Inspiration comes from many different places. For us, we appreciate the stories and heroic strength displayed by the women who lived on the prairies over a hundred years ago, long before the amenities and conveniences of our modern day world. It was a simpler time, rooted in a wholesome lifestyle, a rigorous one to say the least. The foundations prairie women built to grow this beautiful country are proof of their passion and resilience. We’re going to do a series of blog posts to share some of the stories of these early pioneering women to identify what their core strengths were. We hope you find some inspiration here for yourself. This first post is about having a vision and how that empowers and directs your life. This post was adapted from our book The Field Guide for Trailblazing Women.
With its big blue skies, endless rolling hills, and swaying grasslands, the prairies have captured the imaginations of people for decades, even centuries. The indigenous people who sustained themselves as they roamed the plains, and the immigrant settlers who came later, were drawn into the majesty of what the prairies offered. They all faced the same challenges and hardships of severe weather in the form of droughts and blizzards, prairie grass fires and the seemingly barren nature of this semi-arctic prairie wilderness. Life was real and raw and it took a hardy, persevering nature to carve out and sustain one’s place in this landscape. In spite of this the sheer openness of the land seemed to inspire enterprising dreams, and as more settlers headed west, life on the prairies began to evolve.
Living prairie meant starting something new with a vision of the life one wanted to create, and while most often it appeared to be a man’s world, it wasn’t. Prairie women were hard working partners who had their own dreams for the lives they wanted to build for themselves and their families. Amidst the labours of their everyday existence, these pioneering women spent years and years of single-minded focus, unending courage and grit to help build the last best west.
To this day, what continues to drive determined women to take persistent and inspired action is having a vision for their lives – one that lights their hearts on fire and makes them feel truly alive. When women have this focus in their lives, they will take extraordinary action to see it through to fruition. The challenge many women face is in owning and acting upon their visions to do something that may not have been done before, something unique to them. Most visions require us to pioneer our own paths. It takes a lot of courage to strike out in a direction that may not have the support of those around you, or no visible blueprint out in the world. We have faced this many times throughout our business together and we’ve had to dig deep to continue to build our vision and see it through.
So what we know for sure is this – the first step to awakening a pioneering spirit is identifying a meaningful vision or long-term dream. Our vision sustains our passion for the long term. It inspires us and guides our actions and pursuits. It keeps us on a path that fuels our hearts.
Our vision for Prairie Girl Outpost… to share the culture and values of the prairies in a way that educates and inspires women to live a prairie way of life – a life that is wholesome, inventive, sustainable and enterprising.
And our joint personal vision as Jan and Erin… to inspire enterprising women to dream bigger dreams for their lives and to confidently get on the path to bringing their dreams to life.
We hold these visions in our minds and hearts everyday as we are growing ourselves and our business forward. It is not easy. We work at it and we evolve with the changes and challenges that the world presents. And we still love it!
From experience we know that having a dream or a vision begins with introspection. Nothing can replace the quiet time needed to take stock and reflect. Developing a deep inner awareness and knowing our inner terrain came first before we could commit ourselves to the path we are on now. If you are in the throes of determining a powerful vision for your life, we encourage you to take the time to listen within. Know that you are carrying a passionate idea that could light and guide your path for years and years to come. Call upon your courage to define it. Then kick yourself into gear to bring it to life. You’ve got this!
What is your ultimate vision that could help you navigate a new future for yourself? Drop your ideas into the comments – we would love to hear them!
Live Wholeheartedly. Live Prairie.
– Jan and Erin
Two Prairie Girls