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Denise’s Healing Journey

I have needed to heal a lot of things in my life… and I’ve been working at it hard for a long time. Therapy, yoga, meditation, journeying, reading, soul retrieval… and it did a lot, it changed a LOT for me.

Despite all that, I remained stuck. I learned very young that I was simply unwanted and unloveable as I am, not deserving of love or anything good… and no matter how much I processed, how much I knew in my head, how much I learned about how to own my own stuff and live my own truth… I couldn’t change that deeply held internal belief, which had shaped my whole life. I tried and tried but it just seemed impossible, like it was a truth carved into my soul.

Somehow at WildQuest, this belief, which has crippled me all my life, dissolved, transformed. I’m sure all the work I’ve done laid a foundation, but something lit a match and set it all aflame. I can’t explain what did it. I certainly had moments of deep spiritual change.

Maybe the presence of so many loving people, loving strangers, around me made me realize that the belief was ridiculous. Maybe being invited into the world and energy of an entire other species transformed me. There are so many things that happened, that came together, that people did, that people said, that dolphins did, that I learned in my free-diving tutoring, that the universe did that was amazing.

On my very last day there, at the very last dolphin swim, this transformation was happening. The dolphins were leaving, people were heading back to the boat. I wanted to be under the water, in the silence and acceptance one more time. I dove down. The dolphins were swimming away.  I hung in the water watching them, feeling like everything in the world I have ever needed was already inside me, that I was as perfect and whole and loved as it was possible to be.

And then, just as they were getting out of sight, one of the dolphins spun around and looked at me. While his friends waited, he swam all the way back to me, circled around me. By that point, I absolutely had to breathe. When I surfaced to breathe he did too. I just put my face back in the water. He came close to my face, looking in my eyes, and then swam back to his friends.

The wonder of that experience still takes my breath away. And there was no work, no trying to make anything happen. Everything was already perfect. All the love I ever needed was already inside me. I was whole and loved, exactly as I am. My heart took that in as absolute truth.

And my life, now, is different in ways I never thought possible. I’d already moved, found a new job, a new life… but after my trip, my world blew up into this bright, beautiful thing. Changing my own story of who I am changed literally everything. Suddenly, I have paths open to me to fulfill the spiritual calling I’ve had all my life. People are appearing to help and guide me.

The world keeps receiving me day after day with the same joy and love I feel within me… and I know, always, even when crap happens, that I am already loved, already perfect, already whole. 

There aren’t words to express the gratitude I feel to the entire WildQuest team for the experience I had and the change it’s created in my life. May everything you give come back to you in overflowing measure.

Written by Denise Bickel DVM, Whole Horse Veterinary Services.

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Woman and boy standing on boat looking up