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Boundaries Affect Work & Personal Life! 

Many people that come through our workshops have similar concerns;  not enough time, difficulties with an employee, significant other or child, saying yes to others when they want to say NO, lack of energy, unable to focus, and communicating effectively.  While all of these concerns are real, the root issue in many of these situations is in "setting and maintaining healthy boundaries". 

Personal boundaries are to protect and take care of ourselves.  Telling others (including horses) when they act or treat us in an unacceptable way.  The first step is knowing we have the right and responsibility to ourselves in how we allow others to treat us. 

Horses are professionals in surfacing boundary issues when interacting with people and are wonderful teachers in setting boundaries with others.

Lynn attended our workshop with the intention of learn to get her employees to listen to her and engage with her.  When working with the horses Lynn noticed the horses moved away from her, did not do what she wanted them to do and didn't appear to want to be near her.  This was the same response she was getting from her employees.  Lynn was asked to pay attention to what thoughts and sensations arose when doing a round pen activity with Flash. 

Lynn reported that it felt an invisible wall came up inside her mind when Flash got closer to her.  We experimented with her ability to visualize the wall in her mind and raise and lower it at will.  Standing in the round pen with Flash walking around, Lynn practiced lowering the wall and when she did Flash would stand beside her.  When the wall came up, Flash would walk away from her.  Further exploration and discussion, Lynn became aware of other times in her life when there felt like a wall between her and other people in her life and the wall was to being used to protect her from being hurt.

It was an amazing display of creating boundaries to protect oneself at the expense of getting the warmth and compassion they desire.  In Lynn's situation the wall would come up unconsciously and push people away from her when that is not what she desired. 

After the workshop Lynn e-mailed "the most amazing things have been occurring since I attended the workshop. My issue was closing myself off to others (putting up my wall). Since I have been letting that wall down, people have started showing up in my life. People I haven't seen or talked with in years are just suddenly there. I had lost contact with a friend dear, couldn't find her and haven't seen her in over seven years.  Out of the blue she appeared at the dentist office.  I am so happy to have found her again. This is just one of several stories that have occurred since learning how to lower the wall, and let others into my life.  Thank you again!!!"

Lynn's story is one of many that have surfaced working with the horses.  Not all have had a dramatic recognition of a boundary issue as Lynn but have learned to deal with life situations in a more positive way that supports their relationships while being true to themselves.

Recognize unhealthy boundaries:

There are many situations that contribute to the creation of unhealthy boundaries, with one common denominator… Fear!  Unhealthy boundaries exist when:

  • Fear of hurting others feelings
  • Fear of being alone, abandoned or separate 
  • Fear of someone's anger
  • Fear of being punished
  • Fear of being shamed
  • Fear of being seen as bad or selfish
  • Fear of being criticized
  • Unable to say no
  • Unable to disagree
  • Unable to say that hurts, it's wrong, I don't like that.
  • Doing something out of guilt
  • Doing something to receive approval
  • You over identify with the another persons feelings
  • You feel drained and exhausted
  • There is nothing left for yourself
  • Your dreams/desires are attached to another person
  • You don't know where they end and you begin

If any of the above sound familiar, you can learn more by looking at one or all of the following:

  1. "Boundaries:  When to say Yes, When to Say No, to take control of your life" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. (This book has a biblical and spiritual framing to it)
  2. Protecting Personal Boundaries website article
  3. Setting Boundaries website article
  4. Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day By Anne Katherine 
  5. Attend a L-E-A-D workshop or cocaching session.  The horses can teach you and provide opportunties to practice setting healthy boundaries.

July 2008  ISSUE

NEW! "Boundaries"
Program for Women

Tired of talking about your problems?  Harness the positive energy in your life ~ learn from our herd! 

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Unharness Your Leader-Self
Sept. 18 - 19, 2008 Learn More
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