Reflecting on 39 years of life today has illuminated for me a few perspectives ~
... it feels like only yesterday when my siblings and I gave my Dad a cofffe mug that read, 40's not old if you're a tree!
... I love my life, and through sharing that simple declaration with a friend last week, I realized today the full impact of what that means for me.
A few weeks ago the words that came out of my mouth, while offering perspective for a group of kids that included my daughter, "when I was your age"... WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE? Did I really just say that???
And then I laughed at myself. Because in that moment I was re-living an experience that I had been part of when I was ten years old, participating in 4-H highway cleanup, except this time round I was almost 30 years older, wiser, quite a bit more relaxed and a lot less serious than I was when I was ten. My ten year old self was very concerned with doing it right, listening to the adults, staying safe down low in the ditch so we didn't get hit by a vehicle. That moment where I laughed at myself allowed me to fully feel why I love my life... a) there is no wrong way to pick garbage, or really do anything for that matter, b) now that I AM the adult, I know that there is much greater force at play in my life that I listen to, and c) staying safe is a very nuanced way of living that is mostly governed by our thoughts and rarely provides the opportunity to experience and challenge us in ways that connect us to our courage and grow in confidence.
Yesterday I was blessed to spend time with a young friend who shares many commonalities with me: the me that I am right now, and the me that I was when I was ten. A deep love for animals, the ability to sense and feel things that many people can't, won't or don't, the understanding that the gift of being able to sense and feel that much is as much a blessing as it can feel like a curse, and the notion that if we could just figure out what our purpose of being here is then we would be able to relax, trust and make sense of everything. Listening to him, I was blown away at how open and candid our conversation was around topics and truths that could be considered very dark, intense and deep. But through our mutual connection to our totem animal the Owl, we recognized and honoured that everyone comes here with certain traits and abilities. And last night as I was doing my rounds of chores with the horses, what shifted my perspective from my 10 year old self to my 39 year old self, is the knowing that we are given these talents to be part of the greater picture and to help others who don't recognize who they are, or have the 360 degree range of vision, wisdom and ability to explore the unknown and see in the dark like the Owl. And to say that we don't want to be an Owl is like saying that what we have come to this life with, we don't accept because it's too great of a responsibility. Kind of like the story of the Ugly Duckling... where Duck represents the resources to navigate life and the ability to be the mentor, guide or interpreter for others by sharing your knowledge and having faith in your own abilities and Swan represents the beauty that exists in all things, and the ability to take the time to really look and see via the development of intuitive abilities and connection to our own inner grace and beauty, allowing it to shine forth for others to be able to see too.
The clincher for me in all of this, is my horses. What began back in 2011, when I threw my hands up in the air after losing 7 horses that year and not wanting to train or ride anymore because nothing seemed to be working, being emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed and mentally unable to wrap my head around what I wanted and needed in my life, led me into and through a very existential experiential self discovery phase that in essence was a reclamation of my own Owl abilities. In recognizing where I was staying safe through not connecting to my intuitive and psychic abilities was my fear of what I might hear regarding who I was. In realizing these abilities and developing them, what was missing in my relationships with my horses, and with myself, I found through sharing this with others to help them. And in a very roundabout way, like all energetic feedback systems that exist in nature, I also reclaimed other parts of myself that I had no idea were "lost".
And last night, after letting my Owl self guide my experiences with horses, I was the witness to a shift within me, through my horse Fancy... who finally laid down; grounded, relaxed and trusting herself in her environment and that what is hers cannot be taken away, and is honoured. By honouring all of what is mine, everything that has felt like a struggle or a challenge as much as everything that has felt like a synchronistic gift, has given me the opportunity that has come from being alive for 39 years, offering me the chance to share this, from a grounded, relaxed space where I trust that who I am being is my purpose. And gratitude for everyone who reads this, because I used to believe I had nothing important to say, but the last week especially has allowed me to see that through my own experience of life I am grateful to be here and loving that I can share this perspective :)