I had a lovely woman visiting my retreat centre last weekend, who reached out after seeing my site online. She asked me how did I so young get to where I was today, living in a magical space, running my own retreat centre and living a life of passion.
I am 32, and I have been chasing my dreams since I was a little girl. I am also a firm believer in the possibility of living your dream life now... no matter what age. You are never too young or old to go after what you are called to do in the world.
I began telling her the story of how I came to land in BC on this property 2 1/2 years ago and after I was finished she was quite inspired. I like to lead by example, my hope is to inspire others on their journey by how I live mine. I realized this story perhaps needs to be told again to inspire another to take a leap of faith and go for their dreams...
4 years ago I was living with my parents in Dundas, Ontario in the house I grew up after moving back home 3 years earlier to be with my grandmother during an illness that would eventually claim her life. I was working as a dog walker and pet sitter, doing horse sessions on the side, waiting for when the next journey of my life would begin. I knew being home was temporary I just had no idea what was next.
It was January 2011 that I woke up one day hearing the guidance that I needed to move to BC. It came just like that, an inner whispering clear, pure and I knew in my heart this was the next step on my path. And so, I began to prepare myself for the move, setting intentions, visualizing and figuring out what I needed to do to get ready to relocate and follow a dream I didn't even know was waiting for me to claim.
To say that I was in complete trust the whole way would be a lie, even though a part of me trusted I needed to go where my heart was taking me, I have always lived that way, my logical mind worried, panicked, and was terrified of taking such a leap. I left ontario with no job in BC, no friends or community to connect with, and no sense of why I was heading west. I only knew I had to go there. The call and pull was strong enough to override the fears and the thought of having a regret over not following this urge was the fuel I used to continue moving forward and make the big move west.
On September 11, 2011 with my 3 month old puppy, my horse being sent on another trailer, we all began the long journey across the country to the west coast. For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of Canada, I went from Ontario which is in the east to the opposite coast of the country to British Columbia, which took 7 days.
September 17th 2011 I arrived in my new home in Langley BC. The first thing that I did when my stuff arrived and I unpacked my u haul, was completely fall apart and cry. I can remember sitting in the middle of my 600 square foot basement suite floor and completely unraveling. The reality of what I had done came crashing down on me and I felt totally overwhelmed with the enormity of what I had just done. The faith, the inner knowing left me in that moment and all that I was left with was fear.
The reality is taking a leap of faith isn't all floaty and uplifting and positive. It is scary, terrifying and downright insane most of the time, and I want to tell my story to remind you that there is something on the other side of that.
When you are deeply connected to the calling of your soul, of your purpose, you must trust the part of you that knows the way forward.
I allowed myself to have a melt down, to freak out, to panic. And then I took a breathe and started unpacking and reconnected to the part of me that had faith and knew that everything would perhaps be ok.
The next few weeks were a roller coaster, my moments of fear far outweighed my moments of grace. The only reason I was able to get out of bed most days was because I had a energetic 3 month old pup that needed to be taken out, and a horse the relied on me for care. I am grateful to both Indra and Luca for giving me something to keep moving forward for, it wasn't easy and I am sharing this because I know what comes along with the journey, and it does get easier.
The turning point for me was when I was taking Luca out at one of the local dog parks and ran intolovely woman who I shared my journey to BC with, " you are brave you know." she said after I finished telling her how I ended up in BC. I looked at her and felt her words sink in, I needed that day to be reminded of the courage it took for me to journey out west and follow my heart. In that moment I was able to acknowledge to myself just what I had been able to do.
Things changed after that, I got a job as a nanny part time for 2 wonderful girls, I started connecting with people in my local community who had horses and began doing my facilitation with other people's herd. I moved my horse Indra who made the journey with me to another boarding facility so he could be out in a field with a herd of horses and on that day I moved him got introduced to both Abe and Cheveyo who are now part of my herd, and later on Tareena. I also got connected to a wonderful community in Vancouver and finally started to feel and see the reasons why I moved west.
In April of 2012 when I was doing a course in Vancouver, I heard another whisper. It's time it said, it's time to have your own facility and to do your work with the horses. And so once again I listened to that voice, wrote a list of what I needed in a facility, told people what I was looking for and began to open myself to allow that space to come in.
May 2012 a friend and colleague told me she knew of a wonderful space that was for sale that would be perfect that she wanted to show me. Sure I said and so we went out for a drive so she could show me the place. I remember driving down the driveway with the flowers in bloom and feeling lit up as we entered the property. Wow, big and beautiful, and for sale. While I didn't have 2 million dollars to purchase, I did say to myself if it is meant to happen it will. We left and I didn't really think about it again.
July 2012, while looking at another facility about 30 minutes away the real estate agent I had contacted who specialized in horse facilities sent me an email about a farm that just sold that was looking for a leaser. Well as you can probably guess it was the farm that I saw not two months earlier that had been for sale for 2 million dollars. Are you interested she said. I think you can guess my answer.
November 1 2012 I moved onto the facility I now call home to Epona Rise Retreat Centre. 2 1/2 years later it is now home to 7 horses, and a space where I facilitate and run my programs out of. It has drawn a community of like minded souls to come and enjoy the land with me and is a place of magic that many are drawn to so they may connect with a part of themselves left untouched by the outside world.
Just a little over 4 years ago I was sitting in my parent's home in Ontario dreaming of a life that was calling me, not knowing or having any idea how quickly it would manifest or how when I took the leap and moved west. All I knew was that I was called here and I trusted that calling enough to listen. Was it easy... Absolutely not. Was it scary. Beyond anything I have ever done. Was it worth it? Well I will let the story speak for itself.
Following the path of the heart is not an easy one, we don't always get the tangibles of how we are going to do it or the perfect laid out plan of action.
You don't have to be in complete faith of your path either. I wasn't. Was there a large part of me that believed in what was possible and trusted it, yes. There was also a large part of me that feared, that worried that wanted to know exactly how I was going to do it and what the next step was and have guarantee that if I did this thing that everything would work out. My parents were more than concerned about me, people thought I was crazy, and it paid off. Now I am living a life I have always dreamed and have the ability to inspire others to do the same. I can speak to the power and magic that comes with following your heart and what can happen when you do. That taking leaps of faith though scary can lead us to extraordinary outcomes that were always meant for us to step into.
If you told me that after 2 years of living in BC that I would be running my own retreat centre I am not sure I would have believed you. When I moved out here that was not my intent, I had no idea what was going to happen I just knew I had to go. I also tell people that the dream of having my own space, my own herd and doing purposeful work in the world is one I have been visualizing, dreaming about and moving towards since I was a little girl. 7 years ago I wanted to be where I am today and life has it's own way of unfolding.
So to you dear dreamer, who is perhaps feeling urged to take a leap of faith, a calling to step into something greater, seeing a new path form in front of you. Take courage dear heart for there is a ride that is waiting for you to journey that will take you places only your spirit knows. It will not be easy, it will be hard. You will be tested and you will be confronted with your fears, your limits and the things you thought you left behind.
It will be worth it.
If you remember you are following a higher calling, if you remember the strength of your spirit, if you remember that you are always supported in your journey, that miraculous things can happen. Then you will be more than ok. It will be fulfilling, it will grow you, it will strengthen you and it will bring you to a place of awe. I promise you that.
And, if nothing else take inspiration from my story of what is possible when you take the first step, believe in your dreams and move towards something that even though you may not completely have faith is possible.
So here is your sign, a message to perhaps take that first step, be given full permission to follow your heart and take that leap. Ask the question to yourself, if I knew what the first step was, what would it be? And trust it, and keep asking, when you take the first step the universe conspires to give you the rest. And if you need a reminder of what is possible read this again, or get in touch with me because there is nothing I love more than inspiring people in their dreams.
and of course, I will be waiting to greet you when you get to the other side and so will many others. Your dreams are calling you, and it is time to claim them, and in doing so you are lighting the way for many others to do the same.
From my heart to yours...