I found this Zen quote today and liked it a lot:
“Begin to see what is in
front of you, rather than
what you learned is there.”
-Stephen C. Paul
The odd thing is I had just spoken with a woman who said pretty much the same thing as we discussed the idea of wilderness and being a woman. Talk about synchronicity!
The woman and I are the same age and have some similarities in our backgrounds—we both love horses, dogs, and nature. We differ in that she grew up and still lives on the west coast, and I grew up and still live in Minnesota. She was an only child and I was the firmly entrenched middle child of five eccentric siblings. My horse experiences revolved around farm life and the lands surrounding our community. Her horse experiences took her to near Olympic equestrian dressage and cross-country eventing. We are different, but we are the same.
I was asking her about her life now. Many years ago she left the financial security of equestrian training in an elite California stable to start Wolftown, a nonprofit organization saving wolves, horses, and other animals (http://wolftown.org). As she so eloquently says, “I gave up security to be free.” Teresa lives simply—her cabin has few modern comforts—but she revels in owning her time and her life. She lives her passions and I am in awe of her courage. At one point I said, “Why do you feel so many women lose their way and feel less empowered as they get older?” She seemed puzzled by my question since it is not her reality. After some thought she said, “I think women must focus on what they can do. I mean what are they saving themselves for?” I laughed.
What are we saving ourselves for? Every day is a chance to be the person we envision ourselves to be. We need to cover our ears when cultural chatter says, “You’re too old! You should slow down and be more careful. You shouldn’t wear that, think that, look like that…blah, blah, blah.” So like the poem at the beginning says… it is for us to know our own truths and live them.