December 18th, 2015.
That is the date I moved myself, 9 horses, 2 dogs and 6 chickens four hours away to interior British Columbia, up a mountain, to an 80-acre retreat ranch.
It was in the dead of winter. My horses arrived in the pitch black, and so began our journey to our new home and a dream of mine that I held since I was a young girl.
To rewind a little bit…
In 2015, this beautiful ranch showed up in my inbox. I was not seriously considering buying property, but one look at this facility and I knew this was something special.
It also was a vision from my dreams as a young girl---a retreat center, with land for my horses, 80 acres, a creek, a beautiful lodge and place where people could stay.
I was starstruck.
It also came with a 1.2 million dollar price tag. But as someone who believes in going big for your dreams, I said yes to tryin. The ranch became officially ours in October of 2015.
When I moved to this property, I had lofty goals and dreams. I was naive in many ways, and also prepared for the stretch that would happen of being here.
But I wasn’t truly prepared for what would occur over these 3 years.
On the eve before my 3rd year anniversary, I wanted to share some reflections, of what happened after I bought the ranch, how the progression is going, and any wisdom I can hold, and also, celebrate for myself.
I wrote a blog about this year. It was the hardest year of my life. I was not prepared for starting a new business, hiring staff, taking on so much more than I could have anticipated.
My bills mounted. One of my beloved horse partners died somewhat traumatically. My adrenals went into fatigue and I got run over by one of my horses.
I lost myself in fear and doubt. I suffered anxiety and panic attacks, and it was everything I could do to survive.
It was a year where I doubted myself more than I ever have in my life. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to carry the vision of this place forward and I would fail in my attempt.
To read more about that reflection you can go here.
Year two was about refinement, listening more deeply to my own instincts, coming into a place where I knew nothing about the hospitality business. I lost my confidence in my own internal knowing.
Year two, I found my way back to my intuition, to empowering my strengths and moving beyond what my difficulties, instead of treading water to try to keep my head above it. I found my legs and the space where I almost enjoyed the growth of what this space was asking me to step into.
The business grew. We were still way off our goals, but there was some hope beginning to emerge. My health was slowly starting to recover, more horses found homes with us, and we begun to find that pathway back to the vision that began our journey in the first place.
And here we are at year 3.
This past year was one where we are beginning to see what happens when you commit and stay in a journey and signs of a new life. More growth has happened.
We have officially hit 6 figures in our hospitality business, and although that doesn’t reflect complete profit, it was a huge milestone for us to hit.
Something that I was reflecting on as the overarching journey of these 3 years and the 3 years before was this... We all have different strengths. I am not the most business savvy person, or that is the belief I hold on myself.
I am a dreamer, a pursuer of purpose. I am deeply committed to my growth as a human being and as a leader.
I am passionate about the work I do. I am stubborn, intuitive, and I believe in the power and capacity of who we are as humans.
I am a big picture person, a visionary, an empath, introvert.
There are things that I am also really weak at.
The last 3 years have illuminated my weaknesses deeply, where I still have places to grow, where I still allow my fears to take hold over me, but it has also really allowed me the experience of how important it was for me to know my strengths, and to put them to use.
Sometimes, the illusions that we paint for ourselves (and this has absolutely been true for me) is this...
We have to be perfect at everything. We can’t make mistakes. We have to know every single detail of how.
We tend to look at and focus on our flaws, where we are not measuring up, where we perceive failure, instead of really nurturing what we have done.
I will share with you one of the hardest and most powerful things I have done in my time here.
I had to let go of the picture I had painted for myself, the goals I had set that I failed to reach and the story and shame I made up around that it meant I was a failure and I disappointed people.
My first year, I carried a lot of shame and guilt because I didn’t think I was living up to the idea or vision I had of myself and this place. And instead, I was drowning in the responsibility and reality of operating two business, a herd of horses, myself, staff, clients, paying the bills as a single young woman.
I put tremendous amounts of pressure on myself to achieve something I thought was doable, that of course I could step into, and when I discovered it was really way harder than I thought, I lost myself in the space of disappointment and failure.
The last two years and especially this one, the majority of my work has been about letting go of those burdens, those falsehoods, those appearances of failure because I am not where I wanted to be, and I feel as though I am failing more than I am succeeding.
Internally I had to choose. I recognized I cannot carry the heaviness of my own weakness with me, the shame that I am carrying as a way to continue to perpetuate my idea of being responsible for what I perceive as mistakes, and choose instead, a place of peace and empowerment and forgiveness.
And then there was this one...
I am the eldest child. For as long as I could remember, I have had this belief system that I have to do it alone, that I am responsible for everything, which has been my pride and also my burden.
It has felt like it carried me at times and crippled me.
I discovered when I bought this place that the operating system I had around carrying things on my own was not going to work here.
I had to let go that it wasn’t just about me. I wasn’t the only one holding this space and to surrender to the help I had both with people in my life, and also in my own connection to my spiritual guides.
I had to dismantle the idea of who I thought I needed to be, that instead of helping me empower my vision was weighing me down so much I was forgetting who I was and the part of me that knew I can succeed in this space.
This year has been at most, a deep reflection internally, where I examined, let go of, and reclaimed pieces of myself that have been lost along the way. Pieces that were built up as a form of self-protection but was inhibiting me from my success. I had to strip away the ideas of who I thought I was and what I thought I could do.
I shed layers. I cried, I wrote, I danced and I rediscovered pieces of myself that I forget where there.
I forgave myself and I forgave others. I practiced kindness. I took better care of my health. I stepped into my power and my vision. I set boundaries. I created through my own depth and I found my way back to the authentic voice of myself that brought me to this place to begin with.
It is not an easy path for us when we really, really go for our dreams and the big things that we feel called to do.
It’s not easy for us to take honest reflections of ourselves, to let go of things that don’t serve us, to change.
It is uncomfortable for us to witness who we are in our strengths, to follow our intuition even when life is telling us something else, to be courageous in holding the vision and staying the course when we don’t see things falling into place the way we want.
It’s hard to pick ourselves up from failures, to keep trying even when we don’t think we can, to rebuild after devastation and failure, to admit we were wrong, to find wisdom in our mistakes.
But we can.
This journey these last 3 years has taught me more than I think most of my life has. It has brought me to my knees. It has stripped me of everything I thought I knew and had, but it also brought me back to myself and made me stronger.
I can feel the wisdom that has happened, the strength that has been forged. I can witness the impact of my stay for myself and for others.
And in that space, I have proven to myself especially that indeed, I have the strength and capacity to build, sustain and grow the things I feel moved to do in my lifetime.
If I could offer you anything in this post, it is this...
There is a part of you that may not believe that you have what it takes.
That you are not ready or prepared.
That you don’t have the strength to empower your vision or build your empire, or the purpose that speaks deeply to you.
But there is a part of you that knows better, and sometimes, the things that challenge us are there because it is paving the doorway for us to find that in ourselves.
What is the invitation?
What is this experience bringing me closer to? What do I need to shed? Where can I let go of where I am holding myself hostage to how I think this needs to be, or who I think I need to embody to succeed?
Be courageous enough to forgive yourself. Let go of the shame and know that no matter how things appear on the surface something else is occurring behind it that is reflecting another truth.
No one said it would be easy.
But we can find ease in the journey, stay the course, and see what happens when we do.
Don’t be afraid of discomfort. Lean into the growth, surround yourself with positive energy and people that believe in you, and don’t quit before the miracle occurs.
I am 35 years old. I would not have thought, or believed I would be where I am today. When I broaden my vision I witness the impact of my gifts, the homes I have given to horses, the changes I have made in my clients, the inspiration that has happened from sharing my journey.
I have built two six figures businesses not thinking I knew anything about anything.
I lead with my intuition. I know who I am in the world. I am starting to remember the depth of my power and my gifts and this space (although not always an easy one for me to be in) has given me that gift.
If you are reading this, I hope this has inspired the journey in you. Truly what we shift within ourselves holds massive implications in our world, and our world gives us the catalyst to take that journey. Hold yourself with care as you are in it.
Part of our work in the world is holding space for other visionaries on a similar journey, supporting them in coming back to themselves, anchoring into their leadership, finding clarity in their medicine and their strengths and creating a container of work that empowers that in the world.
If you find yourself resonating with these words, and you are seeking a mentor to support you in your own growth and manifestation of the bigger vision and calling you have for your life, yourself and what you feel you are meant to create, I would love to explore if my spaces resonate for you.
You can read about my mentorship and coaching here. I include a private retreat at our ranch with the horses and this land as extra medicine and amplification of our space together.
Or if you are looking for a softer space of support, consider our year-long journey of manifestation and visioning for our community who is seeking guidance on the journey to be anchored in the deeper understanding of how to navigate through the cycles of life, stay focused on the vision and bring life to their goals. You can read about that here. Enrollment is open until December 31st.
Otherwise, you can also tune into my podcast to hear more of my sharing and wisdom from the herd and myself.
Thank you for witnessing and I hope this serves to inspire wherever you find yourself on the journey.