What would you do if you had four horses and were faced with the proposition of having no place for them or yourself to live? My father would tell me to sell the damn horses and go get a job. There were days when I would say he was right. Maybe I should quit what I was doing and go get a job. Disney was hiring, I had skills and they have good benefits. And then I would picture myself in my little kaki shorts and my name tag, parking in the vast asphalt maze in the blazing heat to go to my good ‘job’ and I would throw up in my mouth a little. Even though I didn’t see it at the time, I knew there had to be a way. That’s the space I found myself in at the end of 2016. I was pulling out of a tailspin of a divorce, a total career change and I, for the first time had a little more money than month. I was following my passion and feeling good for once and now this. I had been leasing a barn and a pasture where I was keeping my horses and running my retreats outside Orlando. I knew it was temporary, but I didn’t want to believe it. The owner didn’t want me there anymore. No more veterans days or fall festivals, no more retreats or helping people with my horses. No more Zenerjen. He wanted his peace and quiet and I wanted to change the world. I panicked and thought that maybe this was too much, that after all the crap I’d been through, this was it and I was going to be homeless AGAIN and now with FOUR horses!
How should I respond, what should I do? My friends said I could give my horses to people to keep for me, that I could go get a job for just a little while and regroup. That word, ‘regroup’ made me cringe. This was not what I envisioned, struggling every single day, working till my arms screamed and my voice couldn’t, scrapping, scraping and hustling to keep my world afloat and now everything being ripped away yet again. I kept asking God, “Will I ever get a break?”. I knew the answer and it scared me. I was afraid every single day. Afraid of loss and afraid after I lost, I would never get it back, that if I ‘regrouped’, I would be done and the regroup would be my life forever. I wasn’t giving up, I was sick and tired of moving, I had moved over a dozen times in the course of 13 years. The sight of a yellow sticker on a piece of mail from forwarding and the sound of packing tape sealing up another box of my things was enough to trigger me into a place of deep suffering. I wanted to be home, I just wanted to stop moving, to have some peace and stillness.
I put every penny together and every duck in its row and started looking. I reached out to a friend who found several properties in the Orlando area. Seven properties came up had enough land for horses. There was no way I could afford to buy anything, so I knew wherever I ended up, they would have to be creative, cheap and most of all, understanding. When she called me and told me she had some properties, my mouth popped open and said immediately, “It’s the last one.”. She told me that there is no way I could know that, I hadn’t even looked at them. I said again, “Nope, it’s the last one, I just feel it.”. She went on to inform me that it was the most expensive of all of them and that it was far from cheap. I didn’t care, I just knew. I knew it somehow more than I’ve known anything in a very long time. When we pulled into the property, I started to cry. Silent tears, God’s tears I called them. A feeling washed over me that I didn’t recognize. What was it? What was this feeling that I was experiencing? It was so foreign, I wasn’t sure if it felt good or if it felt bad, it just felt weird I guess. I think I knew what the caged lions feel when they touch grass for the first time in that moment. I didn’t know how to act or be, I just felt…peace. I believe that vision can come from desperation and in that moment I had vision. What was in front of me and what I saw were very different. There was no fencing, no place where I could just move my horses and there was trash and garbage everywhere. Four HUGE dogs were in the house so one could imagine the odor and to top it off, a dead body could have buried in the swimming pool. It looked like something off of Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is dead! No carpet in the bedrooms or closet doors and there was even a bong in the kitchen. I didn’t care. I loved it. I knew that God had a plan for me with this place, that there was something in store for me here. I didn’t know what or how much, I didn’t know lot at that moment, I just knew that it felt right. And as tears streamed down my face and I looked across the bridge at the barn and the property, I knew somehow, I was home.
I use that feeling now that I know what it is. That ‘right’ feeling of how things are supposed to go or be. It helps me stay congruent and know that I am on the right path. The hero’s journey, soul’s purpose, God’s plan, whatever name it takes, I KNOW what it feels like now and if I’m making a decision, I tap into it, get still and listen. It has served me to heal, release, grow and now with all who come to Zenerjen out in Altamonte Springs Florida, my horses and I empower each individual to find that home, where their truth and true self lies so they and people like them achieve their greater purpose too. I think Dorothy said it best when she said, “There’s no place like home.”