A Rite of Passage

There came a time recently where I had to put on my “Big Girl Panties” and toughen myself up to what was. To remember this place and time is “For Now.” It is not permanent. My situation will improve. I had to put on my riding boots and dig in deep into the emotions that fueled my pain while I slid into the saddle and hung on for a wild ride. That “Wild Ride” was around the recent changes I had made in my life. Not just any little change, like the color of my nail polish, but significant change that brought me to a place of liminality. That place where the waters are dark and murky and the unknown is looming around the corner. That place where the uncertainty lies. That place where courage is needed to survive the transition. It was also important to remind myself that it is okay to cry, to stomp my feet, to scream at the heavens, “what did I do to myself.”

I also knew I needed to ask myself better questions. Questions like, how can I make this better? What am I grateful for at this moment in time, for today? What can I do now to relieve the pain? What actions can I take to move myself to a place of feeling like I belong? I also knew time would ease the pain, would take away the uncertainty, and my ability to manifest what I wanted was strong. I just had to tap into that and trust the process. It was not the first time I had moved and made a career change within my field. It was not the first time I felt the loneliness, the sadness, the longing for family, friends, and all things familiar. All those people and places that brought certainty to my life were in another part of the state. I was in the process of shedding the old and trying on the new.

Boy, was I trying on the new! I dove in deep into the new job, so much so that I worked endlessly. It was easy to do because I had no one to go home with or for. I did not want to go home and sit all alone and feel my pain. The busier I stayed, the more present I was while at work, the less I felt uncertainty.

I have completed my seventh week on this journey, and thankfully, I have great friends that have been helping me find my courage when I could not muster the strength to do so myself. They held me up. My friends and mom reminded me of why I chose the decisions I made and let me cry when I felt the need. It was not their job to fix it for me, to make it better, but to support the pain, the process of moving through the murky waters that were laid out before me. They bolstered me and helped me travel through those murky waters and come out feeling better on the other side.

I liken all of this transition much to running a marathon. You start out running three miles, then five, and before you know it, you are running ten miles. Ten miles that you never dreamed you could do, and those miles become part of your weekly routine. Next thing you know, you are running the following most robust distance of fifteen and then eighteen. The final training run is twenty-one miles; the cut off just before the race. Then race day comes, and you push through those last 5.2 miles. Victory, you cross the finish line with arms extended to the sky, a smile on your face, an announcer calling out your bib number and name, and the greeter on the other side of the finish line telling you, great job, you did it, you are all done. It is a sweet feeling of accomplishment. A job well done. All that hard work paid off; you made it. Next, come recovery and the setting of yet another goal. What race will I run next? What dream will I realize? What do I want next in life? Knowing what our outcome is will lead us to the next victory!

Running a marathon is a “Rite of Passage.” It is a place where transformation happens. You relinquish control and run through murky waters, uncertain if you can achieve the final victory but holding a belief that you can execute the race. It is where you have to put on the game face and tough it out, knowing the only thing you can control is putting in the training miles.

Preparing for a marathon is a time where you must stick with the program, run the training miles, gather a tribe of like-minded people around you, and persevere. The transition from being a novice runner to joining the ranks of those that have gone before requires your dedication and strength to make it across the finish line.

So, seven weeks into this transformational time, I am the one who sets the pace and holds the key to victory. It is not always easy to let go of control, to trust the process, to trust in God, the Universe, to believe that God has my back and that I will make it across the finish line. There is no promise that it will not hurt that I will not suffer some along the way; there is no promise that tomorrow will be even better. However, there is the promise that each day I find something to be grateful for, it will make it that much easier to cross the finish line; I will have been victorious in accomplishing what I set out to do.

Boy, was I trying on the new! I dove in deep into the new job, so much so that I worked endlessly. It was easy to do because I had no one to go home with or for. I did not want to go home and sit all alone and feel my pain. The busier I stayed, the more present I was while at work, the less I felt uncertainty.

I have completed my seventh week on this journey, and thankfully, I have great friends that have been helping me find my courage when I could not muster the strength to do so myself. They held me up. My friends and mom reminded me of why I chose the decisions I made and let me cry when I felt the need. It was not their job to fix it for me, to make it better, but to support the pain, the process of moving through the murky waters that were laid out before me. They bolstered me and helped me travel through those murky waters and come out feeling better on the other side.

I liken all of this transition much to running a marathon. You start out running three miles, then five, and before you know it, you are running ten miles. Ten miles that you never dreamed you could do, and those miles become part of your weekly routine. Next thing you know, you are running the following most robust distance of fifteen and then eighteen. The final training run is twenty-one miles; the cut off just before the race. Then race day comes, and you push through those last 5.2 miles. Victory, you cross the finish line with arms extended to the sky, a smile on your face, an announcer calling out your bib number and name, and the greeter on the other side of the finish line telling you, great job, you did it, you are all done. It is a sweet feeling of accomplishment. A job well was done. All that hard work paid off; you made it. Next, come recovery and the setting of yet another goal. What race will I run next? What dream will I realize? What do I want next in life? Knowing what our outcome will lead us to the next victory!

Running a marathon is a “Right of Passage.” It is a place where transformation happens. You relinquish control and run through murky waters, uncertain if you can achieve the final victory but holding a belief that you can execute the race. It is where you have to put on the game face and tough it out, knowing the only thing you can control is putting in the training miles.

Preparing for a marathon is a time where you must stick with the program, run the training miles, gather a tribe of like-minded people around you, and persevere. The transition from being a novice runner to joining the ranks of those that have gone before requires your dedication and strength to make it across the finish line.

So, seven weeks into this transformational time, I am the one who sets the pace and holds the key to victory. It is not always easy to let go of control, to trust the process, to trust in God, the Universe, to believe that God has my back and that I will make it across the finish line. There is no promise that it will not hurt that I will not suffer some along the way; there is no promise that tomorrow will be even better. However, there is the promise that each day I find something to be grateful for, and I will make it across that finish line; I will have been victorious in accomplishing what I set out to do.

As a life coach, I’m always working on ways I can help women to achieve success both personally and professionally. With education and teaching being one of my top values, I need to make an impact and help others. To provide the best possible service to my clients and to help them achieve their dreams and goals is rewarding and makes my heart sing.

One of the workshops I have hosted the past two years does just that. It’s called Look Back/Look Forward and this year we not only looked back on 2019, but we reflected on the last decade. The process is around what we learned, what we were proud of, what we accomplished versus what we were lacking in, or didn’t do.

The entertaining part of the workshop this year was the horses. Elliott Horsepower Ranch, where the workshop was held, has a viewing room and arena that were perfect for our classroom. With the heat on and window open, the horses were poking their heads in the window and showing a lot of curiosity for the participants and providing support during coaching experiences.

Once done with the review portion of the workshop, we dove into the next decade and what top goals to set for 2020. What goals would we set, what tools would we need to accomplish the goals, who do we have to become to achieve the goals? More questions – what character traits will you need, and what habits or skills do you need to develop or strengthen to make your dream happen?

I know so many questions, and not all of them easy to answer. It truly is a reflection and a mindset for growth.

One of the participants had recently relocated to a new barn and desired to achieve more horse experiences and create more friendships with like-minded horse ladies in 2020. We set time aside for a coaching session with Cody. He offered a great deal of love and support to her as she processed through creating new friendships. With the many demands of work, how could she find a work/life balance that would give her the desired time she wanted with her horse? Together, we came up with some reasonable solutions and ways to overcome obstacles that might interfere.

Work/life balance seems to be a common thread with many of the women I coach. If you’re at all searching for some answers or still trying to figure out what you want this next decade to look like talk to your horse. Let them be your coach.

Get into a round pen with your horse. Ask yourself some of the hard questions you don’t seem to have an answer for. Get centered in your body and start walking counterclockwise. Without demanding your horse follow or without a lead rope just start walking. Let him/her connect with you and help you facilitate the answers. Here’s how, if you aren’t honest with yourself and staying in your body and get out of your head, your horse won’t connect. If you do, they will follow. When you stop being centered and, in your body, they will disconnect, step in front of you or do many other things to get your attention. Be with your horse and let them, coach. Listen to the subtle cues they give you.

If you find yourself still not sure, reach out and let a coach help your horse facilitate the coaching process or come on over to my barn and let Cody help me help you.

If you’d like some of the questions I provided during the workshop, reach out to me at vonie@atailofnewbeginnings.com, I’d be happy to send them over to you.

Happy New Year, Vonie