Updated: May 26, 2021
Remember before the close of 2019, we were all talking about 2020 like it was going to be unprecedented, it was like 2020 was going to save us from ourselves. One of the greatest catch phrases at the time was 2020 vision, the clearest eyesight you can have.
One thing that we definitely got was a whole lot of in sight in 2020. If there is one thing that I can look back on this year is it was that I could see life and others with a whole lot more clarity than ever before.
On the 5th January, my first book tumbled out of me. I had started the year detoxing and had given up alcohol. 13,362 words in one day. I then stopped and shared it to get feedback, I waited a month before looking at it, I wanted to get that feedback before I started to edit the first draft. Prior to this, I had been channeling paintings, enjoying being inside and away from the heat of the day, but still creating. It was like I was preparing to embark on such a monumental journey and those last days of 2019 paved the way to the story gate.
I didn't know the first thing about publishing a book, but I had known that there was a book to be written. The experience of publishing and printing my book was cleansing in itself. Gaining feedback from different people and rewriting, slashing words and a professional editor that taught me so much and added the polish that was needed. As I sit here in 2021, writing the book literally helped me close a chapter in my life. It put to rest all that I had learnt up until 2020. It made room for more life into the future. Rather than life as a lesson from the past.
As we went into Lockdown at the end of March, the story had been rewritten three times. The title changed and the stamp of all that feedback had been included. It became a story of resilience. It wrapped a hug around the reader and took them on a journey that they could relate to. The wisdom could be shared. At this point, it went to the editor. Not to be changed until she had gone through it with a fine tooth word comb.
23rd March 2020 NZ Lockdown another experience of restrictions upon my movements, much like the book had described of my past. Customers who had never shopped online, were now being forced to do so. Many transitioned into working from home for the first time, meeting online and managing their kids from home. For me, it was not such a strange thing, this isolation in our home and area. I left the boys to their own devices and enjoyed the space to stop. To stop the running around to drop the boys places and pick them up, they couldn't even surf. They ran around the farm or biked down the road. We normally have a large stock of supplies being in the countryside. We survived through this lockdown by simply going to the local 4 Square as it was impossible to get delivery online.
Pete the Peacock turned up, named far later as he stayed around long after lockdown. Poos everywhere especially inside the house if we leave the door open, cheeky bird. But he is gorgeous with his iridescent feathers most especially if you catch him sitting on top of the shed framed by our bathroom window. It feels like our little slice of heaven in Te Arai is now some exotic location with him around. He has taught us a lot about peacocks, mainly because I thought, I'll have to look things up to understand him a bit more. I was fascinated in what he meant, what was the meaning of his arrival, was it significant. As with a fantail flying into your house to tell you tales of ancestors or warnings of death, I did try to find the meaning behind Pete.
According to Christian traditions, the peacock is a sign of rebirth, renewal, and rejuvenation. It stands for immortality. Christians sometimes use this bird to teach on the concept of death and resurrection, with the emphasis being on the resurrection part of it.
As with everything, it is easier to join the dots in reflection rather than at the time. I had looked into his spiritual meaning and moved on. When Pete came to us, he had no tail feathers. His feathers grew slowly out (They say they don't come until they are 3 years old) So we guessed he was young. By early summer he had a full hand... fanning them as he honked his way through summer to find a mate. He loved to stay around the arena and shed, mainly to pick up horse feed that was left. His plumage teaching the young horses not to fear such things.
I threw myself into a collaboration with an American colleague hoping to help people create businesses to transition to online trading, to be able to chase the sale better. The reality was NZ emerged from the Lockdown unscathed and the American small business was in dire straits. After attempting to get this business going for a number of months, I let it go. It had morphed into sales training, which was not a new business for me. I had been in sales training for more than 20 years and it was not the space that I had wanted to keep working in and on the brink of a recession is the last thing that a company is thinking of doing, developing their people. NZ businesses didn't have to train anyone, they could literally pick and chose from the plethora of people on the job market either who had lost their jobs or whom had returned from living overseas to a safe space at the bottom of the world, NZ had won the war on Covid and we were getting on with living to the fullest inside our borders.
As I hadn't been riding Boy since February and he was pretty full of himself, it was best that I did not ride during Lockdown, a few people did... the Lonely Lockdown Hunters had fun sharing videos of getting ready and walking around in their hunt gear as families. But it was best for me not to ride. I sort of stopped doing much in the way of exercise and the weight piled on with the stress and enjoyment of baking and making food, nothing new in our world, but I did cross some boundaries with my weight. During Lockdown, we did manage to remodel the bathroom and Oskar made a fitting for the ceramic basin that I had acquired a while back for free. We used fence battens and Totara that had been left here. I had already the design in my head and for a bottle of red wine I swapped for some taps from my friend Lee who often has extra fittings that he has collected. He left it in the letterbox and we had everything to put it together. It was a fun project. We were able to get the old saw going that Poppa Joe had left us ages back and use whatever tools we had in our shed.
As the country went down the levels through May and June, we all started to get out and about. A road trip to Pauanui to see my mum got me back on my bike. It was great to be free again, I realised how unfit I was and we made a plan to bike the trails through the tunnel at the Karangahake Gorge and hit the mineral pools in July. So I started to ride my bike around, it was fantastic to feel free and get that sweat on... to get fit for the ride.
I started to get lessons in June with Briar, they were just fantastic, she started by jumping on Boy and riding him and teaching him and I a few things, I would then practice those during the week and she would ride the buck out of him. I had lost my nerve a little earlier in the year. We had got a bit stuck. He had shown me that he could get so anxious that he would rear, he only did it twice, but it was pretty frightening. I was also managing the rehabilitation of my leg and how much I could ride him. Having Briar ride him helped me to rebuild my riding fitness long enough that I was able to trot and canter him along the beach. Through July school holidays, Oliver started to get lessons too. It was exciting to see him understand more about the horses. We were on a roll with him going to Auckland to get lessons on Horsemastership. With the goal of getting his B Certificate by the end of the season.
I had jumped back into the Pony Club committee, head on a bit to get things organised so that the kids could actually sit their certificates. We hadn't had any certificate examinations in the last 2 years. He had been expecting to sit his C+ for ages. He felt like he was not learning anything. With our involvement we were able to understand and gain a whole lot more clarity about where and who to get the information from and how to get the learning required to sit his certificates at this level. Working with Briar was a fantastic start. Amy Westlake was on a mission to get her A certificate and linking in with all of these girls was just fantastic for both Oliver and I to learn as much as we could. I was in boots and all to make sure we got Nicola Ward out as well as the opportunity for Oliver to learn from Des Lowe in the October School holidays. It was just fantastic. Watching his confidence grow with the horses and learning with Joy. It was not surprising that he flew through his C+ Certificate on the 18th October.
At 6.30am 12th August, Oliver comes into my room to say that there is no school and we are in lockdown again! I was like, "Bullshit, you just don't want to go to school!" LOL... nup, we were in lockdown, just Auckland. I find out later that day, we can't go to the local 4 square! Luckily again, we had just done a big shop! The day before, I had asked my friend Jackie to do an Akashic Records Reading to heal my tailbone as it had been so sore, I couldn't ride my horse without pain. I had been seeing my Osteopath again to get me moving forward. So when I said that I had pain in my coccyx it was strange. I found out that she was the coccyx's specialist and that there were only 2 in NZ and she was one of them. It was a strange thing to have her manipulate this area. I was to return to her a week later, but it was still pretty sore. I had said something about this issue on Facebook, feeling quite frustrated that I could not ride my horse again and was searching for an answer. A friend exclaimed, what does creator say about this, reminding me to check into my Theta Healing for an answer. I had already looked it up in my Disease and Disorder book, but with no answer. So I checked in and did a reading, at the time with no clear answers, but it did reopen my eyes to see that my friend Jackie had offered this Akashic Records session and I had forgotten about it. I booked a massage as well to see if that would work.
But I digress, anyway, back to Tuesday 11th August, I had my session with Jackie an hour before my massage booking. So it was a quick in and out and get this done. Even when you are a healer, it is much better to have someone else look...they don't have the same agenda. It can be hard to see your own blindspots. Feedback is really important. But you have to know to ask for it. Otherwise that lesson is just not learnt.
When you go into the Akashic records you are going into past lives to heal todays pain. It is fascinating, Jackie saw me riding my horse, she said it was not that long ago as I my attire was fairly modern, like riding clothes. That in this time I had felt restricted and riding my horse was my freedom. This seemed to me very on par, but the tail bone issue as well as my knee being sore were because of this. We had to make peace with this past life, that the lessons had been learnt. She took me back to before 9 years of age. I had hurt my tail bone when I was about 12 falling over too many times ice skating. And I had remembered it stopping me from riding my horse even then. So we restored my body to that time. I raced to my massage appointment, so fast that I hadn't looked at my messages to find out that it had been cancelled because of an emergency.
Hmmm, okay, so I am being told I am healed. I only needed the healing with Jackie. So I thought to myself, well what would I do if I was 9....or what would I do if I had no physical limitations? Seeing as I was healed. So I went for a walk on the beach with Tilly. Now I have not walked on the beach with Tilly for a long time. Namely since hurting my knee again and being told how bad it was to walk on it. I came back feeling fantastic... I love walking on the beach with Tilly, it would have to be my most favourite thing to do. Just walk out and get a bit of a sweat on. Like a really good stomp. And I decided then, it was a good time to do another detox. I had been thinking about it for a while. I did one last year in June and it was great, I had done the detox in January. Again great.... needed to do less drinking alcohol as it was becoming a habit and I wasn't really benefitting from this habit.
My body was also feeling inflamed. It was time.... so when my son came into say.... hey, we are back in lockdown. I was like. OK.... I can ride my horse, we can walk on the beach. I can just stop and smell the roses this time around. I can enjoy my children. We can have a whole lot of fun. I am giving up trying to make money. The rest of the country was in Level 2 and my township and local store was in Level 2. There was a boarder and we weren't crossing it. So I couldn't see my Osteopath either. Over those next few days, it dawned on me that we were in lockdown and just to be there totally present in lockdown. I can't work, I can't see clients. I am not even going to bother doing Zoom calls with them. We just stopped.... and I worked on my health and healing. Tilly and I conquered the Te Arai hill, we stomped through Forestry for over an hour. We rode bikes, we rode horses... Oliver did his school work from home and Oskar started milking cows at the local farmers shed. Everyone was happy, everyone was valued. Nothing was stressing me out. I did not need wine therapy to handle life.
Another defining moment in 2020 was 20th September. This was the day of the retreat at my house. The manifesting retreat. I had four lovely friends/clients coming. The house was looking fabulous and I was excited to be doing the work I really, really love. It was also an answer for me. I had left this day to discover what I was going to be doing going forward. Am I just going to find a job, am I going to go off in a different direction. What is it? So the 20th of September was that day. On the 20th of September, Joy (our horse), the rescue racehorse who we named just so, as a possibility to live into, who was not to be a product of her past when she came to us covered in sores and rainscald.
Joy lay down, a metre away from 3 of us, she lay down. She lay down and went to sleep instantly, not a muscle moved, nothing. First she had been standing there and we had stroked her and she had been present with us, licking, chewing and yawning to clear all of our pain. We stepped back and then she just lay down. Like really fast, like in 1 second she had lain down and gone to sleep. We all stood there watching. It was incredible, only her stomach gently moved up and down with her breathing. She lay there for a long time and then when we moved away and walked through the gate to leave them. She got up, looked at us over the fence and went about her business with the other mares.
This was my sign that I had asked for, this was my sign of what I was going to be doing going forward. This is how I am going to clear deep trauma for clients, this is so powerful. We went about the rest of the day and it was such an amazing time. The drawings, the sharing, the manifesting. It left a very big mark on everyone's hearts that day. Most of it, because Joy lay down. We were released from everything that we were supposed to be. I have loved hearing the moments that changed for all of us since that day.
I advertised horse experiences for the October school holidays. It was well received. It kept me busy through that time and I met some wonderful people. It re-energised what I was trying to do with my business and I quit everything that wasn't about healing and transformation from my website. I found new clients and kept working with a few children teaching them to ride and manage their anxiety through working with the horses both on the ground and riding.
In November I was to learn another lesson of pain and it was to quit being a part of the committee. I had burnt out, doing way too much. I had achieved my aim of Oliver getting his C+ Certificate. I had learnt everything that I was to learn about him getting his B. I had led heavily from the front doing way too much and was carrying way too much responsibility. I had to stop, this was making me so unhappy. Politics. It is not my job to teach everyone. When I want change, I do drive really hard. I lead from the front or not at all. So this was the space of not at all. I know that I am a person whom others do look to to organise things, yes I am a get it done kind of gal. If there is one thing with institutions though is they are hell bent on keeping the same type of behaviour. So this was my lesson, I have to just look after us. And looking after me is what needs to happen. I am not running a riding school here.
Another goal that was achieved this year was for Oliver to be a part of the Wellsford District ODE team, he achieved this goal on the 7th December. It was lovely to have his Nana & Poppa there to see him again, literally a year later from his last ODE. They watched his amazing dressage test on Poppy, exclaiming his riding had changed considerably. Like the difference of Black and White. He achieved the highest score in dressage on Joy too. Being the only boy there, he was like, seriously I am winning at the dressage!? (He hates dressage!) This is the best thing ever though, in an ODE. You have to be good at dressage to get a chance of winning overall. He had only one refusal in his second ever Cross Country course on Joy, to help his team come in 3rd overall in the competition.
His team mates were also riding green horses (all of them were 6 years old) and it helped Oliver to understand and be inspired to keep training his young horses at the level that they were at. This had been a hard thing for me to convince Oliver of. I wanted him to understand that we have to expose them at the lower levels the lower jumps first, so that they got to understand and be successful at what they were doing, so that they could go up the levels. Having Briar helping him to learn this along the way and watching her ride a green horse, it inspired him too. He was finally ready to ride Boy. Due to this, it was time to sell Poppy. She had taught him everything that she knew. Like everything else, when the time is right, the right people come along. We have found a lovely new home for Poppy and it is neat that she is able to be a forever horse for a lady new to riding and not too far that we can still be a part of her life. This is the second horse I have ever sold on. And it is wonderful that as our horses move to new pastures we extend our family as well.
Yesterday, I watched Oskar and Steve catch within 16 or so seconds to come third in the team roping at the Warkworth Rodeo. Screaming along with Mel on the sidelines as he dallies the rope and pulls his hand up. Soooo super excited to see him and Houdini (his horse) achieve their aim. Having the support of Steve and Mel to bring Oskar forward is indescribable! Oskar has such a skill with cattle and he has loved being a part of the farm life. His speech in 2016 (Year 5) that researched rodeo's as he became keen to be a part of this world on whether or not rodeo's should be banned was instrumental in our becoming a part of the ongoing conversation about animal rights. His goal then was to be a cowboy and go to America and live on a ranch. I am so proud of him and his tenacity in sticking to this sport and his goals. As he wakes up at 4am to go milking, builds fences by hand digging post holes and keeps everything on this land in great shape or helps out neighbours on their land, there is work lined up for him to make the money he needs to pay his own way on the rodeo circuit. As he says to me, how will you manage without me. He is right, I won't. He is my rock. And this family that is around him to support his aim is my rock too. And I am so thankful for them, yes, it takes a village. The decision this year to move him to Rodney College and the boundaries that they hold around him, teachers and staff working hard to keep him engaged and challenged. Keeping him steady. But also find him ways to shine. He is a valued player on the Rugby team. And the team of life. Rodeo is his calling and if Covid didn't exist, he would of been on his way to a scholarship for Rodeo College in the US.
One thing that has been clear this year, is to follow my gut... there are no rules to life and the pathway is not always clear in the moment, but on reflection it is. As long as you stick to the vision, then the pathway opens in front of you. It was a tough decision to move Oskar to Rodney College as I was risking another legal battle with his dad and I knew I did not have his support. But it was what Oskar wanted and that for me is super important and it was clear keeping him at Mahu was not going to get him where he needed to be, I had to listen to my gut and my child. Because it is not always easy for a kid to articulate exactly what is going on for them. This year also, I took the risk to move Oliver to home schooling, the choice would help him to move closer to achieving his goals within the equestrian and surfing sports. The permission to homeschool from the MOE arriving before Term 4. Paving the way for Oliver to achieve his aims by the end of 2020. Again, the risk of a backlash from their dad. It is not the first time that I have had to make unilateral decisions as this has been a massive mark in our lives. I have never had his support in parenting our boys.
For me, I have never been one to see school as the only place of education. Learning for me lies everywhere and only if you embrace it. As a teenager I never felt like I achieved anything of meaning through my education and a great school. Apart from learning to type in the Fourth Form! that was a useful skill. Of course, I did learn stuff, but most of it had nothing to do with formal education. But you can read my book to understand more about that. So to remove the "you have to go to school" from either of my boys thinking has been instrumental in how we have achieved the aims of this year. Oskar would take himself to school, he would get himself up and say he was going. Oliver self manages his learning. In the last term he has achieved his C+ Certificate and his ISA (International Surf Association) Level 1 for Surf Coaching. If there is one thing that I have learnt through life is that achievements don't have a timeline. Least of all the learning. If that learning is of no use to us in achieving a life goal, then why would you do it??
One thing that I learnt last Christmas Holidays was that the boys had grown up and moved into teen space. I was not required as a means to entertaining them, in fact, I was a hindrance. We live in a bach, so we are already on holiday. All of their friends, fun and opportunities for employment are here. My job as mum had changed. I had realised that although I have a lovely "friend" that I wanted more. I communicated this to him and tried to up our interaction. I met him 3 years ago, and we had a lovely time every time we saw each other. But it never really got off the ground. So I said, let's do this eh? And he was like, yes, let's... but again, it fell away. So after my birthday and yet another moment of plans falling through and a lack of connection. I just decided this had to end, or I was never going to meet the love of my life.
So my relationship ended, or whatever it is that one could call it. I was sad and pleased at the same time. It was obvious I was not going to be a part of his future plans seeing as he couldn't make plans to make sure that we were doing these holidays together. So I was free. Free to see the New Year in and to make the biggest decision of my life. To actually for the very first time make room for a romantic relationship. Make room for me. That I wanted to be able to make plans with a special someone and actually follow through, to make memories that were just about us. I thought, well, if he really wanted to be together, then he would fight a bit harder for me. I learnt that a long time ago.
My dad, the hunter, said, he has to fight for you. He has to work hard for you. Like fishing... where is the fun in turning up and getting a fish. Haha.... love the analogy dad... but I think of it like that. I want to be cherished and loved and someone to send me flowers or messages that they are thinking of me and to make plans that are fun and exciting. That's what I want. I want their door to be open to me, that if I am needing an ear, then they are there. Kind of simple eh.... and I don't need to bring up their kids or rescue them from whatever hell they think they are living in. I am over looking after victims. But I am open to wanting to love someone as hard as they love me. I want to invest my time into someone else that makes a partnership. A lifetime love.
So that is my goal/vision for 2021. To meet my future mate... that's it... well that is the only thing that is different. The boys will continue to grow and achieve their goals. The horses will continue to be horses. My business will continue to be the same. But this is one thing that I am doing for me.... it is time.
But it is a decision, intention, if you like - to make room in my heart for just one more!