You know something’s wrong after checking in to an extended stay hotel, and your grocery list includes fly fogger, ant bait, 409, and bleach.
No, chasing your dreams ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes there’s dirt, grime, bugs, or worse!
Like the quote from Danielle Laporte below says…
“Following your intuition ain’t always an act of grace — it can be a total grind. You will have to burn things. You might sweat, toil and dig dig dig to do what you know must be done. Following your intuition might call on you to do the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life.”
In my case, I had to scrub, scrub, scrub just to make my husband and I’s hotel room livable when we arrived to Texas last year.
In honor of the completion of my second book, today’s post is one I resurrected from the email archives to share the lessons gained during our cross country move, including similar insights that seem to be occurring all over again recently, in hopes that they will serve you as you make YOUR barrel racing dreams come true!
We began our incredible voyage on February 7th, 2013 when we left frigid Wyoming in the rear view, and with a caravan including a rig with three head of horses, an affectionate Aussie riding shotgun, and another rig with a Pontiac on a flatbed, we headed south – to stay.
Although there were no actual flea sightings at the place we jokingly referred to as the “Flea Bag Inn,” there were a lot of fruit flies, some sugar ants, AND a couple cockroaches (the fleas came later once we actually moved into our dream home – no kidding!)
But that’s all part of it, ya know – livin’ the dream!
After a long, intense search for the perfect horse property to buy, “the one” we initially settled on(for) certainly needed more time and expense invested into it then we were hoping for (after all, we’d rather be rodeoing than home digging post holes).
However, when I first turned down that winding driveway, saw the 150 x 300′ lighted arena, stepped foot on green grass of the gentle rolling landscape, witnessed the serene water in the pond, and pictured myself loping through the pecan trees and sipping tea on the porch, I had a feeling this property was IT instantly.
Now to be honest, it would be more accurate to say “what’s left of the 150 x 300′ arena” – the roping boxes were gone, the chute was archaic, most of the panels were bent, the posts rotted, and the crow’s nest was falling down… the water in the pond was actually murky olive green with a fair amount of dead looking trees around it (probably full of snakes), and buzzards circled overhead as I walked up to the house and had to step over a dead armadillo on the sidewalk.
It’s true that the place had good “bones,” and as much as I saw it’s potential, I could also just see myself sweating and stressing (like our first fixer-upper all over again), and quite honestly – it was exhausting just thinking about it.
Sounds like a dream come true, right?
In fact, neither is spending hours each day desperately scouring online real estate listings or even going to look at 30+ houses, only to find ONE you and your spouse would be willing to call home. Nor is my dream come true spending months of my life in a dive hotel for that matter.
Of course, let’s not forget that the “wonderful opportunity” that led us this direction all started with my husband getting laid off from his job of eight years. I was initially excited about the door of opportunity that had opened for us, but starting over had turned out to be an even longer, more grueling process than either of us had anticipated.
The entire situation had the potential to drive ANYONE bonkers, cause a gal to gain five pounds (it wasn’t exactly appetizing to cook in the hotel so we ate out a lot) and put a due amount of stress on any relationship.
Of course, on the flip side, I was quick to remind myself to be grateful that my husband was able to secure the perfect new job in central Texas (our #1 choice) and that the company offered us such a great relocation package (they DID put us up in a beautiful hotel for the first 30 days, and their movers packed and transported the majority of our belongings and paid for 30 days storage).
It all reminded me of the first time I took a leap of faith and moved cross country from North Dakota to Wyoming when I was 20 years old, and how (until now) it had been the BEST move I’d ever made!
So it’s true that along with everything that went wrong or was excruciatingly delayed, there was also quite a bit that went right, and by all means I’ll be the first to say – things could have been much worse.
Although it was challenging at times to keep my spirits up during the four month long emotional real estate roller coaster, I convinced myself that I simply had no choice but to stay positive. Now I can’t say that I didn’t experienced the occasional outburst of tears, but letting frustration get the best of us would NOT have helped our situation.
Having feelings of hopelessness, despair, and negativity (after a bad run for example) is one thing, but soaking in those thoughts and feelings!? We just can’t go there.
I’ve found that it’s especially hard to avoid going down that road when short on sleep and long on junk food, so in trying times I do my very best to take care of myself in a way that makes me feel good, because when we feel good, it’s easier to think good and do good, no matter the circumstances.
Sometimes we have to VERY purposely look to find even the most seemingly insignificant positives in a situation, and remind ourselves that with every single adversity there IS a lesson AND a gift.
Every morning during that time I would look forward to free oatmeal packets at the hotel. I was so grateful for the free wi-fi. I was grateful my 12 year old Australian Shepherd adjusted so well to hotel life (only one accident on the floor, yay)! I’m grateful our horses had such a great place to stay temporarily, even if boarding cost nearly $1000 per month and I had to drive an hour round trip to ride them each day.
Even in an absolute tragedy (which it was no where near), you will most likely come away with new appreciation, an experience with which to help or inspire others, or even a reminder about what is truly important in life.
Every time I would CLAP my hands loudly and startle Craig with the sound of a fruit fly dying, I would smile and say “Someday we’ll laugh about this.”
The truth is, some things are worth waiting for. Some things are worth sacrificing for.
Now, I’m in the midst of meeting my new book deadline and feeling much the same way. For the first time ever I’ve had to ask my husband to exercise my horses for me. I’ve been putting in 15+ hour days AT A DESK.
It’s not that there will occasionally be “not so pleasant aspects” of chasing your dreams, they’re pretty much guaranteed.
You may have to burn stuff.
You may have to dig, dig, dig (or scrub, scrub, scrub), or wait, wait, WAIT!
You may be called to do the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life.
You may have to make a difficult decision.
Following your “dreams” might actually look a lot more like following a flatbed trailer strapped with hay bales and a Grand Prix for 1,200 miles while pulling a load of horses.
No, it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.
But the price of NOT following your dreams?
Oh, THAT’S expensive.
If you deny those desires long enough it becomes more than unpleasant. Every day you don’t seriously pursue your dreams, a little part of you dies along with them.
They say that when the pain of standing still finally exceeds the pain of chasing your dreams, THAT is when you’ll take action.
You’ll say “ENOUGH! I can’t do this anymore. I can no longer deny this part of me, this gift I have to give, this passion I have to pursue.”
That’s when you’ll drop the excuses, face your fears, and make a choice to REALLY start moving forward.
No more dawdling around.
I’ve now written my second book, and experienced all the discomfort that comes along with the process AGAIN, because I couldn’t not write it.
Some people have a high tolerance for the pain of standing still, so much that they DO die before they ever chase their dreams.
Don’t let this happen to you.
“The things you are passionate about are not random; it stems from an inner yearning. Don’t ignore it or allow others to talk you out of it. GO GET IT!” – Steve Maraboli
At the same time, don’t think that the only way you’ll get closer to achieving your goals is if you’re actually out there barrel racing. When my barrel horse was recovering from an injury last year, I dove deeper into my horsemanship with another horse, which will ultimately serve me very well in competition.
The key to moving forward is in taking continuous, conscious action.
Although all the details involved in our move took a lot of time and attention away from the horses – the time and attention we’ve been able to give them through just ONE Texas winter in horseman’s paradise has already been worth it.
Short term sacrifice often results in BIG long term gain. Longer term sacrifice, if you’re doin’ it right, can result in even BIGGER gain!
To make a long story short… when the sellers of the property we made an offer on were painfully slow in replying, I stumbled upon our REAL DREAM HOME online.
Some how, in all my searching I had missed one, then found it right at the last minute.
We DID end up in our dream home, and this first year has been a TON of hard work, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Even when our horses had to be put on the back burner and I was spending way more time on projects and wrangling contractors, the reality is that my husband and I followed our DREAMS to Texas, and in some way, we keep following them every day.
For us, just placing ourselves in this geographic location speaks volumes about how serious we are about taking our lives to a new level.
When you declare your desires, step out boldly to honor them, and demonstrate that you’re willing to do the work, I believe you’ll be supported in doing so (even if not everything seems to go your way initially).
The divine support and guidance I write of may not be obvious, at least not right away.
Even when I didn’t know how our story would unfold, I chose to have FAITH that it would perfectly. Even when I had no idea what our future would look like, the discomfort, the hard work, the inconvenience, and the uncertainty of chasing our dreams still felt… strangely kinda GOOD.
When you set an intention to accept only the best, and are willing to work for it (and wait for it), that’s often what you’ll (eventually) get.
Chasing your dreams IS scary, and dirty, and uncomfortable and risky. You could fall or fail, and some people may NOT support you (although it’s likely they’ll secretly admire your courage).
Ask yourself this – would YOU rather be shivering in the dark alley at the Thomas and Mack waiting your turn to blast down the alley at NFR, or “comfortable and cozy” on the couch with a bag of Doritos?
Go out and do the work, rearrange your priorities, restructure your schedule, your life, overcome resistance, put yourself out there, be accountable, endure the discomfort and then rest contentedly each night (OR drive to the next rodeo) knowing that after each day (or each run), you gave your all, and that doing so CONSISTENTLY adds up to miraculous things.
The TRUTH is – it’s SO hard at times, yet SO worth it.
It may not all happen right away, but it WILL happen.
If I can do it, so you can you! Here’s to believing in the power of YOUR barrel racing dreams!
In the comments below, let me know what they are, AND how I can support you in achieving them!