Why We Have To Do the Scary Thing...

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Why do we have to do the things that scare us?

The things that open us up in the depths of the vulnerability we hold within us?

Every now and again, I am reminded of the power of doing what scares us and knowing that within that terror, we must be certain that we are on the right track because if it doesn’t scare us, it isn’t big enough.

I am known (I think) for doing big scary things--taking leaps and big risks in the name of purpose and you would assume that perhaps, I don’t get scared ever.

But I do…

The last week, I have been visited by two horses of mine, Shiva and Kali. Both were named after Hindu gods and goddess that depicts the energy and medicine of death, destruction and rebirth.

When we are holding fear, it is often an invitation into rebirth, of resetting and finding our way back to a deeper truth of authenticity and alignment within ourselves.

We get scared because we are moving closer to shedding outdated belief systems that are keeping us comfortable and there is a part of us as human beings that wants to keep safe.

But safety is an illusion that is only nurtured by fear.

I know when I am feeling scared that I am in fact on the edge of a big space of growth, an important decision and pathway for me to move forward with.

My dreams, my leadership, the purpose I hold in the world was birthed on this edge of fear and being scared, it drove me to understand that I was living out of alignment with my true nature and the space I was being moved towards and moving towards would mean change.

Transformation, shedding, leaving things behind---people, places, defaults, patterns.

We have to do the scary thing.

That might look like taking a leap towards your dream...

Moving across the country...

Changing your habits...

Acknowledging your own self worth...

Saying yes to an intuitive nudge without having any clarity or a picture of where it is taking you...

We must say yes to whatever form that is creating this feeling of fear because denying it means we are denying our own growth, our potential and the richness of the journey.

And to deny our growth means to deny our potential and to live a life in the empowerment of fear. And that’s not living or honoring our path and our journey’s.

Find what you need to support your fear. Listen to it’s wisdom and remember there is a part of you navigating alongside with you that offers a deeper space of knowing that all is well and this is where you are being called to be.



The Birth of Our Gifts (How We Know We Are Ready)

We are born innately with talents, strengths and gifts.

It comes with us, packaged into this human form, when we enter into this world.

Our journey is to be awakened to these gifts, to have them crafted and for us to remember that we have them within us.

How do we know when we are ready?

How do we recognize what we are born with?

Two days ago, I had a woman come out for a session with myself and the herd. As we were finishing up our time and walking away, leaving my big herd behind, I noticed my 6-month old colt, Apollo standing at the gate staring at us.

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I think Apollo has medicine to share with us.

This was one of the first times I have seen this young colt engage in this work.

As we walked over to his pen, he started to lick and chew. With horses, the lick and chew is an affirmation of a thought, an action and a recognition.

At 6 months, even though he might not “know” how to do this work, he innately understands he has a role in this herd and in this space for people to journey with.

He came over to the gate and stood with us as I asked my client, What part of you does Apollo represent that is coming to share a message?

Innocence, youth is what came up.

When we are young, before we know or have been labeled with something or been told who we are or what we are capable of, we have an innocence of knowing.

As we spoke to this, Apollo licked and chewed again., Looking at him in this moment, I could see the consciousness of his wisdom at the surface. No longer a young colt with wobbly legs trying to figure out this new life as a horse, he gazed at us with wise eyes and a knowing of it is time for me to step into sharing my medicine.

Apollo was born here. He represents to me that purity of consciousness. He will be nurtured in this space of teacher from birth and this is the space he will know for his life.

My horses all of them when they arrive here get time to settle, to integrate, to receive what they need in their bodies and choose when they are ready to step into role of teacher and share their wisdom.

Apollo showed us this past week that now is his time.

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The importance of sharing this story of Apollo and his journey is this...

We forget that within us there is a wise source of consciousness and being. Call it soul, spirit, god, divine. It lives with us.

It is born with us and we are born wise, knowing.

Though we still need support being formed and allowing for our raw talent to be honed, we have this essence within us still.

Most of the work I do with clients is a process of unlayering, of peeling back the imposition of beliefs and ideals that have been layered on us as we grow up, being so thick that we find ourselves disconnected from this part of us.

Our time with the horses is about reclaiming those pieces, finding them again so we can find strength in our vision, in our leadership and in the knowing of purpose of our gifts.

To be able to get access to the confidence that we carry within us so we may go forth in the world and share the medicine we were born to create.

If you are reading this and it resonates for you, my question or thought to you is this...

Where are you forgetting the true essence of who you are?

Where are you telling yourself a story that you need more experience, or training, or time in order to feel confident, and ignoring the call of that now is the time to share what you have within you?

Where you are needing to seek out the part of you that lives in purity of who you are without the labels and the places of disconnect that move you away from you remembering who you are?

And to perhaps find a way back to the part of you that Apollo might represent and what wisdom and medicine that aspect of yourself has for you right now?

I always love watching the emergence of my horses. It is powerful both for them and for the journey that it brings for myself and those that come to be in their medicine.




The Story of Thor

Two weeks ago, I got a call about a horse.

This is a call I get more times than people realize.

I recognized the voice on the message sounded desperate and my heart sank. I can’t take on another horse.

My herd of horses who are my partners in the work I feel called to do in the world are mostly former rescue horses. This means I give them homes and a second purpose, rescuing them from a fate that is often slaughter or euthanasia.

I have 26 horses now in my field. Twenty-two belong to me personally and the other 4 are boarded here.

Two weeks ago, I returned the call to this woman, expecting to say no to her, explaining that I am full, that I cannot take on another horse.

But then I heard her story. And I felt in my heart, and in my knowing, that he needed to be here and I needed to tell his story.

Thor is a 16 year old Fjord gelding with a previous life of being a jumping horse. He found himself with a family who had adopted him from another rescue after being encouraged to give him a home so he could be a riding horse and companion for their 16 year old daughter.

Shortly after, it was discovered that Thor was unsound lame. A vet checked him out and the prognosis was that Thor was not able to be a riding horse and his life was to be a companion.

The family was devastated. They reached out to the rescue who said they would take him back to euthanize him.

I will pause here on his story for a moment to reflect on something.

Many people who follow me know horses or are exposed to them for their teaching and their medicine. They are drawn to the energy of the horse because they recognize something is found there.

Part of my mission, although not always on the surface, is to shift how horses are viewed in the world, through providing experiences and sharing the medicine of them because the reality is, the equine industry can be an ugly place for horses.

I am not one typically to speak to issues such as this. I craft my words and shares through the lens of empowering and sometimes the voice that needs to be spoken is the full transparency of the stories and journeys we hold.

This is Thor’s medicine.

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The truth…

When horses are no longer deemed rideable, they are often seen as lacking value. They are discarded, mistreated, euthanized, or sent to slaughter.

I have seen this first hand. I have been exposed to this through the horses I give homes to and through my own experience working in the breeding industry in my past career.

What is important to me is to allow the shift to happen where horses are seen in their full value. They are incredible teachers for us, sentient beings that offer us an awareness and glimpse into our own wisdom and soul.

As I listened to this woman share the story of Thor, the desperation and the heartbreak her and her family felt hearing that this horse’s fate was to be put down, I was silently raging.

She shared with me she heard about me from a woman who knew of someone who’s horse had come to me (That horse would be Shiva.) and so she called me.

And I said to her.

Thor is not being euthanized. That’s not happening.

Her relief was palpable. She shared with me later, that she, her husband and daughter all cried because they could not fathom this horse being put down and now, he would have a home.

I sat at my home that weekend with my rage and I knew this horse has a powerful message and a part of it is to expose and share the fullness of what happens to these incredible animals that is not often spoken to, and for many, are unaware.

When I share with people the story of my horses, or that some are being discarded, people are appalled. What do you mean?

What enraged me the most about Thor is that it was a rescue and their barn who I would have thought and expected would want to value this horse's life. They were the ones that were insisting for his to be ended.

What is underneath the rage is grief.

I am heartbroken, that this family had to go through this as first time horse owners with this horse that has already had an impact.

That horses have to be viewed this way.

That I can’t always say yes to everyone or every horse.

But sharing a story can make an impact and have a difference.

To peel back the layers, what is at the core of this for me is this:

We cannot continue to see horses as just commodities that we can discard when they are unable to service us the way we want them to.

When horses are no longer able to be ridden, when they are not seen to have a purpose, they are often discarded or sent to fates such as slaughter, or a kinder way of being put down.

I look at how we treat horses as a metaphor for our own self. How quickly we are to dismiss ourselves and what we are capable of.

We do it in our society and we do it with them.

And it isn’t ok.

If I told the stories that I knew, of organizations that put horses down because they view them as not as easily adoptable, or that no one will want a feral horse, or an older horse that has a sore back or arthritis, or a stallion, because they are deemed and seen as hopeless causes that will add no value... You would rage alongside of me.

In order to change something, to shift the consciousness of it, we first must be aware of the darkness and where it does not serve.

I don’t believe that the horse industry as a whole or how we hold horses is in service of the horse, or really ourselves.

There are first nations community around us that send their feral horses that they do not manage for meat.

There are rescues that are sending out horses under the guise of them being sound when they are not, lining pockets to make money from the horse, but not doing what is right for them.

The SPCA is putting down horses that they don’t see as valuable, or have decided in their euthanasia tree that they won’t be successfully adopted out. We have one of them. Her name is Ostara. We fostered for the SPCA and quickly adopted her and her unborn foal, Apollo after we found out her fate. There are horses being put down within organizations that are meant to help them every single day and don’t because of money, or resources, or just simply that they do not care about the fate of the horses or other animals. They are not held with the same value or worthiness as our own.

The sharing of this story is not to create a hopelessness, but to expose a different aspect and connection to horses because the more that we are educated, the more we can shift something. There are also many, many organizations, rescues that are also doing wonderful things for horses and there is an expansion within the partnership with horses that offers a different perspective on it and we still have work to do for them.

Thor and his story lit a fire in me. It gave me courage to speak to a voice of the horses which is why I began this journey in the first place.

Everything I do...

The pursuit of my purpose, my dreams, the expansion and support of the work I do for other humans is to benefit the horses.

Because they showed me their medicine as a child, and I knew I had to share this with others.

Horses are losing their lives, often in ways that are a dishonour of them because we cannot see their value, or we choose not too.

Because they are seen as something we have to spend money on.

I am sad and I grieve for each horse that comes here and for the ones that I can’t take because I do not take them all.

I grieve for the people who are throwing away their greatest teacher, that are letting a piece of a divine consciousness go because they cannot see it.

I don’t write this to make those who cannot take care of their horses feel bad. I have many horses in my herd that came from really good intentioned people that wanted a different life for their horse and I was able to gift it.

But for the ugliness that still exists, where I have a responsibility to be a voice for it, to have the courage to speak to and expose something and offer another invitation to how we can see and hold these animals, I will.

Because of this...

I believe deeply horses chose to be in relationship with us. They are giving servants, in the saddles, on the ranches, on the racetrack. They give to us the way we have domesticated them to.

They are also in our lives, in humanity, to help us become more aware, to teach us about ourselves, to raise our consciousness, if we allow it.

Thor came galloping into my life to remind me of the voice for the mission I hold for these amazing animals---to wake people up to the value of their life, beyond the saddle, and perhaps, hold shift in how we see ourselves.

And his life has meaning. It has value. It has impact. He has a medicine to share and it will be shared here and it will evoke, and it will teach what it is meant to.

And in the honoring of the medicine of another, we honor ourselves.

Thor’s message to me was clear:

Find the strength in your voice and use it. Not just for yourself, but for the greater impact. Be courageous. Share the stories and remember the mission that started it all.

Thor was a powerful Norse god, fitting for this young and powerful horse. He came with his medicine name and he will keep it. A reminder that we are all born with medicine, including horses.

And it’s high time we begin to shift our awareness to recognize it.

And if you are reading this and the cause of the horse doesn’t speak to you, you may have something else that does. For me, the horses are symbolic of our own journey. They give life to as mirrors to what we are holding within ourselves.

Perhaps there is something else you in your life that you are a voice for. That is part of your own calling. Perhaps the medicine of Thor or reading this story is encouraging you to speak to it, even the ugly sides of it, for there is power in holding it all so we can make a change.

If I thought about the insignificance of my voice, or who am I speak to this... If I let the overwhelm of what I can’t do and it wouldn't be enough, I would continue to stay silent or soft in my speaking.

And that’s not what is being asked for. Even if you don’t think your voice is significant, that you cannot speak or share or step into what is yours to contribute to...

You can and you must.

I tell myself all the time, even if I cannot save all of the horses, and maybe in my lifetime there will not be a significant shift in how horses are seen, I still am having an impact for the ones I can touch, and that is enough.

Anything is enough.

So if this moves you, think about where it resonates and apply it to your own situation. Move with it, let the rage, the passion, the unfairness, the grief move you to action. We do not always see the impact of what we do but there is a ripple effect whether we ever witness it for ourselves or not.

I am grateful for these horses (and for Thor for reminding me of this) for continuing to give me courage to create, to share, to be brave in what I feel moved to create through the layers of purpose they bring into my life, and hopefully to yours.

If you like this blog, if it speaks to you, we would love if you would share it, comment, or begin a conversation with us on how we come together to support the horses.

And if you are moved to support our mission and support of our herd, including Thor, we created a Sponsor A Horse page, which goes towards empowering the placement for our horses at our space and it comes with an exchange we hope equally serves you and the acknowledgement of the space we give these horses.

We believe there are many of us that feel aligned in this mission and our hope is we can come together to change a greater whole for the betterment of these amazing animals.

The Journey to Knowing Our Strengths

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I always knew I was a visionary.

Since I was a child, I have had visions of my life that look similar to what I have today.

When I began my business, I would have visions of what it could look like. Creating a picture of things was easy to me.

I always knew I was an empath---or someone who felt things with deep sensitivity.

I felt everything deeply. I would pick up on my surroundings. This gift and strength allowed me to be really good at my work. It has also been one of my greatest curses.

I always knew I was someone who sought out deep relationships and connections with others. Surface conversations and passings was not something I could do.

I always knew I had an eagle eye for potential, for the purity of an essence of another. I would hone in on it, seeing it like a diamond waiting to be formed.

I always knew that I could be rigid in my ideals and values, immovable from what I felt in my core was aligned.

What I didn’t always know from the above was why, the definition of a strength, what it meant, how it could be utilized and what the shadow side of it was.

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In 2013, I signed up for a 10-month long leadership development program with CTI. I was newly on the path of embarking on running my own retreat centre and being an entrepreneur,

I had a feeling that in order to do that, I needed to grow as leader so I could be successful in holding space for everything I was about to step into.

During this program, I met a woman, a kindred spirit who at the time was working for Gallup Strengthsfinder.

I am someone who believes deeply in the more awareness we have about ourselves and our strengths, the more we can bring to life and what we are in pursuit of.

The discovery of self is important. It lends itself for us to understand how we create, what suits us, what process and way of creating is going to get us to where we want to go. So, I am always interested in anything that gives more clarity to that space.

What I discovered through Strengthsfinder was a clarity and a consciousness of my strengths.

  • Futuristic

  • Developer

  • Relater

  • Empath

  • Belief

If you are curious to learn more about Gallup Strengthsfinder, I encourage you to read about it here. You can take an online test for $20 that gives you your top five strengths. The philosophy behind this process is based in positive psychology and researching what made successful people successful.  

They focused and knew their strengths.

I knew on some level what my strengths and natural tendencies where but to have an understanding of what that meant, where I overcompensated and how to direct them was a powerful discovery for me.

The journey to knowing our strengths is important and I believe an essential ingredient to aligning ourselves to the clarity of our visions, understanding how we are going to achieve those visions, appreciating our leadership and what it looks like for us to empower our authentic way of being.

Being a visionary was something I got intuitively but I understood it on a different level when I appreciated what the strength was, and also what the shadow side of it was and how to balance that.

I can get consumed with my visions of my life, my business and purpose so much so that I block out everything else that is happening around me. I will lose myself to the vision. Knowing this has helped me balance something and understand how to utilize the talent.

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The core of my work---what i do for myself and also for my clients is in the discovery of our gifts and our strength, both because i believe deeply that in knowing and discovering this, we are given a map to the how we create something of substance in the world. And on a practical level, I have to understand it is the fastest and easiest way to empower the outcomes that we desire through what speaks to us through our leadership and our purpose.

We are the drivers of everything. We are the vehicle in which everything is created through. The challenge in life can be when we are trying to do something with someone else’s formula or path or put ourselves in a box that moves us away from our natural strengths.

We are all seeking to know who we are, what drives us, what moves us, what fulfills us, what our purpose is.

The answers to that are not found out there. It is found in the unveiling of what we carry within ourselves.

I have a passion to create a space, to promote facilitation of knowing who we are in our strengths and in our gifts, understanding our unique way of operating in the world so we can empower that on the path that is speaking to us the most---our purpose, our leadership and the utilization and facilitation of our gifts.

For the last few years, I have envisioned, imagined and wanted to create a retreat that would empower this discovery with tools that were grounded in intuition, science, biology and heart, for the promotion of recognition and reclaiming the essence of who we are.

Whether you are a leader that is seeking to understand her impact more deeply...

A woman that is on the path of discovering her innate gifts talents and purpose...

A woman that knows the value of understanding who she is and investing in her personal growth and discovery along the way...

And is drawn to adding to her personal and professional toolbox of how she facilitates brilliance in herself and others...

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I would love to personally invite you to our upcoming Unbridling Your Strengths Retreat in September.

We have partnered with our colleague and friend who we met years ago in our leadership retreat to develop a retreat that speaks to the science of knowing our strengths through Strengthsfinder, with the addition of the intuitive and heart-based exploration through the medicine of horses.

This retreat is 4 days long and takes place at our beautiful retreat facility just north of Kamloops, British Columbia.

This retreat is about giving you the uncovering of your strength, not just in a linear way of understanding, but in the full embodiment of experience and reclaiming so you get it, in your bones, in your visions, in your knowing of how to direct this energy and your strengths to empower what you are seeking to create more of in your life, your leadership and what calls to you through purpose.

Limited spaces are available. You can read about the full details of the experience in the link below...

Unbridling Your Strengths

Episode 7: A Conversation with Nikki Grrom

 
 

On today's episode I am joined by Nikki Groom.

NIKKI GROOM is on a mission to help you own your voice and use it to grow your business and make an impact.

She is the host of Movement Makers, a podcast featuring in-depth conversations and unfiltered stories from business leaders and entrepreneurs who are making a difference on the planet, and founder of The 100 Stories Worth Telling Project, which seeks to amplify the voices of underrepresented entrepreneurs all over the world.

Nikki is passionate about the power of storytelling as a way for thought leaders to humanize their businesses, build relationships with the people they most want to serve, and inspire readers into action. She is also a firm believer that all businesses should lead with empathy.

Nikki has been hailed as “a force of nature”, “a rising superstar” and “one of the best” in her field. She appears in the book Winning the Battle for Attention by Stuart Atkins, was a contributing writer for the book End Sex Trafficking by Erin Giles, and has been featured by over 40 online publications and podcasts.

You can find her @NikkiGroom just about everywhere.

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