After over 22 years as a clinical dentist, I sold my dental practice because I found another passion — restoring human hearts and spirits instead of teeth. Obviously, when you leave a career of over 20 years, there are many turning points. Gypsy, my beautiful palomino horse, was involved in one of the major turning points of that journey. Here’s what happened.
As a dentist, I didn’t get much time away from my practice. Gypsy came into my life while it was hectic with patients and team and business ownership. Gypsy sat on the sidelines of my life a lot. Visiting her in the barn is where I’d always go to feel better at the end of a difficult day. Though, I often contemplated selling her and moving out of my rural, horse-friendly community.
One day, I came out to feed her and found the paddock empty. Full-on panic moved over me in a rush, “Oh my God, where is my horse?”
I immediately began searching. The fence wasn’t broken, the gates were secure, but there was no Gypsy. My mind raced; was she stolen? I went all over my neighborhood looking for her, asking if anyone had seen her.
Finally, after hours of searching, one of my neighbors told me another neighbor had found her inside their chicken coop eating their chicken’s food!
Tracing Gypsy’s steps, I found that the chicken owning neighbor had called an area horse owner. He had picked Gypsy up, and she was now in a pen at his house. I rushed to get her.
It turns out Gypsy had found her way into the life of not just another horse owner, but a horseman who was deeply involved in the horse community in my area. As I spoke with him about horses and all the activities in which he was involved, I felt a deep longing to develop my own connection to this equestrian community — and to Gypsy.
The traumatic event of finding Gypsy’s paddock empty was one of the main reasons I eventually switched to the career I’m in now; partnering with horses and using the very effective therapy modality of Gestalt to help dental professionals live better lives.
When I look back on finding Gypsy’s empty pasture, there was no way anyone could have told me that such an amazing gift would come out of that panicked moment.
Is it possible that whatever challenges or painful moments that are happening in your life right now could lead to something very positive? An unexpected gift? Or even a whole new career opportunity?
Although it may be hard to believe as we navigate in this time of pandemic, physical distancing, worry, and sometimes even panic, I’m sure that we will come out on the other side to find many positive outcomes that aren’t visible now. It’s only a matter of time.