100 days ago I decided to 'stay home' for 100 days. When I began the 100 days I thought I would write regularly about the process. I didn't, and I even forgot about the 100 days for some periods of the time. But last week I remembered, calculated the end date and I'm writing now. This is a much more personal post than most on this blog but I want to have this recorded here and anyways I feel good about sharing it publicly. Think of this as a thank you to all of the people and animals that have taken part in getting me to where I am now.
First to explain the original plan, the 'staying home' was basically a technique to try to become more grounded in my new home and after a few turbulent years. The plan was to stay within a couple of kilometers of my home, only leaving for food and supplies, but it wasn't totally strict, if an emergency happened or I got a guiding job I was allowed to leave the zone temporarily.
Even through forgetting about this whole plan at some periods I am happy to say that I did sucessfully follow the plan and the principal objective of becoming more grounded in my home, family, social life and business has been achieved beyond my own expectations.
I started the 100 days on December 1st, 2018 and I am ending them on April 13th, 2019. As you can read in my inital blog post about this plan, this is the second time I have used this 100 day technique, which I made up myself, the first being from December, 2012 to April, 2013.
I did leave the area around my home a couple of times, once to lead a tour for 2 nights and 2 days in the Wakrapukara region, another to assist in a mountain search operation for 10 days in Calca a few kilometers away and a couple of times to go to the city of Cusco an hour away to get my car fixed, to follow two mountain first aid courses and do a bit of other shopping. I also went on a one day road trip to the jungle three hours from our home, went up and down the valley to have lunch a couple of times and did two overnight trips to villages within 3 hours drive with some out of town friends that visited. I feel like none of those outings were really frivolous regarding my plan and didn't greatly affect the connections and grounding I was working towards. The10 day search operation was intense, sad and traumatising and this of course affected me but it was an emergency and so within my original 'rules'.
So what happened within the plan? Well, I stayed home a lot more, I cooked at home much more than previously, I spent a lot of time with my daughter and the neighbours on the property, I received lots of visitors, I said no to lots of invitations and events and I got my dream business of starting up my own ranch off the ground surprisingly sucessfully. I recoved my body back to its more sporty working state since giving birth nearly 2 years ago and am living in a house where I am very comfortable.
At the end of December, after searching for my friend's daughter in the mountain, an extremely difficult 10 day process which led me to recognize the wealth of resources that I have but unfortunately ended in great tragedy, I was exhausted, heartbroken, shocked and I didn't even want to leave home. It was also a time when the tourism was lowest here and I had very little work contracts and I was starting to think about what I was going to do to survive. I had the plan to get my own ranch business going but I thought it most prudent to wait until April or May to bring the horses here and I had just started preparatory work like building up my website. But I felt terrible and I really missed my horses and their medicine.
On January 15th I decided to take the jump and gave the order to transport the horses here. They were here by the 18th, so we suddenly had 4 large horses and a pony here and I had my dear old friends back, and a new one. I quickly got my saddles and gear back in an operable state, launched the website and to my surprise in the "deadest" part of the tourist season, I had work almost daily. And that's how it's been going since then.
This sudden success caused me to quickly need to make solid plans to have help to hold my work, home and family life together. Working with some incredible volunteer helpers has been a key as well as taking my housekeeper/nanny on full time. I find that when I need to be extremely and constantly active I am also more focused and things fall into place as they should. I'm happy that at this phase of my life I am able to maintain my physical and mental energy levels so I can step up to this unexpected occasion. I had really thought I was taking the big risk of getting into financial problems by bringing my horses here so early before the tourism season begins.
Every day I have been realising that I have made the right choice. I am busy, but not too busy that I can't spend lots of time with my daughter and even still socialise a bit. I also have noticed that what I have done in this period, but also slowly over the last few of years is to omit one by one many of the things that don't serve me and that I don't like in my life. Now I just do what I like most (of course we all have obligations and have to take care of things like fixing the car), and I don't do things which don't serve me. Slowly I am becoming more able to observe what is superfluous in my life and I can clearly see what does me well.
Having a ranch and a business and being a single mother I have to work hard. I wake up early, I have to attend to lots of people and animals and I do my office work late at night. Luckily there are so many moments, nearly each day, when I feel fully grateful, for the amazing view, for feeling 'cool' because I get to guide people to incredible experiences, for getting paid to hang out with horses, for being able to spend a lot of time with my daughter and see her develop so beautifully, that I have no doubt that I am doing the right things with my life right now. And I think that this is the first time in my life I have felt this way.
It takes SO MUCH effort, time and process to say "I am just going to follow my dream". I have so many people in my life that support me unconditionally, but even they sometimes, in their efforts to help, have made comments that planted seeds of doubt. The society, education, conditioning, strangers, observers, envious people, scared people, loving people we all encounter in our lives all contribute to insecurity and doubt, because of course we all want safety and confirmation that we are doing the right thing.
I can now see that confirmation for me comes best in those moments when I am riding on my own in an epic landscape, on my mule, with the sun hitting my back, taking a moment to absorb that everything I have done, everyone I have encountered, everywhere I have been and every thought I have every thougth has brought me right to this place and time. And I think that is pretty close to 'grounding'.
Is everything perfectly calculated? No way. Am I totally focused on my goals at all times? No way. Is my life completely clean of issues, things or people that don't serve me? Nope. Am I always in a good mood? Definitely not. But I am just where I want and need to be right now, right here, riding along on the ground and I can see the dirt trail ahead of me.
My 100 days are over now but I don't plan to change my rythm much. I do feel that now that I have my business and life established here I could consider occasionally traveling temporarily if I felt like it. In any case, now you know where to find me.