Yes, I know it’s been a super long time since I’ve written a proper blog post. If you Like us on Facebook you may have seen some of our ranch updates, but if not, the long story made short is that we are making a lot of progress building our facility AND it is taking a lot longer than we thought it would, which ultimately is leading to an even better end result. See some of our progress at the end of this post. Our ranch building progress is also the reason why, despite my best efforts, it’s taken me almost six months to write this post. You see, I have actually been struggling an awful lot lately, both with the first key ingredient we discussed in the blog post The Power of Presence, but more so with the next key ingredient in our gourmet 'Leading the Change' meal.
Before we get to the polarizing effect that our next key ingredient can have if you don’t know how to Lead the Change, I would like to revisit the dreams you have with your horse, the ones you crafted the last time we spoke, um, nine months ago, and finally give you the next step to making them happen, ‘Leading the Change’ style.
Do you even remember that dream circle I had you make the last time we chatted? If you do, do you still have it? It was so long ago I wouldn’t blame you it you tossed it. Get that circle out for me if you do still have it, and grab another blank piece of paper or two while you’re at it. If you no longer have that circle, or you want see what all the fuss is about and maybe create one now, see our 'Dreaming Big' blog post for the full story, or jump right to our Mapping your Dreams exercise for the instructions; then come back here when you’re done. I don’t want to distract you from the importance of our next key ingredient with a novel length post, so when you are ready to start making your dreams happen, read our Making your Dreams a Reality guide for a step by step process, and please, contact me if I can be of any help along the way. Seriously.
If you will indulge me a little longer, I would like to finally introduce the next ingredient in ‘Leading the Change’, Perception.
The title of this post is, ‘If making your dreams come true was easy, everyone would do it.’ A fabulous friend of mine shared this wonderful piece of wisdom with me during a particularly dark time in my training certification program when I was ready to throw in the towel and come home. I loved the saying so much I would repeat it to myself multiple times a day, everyday, and boy was it true: my certification program was HARD, but I was making my dreams come true so it didn’t matter. The saying got me through the incredibly difficult time. This saying had become a daily mantra for me yet again late last year as I jumped through hoop after hoop with my counties permitting process, trying to get permission to build my barn. I don’t want to mislead you; achieving your dreams can be difficult, trying, and outright infuriating at times. You may have moments where you lose all confidence, all faith, and all hope, either in your own abilities, in your horse, in your trainer, or in some other combination of factors, all of which may lead you to lose sight of your dream, or even question if the dream still exists. We’ll talk more about this process in our next post, which I promise won’t take me so long to write. You may even experience some of this while doing the Making your Dreams a Reality exercise. This is Change, in yet another form, sneaking into our saddles again, grabbing those reins from our hands, and distracting us from what really matters. Read our What is Change? and The Power of Presence post to see a couple of Change’s other alter egos. This time however, Change is using our next key ingredient against us. Change is using our own perception to stay in control. Let me use my recent experience as an example.
For months I kept telling myself that my dream of building an equestrian facility, a barn specifically, was going to be hard, and it had to be hard, because, ‘If making your dreams come true was easy, everyone would do it,' and this is a dream I have had since I was a very young child, so it was going to be extra hard … right? Wrong! By focusing on how hard it was going to be, turns out all I could see was how hard it was, and that mindset put me in deep, dark hole that just got deeper and darker every time I told myself it was going to be hard, just like it was while I was in my trainer certification program. I’m told this is kind of a weird law of the universe, that you get whatever you focus on, so if you focus on something being difficult, you get a difficult experience, and let me tell you, everything about this experience was difficult. My favorite quote from this process is just one example of how ridiculous this permitting process is…”your road must hold a 75,000 lbs fire truck in all weather conditions because if your METAL barn is BURNING, in a TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR, the fire truck needs to get to it to put the fire out.” If my metal barn is burning in a torrential downpour, I think we may have bigger problems than how much weight my driveway can hold. Just saying. That wasn’t the worst of it either, it got so bad, that if I hadn’t already paid for half of the barn as a deposit, I would have scrapped the whole idea of building one because the process of building it was killing me.
I lost touch with all my friends, blamed my amazing husband, the fabulous Mr. De Frates Horsemanship, for all our difficulties, obviously stopped writing this blog, and was questioning why I ever wanted to be a horse trainer in the first place. I was ready to give up on my oldest dream. Then, one day, as I was scoping out alternate locations on my property for us to put this stupid barn (because the first location was denied by the county) I had a revelation. I have property. I have a beautiful piece of property. I have so much pretty property that I have options on where to put this barn. Heck, I GET to build my dream barn on MY pretty property. Yeah, this permit process might be drawn out, and costly, and insanely stupid at times, metal barn burning stupid, but I am also insanely lucky that I get to go through it so I can BUILD MY DREAM BARN ON MY PRETTY PROPERTY.
As luck would have it, the second I started to feel grateful and appreciative of the situation, I looked up and found myself in a location that was even better than the first, with wondrous views of the sunrise AND the sunset, that also blocks the noise from the busy street while highlighting my beautiful arena. A location that is closer to my neighbors horses and gives my horses larger paddocks, while also meeting with the fire marshals requirements without us having to build a road that can support a fire truck in all weather conditions, that will allow me to be greeted by horses every time I turn down my driveway. And in that moment of gratitude, the magic happened. Instead of hating everything about the permitting process, and my life in general, my appreciation grew, and I was suddenly THANKFUL that the long, drawn out process of getting a permit did in fact take so long and was so thorough, because it if hadn’t taken this long, I would not have found this spot. Now, I’m still waiting on that permit, but my PERCEPTION of the process has changed, and thankfully, my attitude in general has followed suit. I have faith again, faith that it will all work out like it should, that I am in the right place, at the right time, doing what I am meant to do. I’d like to take a quick moment to send a huge thank you to the incredible Mr. De Frates Horsemanship for never letting me forget how capable I am, and how special I am to him, no matter what.
Change will try to use your Perception against you as you seek to achieve your dreams, and if you let it, it can steal those dreams from you, just as it may try to do while you map out your ‘Needs’ and ‘Haves’ during the dream exercise linked above, and just as it tried to do to me during my barn building process. Left to run amok, Change, at it’s worst, will alter your perception so much that you may not even remember that you have dreams you want to achieve. In order to ‘Lead the Change,’ you need to learn to focus your Perception on the positive, and tell yourself a story that feels good. Instead of focusing on how hard a process is, focus on how much you are learning along the way and how much knowledge you will have by the end. Instead of paying attention to how much you need to accomplish before you realize your dream, focus on how many little wins you will get to celebrate as you make your dreams come true.
I no longer tell myself that "If making my dreams come true was easy, everyone would do it," instead, I tell myself that “I have the ability to make all of my dreams come true.” If you have a dream with your horse, you can make it happen, and if I can be of any help along the way, I would be honored to hear from you. Until next time, stay positive and Lead the Change you want to see with your horse.