"In a few minutes, we will go around the table and you will be able to express it. Don’t be shy! We are here to think BIG!”
It is December 2015. It is my first DrivenWoman member group session. "My name is Antonia Eraud and I am a therapist…"
I had always wanted to work in psychology and I think I 'should' have been happy to be where I wanted to be. However, this exercise at DrivenWoman Introduction session made me think that maybe I could ask for more.
“We are here to follow our passion, to have an impact.. all right, ladies?”
I felt shy and naive but I was going to play the game. I decided to brave up.
“My dream is to have a farm in Colombia where you will be able to develop yourself through creative workshops and connections with horses.”
It was the first time I was telling my truth, my real dream in front of people and in front of… myself!
And now, 2 years later, I feel confident, aligned and realistic about my dream. In fact, I have made all the small steps I set out to do in the group sessions, and moved from London to Barcelona. I have trained as a coach with horses. I lead monthly creative workshops and I am looking at opening a special venue for creativity and horse retreats next year.
There are mornings where I wake up and I need to remind myself:
“Actually, it was not a crazy dream. It was my dream.”
Since this first session at DrivenWoman, a very special faith emerged in me and I am happy to share how I have been able to keep supporting it. And most importantly, I have moved closer and closer to my dream. Here, I want to share with you what I have learned:
1. Say it aloud
From the moment I shared my dream in front of the members of DrivenWoman, I believe I took an engagement (perhaps unconsciously) with each woman in the room: talking about my dream made me feel good rather than crazy.
It allowed me to dare talking about it to more people, also outside that room. I even realised that I was suddenly convincing. Then, I naturally started to act. I made a first baby step and started offering personal growth workshops with art in London.
2. Identify your specific needs
At that time, I was coming back from a trip in Colombia and I felt like I had reconnected with something deep in myself. For me, it was linked with the territory of Colombia. One year after, I felt the same vivid feeling in Madrid. I realised that my true self was actually attracted to the Hispanic culture: I was comfortable to be myself and to live emotional and happy life in Spain. And I had not had this feeling in London.
I also become aware that I had the need to be relatively closed to my family in France. Becoming more specific about my needs made me make a decisive decision and move to Barcelona in a space of just few months.
I adjusted my dream to what I really wanted. Thinking about it now, I believe that if I had not modified it, I may have stayed stuck on my path.
3. Take your time
One of my horse-riding teachers used to stay: “Take your time to earn time!”.
After leaving London and before moving to Barcelona, I spent one month at home in France. My intuition was telling me not to rush into my next step. But my ego was not happy: “Do you realise all the things you should be doing right now?”.
From meditating every morning to enjoying home-made family meals, I spent a month doing research and planning my new life feeling calm and peaceful. I also decided to drive from Nantes, my home town in France, to Barcelona. Taking the time to make this transition instead of jumping on the next flight has resulted into an incredible beginning in Barcelona. Only after 3 days in my new city, I had found a horse, a flat and a co-working space. It's like the energy I had built for a month in France, had allowed me to embrace this new life on time and in no time.
4.Trust the easy way
Since I was a little girl, horses have been my passion. As a therapist, I had always been attracted to combining well-being and horses and became obsessed with Linda Kohanov, author of 'Taos of Equus'. This woman has demonstrated the emotional intelligence and non-aggressive leadership of horses. However, the cost of the training in Montana with Linda was not a realistic option for my finances. But 1,000 clicks Google searches later nothing else was appealing to me.
When I arrived in Barcelona, I identified an accessible and internationally recognised training with horses based in Catalunya. I was still thinking “But its not Linda…” until my friends told me “You cannot not do it. It is not realistic Antonia!”
This is how I became a coach with horses certified by International School Equilibri last August. Looking back now, the training with them was much more aligned with my values than the method of the star of my youth.
What if, sometimes, the right opportunities are the easiest ones?
From London to Barcelona, the idea of “baby steps” and the anchor of determination I have achieved through the monthly sessions at DrivenWoman are still with me.
Finally, this article is an opportunity to make the promise to continue my journey, to write, to share and to say it loud again, in front of you, my dear driven readers.
Believe in your dreams!
Antonia Eraud was a DrivenWoman member for 2 years in London until moving to Barcelona in 2015. Antonia works as a therapist-coach & an artist.
Photo credit: Waldermar Ramos