Trust The Process

It is a New Year, a time to look back and reflect on the year that was and how far we have come. 2022 was a big year for me personally, a year where I have learnt so much about myself, and how far I can push the boundaries. However, I have also discovered that these boundaries are only limitations that I have placed on my myself due to my beliefs and sometimes the pushback that I feel from our culture and the people around me.

It was twelve months ago that a beautiful soul I didn’t really know well, approached me and asked me what my plans for the future looked like. She gently nudged me to think about sharing my journey, both with my health and with my horses. Since this time, we have developed a beautiful friendship and when we have spoken about this conversation and I ask what made her make that call, she told me she had heard a little of my story and she really felt she would like to know more and felt others would too. She told me she felt the industry needed to hear it; the world needed to hear it.

I toyed with this thought for a long time. I felt the ‘Resistance’ that Steven Pressfield talks about, that everyone feels when they are about the embark on something big. Something life changing.

I was worried about putting myself out there, how I could be open to judgement, and I knew once I started this journey of being vulnerable enough to share my story, there was no going back. But I also knew that being vulnerable is brave and nothing great was ever achieved by keeping ourselves in the box that societal expectations set for us. It was a tough journey of self-discovery and I had to take this journey alone. I could no longer hide behind the many masks I could interchange to avoid facing the truth. These masks such as mother, wife, teacher, friend, daughter, sister or MS diagnosis could no longer be used to avoid the pain of looking inside and doing the real work so I could ‘show up’ just as I am.

The journey began a little by accident when I started blogging in real time before and during my twelve month check up with my Neurologist. It just so happened the news was not great, and I wrote about this feeling every step of the way. The writing was emotive and real. I was scared to share how I felt in that moment, but after a gentle nudge from my friend I decided to put it out into the world.

From this beginning the MacCallum Performance page began, and I can’t believe how it has grown in twelve months. I have discovered that I can write, a skillset I didn’t really know I had until I sat, unguarded and unmasked, and put pen to paper. I have discovered there are many others going through adversity that they are too afraid to talk about, whether it be a health crises, trauma, or grief. I have discovered there are others who feel they are trapped in the box that societal standards place on us, but who feel the inner fire to want to step outside in a way that is true to them. I have learnt that many people have dreams and goals that they feel are too big. I have learnt that many people would like a voice, and to ‘speak even though your voice shakes’, so they feel heard.

If I had not ‘trusted the process’ many years ago, I would not have truly discovered who I am and allowed myself to develop the skillset that was hiding inside, and I resisted for so long. This journey that I’m on started when I was a little girl and the only way I could ride at the end of the day was to catch my horse and throw my saddle on myself, which was a struggle when I couldn’t reach and had to stand on a milk crate to get it high enough. And although there have been many years of riding since, I truly believe the day I bought a horse in 2017 at the Nutrien Classic and was brave enough to dream that one day I might show him in the Open Futurity, was the day I really started to tell myself to ‘trust the process’.

I was a dreamer. I was classed as an amateur rider. I was a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend and a teacher. I had responsibilities with our family business. I was unwell and 15 months after buying this horse I was diagnosed with MS.

Still, I trusted the process. I showed up every day and at the event. I entered in every class I could go in as I didn’t know if this would be my last ride in AELEC.

And what Metallic Storm and my other horses did for me at the 2018 NCHA Futurity was nothing short of incredible. At this event I not only ‘trusted the process’, ‘I fell in love with the process’. I loved everything about being there, from the smell of the stalls to the feel of the sand under my feet, to the meticulous way I wrapped each and every horse. The outcome did not matter. I remembered why I did it, and the dreams of that little girl who couldn’t reach to put the saddle on. I truly let go and just played.

When I reflect, Trusting the process has got me so far.

May the New Year allow us all to take down the masks, crash through the walls of the box, remember why we do it, to show up and fall in love with the process all over again.

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