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Are You Having Fun Yet? Honoring Your Life's Purpose

Beautiful stories written by YOU about a person or event that changed your life, gave you hope, made you dream...
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Post by LivinAMiracle » November 5, 2008, 8:13 am

Are you having fun yet? Does the sheer thought of tomorrow fill you with excitement? Are you excited about what tomorrow will bring, or are you like most; eagerly waiting for the weekend before your fun arrives?

Do you wait for the “fun” moments to appear before you allow yourself to have fun, or are you creating fun right where you are---enjoying the entire ride, excited about what lies around the next bend? I should clarify…are you having fun with your life? If not, why not?

Just about fifteen years ago, I realized one of my childhood dreams by opening my own equestrian facility dubbed, Reignbow Ridge Equestrian Center. I had the privilege of caring and maintaining the care and training of over thirty horses on my 54-acre property. I had great clients who entrusted me with the boarding of their horses, had many more to train and compete, and had my own very talented string of show jumping horses.

I literally worked from sun up to sun down, seven days a week; and loved every minute of it. A self-proclaimed workaholic, I was totally in my element. There’s always plenty of work to do on a working horse farm, and my equestrian residents kept me busy for sure!

It wasn’t more than a year later when I started training with one of my idols of Grand Prix Show Jumping. Mark Leone, (youngest member of the notorious three-brother, Team Leone), was someone whom I’d admired for years. One day we were competing at the same horse show, and I summoned up the courage to ask him to coach me. To my delight, after seeing me ride one of my more difficult horses in a competition, he agreed.

We worked together for about six months, with me continuing to operate Reignbow Ridge, and trailering up to his Ri-Arm Farm, about two and a half hours away once or twice a week for training.

One day Mark and his business manager took me out to lunch and invited me to come up to Ri-Arm to be the farm’s manager. I was stunned. This was my biggest childhood dream…with icing on top! Ri-Arm Farm is one of the most prestigious facilities in the country, and its reputation for high-class, internationally renowned show jumping horses is recognized throughout the equestrian world. Being asked to work at and manage Ri-Arm was an honor and a privilege that I looked forward to with great anticipation.

I notified my very understanding clients of my job offer, giving them appropriate time to move their horses to other facilities, and made the move to Ri-Arm Farm. Once I was there, it was a flurry of activity; learning my job, continuing my coaching with Mark on a more intensive level, and preparing myself for the success that this job was catapulting me into.

One night, as I lay awake tossing and turning waiting for elusive sleep to come, I was overcome by a sense of incompleteness. I’d worked so hard for the opportunities that had presented themselves to me, yet I was astonished to realize that though I finally had everything I’d ever dreamed of, I felt somehow unsatisfied.

I felt selfish and undeserving of such opportunities. I was ashamed of my dissatisfaction, and I prayed that somehow, those feelings would be rectified. The night kept my secret, and I continued on with my work at Ri-Arm. I honed my riding skills and successfully fulfilled my managerial obligations, and I loved it…truly loved it; but the occasional nighttime nagging remained, leaving an emptiness that no matter how hard I tried, refused to be sated.

It wasn’t but a few months later when a car accident would end my career; and life as I’d known it. I sustained a traumatic brain injury and was forced to relearn to read, write, walk and talk all over again. My athlete training and mentality was my saving grace during this most difficult time, and I used it to turn my tragedy around.

During my recovery, I was partnered with a service dog, who made independent, daily living possible. I soon discovered a huge gap of misunderstanding that existed in regards to service dog access, and the benefits that they provide for their partners with varying types of disabilities.

At first, I viewed the stumbling blocks of access denial as barriers; things that were unfairly put into place to impede my desperate attempt at rebuilding a new life. But once I was able to squash my defeatist attitude and replace it with a positive one, recalling and using my athlete training, I started to see my stumbling blocks in a new light.

I realized that all access denials had one common denominator---lack of education. And so, I set out on a new mission to educate and inspire others to recognize the similarities in persons with disabilities, instead of focusing on the differences.

In 1999, I founded Canine and Abled, Inc. What started out as a small, local program has since turned into an award-winning educational program that has taken me to amazing places where I’ve met amazing people, and have been provided opportunities that can only be described as, amazing.

It was soon after I started delivering my program that I was asked to start presenting motivational speeches. I balked at first, not sure that I could provide such a service. I pondered on it, and then faced my fear knowing that incredible opportunities tend to lie beyond what we fear. I was right.

From the moment I stepped on that stage to deliver my first motivational speech, I realized that I would never be the same. The words and inflections magically appeared, and I felt a surge of an indescribable joy bubbling up; spilling out into what the audience described as “incredible.”

What my audience didn’t know was that I’d found my true calling that evening, right there, up on that stage. The empty spot that I’d felt in my room at Ri-Arm was finally filled. It was a feeling I’d never forget…one that I would pursue and reduplicate in order to experience again and again.

Am I having fun yet? You bet I am! I’m excited about my life, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me. I am thankful that I recalled my athlete training and didn’t miss my golden opportunity for my new speaking career by burying my head in the sand.

By keeping my wits about me, and not giving into the temptation of allowing depression to overtake me, I fought it with every ounce of strength that I had (then prayed for the rest I needed), and I was able to create a new opportunity that fulfills and delights me. It’s like a coming home for my soul… do you know what I mean? If not, it may be time for you to re-evaluate your goals and dreams.

Find your joy. Life is for living, but sometimes when we’re busy making plans for living, we forget to enjoy it. Enjoy the journey of life. Take the time to pull over on the side of life and have a picnic, take your shoes off and feel grass between your toes. Take a dip in the lake of your dreams; just be sure that your swim excites and invigorates you. If it doesn't, it's time to find another lake!

Your homework for today is this: Take a good, long look at your life. Have the courage to be honest with yourself. Are you truly happy with the way things are? If not, what would you change if you were to order up a "perfect" life for yourself? Write it down; in detail. Dare to dream. Expect good things. Most importantly, appreciate and enjoy everything that you have in this very moment.

Success is elusive if you're spending all of your time chasing it. Success isn't the bottom line, big houses, nice cars or stature. Many people who have all those things are ultimately unhappy. Why? Because they are looking for happiness in all the wrong things!

In order to be happy, truly happy; we need to find the thing that we are designed for. God designed each one of us with our own special talents. He puts dreams in our hearts that will utilize those talents and wants us to honor Him with those talents and dreams.

I have three very distinctly different dogs; each innately designed and bred for specific characteristics. My dogs have each been specifically chosen to suit my personal needs and the needs of my Canine and Abled and Canine Ability educational programs.

Dawson is a Collie. He loves to "herd" things, and keep things in line. He has a bright, fun-loving personality and loves everyone. He has been instinctively designed to work. Because of this trait, he would never have been happy being a pet dog; one without a "job" to fulfil the desire and need to work that was bred into him.

Gracie is our mascot. She is a Shih-tzu/Bichon mix who, in accordance to her breed characteristics, is smart, sweet, affectionate, and clownish. She's our "funny little dog" and adds comic relief to our stage show. She loves to do tricks, make people laugh, visit patients, and delight everyone with her effervescent personality and whole-body-tail wagging. She lives to sit in your lap and just "be", and is always up for a good time. Gracie would never be happy being a working dog. The seriousness required for such work would be foreign to her happy-go-lucky innate traits. Her bubbly personality that is so cherished in her current, appropriate role, would be squashed by forcing her to do something that wasn't natural to her.

Nadja is an all-black German Shepherd Dog. Her family has a long history of working dogs. Her relatives have excelled in police, therapy and service work. While she is a very beautiful girl, she would not be satisfied being primped and primed, doing funny tricks or being dressed in frilly doggie haute like a dog like Gracie would.

While Nadja does enjoy doing tricks, she needs more. Nadja loves and NEEDS to work. Her desire for a job is nearly insane; and her zest and zeal for working is apparent. Nadja's exceptional intelligence, high energy, and intense work drive dictate that she be kept busy utilizing her innate talents. Keeping her from having a job that honors those traits would be as cruel as starving her.

Are you being starved? Are your talents being squashed by a job you hate, a relationship that doesn't honor your innate traits? Are you stuck in a position in life where you feel as though "something" is missing; when it appears as though you have everything you've ever wanted?

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, it's time to dig deep and find your innate talents. Once you do that, you have a blue print of true and lasting happiness at your disposal. Turning to the talents that are ours and ours alone; and utilizing them to the benefit of ourselves and others is a true gift that is waiting to be tapped. To do any less is a huge disservice to yourself.

So get out there! Try something new, immerse yourself in something that you've always wanted to do, but for some reason or another, put it off. Find your happiness from within and create true success.

How will you know you have arrived? When you find yourself wanting to share the journey of your happiness, and hear yourself asking others, "are you having fun yet?"
Kimberly Carnevale
"Enjoying a journey that is nothing short of a miracle!"

Canine and Abled, Inc. --"Teaching You About What Service Dogs Do"

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Post by Mammy » November 6, 2008, 10:49 am

What an inspiration you are!!
Love the name of your business too :) :) :)


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Post by Mammy » November 8, 2008, 10:20 am

PS: I'm having a BALL :) :) :p :p

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Post by Liebestraum » November 8, 2008, 12:18 pm

This was an awesome read and inspiring indeed!

Funny that I should read your story right after having pondered the questions you suggest need to be asked ...

It means I must go deeper, yes!

Thank you for this contribution, I enjoyed it greatly.

Margherita :)
Love is the One who masters all things;
I am mastered totally by Love.

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Post by superdaddy2007 » January 11, 2011, 6:08 am

Thank you for such a wonderful and personal inspiration. I agree with you totally that finding our life's true purpose is the only way to find true happiness and meaning in life. I have spent 37 years of my life wondering aimlessly. Only now, did I start seeking this purpose that is always there within us. God has created us for a purpose, we must honour it and do his work. Now I live in anticipation of a new day. My new day always have not enough time for me to do my stuff. I am always looking for more time because there is so much fun in doing what I do now. I know I am been led somewhere. Reading your story is just another reminder for me that I am on the right track.

:D: :D: :D:

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Post by Michelle » March 4, 2011, 4:18 pm

What an inspirational story and told so well.
I am new on the forum and you are the first thing I looked at and this is my first reply...so...hello.
My dearest darling husband recently departed was a "natural horseman" and my family also horse people.
I loved the description of your different dogs and often at the doctors the topic of dogs would come up because we are also dog people and we were shocked how often supposedly intelligent medicos would say things like dogs have no soul dogs have no mind etc and everytime this happened we would change doctors.
Towards the end only the thought of coming home to be with me and the dogs kept him alive and all the doctors and nurses knew about our dogs. So I kidnapped my husband and brought him home and it was like he found a new lease on life which sadly only lasted three months and he passed in bed with me and the old dog lying on his legs as always and the dalmatian in the middle as always. When he was away from home in hospital our old girl nearly 16 suffered severe doggie depression lying on the bed with her face in the corner all day and when he passed the old girl would not get off his legs until they came to take him away.
As for the dalmatian he wandered around in circles not sure what was happening. Then at christmas my grown son came to stay and he was the first man in the house since and watching the dalmatian fall in love was wonderful and amazing to see but when my son left Dom the dalmatian took himself to bed for three days with a sever case of doggie depression and then I had to spend nearly a week giving him extra special attention before he smiled again.
Well sorry to rave on but I thought you would understand and am I having fun yet... well life with a dalmatian every time I look at him I feel happy and he is definately fun to be with and he is without a doubt now the man of the house and my best friend.

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Post by Davidf » March 4, 2011, 8:44 pm

I must say I am having fun NOW but I wasn't always. Several events in my life temporaily caused me to be depressed until I decided there wasn't any use wallowing in self-pity anymore. I used to write "happy" (positive poetry to cheer myself up, now I write because I AM happy. It's funny how a simple hobby can change your whole outlook on life. I hope your equestrian business thrives and if your entrepreneurial (sp.?) skills are as good as your storytelling/typing skills, I'm sure it will!
P.S. My girlfriend who uses crutches rides side-saddle for therapeutic reasons. She loves it.
Have a blessed day!

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Post by Martinguptill12 » March 28, 2013, 2:29 am

I thank you for the beautiful and personal inspiration. I totally agree with your finding your true purpose for life as it is the only way to greatness. I have spent almost 37 years in life and have been wondering with any aim. Just now I realized the seeking purpose of living and that God has created for a purpose. We must honor it in able to do his work.

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Post by glenjohnson44 » April 18, 2013, 1:59 am

According to me god has created every individual with a specific purpose of life. We have to find the actual pleasure and happiness by honoring the purpose we are made for.

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