This week, I am talking about having a holistic wellness and health program as one of the main proactive steps you can take to avoid (or recover from) burnout and stress that triggers dis-ease for ourselves and our horses.
We all know that burnout can be a huge problem and one that tends to sneak up on us. So what is burnout? Psychologists Herbert Frendenberger and Gail North break burnout down into 12 stages. It starts with wanting to do a good job, being excited to work and throwing ourselves into something that we are passionate about. Then we can get too invested in our job or something else that we are doing. We start to push ourselves past the our boundaries, revise our values to match the changes, and the downward spiral continues.
Personally, I really noticed this happening in my life about 8 years ago, but was in denial to really change anything. That was until I started to see the same “symptoms” I was feeling showing up in our herd of horses. It bothered me way more to see it happening in my herd than myself, so I finally was willing to take action!
I started at the basics to double check we were following best practices – what are we feeding them, their vet care, and many other aspects. I even added chiropractic and acupuncture for them. I had them on a rotating work/time off schedule, but none of it seemed to truly change things.
Our herd was “handling” their workload and “complying”, but they were not thriving or excited to do their job. I wasn’t content with them just being able to handle the load, just like how it wasn’t enough for me to just survive life and everything that was going on. My body was struggling. I was deep into the last stages of burnout.
Finally, I started surrendering and decided to be open about seeing what was really underneath the body, mind and soul connection. We talk a lot about the mind and body, but adding in the spiritual/soul component is equally essential and for me was the missing link.
You may ask, “How do we add all these pieces together for the horses?” Well, that is where they live! They are naturally drawn to being in a balanced state of connection between their environment, their herd, and themselves. This is the reason why it works so well for us to partner with them to help us heal our emotional and spiritual wounds. This natural gift and way of being is also why horses are so susceptible to burnout when it comes to joining us in the work of helping and healing. They are tapped into spirit and into the emotional realm of our clients all the time. It is simply how they do what they do during sessions. However, like many of us humans, they often are not able to freely express their needs and clear the impact their work is having on them and it builds up and turns into burnout.
Solution – I had to get really intentional in supporting them. I dove deep into learning about different ways to help empower them to have healthy boundaries, how to clear their energy fields, and how to build a relationship with them, allowing them to express their needs for them to feel that they have a choice and an option to be partners with us and our clients.
We all want to feel healthy and happy. We want to love the life we are living. In a field that we love and are passionate about our horses we want the same things for them too!
I am super excited to announce that we are doing a workshop about how to support our horses when it comes to having a true mind body spirit holistic wellness program.
During the workshop we will explore questions like:
- How do we support our herd by building a true wellness and training program that includes body, mind, and spirit for our horses?
- What are the different types of bodywork, energy work that I can add in to support my horses?
- How can we bring ourselves into balance as well so that we too are balanced, clear, and able to step into the leadership role with your horses based on trust, respect, and willingness?
I hope you check out our new workshop and sending you and your herd light and love!
Sending light and love on your journey — Michelle
P.S. As I’m writing this blog I find myself wondering if a workshop with equine partnered coaching designed for helping us humans learn these same skills for ourselves might be a good idea too??? Let me know if that would be of interest and we will see where that thought goes!