Johnnie Fay is my Gypsy Vanner horse. When I brought Johnnie home as a weanling, I had dreams of teaching him not only to be ridden, but to pull a carriage, as his breed pulled the Gypsy caravans long ago in the British Isles.
It wasn’t long before I realized, however, that pulling a carriage was not Johnnie’s joy. In spite of careful and professional training, he hated it. After multiple runaways and one significant trip to the ER when he attempted to run through a fence with me and the carriage in tow, I was finally convinced that carriage driving was not Johnnie’s “purpose.” Neither was being ridden; he bucked everyone off who tried. Johnnie was beautiful, admired and smart, but Johnnie was an unhappy soul. “Why?”, I kept asking myself.
For fun, we tried giving him a paintbrush to hold….and the rest is history. Johnnie learned to paint!
To keep him busy, I hired someone to teach Johnnie a few tricks. Lo and behold, Johnnie enjoyed it, and especially loved taking and holding things in his mouth. For fun, we tried giving him a paintbrush to hold….and the rest is history. Johnnie learned to paint! No longer moody and resistant, Johnnie became joyful and engaged. He loved it! Painting became his passion and now he’s happy, relaxed and seems deeply satisfied with life. He has created many incredible works of art and with a new zest for life, he’s always ready to do more. Johnnie has found his Purpose!
Johnnie’s story reminds me of many people I’ve met, who are smart, educated and successful in their careers, yet they seem unsatisfied. They are accomplished, but not fulfilled. Perhaps if they found their own Purpose – a passion for something greater than themselves — they , too, could find true joy and contentment.
After all, if a horse can find his Purpose, why not us?