You Have Permission

I recently read a poem aloud at the Montana Retreat and I got chills because IT’S THAT GOOD.

The poem strikes a deep chord for me, and I have a feeling it may resonate for you too.

It’s called “You Have Permission” by Leonie Dawson…

“Today, and everyday, you have permission.

You have permission.

You have permission to say no to demands on your time that don’t light you up, and don’t give energy back to you.

You have permission to not give a crap what’s happening outside your world, and keep your energy focussed on what you are creating.

You have permission to let go of friendships that make you feel like shit.

You have permission to say no whenever you like, however you like, in whatever kind of voice you like, without feeling like only Mean Girls Say No and Nice Girls Say Yes. That’s bull. Yes and No have equal weighting – what’s important is if you use them when they are the best thing for you, not out of fear, obligation or guilt.

You have permission to know that Yes is powerful, and so is No. The power comes from you using either from your highest spirit and truest integrity.

You have permission to change. You have permission to not be the person you once were.

You have permission to get angry and self-righteous, and to also glean the wisdom from those emotions. They are leading you to where your boundaries are, and where they have been crossed, and what you need to do from now on.

You have permission to be exactly how you are.

You have permission to not be more like anyone else in the world, even if you think they are better, wiser or more popular. You have permission to be more like yourself, your gifts and your wisdom.

You have permission to not care what other people think of you.

You have permission to not try to change what other people think of you. You can’t ever argue that you are a good person. They will either know you are, or not. You don’t need to spend time with people who don’t believe in you.

You have permission to do things that your friends and family do not.

You have permission to be wild, expressive, truthful, exciting and outspoken.

You have permission to not accept friendship requests on Facebook, or anywhere else in your life. You have permission to block people whenever you like.

You have permission to share as much or as little as you like. You have permission to blog, or not blog. You have permission to Twitter, or not to Twitter. It doesn’t really matter. As long as it’s making you happy, that’s the best thing.

You have permission to suck at a wide variety of activities. It’s okay. You make up for it with your million other brilliance particles.

You have permission to be whatever body shape you like.

You have permission to choose, and choose again. And then choose again.

You have permission to not always be a perfect image of something.

You have permission to be a contradiction.

You have permission to not go to your school reunion, unless it really excites you and delights you, and you would love to really heart-reconnect with people you went to school with.

You have permission to not be interested in the newest fad: harem pants, geek glasses, polaroid cameras, scrapbooking, macrame. You also have permission to be totally obsessed with them, if it makes your heart light up.

You have permission to cut people from your life. You have permission to surround yourself with people who are good and loving and nurturing to you.

You have permission to be a disappointment to some people, as long as you’re not a disappointment to yourself.

You have permission to do nothing whenever you like.

You have permission to make your big dream come true.

You have permission to not do it all perfectly, or have all your shit together.

You have permission to not forgive people. You have permission to forgive people when it’s right for you.

You have permission to think some people are crazy. You have permission to think some people are smigging ice-cream with chocolate and wafers and sprinkles and cherries on top.

You have permission to not have the perfect relationship.

You have permission to not have a relationship.

You have permission to take whatever time you need for you.

You have permission to make ridiculous choices for yourself.

You have permission to use and listen to your intuition. To feel when things are off, and to remove yourself from them, even when you don’t quite know why. You will always find out why. Our intuition is here to serve us.

You have permission to be down. You have permission to be up.

You have permission to still believe in unicorns and fairies.

You have permission to believe in things that other people think are very very odd and strange. You have permission to not care. You have permission to believe in things that make your life wholer, richer and deeper. You have permission to make your own world that is the truest painting of you.

You have permission to suck at coloring in.

You have permission to say bugger off to anyone who has ever told you that you’re not good enough, you’re not worth it, you are not beautiful, you are not lovable and you are not the most divine, wise, delicious Goddess to walk the planet.

You have permission to know that you are.

You have permission to swear when you like, however you like, to your reckless abandon.

You have permission to not be the best of anything – just the best of yourself. And some days, just the best you can do that day.

You have permission to not always give. You have permission to fill your own cup up first.

You have permission to have things around you that delight you.

You have permission to live in a tipi if you want to, or a mansion. Whatever makes your spirit shine is the right thing for you.

You have permission to make choices on whether it makes your spirit shine.

You have permission to know you are a goddess, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Even when you feel utterly human. Even when you want nothing more than to climb under your blanket, or light up the sky.

You are a goddess.

You have permission.

You have permission.

You have permission.”

I’d love to hear from you…which part of the poem spoke to you the most? Leave a comment below.

For me, it was “You have permission to change. You have permission to not be the person you once were.” Gulp, that’s a big one. It’s scary AND exciting. 

Starting today, let’s ALL give ourselves permission.

Love,

Devon

How I Danced Away My Fear

Last Saturday night I called my friends to go out dancing and nobody was available.

I was bummed because I really wanted to go out, and my intuition was nudging me to dance. I couldn’t bear staying in another night, zoning out to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

I had a choice: take myself out dancing, or stay on the couch and ignore my intuition.

My ego piped in with all sorts of questions…Am I a loser if I go dancing by myself? What will people think? Will I look pathetic? What’s a 34 year-old woman doing out alone at the clubs on a Saturday night amidst 23 year-olds?

Before my ego completely took over, I got into action: I jumped in the shower, put on my favorite dress, and called an Uber.

The Uber dropped me off at the jazz club, El Chaputepec, and it was packed. The Rockies game had just let out and apparently everyone was in the mood for jazz. The live band was okay but it wasn’t the soul-riveting saxophone jazz I had hoped for.

I dipped out and headed across the street to Cowboy Lounge, a favorite go-to club for country music. I walked in, paid the $5 cover, took a deep breath, and smiled as I heard Garth Brooks’ song “Ain’t Going Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)” playing on the dance floor…..it was music to my ears, and I felt butterflies of excitement.

The moment I walked onto the dance floor, my uptight ego was drowned out by speakers blasting honky tonk guitar. As the music coursed through my body, “What will people think?” turned to “Who the hell cares, I love this song!”

My fear was replaced by the pure joy of doing what I love…dancing my a%$ off.

For the next 3 hours, I danced by myself, danced with partners, danced on the stage, and danced over to the bar to get water.

I stayed until the club lights came on, and went home tired, happy, and proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone and going out alone.

When I get an intuitive nudge, it’s guidance to do something good for my soul. My intuition guides me to challenge old beliefs, so I can evolve and grow and become the woman I’m meant to.

The result of NOT following my intuitive nudges? Stuck energy, unhappiness, feeling sorry for myself, and the depressing feeling of stifling my soul’s growth by letting fear run the show.

Dancing is good for my soul and my intuition knows that. Pre-Saturday night, my ego was latched onto the old belief that I need my friends to go out dancing and have fun.

My new belief is that I can go out dancing alone and have fun, and most importantly, I’M RESPONSIBLE FOR MY OWN JOY AND CAPABLE OF MAKING MYSELF HAPPY. It’s empowering and liberating to know that. 

I’d love to hear from you…..what is something in your life that you feel called to do but it’s outside your comfort zone?

Those intuitive nudges lead us to face our fears and that’s a good thing. By trying something new, we change our beliefs, and by changing our beliefs, we change our lives.

So, go out, and try something new….you’ll surprise yourself!

You can find me on the dance floor,

Devon

Just Jump: Why I Jumped out of a Plane

I recently checked one item off my bucket list. I jumped out of a plane that was 12,000 feet in the air. I went skydiving. It was terrifying and exhilarating.

As I turned on the dirt road toward Out of the Blue Skydiving in Calhan, CO, I peered up from my car windshield and spotted a plethora of colorful parachutes in the sky. My heart started racing as adrenaline pumped through my body. That would soon be me!

I parked the car and found the main office, where there was an instructional video to watch and a stack of of liability paperwork to review. I proceeded to sign my life away and initial 47 times that I was aware of the risks of jumping out of a small aircraft. Then I forked over $259 and walked outside to watch the next planeful of jumpers parachute to the ground.

A few minutes later, I met my tandem skydive instructor, Dave, a red-headed guy with a friendly smile and a strong handshake. He showed me the jumpsuit closet and my eyes immediately went to the hot pink suit. Not only was I going to fly in the sky but I could do it in hot pink!

Once I zipped up my suit, Dave helped me step into the harness and gave the first set of instructions, “You are going to grab these side straps and NOT the side of the plane as you jump out, cool?” “Cool,” I replied, with butterflies in my stomach.

Once our plane was ready for boarding, I was instructed to board first. I learned I was going to be the LAST one to jump out.

I got in the plane and slid all the way to the back so I was next to the pilot but facing the back of the plane. The pilot wore an oxygen mask which I learned is required if you fly above 10,000 feet, plus add 6,500 feet of Calhan, Colorado elevation.

Dave got in behind me and put me at ease with his relaxed demeanor and simple instructions. I watched as other jumpers, ages 25 – 65, climbed aboard the plane. They were all men with the exception of one other woman. I was the only tandem jumper.

I had no idea skydiving was a recreational sport but all these people owned their own parachutes, had their solo skydiving certificates, and jumped out of planes for fun on the weekends. I suddenly realized I was in the midst of hardcore adrenaline junkies.

I couldn’t fully turn to face Dave, but I had some questions.

“How many times have you jumped?” I asked.

“17,000.”

“Wow, that’s a lot. What’s the most you’ve done in a day? ”

“22 jumps.”

“That’s crazy, weren’t you tired?”

“Yep, that was a long day…I started at 7am and jumped until 9pm.”

“Do I need goggles?”

“Yep, I’ve got them for you. Haha, everybody always asks about goggles.”

“Do I need to do anything while we’re in the air?”

“Nope, just relax and have fun.”

“Okay,” I gulped.

The other jumpers were laughing and doing safety checks on each other’s packs to make sure everything was in place. As the plane continued to rise, we hit turbulence and my stomach flipped…I was grateful to have only eaten a banana and a handful of almonds earlier. I was determined NOT to throw up on the other jumpers, Dave, or myself.

I noticed a No Farting sign next to the pilot and it made me crack up. Skydivers have a sense of humor. As we approached the drop zone at 12,000 feet, everyone started high-fiving each other. I joined in, and was grateful for the reassurance and camaraderie.

Then came time to make the leap. A jumper at the back of the plane lifted the door and one by one people started disappearing out of the plane in rapid succession.

Dave told me to start inching forward and before I knew it we were at THE DOOR.

In a relaxed, instructional voice he said “Okay, we’re going to walk up and don’t grab the side of the plane, hold on to your straps.” I nodded and shouted, “Okay!” The wind was super loud and it became impossible to carry on a conversation without shouting.

I had meant to thank the pilot for our safe flight, but it was too late…there was literally no turning back now.

With fear and adrenaline at an all-time high, I took small steps toward the door.

I got to the edge, looked down, and terror hit. I was speechless and had no time to think. Next thing I knew we were out of the plane and falling….

I gasped but couldn’t catch my breath, the wind was hitting my face at 120 miles an hour.

Now I realized why they call it skydiving….you are literally diving toward the earth!

After about 10 seconds I felt a tap on my arm and which was the signal to release my arms. That’s when I started to breathe and I was flying, not falling.

It was unlike anything I’d ever felt; flying through the air with the greatest of ease. It was the ultimate natural high. Dave was right, I could relax and have fun.

There was so much SKY.  The wind was carrying me and my body felt weightless. I couldn’t stop smiling and there was a permanent wind-eating grin on my face.

After the 45 second free fall, Dave instructed me to put my hands back on the shoulder straps and BOOM, the parachute ejected. The abrupt tug from above slowed our speed from flying to hanging.

I was hanging comfortably in my harness with my feet dangling 7,000 feet above the ground. Wow, what a view—similar to the views looking out of a plane but there was no plane, just open air.

My hands were cold as ice but I wasn’t ready to come down just yet. After about three minutes of soaring with the parachute, we began to steer toward the landing.

I had no idea where our landing spot was but luckily Dave did. He instructed me bring my knees up the closer we got to landing and said we might land on our rear ends.

As we rapidly approached the ground, two other guys ran up to assist. Turns out we didn’t need their help as Dave expertly guided the parachute and I landed on my feet!

He immediately untied me from him, then gave me a high-five and said “Great job!” I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. What do you say to a stranger who just kept you safe as you fell 12,000 feet out of the air strapped to each other? All I could say was “thank you.”

Skydiving gave my courage muscle a huge workout and I felt strong and confident about facing other fears in my life. What I know for sure is the only way to overcome our fears is to face them….skydiving is great practice for feeling fear but making the leap anyway!

Whether it be starting a business, changing careers, speaking up for yourself, or jumping out of a plane, each time you face your fears your confidence muscle grows, and you become less afraid and more alive.

“If I can stand in an open airplane doorway two-and-a-half miles above the ground and will myself to step into empty space, then I can do anything.” –Dave Stein

Take the leap, you’ll be glad you did.

Cowgirl/Skygirl,

Devon

How to Handle Criticism

Last week something happened that really rocked me. I received my first scathing email from someone who attended a recent event I led. As I opened the email and read the first sentence, I stopped breathing and braced myself for the blow that was coming. My eyes raced through the first paragraph, trying to avoid the stinging words leaping off my computer screen. I thought the quicker I could read through it, the less it would hurt.

As I proceeded to read through the 13 paragraphs of what I did wrong, my emotions went in every direction imaginable.  I felt angry, shocked, hurt, pissed, and sad.

It was my worst nightmare come true…someone didn’t like me or what I had to offer. My inner people-pleaser was crushed.

My mind started racing around all the “wrong” things I did, and my thoughts spiraled to “I must be wrong,” “I must not be good enough if someone else thinks so.”

Then, the other part of my brain kicked in, my inner defender who digs her heels in the dirt, points the finger back and says, “That’s bullshit,” “She’s out of line,” “This is about her and not me.”

My thoughts continued to run rampant and the email became the last thing I thought about at night, and the first thing I thought about in the morning.

It took me a few days before I decided to revisit the email, this time with compassionate perspective. I put myself in the messenger’s cowboy boots to see where she’s coming from.

Once I adopted the compassion angle, I realized this was a gift. I pride myself on doing a damn good job in my work, and doing the best I can, but I can’t please everyone. Thank goodness I realized this because it gave me relief. Not everyone will like me. Or be happy with me. AND THAT’S OKAY.

“Appreciate the constructive; ignore the destructive.” – John Douglas

Before I re-read the email, I burned sage, said a prayer for the messenger and myself, took a huge breath, and clicked “open.” This time my body wasn’t in fight or flight mode and I could read the words clearly without my emotions taking over. From this place, I plucked out the constructive feedback and bypassed the destructive criticism by taking deep breaths and staying present.

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Aristotle

I’ve avoided criticism most of my life and have gone extra lengths to be in the “approval” zone. For many years I played it safe, stayed under the radar, limited my exposure, and sought out relationships and scenarios I could control. All that is shifting as my desire to create and expand grows, and I realize I can’t please everyone. My growing edge is to continue putting myself out there in spite of the familiar fear, “What will they think?”

“Sandwich criticism between two layers of praise.” –Mary Kay Ash

Before and after I re-read the email, I went through testimonials on my website and recent feedback from other women who attended the same event, whom had raving reviews. Their positive reviews shored up my strength and reminded me that I don’t suck at this, and I shouldn’t throw down my toys and quit because someone doesn’t like me or what I have to offer.

“The dread of criticism is the death of genius.” –William Gilmore Simms

Now I know in my bones that I can handle criticism. It’s part of putting myself out there. I can hide and stay safe or I can rise up and keep showing up. Keep improving. Keep being true to myself and sharing my gifts.

If someone doesn’t like me, I won’t crumble as a result. Criticism allowed me to face my fear head-on, and walk through it. Many women at my events courageously face their fears, and recently, I faced mine.

My old fear is replaced by a newfound growing strength and conviction that I can handle whatever comes my way.

Only when we face our fears can we overcome them.

Grateful, stronger, and always learning,
Devon

Do What Scares You

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

Thanks, Henry David Thoreau, but what if I don’t have the confidence yet?

Here’s what I propose, “Go in the direction of your dreams….one shaky step at a time.”

“I’ve been afraid every single day of my life, but I’ve gone ahead and done it anyway.” – Georgia O’Keefe

When I was twenty-three, my dream was in the form of a blue-eyed boy named Nick in my real estate class.

He was gorgeous, and I mean the kind of piercing blue eyes that make a woman’s palms sweat and cheeks blush at the sight of him.

I can’t believe I learned anything in class but he was a damn good excuse to show up everyday (and to apply an extra layer of lip gloss every 20 minutes).

We didn’t exchange words for the whole three weeks, just a lot of stalking looks on my part and he threw a few casual glances my way.

At the end of week three, we took our final exams and I turned mine in. I looked around and noticed he wasn’t there.

Nick, where art thou Nick?

I booked it out of the lecture room and took off  down the hall, frantically looking around. It turned out that he was finishing the test in a nearby room, free of distractions.

I walked by, saw him alone, and fear struck my heart.

The universe had thrown me a bone…it was now or never.

My familiar inner critic voice reared her head but I did not listen. Instead, I reined in the huge surge of fear-fueled adrenaline and took action.

“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

I nervously walked into the room. Dreamy blue eyes looked up from his test and he did not smile.

Oh shit, what was I doing?

I smiled like a crazy woman and scampered over to the desk where he was sitting. Voice shaking, I blurted out “Hi, I’m Devon.”

He said hi and that his name was Nick. I already knew his name but I didn’t tell him that.

“Don’t mean to bother you, but, ummm, I don’t know if you’re spoken for or not but, ummmm, would you ever want to get coffee sometime?”

Then I shut my mouth and stopped stammering.

He grinned a little, put his pen down, and sat back in his chair. “Umm, haha, no I’m not spoken for and yeah, that sounds cool.”

I almost passed out, I was holding my breath at this point.

“Great!!! What’s the best way to get in touch with you?” OMG, I sounded like I was at a networking event.

“Here, I’ll give you my number.”

He wrote down his number and I tried to control myself. I walked backward right into a chair and almost fell over.

Blushing like wildfire, I sheepishly grinned and said, “Awesome, I’ll text you!” I spun around like I’d just won the lottery.

Walking outside, I spotted my car, got in, and started fist pumping. I was so PROUD of myself for going for it.

Nick and I ended up dating for two years.

The point is, I was a nervous wreck. If I had waited until confidence came, I would have been dead in the water because it never came.

Fear was pulsing through me but I took action. Instead of letting fear paralyze me, I used it for fuel.

I took one small step for womankind and one huge step for Devon.

My confidence muscles were weak and flabby at the time but they got their first real workout that day.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

And I’ve been building the confidence muscles ever since. One day and one step at a time, in different areas of my life.

How do you build yours?

Is it saying “NO” to something you really don’t want to do?

Is it saying “YES” to something you normally never would do?

What’s something you could take action on that’s a complete 180 degree difference of what you’d normally do?

Instead of letting fear paralyze you, take advantage of the enormous energy it has behind it.

Channel it into action. Act on it and confidence will follow, I guarantee it.

So go talk to that person. Or leave a conversation that doesn’t feel good to you.

Email the person who has the amazing career you want to have someday, and ask to take them out to coffee.

Or ask the guy you’ve been crushing on to go out for coffee.

Sign up for the class at the nearby community college. Speak up in class, in the boardroom, or in the bedroom.

“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” – Anonymous

Here’s what I suggest:  Just GO in the direction of your dreams; trembling in your boots, or high heels, or tennis shoes.

Take action WITH a shaky voice, sweaty palms, and your heart pounding with fear of failure, being judged, looking stupid, the unknown.

If you’re scared to try something, that’s a good sign. That means it’s a risk worth taking and you are headed in the right direction.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” – Joseph Campbell

So what do YOU think? Can you relate? Is fear keeping you from moving forward?

Your confidence will build over time but FIRST you gotta take action.

What’s one thing you can do this week to move forward toward your dream, in spite of fear?

I’d love to hear in the comments below so that I may support you!

Giddy up, and let’s do this,

Devon

What’s Your Manifesto?

Yesterday I drove through the sprawling New Mexico desert headed south to the Unbridled Arizona Retreat.

Two hours past Albuquerque, I got a hit of inspiration to share my manifesto after singing along to Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild,” and listening to a Podcast about lifestyle manifestoes.

Listen to my manifesto by clicking below:

 

What’s your life manifesto?

A manifesto is a declaration of what you believe, what you stand for and what’s important to you. It’s a mission statement for your life.

Here are some prompts to to create your manifesto…

What I live for is____________.

What lights my soul on fire is_______________.

What I can’t live without is_____________.

At the end of the day, ________, is all that really matters. 

I’d love to hear from you….share parts of your manifesto in the comments below.

What lights my soul on fire is driving through the desert and singing at the top of my lungs, while headed to a beautiful ranch to connect soul-searching women with intuitive horses.

Here’s to kicking up dust in the desert,

Devon

How to Embrace ALL of Who You Are

It’s been a month since I began boarding Detail and Playboy at a beautiful new barn and it’s freed up my time immensely. Detail is fed twice a day, Playboy is fed 3 times a day, and that’s 90 times someone else has fed my horses this past month. 90 times I didn’t have to put on muck boots or shake loose hay out of my shirt.

It’s an amazing feeling pulling up to the ranch and seeing the wonderful caretaker shoveling manure, and not me. Hiring others to care for my horses has drastically changed my days of “have-tos ” (shoveling manure, dumping manure, throwing bales of hay, raking up dropped hay, measuring grain, measuring supplements) into “want-tos” (equine coaching, grooming, riding). I get excited to drive to the ranch, and it’s liberating to come and go as I please.

I love living in Denver even more than I could have imagined. It’s surpising how quickly I’ve adapted to city life after hanging my hat on ranch life the past 3.5 years.

I’m grateful I followed my intuition to live in the country, and I learned a lot about myself during that time. I love wide open spaces and I’ll always need that in my life. I love horses and I’m passionate about equine coaching, but I’m not passionate about expending time and energy doing endless ranch chores.

I’m also dating again and I’ve come to the enlightening conclusion that I don’t need a man who loves horses and can ride. Does he need to like animals? Yes. Does he need to know how to saddle a horse or round up cattle? No. This makes the dating pool much wider.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

My world has expanded since I moved back to Denver and it’s been a substantial change. Parts of me are coming to the surface after being dormant the past few years. The part who likes to wear dresses and has a reason to shave my legs more than once in a blue moon. Who loves to soak in a bathtub (my new home has a clawfoot tub!), and listen to Diana Krall while sipping a glass of wine. The part who enjoys hosting friends for dinner (I’m learning how to cook) and has a full-size kitchen complete with a dishwasher.

Change is scary and it’s necessary. It’s what helps us evolve and grow into the person we are meant to become. It took months of tough soul searching and abrupt wake up calls to realize my soul was calling me to expand but my ego was resisting change. I’d been limiting myself and scared to move outside my comfort zone, and away from my familiar “country horsewoman” label. That will always be a  part of who I am, but it’s not all of who I am. By also embracing my inner “city woman,” I feel happier, and less confined.

“Every next level of your life will demand a different version of you.” – Author unknown 

We don’t have to be one way or another….when we give ourselves permission to embrace all of who we are, we feel WHOLE.

I’d love to hear from you…do you feel like you have completely opposite sides? Share in the comments below.

The urban cowgirl,

Devon

HOW to get unstuck and make your dream happen

As a coach, one of the most common things I hear from people is “I have a dream but I’m stuck on HOW to make it happen.”

I’ve been there too, and here’s what I’ve learned…

Check out the 5 steps for HOW to make your dream happen:

1. Ignore your Inner Critic

The more excited you feel about making your dream happen, the louder your inner critic will become. It wants you to stay in your comfort zone, aka stay stuck, and not take risks. It pipes up and says “You’re not good enough, you’re going to fail, you’re a fraud, you don’t know what you’re doing…” Sound familiar?

That voice is a NORMAL part of going for your dream and the key is to not buy into what it’s saying. The inner critic is a fearful, small-minded voice designed to hold you back and it’s not who you truly are. My inner critic still pipes up, like right now, “This blog post is too long, you’re not a great writer…blah,blah,blah) but I continue to take action in spite of it and that’s made all the difference.

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay

2. Listen to your Intuition and not Naysayers

Whoever says you can’t do what you love and be successful, has never done it. To put it bluntly, don’t listen to them. When I exited my real estate career to pursue Beyond the Arena full-time, numerous well-intentioned people advised me to keep my real estate license “just in case” and “as a backup.”

But my intuition said something different. It told me to cut off the golden handcuffs and go for it. After a three and a half years of of building Beyond the Arena and selling houses simultaneously, it was time to leave real estate behind. Your intuition will guide you step by step if you listen, trust, and follow it.

“Consider the track record of your naysayers. How many dreams have they successfully brought into this world?” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

3. Find a Mentor

My dream of Beyond the Arena would not have happened without mentors.

A mentor is someone who has blazed the trail before you and has experience, advice, and wisdom on how to get from where you are, to where you want to be.

Most importantly, a mentor believes in you and inspires you to keep going. No matter what your dream is, there are people who have experience doing what you want to do. Here are my mentors:

(Pic is at the International Equine Gestalt Coaching Summit where Melisa Pearce encouraged me to begin public speaking.)

Melisa Pearce is the creator of the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method, a savvy entrepreneur, and she lives the horsewoman dream. When I first arrived at her barn for my certification training, my jaw dropped as I looked around at the gorgeous horses, inspirational posters on the walls, and indoor arena with epic views of the Flatiron mountains. I thought, holy sh*&, this woman is living her dream doing what she loves…it IS possible!

Melisa has shown me THE LIFESTYLE THAT IS POSSIBLE BY FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS and I soaked up as much knowledge as I could from her.

(Pic is at Sally’s Wildheart Retreat in Montana which inspired me to lead my own retreats.)

Sally Hope is a former rockstar turned life coach and creator of the Wildheart Revolution. I met Sally at a life coach training and learned that she traveled the country in an RV, rocking her renegade life coaching business while writing inspiring blog posts.

Sally is like a kickass, empowered older sister. I immediately signed up for her coaching program and she’s shown me how to BE AUTHENTIC IN MY BUSINESS, and successfully do things my own way.

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

4. Volunteer

One of the best ways to get unstuck, is to get out of your head and help others. Google places and people who do what you want to do, and offer to be of service.

I volunteered at numerous therapeutic riding centers to gain experience, knowledge, and to get clear on the type of clients I wanted to serve. Volunteering gave me a purpose by helping others, and it was an effective way to gain experience in my dream career path.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi

5. Take one small step every day

There’s a lot of talk about the glorified “leap” of cutting ties and going for your dream. I’ll never forget the day I cashed my last real estate commission check and skipped out the sliding glass doors, but it was hundreds of small consistent action steps that led me to that moment. Take one small step everyday toward your dream…the steps add up.

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

Your dream doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen over time if you never give up, believe in yourself, get support, take risks, find a mentor, and take small actions each day.

I’d love to hear from you…which one of the five steps resonates with you the most? Post in the comments below!

Dreams do come true,

Devon

Join me on a road trip today to…

It’s Arizona or bust. Today, I’m embarking on one of my favorite trips…a road trip to Tucson, Arizona where my ultimate destination is White Stallion Ranch where I’m leading the UNBRIDLED Retreat.

I love a good road trip. Do you like road trips too?

There’s something about being on the open road with the windows down blasting Steppenwolf, Taylor Swift (#noshame), and Allison Krauss that fills my soul.

Road trips epitomize my number one core value…FREEDOM.

road-trip

I can stop wherever I want to (unless my car tells me it need gas), do some sightseeing, and visit friends along the way.

It’s where I contemplate life, and have the time and space to reflect on recent experiences. Watching the world go by and seeing new landscape, never fails to help me view things from a new perspective.

You’re invited to ride alongside on my trip and I’ll be posting live video on Facebook (CLICK HERE to follow), and scenic pictures on Instagram (CLICK HERE to see the pics).

I’m excited to share my adventures with you, and let me know if you have a song request 😉

This is my third time leading the UNBRIDLED Retreat and it’s a symbolic trip in many ways.

Eleven years ago, I hit rock bottom from depression and bulimia and went from a hospital, to a psych ward, to a holistic treatment center called Mirasol in Tucson, Arizona. At Mirasol, I experienced equine therapy for the first time and it saved my life. To read the full story, CLICK HERE.

It’s also where the lightbulb went off that my purpose was to help others experience healing through horses.

Now, I’m headed back to a sacred area of Tucson to help 10 women experience the healing power of horses in a retreat where the “Wild West”meets “Holistic Healing.” White Stallion Ranch (a 3,000 acre dude ranch) is located 30 minutes away from Mirasol, where my journey began.

Another reason that makes this trip special is I’ll be visiting Marla Kuhn of Blue Horse Medicine

Marla was my equine therapist at Mirasol, and it was working with her and her horse, “Jack,” that inspired my passion, my calling, and what has now been my career for the past six years.

You never know where the trail is going to lead (I certainly didn’t), and eleven years ago I never would have imagined where I’d be today. From the holistic treatment center to leading a holistic retreat, it has been a full circle experience.

From what I’ve discovered, sometimes our greatest struggles become our greatest gifts.

I hope you’ll ride alongside as I drive down through the Four Corners, and past cities such as Truth or Consequences (no joke) in New Mexico, and into the land of saguaros and breathtaking sunsets.

On the road again…just can’t wait to get on the road again,

Devon

P.S. If you’re interested in attending the next UNBRIDLED Arizona Retreat on March 2nd – 5th, 2017, CLICK HERE for more information and to reserve a spot. 

Are you feeding your soul or your ego?

dev

Since moving to the ranch, I’ve softened. My energy has softened, my voice has softened and my body has softened.

I’ve started living in alignment with who I truly am.

When I’m on the phone, my friends tell me that my voice is less intense. I’m not trying so hard and pushing to make things happen.

I’ve found a new rhythm.

It doesn’t involve cable, constant Starbucks runs, a real estate career and frequent happy hours like my city life did. That rythm fed my ego and kept me going at an unnatural pace. Constantly striving and driving.

The satisfaction was fleeting. It looked good from the outside. It worked ok. But it didn’t feel right.

My current rhythm is much more in sync with my true nature.

It involves waking up without an alarm clock, going to bed around ten, caring for five horses, ranch chores, driving tractors, looking at the stars, building relationships in the community, expressing my gifts and pouring my heart into Beyond the Arena and then letting go of the outcome.

I’ve stopped pushing, forcing and hunting down what I want. Thank god because I was repelling people, business opportunities and potential romantic relationships away. My masculine energy had over ridden my feminine energy and it was an energetic turn off.

Somewhere along the way I had picked up the belief that I couldn’t be vulnerable, feminine, soft AND pursue my dreams and achieve success at the same time.

Nature and the ranch have taught me differently.

That I can’t control everything. That it’s ok to stop holding on so tightly. That the weather is going to change. That the sun is still going to come out. That it’s safe to surrender. To surrender to my calling and my true nature. That’s my new definition of success.

Coming from that perspective, new business has come in unexpected ways. No surprise really. I finally got out of my own way. I let go of how I was convinced things SHOULD look and started trusting how they are naturally meant to unfold. Easier said then done but I’ve got  a great mentor: Nature.

Nature’s got it figured out. I’ve started following her lead.

I still do what needs to be done but then I let go. My energy has shifted and that has made all the difference.

I’ve also shifted into gratitude. I can’t help it. It’s too beautiful here.

I was sweeping the barn aisle last week. All the doors were open and there was a breeze coming through. I could hear the horses contently munching hay outside in the paddock. A huge wave of gratitude overcame me. It brought me down to my knees in the middle of the barn aisle. Tears streamed down my face and gratitude busted me wide open.

I’ve never felt so alive. So connected.

I feel nourished and full. My body has softened. My natural curves have filled in and I FEEL whole, beautiful and feminine. I feel like the woman I’m meant to be.

When my soul is fed everything else seems to fall into place.

What feeds your soul?

Until you try something new, you never know what the outcome will be. That’s the catch, you never know until you answer the call and FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION.

Why else are we here if not to do what makes your soul happy? It’s not selfish. What’s selfish is compromising who you are and holding back from sharing your natural gifts with the world.

I’m not saying it’s easy to let go of your comfort zone, the familiar, what you THINK you need in order to feel successful, happy and content. But it is worth exploring.

You may be surprised at what you need to thrive.

For me, it was less stuff, more nature. Less striving, more trusting and allowing.

Once you start feeding your soul and aligning with your true nature, the universe responds. I guarantee it. My ego kept me in the city. My intuition brought me to the ranch.

Trust your intuition and find what feeds your soul. Then immerse yourself in it as much as possible. Your life will change for the better.

Love,

Devon