Guest Blog by Katleen Reid
“It’s not so much how far down the path you are, it’s how far on your path you are at any given moment in your life.” – Brian Reid
This quote from Brian brought me here today to write a little post for you.
Over the last 3 months you have met Kylian, Brenda Lee’s new equine friend.
Well, my name is Katleen, I’m Kylian’s human and Brian’s wife.
Some of you I have already met in person but for most of you I am working behind the scenes at Horses Know The Way Home. I’m doing this now for about 3 years of which 2 years full time and I can share that I do really feel “Home”.
But, what is “Feeling Home”?
As far as I can remember I’ve felt “Home” most of my life from childhood throughout my young adulthood. I’ve felt Home with myself and Home where I lived and I’ve always had and taken the freedom to express what’s inside of me in the things I did. It wasn’t until after graduating from University and working full time for about 2 years that I felt “Lost” for the first time.
Lost as in …. now what?
Lost as in … I love this and I love that but even though it’s the path I chose …. it leaves me empty.
I had chosen to be an expert in physical education and with on top of that having my masters in physical therapy I figured that was it! But after 2 years, no matter how much I loved working with all my clients and patients, something was missing. “Will this be what I will do for the rest of my life?” “Will I settle right here, right now and follow this path that I chose once?” The latter would have been the easiest way and most likely the clearest and happiest way for all those around me at that time. But what about me? I felt resistance and restriction.
I remember experiencing major struggle to balance my head and my heart and leaning toward the reasoning of all that was “better this way” while my heart was screaming to be heard. I felt trapped in my own mind while the outside world tried to offer clarity by sharing what they all thought was best for me; best for me so it would be best for them…
It wasn’t until I met Kylian, that I felt movement again.
I might never know exactly what brought us together but the circumstances first lead me to researching about canine and equine physical therapy. As a PT for humans, I started to specialize in canine and equine PT and fell in love with horses; a love that had only existed in my imagination before since I never had horses in my life until then. And through working more with canines and equines, I found some pieces I had been looking for to better help my human clients. I started to feel a shift.
I was lucky to have the amazing opportunity to actually keep a horse and started to look around to make that happen. I searched the internet, visited places, educated myself in horse-ownership and attended multiple clinics, training sessions of others and prepared my PT specialization and one day, in the Summer of 2007, I came across a picture of a 3 months old Friesian stallion. And I could not get my eyes off of him. He lit up that spark inside of me that I had missed and ignored for years. I visited him twice and it was clear: it’s him! And at 4.5 months old, he moved from his mom and dad to me.
I can go on and on about all the things we did in our first years together but the most important message I wish to share with you today is how my love for him and our shared connection helped me to find my Way Home again. With ups and downs, for sure. But with all the challenges, confrontations, uncertainties and dreams taken together, that feeling of unconditional love has been the most powerful force to get me back on my feet, get me moving and get me moving toward what I felt inside was calling me.
And that what was calling me was in line with me and totally out of line with where I was at the time. It was in line with what I had been doing so far and it was calling out for expansion. It was the start of a whirlwind of changes.
Kylian, the catalyst, has played a major role in this transition. He’s a mover and he made me believe that anything is possible. And he convinced me: it’s true! Anything IS possible!
With ups and downs, for sure. But with all the challenges, confrontations, uncertainties and dreams taken together, that feeling of unconditional love has been the most powerful force to get me back on my feet, get me moving and get me moving toward what I felt inside was calling me.
This calling made me decide to quit my job and go for it! I felt no fear to start over. I would rather start from zero again instead of living a life or quiet desperation, fitting in to please my environment and settle for what I chose one day in the past.
I left the house I lived in in Belgium and a few months later in 2012 I moved to the US, following a calling, not knowing what it would bring. Not knowing how long I would stay. Not knowing exactly what I would do.
I learned that with initiating change, there comes big responsibility and lots of Letting Go. Even though the Toward was feeling good, the safe, I could not ignore the familiar and the comfortable that I was Letting Go off also.
As I was moving toward my next, I had to let others go forever and I had to Let Kylian Go for an uncertain period of time. This period of change and transition was blissful and painful at the same time and consumed a lot of energy. Still, nothing was certain and the only certainty was my desire for what I wanted. Explaining all of this to the people around me was even more awkward because with the exception of a few, nobody could relate.
I can’t remember how many tears I cried, missing Kylian, questioning my decision, missing him even more when watching Brian and Brenda Lee playing. And then again feeling hope with every step forward toward my goal that had now also become “our” goal as Brian and I got married later in 2012.
The previous simplicity of being Home had changed and expanded. With all the doubts, fears, new and unfamiliar things and environment, I was challenged to feel Home and stay connected with my Inner Truth, expressing myself (in a new language, in a new environment, in a new job I was unfamiliar with, in a new country that I wasn’t sure of yet to be accepted by…). Because, even though I was exactly where I wanted to be, feeling Home goes beyond that.
And it was here that the HKTWH Principles became more important than ever before to make myself aware of “Home” every single day. It starts as a practice, it becomes a habit and it becomes a part of life. It’s as natural as it can be but I needed reminders and support in this time of transition.
In January 2014 – almost 2 years later – I was finally able to fly Home with Kylian. And talking about Home … it was as if he knew all along: “This is where we go, this is where we belong and this is where we call Home. Now, Let’s go out and play!!!”
It’s a never-ending journey and I learned in this period of 2 years that it’s really not about how far down your path you are, but how far on your path you are in any given moment of your life. And it takes introspection to find out about that path and about what’s natural to you however … only thought doesn’t get you there. Go back to your childhood, go back to all the things you did that always felt natural to you. In those moments lie many answers to your questions.
I wish for all of you to find your Way Home, over and over again. Life will keep twisting and turning and you can either fight against it or grow with it. And if you choose to grow, grow in relationship, grow in connectedness. Whether it is with your life partner, with your best friends, with your animal(s). During those times that you’re unsure, you’ll see the reflection of what’s Home in their eyes. They will remind you of who you really are and help you to stay on your path.
You might never get it all done, and there will always be a new next so relax and … enjoy the journey