I met the woman I would like to be

Sometimes life just sends you hints and messages for the direction you need to go...

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I met the woman I would like to be for only a fleeting moment, but one which is planted in my mind powerful and deep.

I was walking along the Dorset path, through the woods, across the heath and down to hill to the pebbled sea, and as I walked, I saw a couple talking to a woman on a horse.  I watched the horse dance and fidget, heard its call, saw the rider manage its impatience and reassure it that soon it would be on its way again.

They moved off before I reached them, greeting the couple on their late morning stroll.  But there is a gate that sticks, by the blackberry bushes and horse had to pause as the owner dismounted to release the catch and lift it up again. 

We met at the gate and I saw that the rider was a woman who looked slightly older than me.  It wasn’t the words we exchanged across the five-bar gate, but what I saw in her that I want for me.

She was riding bareback, only loose reins, no saddle, no stirrups, nothing to keep her in place. The horse was wet from ocean spray and sweat where they two of them had been along the paths behind the sea, checking the gates such as these, for, she told me, this was her land and she was checking the gates for the cattle they were about to release.  Her hands were strong, her eyes were clear, her look direct, her body poised and relaxed as she swung herself up onto her horse’s back, hair whisping swirls into the breeze.

‘Not bad for a day job is it?’ She smiled and trotted away.

I followed her with my eyes, along the track, turning into a field and picking up speed, cantering across the gorse and scrub, horse and woman as one, rising and falling, flying across the land, so free.

This is the woman I want to be. I want my skin to be bare and browned by days in the sun, my hair to be tangled, wild and free.  I want to ride bareback along the land, through the sea, feeling the wind in my hair, the spray on my skin, happy in my own bones, with nowhere else to go and no one else to be.

  • Who are your role models?  
  • What steps could you take to follow in their lead? 

(I'm having riding lessons!)  

If you like this you might more of my blogs and books at www.julieleoni.com)

Julie Leoni

Life coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, Dr

I am a well-being coach who helps people find their 'thing'; the thing that lights you up and gives you joy and energy. Listen to my podcast; 'What's your thing?' to get inspiration.

I support people to create a less stressed life, to boost their well-being, to ask for what they want and to look after their own needs so that they can hear their heart's call and live a more empowered and meaningful life.

I draw on experience and training in bereavement, domestic abuse, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Transactional Analysis and other therapeutic approaches.

I have 2 sons who I love loads (and who sometimes drive me crazy). I'm a Barefoot Trained coach and I got a distinction for my post-grad cert in 2011.

I have a PhD which led me to look at Emotional Intelligence in schools and I have a number of academic and professional qualifications in various types of therapy.

I have practiced meditation since I went to India over 30 years ago and I'm a yoga teacher. I have written a couple of books, I teach psychology and work with a large variety of coaching clients.


Go to the profile of Julie Vincent
over 1 year ago

Wow, great post!  This had my whole body skin tingling reading this, thank you.  Am pausing a while in my pretty, peaceful garden to appreciate your post.  Thank you.