It’s what all overachievers need to know. It’s the reason that, in the end, many high achievers feel empty of their personal joy. It is also the key to our destiny of living an inspired life that can shift chaos into order.
There has been a drive for women to be superwomen, but we did not expect the result. Women suffer from exhaustion, multitasking, heart disease, over-scheduling, insomnia, overstimulation, striving to be perfect, and under constant pressure to be everything for everybody. So it was shocking to hear that one in five women suffer chronic depression over their lifetime and half of the women today are dissatisfied with their life.
The Key to an Inspired Life
Like many women, I thought I found my treasure achieving goals and caring for my family. But something insidious had slowly been changing.
Over time I had begun to lose both energy and inspiration. I had ignored the warning signs until they began to take a toll on my body. So what had shifted, and why had I lost the joy in my life?
It all started at Barnes and Noble. I had a cup of coffee and ended up with a book that, unbeknownst to me, would change the direction of my life forever. It was a woman’s journey to healing and transformation. But, of course, there are no coincidences.
Joseph Campbell said, “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
Fear of Change
Many of us put up with many things before we are willing to make a change. So how much discomfort is enough before we are ready?
The Inner Lizard, referring to one of the most primitive layers of our brain, sends out warnings to keep us out of danger. It is the flight or fight response. Unfortunately, listening to the Inner Lizard leaves us believing we don’t have an option. Thoughts flood our minds with feeling like there is not enough to go around, we can’t get what we need, and that we may lose something we want.
The problem is that the Inner Lizard blocks us from getting the message to create a better life experience, and many people end up feeling stuck where they are.
I once heard that “When you find your inner wisdom, you find yourself. “
Like many overachievers, I had overridden the imbalance messages for years, trying to stay ahead in my work and responsibilities. So, when I noticed that I didn’t care about anything anymore, I knew I was in trouble. But, I was not sure what was wrong or how to fix it. I had been telling myself, one day, I would meditate or learn yoga or something.
That was when some inspirational words from a book led me to a retreat with no idea of what I was about to experience.
There is infinite wisdom in every cell of our body, but most of us have no idea how to access it in everyday life. Then, there was something called Intuitive Intelligence that guides health, life direction, and inner balance.
I found that my most significant teacher was within myself and that I was the only one keeping me from Me.
He chose me. He was skilled in the art of allowing his authentic nature to be entirely focused in the moment, all 1200 pounds of him!
I was mesmerized by his magnificence as we both stood our ground untethered and opened to what was next. It was exhilarating, and I felt alive!
Many of the people attending the retreat had never experienced horses in this way. We had no idea of what to expect, but the outcome started an unusual chain reaction that helped me reclaim the person I wanted to be.
It felt like a rush of clarity and insight. I saw myself mirrored through the eye of this horse. While it took a few moments to stop resisting the possibility of what was happening, I realized that this was the equine-influenced shift in consciousness that occurs when we entrain with nature.
Entrainment and Energy Between Two Beings
Horses do not project their opinions of us as good or bad. Instead, they interpret involuntary and nonverbal cues like heart rate and blood pressure versus what we may try to project, for instance, acting like we are in control or have no fear.
Both horses and humans can sense non-verbal energy as communication. There are subtle layers of information that we are continuously emitting. Because of their highly developed instinctual ability, horses shift their behavior the split second we energetically change ours, thereby teaching us incredible lessons of self-awareness and interpersonal communication skills.
The Effects of Being Out of Balance
Because I had relied on my intellect instead of including emotional and intuitive wisdom for decisions, I had ignored the red flags signaling life on a collision course.
I also realized that I didn’t understand how energy works in connection with others. Some relationships were a painful experience. So it was an epiphany when I understood what the horse had shown me and how it related to my human interactions at home and in the office.
Having spent most of my adult life working in leadership development with Fortune 100 companies, I felt a great sense of sadness for what I had been missing. The lack of personal awareness in business was causing ripple effects of dysfunction among individuals, families, and businesses. There was a disconnect from sustained success due to the inability to catch problems when they were still small. Presented with conflict, most people either acquiesced until they quit or conversely become dominant with immature responses to pressure embodying a survival-of-the-fittest mentality.
A New Beginning
What I learned was not about the horses; it was about me and how I had been showing up in my career and my life. This equine dance of biofeedback was extraordinary. It was exquisite personal guidance at the most intimate level – something I could never have learned from a book or a lecture. Thus, my new direction was born.
My journey back to joy started when I was willing to open and learn a new way of being, and that’s when a book landed in my lap. Now, this has landed in yours.
BIO: Barbara Alexander, Owner of Barbarainc, Teacher and Leading Innovator of Equine Experiential Learning and Coaching for Advanced Human Development.
After twenty years in traditional leadership development, Barbara stepped out of the mainstream and chose to follow her heart along a different path. Since 2004 she has developed many innovative programs that have transformed lives.