Sorting Priorities

A Message from Shelly


Leave your community better than how you found it.


These are some of the many wise words spoken by my parents, Maree and Steve. This philosophy was instilled in me from a young age during our many cross-country moves for my Father’s military career. Creating a place for our community to connect and collaborate while saving native songbirds was the main premise for The Bluebird Restoration Project and some of my other greatest life achievements. It’s a bittersweet concept, the sweet part is going to a new neighborhood and creating a positive impact. The bitter part is, of course, then leaving.


Now living in Kentucky it’s time to start a new chapter – I do want to change up the title a little bit though. Leave yourself and your community better than how you found it.

We’ve all heard the expression “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” These two philosophies combined have brought me to Kamp Kessa. Riding horses at Kamp Kessa has brought me hope, boundaries, and joy. Working with horses is my safe haven for coping with the fear of not being able to keep up. Keep up with managing my health, unpacking, relocating, while embracing the “new gal in town” concept. It helps me address and discredit the anxious questions my mind dwells on, Will I be enough? Will I be able to do enough for this community? Will I make new friends? Will I be able to stay in touch with my friends from all over? These questions fuel the fear and inadequacy inside of me. Fuel my grief due to a limited amount of energy.


This month my equine partner, Derby, has helped me come to the edge of my fear, (false evidence appearing real)”. I have decided not to discount my current feelings of sadness. It is meant to be felt and absorbed. It is okay to feel lonely, feel unsure, and be tired. I’ve learned that if I credit these feelings, it leads to the path of overcoming them – which will then lead to my cup being refilled and to have the ability to overflow love, growth, and positivity into my community.


I am now making the consequence choice to say “bring it on!” I’m going to feel the feelings I need to address, to do my best to enjoy what I currently have, and to not beat myself up if I have nothing to give. I will not let my fear, past unmet goals, unspoken expectations, or unloaded baggage stop me from letting myself fly (metaphorically, and kind of physically *see last blog about falling off the horse*).


Simply by taking a deep breath, remembering my mantras, and setting boundaries for myself and my relationships with others, I’m ready for this next chapter in my life to be even better now that I’m living with family in a new neighborhood - just in time to celebrate Christmas.



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