what I had not experienced for myself?
These experiences have, indeed, brought me full circle to the point at which I am happy to announce that I have registered in a six-month Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL) certification program which begins at the end of June. It’s a program based on the teachings of Linda Kohanov and, as luck would have it, the sessions take place just a half hour away from home.
It’s a big decision made after much considered thought and meditation. However, I feel that it is the right move for me as I continue along my own healing journey. I am confident this course will teach me much about how I relate to the world and will help to heal aspects of my inner world still requiring attention. And, of course, it will take me another purposeful step closer to realizing my dream of helping people heal through the way of the horse.
I’m ready for this new step but am not kidding myself ~ it will be another intense period of growth bringing with it the inevitable roller coaster of emotion.
Still, I’m game.
What’s another roller coaster on the circle of life when it takes us closer to our dreams?
I firmly believe our heartfelt dreams never die. When a dream is meant to be it seems that life provides the experiences we need to create the environment the dream needs to come true. It’s why we must never judge the process or how long it takes … or quit.
Hold fast to your dream. It may be closer than you think.
I’ll be taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks. When I return my plan is to post regular updates as I proceed through the FEEL certification program and, of course, share the cheeky shenanigans of my beautiful Bear.
Of course, life unfolds as it should. 😉
Always remember to nurture what you love … and that includes you.
©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014