In early September, I had the opportunity to travel to California for a long weekend filled with Equus Coaching Magic.
I say “Magic” because that’s truly how it feels when I’m doing “it” (Equus Coaching, that is…get your mind out of the gutter, people) – as client, or coach. Stepping outside, into nature, with beautiful horses and humans, and digging deep to keep finding greater self-awareness, higher purpose, more joy….it’s pretty freaking magical!
This particular trip was emotional (who am I kidding – they all have been) – partly because of the raw experiences of the people that I have the fortune to travel on this journey with…partly because I have committed myself to being completely and totally honest and vulnerable whenever I’m in a Coaching Process, so that I can make the most of the money and time that I am investing. Otherwise, seriously, what’s the point?
Now…some people in my circle might call me a control freak…it’s true. Some might call me a perfectionist….also true. I’m trying mightily to recover from both of those patterns and give myself the same grace that I offer to others that aren’t perfect (you know….those few out there….) and to let go of trying to control that which is futile (you know…those few times….)
But dude….it is a process. A long one. And a HARD one. And sometimes, I fail. Sometimes I just want to do everything so perfectly, that when I don’t do it perfectly – even when I have no idea what the hell it is I’m doing – I crack. Pretty logical, right?
Well…I cracked during this last Equus Coaching retreat….I went into the round pen with my lovely horse-friend Marco at my side, and all of a sudden I was beside myself because I was so SICK of having to work on the SAME FREAKING THINGS over and over and over again! It just felt so…..ooooooooooold. And boring. I felt like a HUGE failure because – get this – I couldn’t stop not wanting to be a failure (Ok….in hindsight it’s a little funny). And I went into that round pen, and I just started crying – I was sick of myself (never mind that I’ve had this pattern for, oh, 30 or so years and I’ve only been working on it for 1 year). And Marco (a gorgeous pinto) just stood right next to me and let me cry in all of my imperfectness.
My coach gave me just what I needed in that moment: Permission not to do what I thought I was “supposed to do”. Permission to choose what I thought that I needed (and – this is progress – I could identify what that was!)
What I needed was to just sit – for 10 minutes – with no interruptions, no one talking to me, no performing, nothing. I mean it – some of you may know it too:
Trying to pretend to be perfect all of the time is SO EXHAUSTING!
And so I left my session right as it began, and I took Marco to his pasture. When I got to the pasture, I actually climbed into a tree so as not to get mauled by curious stallions while I sat and ugly-cried – and then, to my horror – the other half of the group participants started walking right past me…while I was sitting there, crying in a tree. How humiliating.
But Marco – my sweet friend – walked over, stood directly between their path and me, and blocked me so I could have the time that I needed. I didn’t ask him to stand there. He just knew – it was the strangest thing. And he stood there while I cried, and – I kid you not – the second they were out of sight, he wandered back off to hang out with his herd.
I love horses.
It took me a little while to recover and re-join my group, because, though I am constantly working on it, going “against the grain” is still new and hard for me. I had other friends that weekend with pretty significant experiences as well:
One friend wanted to work on how to create a feeling of “fun” in her business, and actually embodied being the energy she wanted to create by dancing around the pen with her horse.
One finally let herself feel her own anger over past hurts, and embraced it so that she could start to let go of it.
Another practiced setting her own personal boundaries so she wouldn’t get bitten in the ass – (quite literally the horse was biting her in the ass – but she was getting bitten in the butt by people in her life too, because she wouldn’t set a boundary!)
It is so hard to explain, Equus Coaching, but it is SO fascinating!
Later that night, several of us were talking about how old patterns die hard – it takes a Lot! Of! Work! to shift those old patterns, and habits and behaviors. Every single one of us was so grateful to our coaches, our horses, and each other, for holding us up in the process.
Personal and Professional Development are rarely easy.
And here’s the thing – I’m constantly doing my own work so that I can support my clients to do theirs. If you really want to experience greater joy in your life, your career, your business….it takes an investment of time, and money, and EFFORT!
And it is so worth it, my friends!
So please know this: when you walk your path – whatever it may be, you don’t need to walk it alone. There are others that are walking the road in front of you so that they can help you along when you are ready – God knows, I’m doing just that for all of you. And I’m so eternally grateful to the people that are up ahead of me, calling me forward and not letting me lay down in my path for a nice long nap for too long.
*If you are interested in finding out more and/or setting up an Equus Experience with me as your Coach, I would be so excited for you! You can go here to read more about it, or go to go here to set up a free consultation to discover what might be a good fit for you and your unique needs.