We are coming up on Stampede season here in Calgary and all over downtown, stores are painting their windows with caricatures of cowboys herding cattle or riding their steeds. People are starting to wear their cowboy hats and don their boots. And although I will be partaking in this craziness myself on the 13th of July, this article is not about Stampede at all. It’s about the magic way Spirit has of tipping his/her hat my way when things are topsy-turvy in my inner world.
You see I’ve been in a funk the last few days and it’s taken me a while to figure out what that is all about. Don’t get me wrong; I am happy I moved to Alberta- it’s just that sometimes I wonder where my life is all going. I get caught up in all the mainstream ways of logic and reason and forget what my heart is telling me. So I’ve been in a spin about that. I hear other peoples’ voices from my past in my head. I am turning 36 in two weeks. My life is not what I imagined it would be way back in high school when I was picturing myself at this age. I am not married. I don’t have children. I don’t even have pets (the massive mosquitoes in Alberta don’t count). I can’t even say that I don’t want those things. Maybe it’s got me upside down because I actually do. The bio clock is ticking and such.
And I hear a mentor’s voice in my head too: “Jen: What was your intent in moving to Calgary?” I moved here to continue my personal healing journey and to take on leadership opportunities that would stretch my skills. I wanted to use my talents to serve the community in a new way. I have accomplished a lot since I moved here. I learned that I am not an island and yet I have the inner resources to make it on my own in a totally foreign place. I am learning when to ask for help and when to do it myself. I am learning the balance of being a part of a community while maintaining my individuality. I am learning how to allow others to support me on my journey without giving over my power to them. I am learning how to be a good leader. I am learning that it is OK to be alone and that I can be happy regardless of the situation I am presented with; the choice is always mine.
And as some of you know, when I can’t figure something out, I take to nature pretty quick to get some perspective. I was sitting by the Bow River watching some tiny fish swim around when I felt something dig into my side. I put my hand in my pocket and pulled out a little figure of a horse that a friend had given me two weeks ago that I thought I’d lost. I stared in wonder at it for the longest time and thanked Spirit for the omen. The horse is a special animal to me. It reminds me what true personal power is. Just as I started coming out of my pity party, I got a hit to start walking through the overgrown trails along the river. A few feet in to parting silver and green bushes I stopped dead in my tracks. I could not believe what I was seeing. There were horseshoe prints in the mud in the middle of downtown Calgary. I didn’t even know people rode horses along there and I wondered where on earth they came from: the skyscrapers to the west or the ones to the east? So I followed the tracks as far as they went until they disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared. I couldn’t figure it out. And then I laughed because I realized that here I was trying to figure out the mysteries of the universe and why things happen the way they do. Thing is, I believe each of us creates our own reality. We make decisions every day that lead us down a specific track way. If we make a different decision in one second, our whole life can change forever. I’ve consciously made lots of decisions that have taken my life in this direction of adventure, learning, healing, and heartfulness. I know what I want and each day, all I can do is make decisions that bring me closer to my heart’s desire. There is no WAY I can ever see the whole plan or how my dreams will all play out. And although it is not easy to admit, I ultimately came to the conclusion that I was having a tantrum because the universe was not delivering my order on demand or in my preferred timing. Ouch. But there it is. The thing is, when I think about it, I wouldn’t want it any other way. How boring would life be if I already knew where it was going or what I would experience?
So I don’t have a life partner or a child yet and that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy what I DO have right now. I’ve built a pretty amazing life and I’ve been on adventures that I never would have gone on had I gotten married when I was 21 as planned. Although I was heartbroken when my first boyfriend left me after 6 years together and struggled to find the meaning in that at the time, I now see the wisdom in that fork in the road. And I thank him for having the courage to leave. Now, 15 years later, I know myself and I’ve healed enough on the inside to be a good partner and mother to someone. So who knows what other things the universe will send my way or what decisions I will make. Those horse tracks certainly helped me to remember that I actually LIKE surprises and that all there is to do when I fall off my horse is to dust myself off and get back on.