To say that it’s THE most important thing to me would be an understatement…..because it’s truly so much more than that.
It is my big WHY.
It was my why when Cowgirl Dreams Co. began. It’s my why behind Reckless Grace Boutique. It was my why behind Her Confident Life. It’s my why that I get up every single morning and keep going.
If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know that this whole journey began with a horse and a blog…with no intentions of ever becoming anything more than that. It began as Cowgirl Dreams Co. because that’s what I had – dreams of being a cowgirl.
It grew as I grew. What started out with just my friends and family following this Facebook page I had created just kept growing. And as I was posting inspirational quotes and blog entries, I was also getting so many DM’s coming at me from people of all walks of life confiding in me their own struggles. In all honesty, for a long time I was feeling a “thank God I’m not alone” .
And it continued. The DM’s kept coming and the blog and Facebook page grew. Honestly, it took on a life of its own.
Behind the scenes I was doing my own soul searching. My own self-discovery. At one significant point I had learned that most of my life was a lie, things weren’t really as I remembered them (and sometimes even made my mind believe them to be by creating my own memories) and the real struggles for me began.
Who the actual F*** am I? What is my story? More than that – what the F*** is my truth???
My blog allowed me to be very open and real. It was “safe”. Most of the folks reading what I wrote were people I didn’t have to face in real life! They were all off somewhere in cyber land and that made it easier for me to really dive in and share.
It got really raw after I shared my story of what I call an “intervened suicide attempt”. Divinely intervened, I should add.
My life was full of anxiety, depression, abuse, bullying, loneliness, hiding, and absolutely no self-esteem + self-confidence anywhere.
And all those revelations began a whole new journey in finding ME.
I soul searched. I did the work. Hell, I’m still doing the work because do we ever really stop???
And through it all, there was one constant being that never EVER let me fake it. Ryleigh. There was no pretending. That old Buck Brannaman quote “A horse is a mirror to your soul…sometimes you might not like what you see…sometimes you will” couldn’t be more true.
I had been pretending my whole life. I honestly had no idea who I was. I had no idea what was real and what was make believe……so when I tell you that Ryleigh saved me, I’m not exaggerating. He made me look inside myself. Deep inside myself. He made me face truths and learn to be gentle with myself. He made me live my truth.
Over the course of the years we spent together – he taught me who I was.
In the meantime, Cowgirl Dreams Co. was growing and changing. Through all of the growth and changes I never ever wanted to lose my why. It’s always been the most important part of this whole journey. I. Had. Plans. They may not have been completely clear in my mind but I had plans.
Cowgirl Dreams Co. was supposed to turn into a brand. That was my plan. A brand to sort of represent anxiety, depression and suicide awareness/prevention and work towards ending the stigma always attached to mental health……a brand to lift up, inspire + empower women that were facing their own struggles…..but I was finding that the name wouldn’t work – it was limiting.
There have been so many changes since I began. Wait. I really don’t like to call them “changes”…..it’s more like “evolution”. From very early on I knew what was on my heart. The truth was, I had to live the next few years in order for all of it to evolve….for all of it to grow into what it was always meant to be.
It’s a play on his name.
Ry + Rise……which is the most important gift he taught me. RYSE™. I can RYSE above it all. Accompanied by that angel wing.
It represents anxiety + depression + mental health struggles + never giving up on you or life and bringing awareness to suicide prevention. Ending the stigmas that accompany mental health issues, knowing it’s okay to not be okay and to talk about it until you are okay. It also lifts up every single woman that is out there facing her own battles and learning to love herself through all the noise – whether her own noise or the noise of society.
The Webster’s Dictionary defines LEGACY as: the story of some ones life, the things they did, goals they accomplished Legacy is something that a person (or horse) leaves behind to be remembered by. Legacies are pathways that guide people in decisions with what to do or what not to do.
Ry’s life impacted my life so profoundly. He taught me to be patient with myself and to give myself grace. He taught me to fight through my struggles and helped me discover my truths.
The lessons + experiences Ry blessed me with saved me.
I got lost in all the shiny things of the boutique world for a while. And by getting lost, I mean I strayed from my original intentions and followed the path that just kept appearing before me. The boutique. I’ve said it a million times but I’m saying it again – I never ever meant to have a boutique. I’m the classic story of “it just happened”. But along came 2020.
We all know what 2020 had most in business doing – pivoting. Everyone had to. If you wanted to survive, you had to pivot. Including me.
2020 and all its chaos forced the mobile boutique to get sidelined to my driveway, which led me to put all my focus on creating more of a presence online. And thankfully, my customers pivoted with me. But not having to prepare + shop for events gave me so much down time and had me flirting with anxiety, depression and a giant “wtf do I do now???”
I wound up pivoting more. I started helping friends launch their own businesses, helped friends re-invent + re-launch their brands, started writing more, started designing courses + workbooks to tackle mindset, anxiety, depression, branding…….and finally got back to focusing on my original intentions when all of this began years ago – my own brand.
With all my heart, I hope you love it as much as I do. And I hope you will get behind me in bringing the RYSE™ brand to the world
A big heartfelt thank you to every single one of you that have been along with me for this ride……it’s been the absolute most rewarding journey of my life.
My hope is to gift you the gifts Ry gave me.