We look to retreats, to sacred sites, to long hours meditating to move us toward transcendence—but often soul medicine is found in simply allowing yourself to slip further and further into the work of your own soul’s calling.
It was early spring, still cold enough for gloves, my breath pluming as I timed my breathing to the breathing of my horse.
This particular horse was wild and wary. Riding him often drew a ringside crowd, gathered to watch his next inevitable bucking spree. But today he was relaxing incrementally and so was I.
Figure eights are lulling, soothing even. Round and round, asking his body to flow and arc into the circular shape. Time began to do this funny thing, loosening its hold on me and slipping sideways a bit.
This is the first moment of true transcendence I can remember…
…and it hadn’t come easily.
Family myth says the first word out of my mouth was horsey (and you know my mom is dialing me right now to tell me I remember this incorrectly!). As a kid, I loved the idea of horses but the actual beasts frightened me something fierce. Still I insisted on riding lessons despite getting nauseous as we drove to the stables each Saturday morning.
The other kids in the class had long moved on to jumping and trail rides as I went around and around the enclosed ring, too fearful to do anything but walk or trot. My parents would have saved me from my own fear, finding a safer hobby to fill my weekend mornings. My riding trainers looked resigned as I dragged my tear-stained, terrified self into the saddle week after week. I was a pudgy, klutzy, terrified kid. And I was fiercely determined; I learned to ride.
Following this passion—this soul calling—crafted the woman I am today: there’s no doubt in my mind that if I had given up or given in, I’d be someone else entirely.
And it was working with horses which first triggered my empathy—my ability to feel what another was feeling. I knew terror and anger and stubbornness. What I saw in the horses reflected what I knew of myself. By the time I was a teenager I’d gone from being terrified to being one of the few people who would ride the true terrors.
The horses that gnashed and bit and stomped? They were saved for me. The horses who were scared and shying? They found their way onto my riding roster.
What the horses really taught me is that moments of transcendence don’t necessarily happen when you’re galloping across the fields or hurtling over the highest jump. Transcendence comes in the small moments, repeated over and over again until you can transcend the physical and cross the boundaries of time and space and flesh.It's in micro-moments you can slip from your skin into another's and touch the threads of eternity. Click To Tweet
The big moments are compelling and they’re rife with myth and story. They allow you to embody an archetype: to become a goddess or heroine, a mermaid or a sage.
But it’s actually the small moments that allow you to do something far more difficult: they allow you to transcend yourself and, in doing so, find fathomless courage and profound peace.
It’s so hard to teach this. It’s so difficult to break our cultural habits of bigger and better instead of supporting the daily repetition, the seasonal cycling.
This is why I created the Medicine Keepers Collective, to support you in your daily work of finding the rhythms of self in the patterns of the larger universe. If you want support for finding your own path to transcendence, join us. Enrollment is open until November 26.