“Marie” thought she could do it all, and why not? Doing it all had resulted in a successful business that she and her husband had built over the years while raising a family. With a solid income, they had multiple homes, nice cars, traveled, and lived generously. Now that she was the CEO, however, she struggled to find any downtime. And that lack of personal time increased her stress which began to show up through physical ailments. It seemed that the business, employees, or family demands were always staring her in the face, and if she wasn’t tending to one of them, her attention was focused on weekend entertaining that she planned in great detail, and assumed most of the responsibility for.
Little did Marie know that an encounter with a large yet gentle draft horse from a dude ranch would change her world.
They’d only been together a few minutes when Roxie the horse intuitively seemed to know that Marie lacked boundaries, and yet it took Marie another 20 minutes of Roxie’s prodding before she would come to the realization herself. Her breakthrough was one simple action taken by Roxie; one that couldn’t have been communicated any clearer than if the words had come directly out of the horse’s mouth.
Roxie stood quietly across from Marie with a stick-like tool lying on the ground in between them. Workshop participants were instructed to use this tool for establishing boundaries with the horses and yet Marie had ignored it and the reminders that it was there for her use. As horse and human looked into one another’s eyes to see who was going to make the next move, Roxie slowly lowered her head, picked the tool up in her mouth, raised her head again and looked at Marie as if waiting for her to take it and put it to use. It was at that point that Marie exclaimed, ‘Okay, I get it. I have boundary issues’.
In a span of less than half an hour, a gentle giant gave Marie a gift – a new sense of awareness that positioned her stronger in life thereafter, both at home and in business. Rather than assuming that the only way to get things done was to do it herself, she began to relinquish some of her responsibilities. She started expecting her staff to do more, and Marie also began asking for help in other areas of her life, as well. In just a short period of time after her encounter with Roxie, this CEO freed up more personal time, became less stressed and felt more empowered. She began enjoying life in different ways which included slowly moving into a new career and a future that felt more fulfilling.
A new chapter began that day for Marie when a horse gently reinforced and reflected the things that weren’t working for her in the past while opening the door into a new and satisfying future.
(Note: Names of the individual and horse have been changed)