The Strength in Surrender: Inviting the Unknown
"Surrender to grace. The ocean cares for each wave until it reaches the shore. You are given more help than you know" ~ Rumi
It was only a week ago that we accepted an offer to purchase our farm. We took a huge leap of faith, listening to our wisdom, and jumped right into sweet surrender. We had not purchased a property yet and there was nothing available on the market that worked well for our unique needs.
Let me rewind a bit here so you can get a feel for the full story and just how powerful this experience was.
About a year ago, we were introduced to a beautiful 100 acre farm property about 35-40 minutes north of our farm. It had a stunning century home on it (in need of repair but absolutely beautiful!). The sellers of the property were not willing to accept an offer conditional on the sale of our home but were going to take it off the market at the end of fall if it did not sell, and relist it in the spring. They basically told us to "sell your home and then bring us an offer."
So we set out on the task of doing some renovations on our home to prepare it for sale in the spring in order to purchase the 100 acre farm. It was a very difficult decision as we have built this farm into what it is with our own two hands. There is so much love at our current farm that was a contrast to the energy of the abandoned and vacant century home.
On June 4, we listed our home for sale. Given the uniqueness of our property, it was a bit of a process to find the right buyer. I kept the realtor of the 100 acre farm posted every step of the way, letting him know when we had interested buyers, second showings etc. The energy around all of the communications regarding this property was different. It made us nervous and anxious. But the desire to have 100 acres and this charming century home was enough to override the red flags our body was sending to us.
At the end of July, we were informed that we would be receiving an offer to purchase our property. I excitedly texted the realtor and gave him the update. The next morning, I received a text from him that they received an offer late the night before and they accepted it. There is more to this part of the story but we will leave it there because the rest is redundant. In a nutshell, there was resistance showing up in every direction when it came to this property.
We were devastated. We had spent all winter preparing our home to purchase the beautiful 100 acre farm. We had already began to plan in our minds the little (and big) details of the home and the big red barn.
We refused to accept the offer on our property without anywhere to go and the buyer was unwilling to put a condition in the agreement that would allow us to back out of the deal if we were unable to find a property to purchase.
We reached a roadblock.
A couple of weeks later, the buyer returned with an even better offer. An offer that was the opportunity for us to make some positive changes for our family and community. We scoured the market for something to purchase but there was still nothing within our budget that suited our needs. There was an urgency in my body. We needed to do this.
Here is the leap....here it is....wait for it....
We accepted the offer.
I went down to the horses and asked them for help. I stayed quiet with them and asked for clarity. I could feel it. It was clear. "Surrender. Let go of the need to control outcomes. The Divine has a plan for us. Everything will be okay."
In that very moment while I was standing with the Horses, Kevin called me and mentioned a friend of ours who has a barn. I immediately called her and she told us that, since both of her elderly horses had recently passed away and she currently did not have any boarders, we could rent the whole barn from her and take care of the horses ourselves. This was great news! Now we just needed to find a house to rent and then everything would be okay until we found something suitable to purchase. Things felt like they were coming together!
I started to look for a rental that would comfortably house our family, dog and the chickens too. I found an adorable country rental on a couple of acres minutes from our current farm and where the horses would be staying. So we went out to see it.
The wallpaper was of sunflowers and red barns. I immediately felt a sense of comfort from the Universe. The realtor told us that the homeowner had lived there her entire life and had recently moved to a nursing home. My compassion for her filled my entire body. I could relate to the feeling we were both experiencing. It was time for us both to "let go" of something we held so dear to our hearts.
We put in a rental application for the property and ironed out the details of the barn rental with my friend. It was all coming together. But something in my body was still uneasy. I still didn't feel the sense of relief that I was hoping for.
At this point, Malachi had started breathing a bit heavy and became very clingy to me. Every time I went into the field, he wanted to be right beside me. I obviously loved that he wanted to be with me every second but I also knew it was out of character and that is when I know a horse is trying to get a message across to me. The farrier came the next day for her routine visit, and she was working on Malachi when the realtor arrived to drop off the deposit cheque for the purchase of our property for me to take to my office (yes, I am also licensed realtor lol - so many hats!) I ran up to meet him and, five minutes later, returned to Malachi and the farrier. The farrier told me that Malachi was groaning the entire time I was gone. He stopped when I returned. It was bizarre and I was starting to get concerned about what he might be trying to communicate.He is a senior horse (over 30 years) so I don't mess around when it comes to his asking for attention. I had the vet come out to have a look to make sure there was nothing out of the ordinary going on. Everything checked out good for our beautiful horse teacher. Nothing was nothing physically wrong. No fever, no fluid in his lungs, no mucus, no evidence of respiratory infection.
I turned to reference a book by one of my herbal mentors who specializes in working with horses and it turns out that respiratory issues can be a manifestation of "the fear of a new situation to which someone is being forced to adjust." It was clear that Malachi was fearful of being in a separate place than me. Or maybe he was manifesting my own fears of being away from the horses (even though they wouldn't be far and I would be caring for them every day....they still would be in a different space than us.)
I was becoming overwhelmed, though in my heart of hearts, I knew we were being Divinely guided and all was going to be okay. More than okay. I knew something spectacular was on its way to us.
I made a note in my calendar (because i write everything down!) to sit down, as a family, and start to create our "wish list" for a property. We had some verbal discussions around what each one of us really felt that we wanted/needed from a space but I wanted to put it on my paper as I have seen the results of this action many times before (hey, how do think I manifested my partnership with Kevin? yup, via written order to the Universe...I will save that story for another blog post!). I scheduled our special family "wish list" time for the next evening.
I woke up the next morning and was scheduled to attend an Intuitive Painting Retreat that day. An entire day of self-reflection. It had been months since I had a day for me, especially with Coronavirus and homeschooling. I had booked this retreat a couple of weeks prior to the date but had no idea that we would be in the position we were in at that time. I hesitated on whether I wanted to go or not, as I knew I needed to be on the computer checking for new property listings throughout the day. As a realtor, I have access to real time data of new listings so I can see them the moment they are listed. I had been watching closely (ok...obsessively!) so we didn't miss any opportunities. We still hadn't heard back from the rental, things were so uncertain. I just wasn't sure if I could paint all day without access to the market and my phone for updates.
Just then, I received an email from Touched by a Horse in Colorado. (I highly recommend you go to their website and subscribe to their daily wisdom emails!). It read:
Bolting as fast as we could across the plains, the herd and I became a force to reckon with! It was such a free feeling to proclaim our deepest feelings and desires to the sky as we ran. Try it today, Fotini. Put forth your truth. You are being called out to express yourself!"
Okay. Thank you Universe. It was obvious that I needed to pull away from the computer and my head and attend the painting retreat.
Off I went.
The process was incredible. I felt present, without a care in the world. It took me back to my Expressive Arts facilitation training at The Create Institute in Toronto, and all of the many days I spent stepping over the threshold of day to day life and into the world of self-expression. It was just what I needed to find my flow. Together with the group of women, I laughed, cried, danced and sang. My abstract painting manifested into a horse. I called it "wild and free". I sent a photo to my dad (who doubles as my BFF) and he saw a "forest coming to life" within the horse on the painting. For some reason, his words stuck with me.
I returned home from the retreat and literally dropped all of my things at the front door and ran to my computer. I logged into the real estate market platform.
There it was.
The perfect property. It checked almost all of the boxes.
Without hesitation, I made the appointment, and ran out the door, urgently collecting my family along the way. Kevin was on the phone with a friend in his truck, just pulling in the driveway from work, and I started rapidly hand motioning for him to get in my truck. He was confused and got off the phone saying "what is going on???" I told him just to get in my truck and that the perfect property had come up. His first question was "how many acres?" He was really stuck on the idea of 100 acres and growing our own hay. I told him it was 10 acres but it was 10 beautiful acres and it had a barn and space for a studio, gym and a beautiful forest. And most importantly, it was only 10 minutes from our current farm!
We arrived at the property and we all loved it. It felt like home. Okay it wasn't a huge century home on 100 acres. But it was a cozy home on 10 perfect acres that seemed tailor made for our family, our horses and our work together. We would be close to our son's school and we wouldn't have to be separated from our horses.
There was one thing missing. The weeping willow tree. I asked the Universe to provide a weeping willow to share her medicine with us and I just knew the right property would have one. They are my very favorite trees. The homeowner was at the property while we were seeing it so I asked "does there happen to be any weeping willow trees on this property?" She replied :oh yes, over there" and pointed to the north edge of the property where one weeping willow stood. I felt a rush of warmth in my heart. I walked over to the weeping willow and I knew this was meant to be our home.
"The willow tree represents the strength, stability and structure of the trunk, standing firm and withstanding the greatest of challenges. The branches are flexible and strong, bending without breaking." (Source: www.willowplacesforwomen.com)
Needless to say, we put an offer in right away and by the next afternoon, came to agreement.
We bought a farm!
The negotiations were seamless. The realtor was friendly and accommodating. The sellers were so generous and kind.
I went down to see the Herd and felt a sense of calmness in the field. Malachi was no longer breathing heavy and it was quiet among us. We landed.
That day, my Touched by a Horse message was extra special. It read:
"We won! At the big horse show yesterday, I was so thrilled to win! We all won! It was so fun. Today, I affirm for you Fotini, that there is plenty of success and prosperity for everyone! Prospering with you!"
There is so much that was learned through this experience. So much Divine wisdom was shared with me and I feel a duty to share it with you, which is why I am writing this long post. This experience affirmed the power in those big leaps. It affirmed the messages that the Universe sends along the way to remind us that we are on the right path (sunflowers, red barns and weeping willows!). It confirmed that as soon as we are willing to let go of controlling the outcomes, the Universe steps in and does its thing!
I realized that the big, grand vision of 100 acres was the catalyst for us to take the necessary steps to arrive at the little piece of paradise among the "forest coming to life". We love our current farm so much that it had to be something really profound to get our attention. Sometimes, it is easier for the Universe to get the attention of our ego than our hearts. Either way, as long as we pay attention, it opens the door to allow for what is meant to be. The Universe will always speak to you in a language that will get your attention. The choice is yours whether to open the conversation.
At the end of it all, we received not what was on our ego's wish list (100 acres, big century home...), but what was on the wish list of our authentic hearts (close to our current farm, community, friends, family).
ADDED: Later on the day that we purchased the farm, Kevin approached me, feeling some emotion, and said "I realized that it's time I write a song for my parents." (who have both passed away). He said "It's called The Chosen One". (which is what they called him when they adopted him). It dawned on me, after writing this blog post, that the address of the farm is Kevin's birthday!!! Undoubtedly, the Horses partnered with his parents to make this happen for us. A few hours later, we remembered that our current property where we built our dream of The Big Red Barn, was my birthday in the address!!! I am so excited to see what kind of healing and manifestation is in store for Kevin in the near future as he continues to find his authentic voice in his music.
It was 6:00 am when a began to write this. The sun was slowly rising and as I settled into my chair and opened my computer, I looked outside to the Horses. They were all laying down. We don't see this very often. Usually, at least one horse stays standing to keep watch for the rest of the Herd. It brought tears to my eyes. They know we are watching out for them. I woke up Kevin to see this beautiful sight. We have landed. We are safe. We are together.
We will be moving at the end of October and we are so excited. We can't wait to begin this new chapter together with our horses and our community!
I hope in some way, this story can inspire you to pay attention, open the conversation and take that leap of faith that allows you to follow your bliss! The horizons are vast, the possibilities are endless, the skies are limitless. So, what are you waiting for?
Together with Horses,
"If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be." ~Joseph Campbell