My Story: Arlene Armstrong
In July 2008 I attended an Anthony Robbins Unleash the Power Within weekend workshop. Actually it was 4 intensive days, starting on the Thursday and ending on the Sunday. It was the most powerful experience of my life! I had entered the workshop with the intention of changing my life and that it did!
I was in a 35+ year marriage where I was no longer happy or fulfilled. I realized that I had lived someone else’s dreams and life, and I didn’t really know who I was or want I wanted, other than I wanted something else, I wanted to have a purpose to my life.
So one day, a few years from retiring from my successful career as a Project Manager in the Federal Government, I was riding the bus and read an article in the local newspaper about how horses were helping humans. It was an equine-assisted learning program being offered in Australia. That was it! That was what I wanted to do with horses! I wanted to partner with them to help folks move forward in their life.
I was so excited I could hardly contain myself! I couldn’t wait to talk this over with my husband at the time but sadly he did not share this dream. That was when I realized I had lived his life, his dreams all these years. A couple of years later, I announced that I was going to buy a farm upon retirement and pursue my dreams with horses.
I invited my husband to join me but he was very clear that this was not his dream and that he would not follow.
All good though, we remain friends to this day and he often helps out on the farm and connects regularly with our 2 beautiful daughters (horsewomen in their own right).
Tony Robbins provided the roadmap. He showed us how to eat better, how to think better and how to live better. He showed us how to face our fears and helped us realize that if we focus on what it is we want to accomplish, there are no limits to the possibilities.
He even had me and 4000 other people walk across hot coals! Never dreamed I would do that!
The fire walk showed me how the lack of focus, even for a split second, can create roadblocks.
You see, when I was walking across those coals, which by the way, were burning all day at the foot of the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I lost focus of my goal of reaching the other end of the coals for a split second and ended up with a small burn on the bottom of my right foot! Feeling the burn instantly, I quickly refocused and made it the rest of the way across the coals unscathed.
So what were my roadblocks in attaining my dream of having a purpose in my life?
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS! I spent 35+ years blaming everything and everyone else for my lack of purpose in life, for not knowing what I was meant to do….always distracted by the next shiny object.
You see, I had a great career and 2 beautiful children. For the most part a wonderful husband, and yet I was unfulfilled. I was unfulfilled because I didn’t focus on what made me happy, on what was important to me, on “putting the oxygen mask on me first, so I could help the person beside me”.
As a result of the Unleash the Power Within workshop, I realized that I was the one who had to change, not everyone else. I was the one who had to take the necessary steps to achieve my dreams.
I was the one who needed to recognize my dreams and go for it!
Are We There Yet?
So what was my dream? What was my purpose in life? I had known from childhood that horses were very special beings. I knew that they helped us humans energetically. I knew that I had an unexplainable attraction to them, like a magnet, for as long as I could remember. I did the traditional thing of learning to ride them, competing with them and confiding in them when I was blue. What I had not yet done was learn how to connect with them on a very different level and learn how they can help us move forward in life.
But how was I going to finance this big dream? I was retiring with a good pension and, I found a property that I could transform into my dream farm.
When I went to the bank’s financial planner, after looking at the numbers, he sat back in his chair, folded his arms, and said “well I hope you have your health”. My heart sank and I went into full on panic! He was basically telling me that I could not financially support my dream. After picking myself up off the floor, I went to another bank and found them to be much more positive about my dreams.
They showed me exactly how I could make them come true. And as luck would have it, I meet Betty-Anne Howard of Making Dreams A Reality a couple of years into my new business venture, who showed me how to sustain my dreams.
Tools of the Trade
So what are the tools of the trade in this world of horses helping humans?
There are many modalities and my business partner, Maureen Donoghue and I researched and found the perfect modality for us. We studied with a woman who created Equus Coaching. Equus Coaching is life coaching partnering with horses to help people move forward through the transitions in their lives. It is a combination of “horse whispering” and “life coaching”. Maureen and I call it “People Whispering”.
In order to become Certified Equus Coaches we had to follow a rigorous year-long program with Koelle Simpson, which involved 3 on-sites in Arizona and California, 16+ tele-classes, practice sessions with volunteers, and an on-site hands-on coaching final in California.
How to Have Fun Along the Way
Fun is not the word for it!
Fulfilling Fun is more like it! When I embarked on this journey, I knew that this was my life’s purpose. When I completed my on-site final exam, I rocked it! I knocked Koelle and her right-hand person’s socks off! I was on my way to a whole new life!
The World in Which We Live
Now, I have a beautiful horse farm with several four-legged equus coaches who are masters at helping our clients move forward.
Life is not without its challenges but life is so much more fulfilling and purposeful.
The feedback from clients on “how the horses are still with them” - even a year later, how their lives have been transformed, how they too were now leading a purposeful and fulfilled life is so rewarding and humbling.
How can it get any better than that!