It is 2010 and I experience a EUREKA moment. It was merely a name of the concept but it was a beginning.
Corporate Horse Sense is born
The year before my dream had turned into a nightmare. My horse business went bankrupt. I wasn’t willing to let it go, the dream. I continued to try finding new ways, starting over again, starting fresh. But I was too scared, too broke and too depleted. Too scared to fail once more, too broke to start over, too depleted to find the energy to get going. At the same time, I was energized by the wisdom and experience I had gained through helping people improve their lives by the way of horses. I had so much insight and knowledge about this field I wanted to share. The pressure from the inner conflict was gigantic. First thought was to start from scratch all over again with workshops, second to start online courses for facilitators and practitioners, third to start an online magazine that covered all aspects of horse-assisted therapy and learning and fourth writing a book. And back to the first thought again, then second, then third, then fourth and repeat, and repeat, and repeat.
Corporate Horse Sense (CHS) was my way out – I was certain of it. I just knew. So the disappointment was huge when I discovered that I continued the same loop with this concept; Workshops? Online classes? Online magazine? Book? Late in 2010 I finally managed to get rid of the idea of making this my new hands-on business and found peace in the idea that this is a book. This is THE book. The book that would give me the jump start I needed. So I started to write energetically. I wrote a lot. And then I stopped. Why? Because I started questioning myself. My motives, my knowledge, my authenticity.
Who am I to put myself in an expert role?
Who am I to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do?
Who am I to think that people would listen to me – who don’t even hold any degree, just studied a bit here and there.
How can I talk about authenticity in leadership when I don’t believe in my own ability to lead (hence the bankruptcy)?
How can I talk about what horses can help people with when I no longer work with them (I sold my horses, and wasn’t in the stable on a regular basis anymore)?
How can I help others up and forward to reach their goals, when I failed so tremendously and can’t reach my own?
Why do I want to write this book? Is it just to make money? This could potentially be a money machine if done right, will that serve the meaning I want to convey with the book? Not even close. It’s my way out, right? Think money, make it a lightweight, a best seller – so you can get your head above water. I screamed NO. The idealistic me shrunk. I couldn’t write anything half chewed and stand behind it.
All these questions ate me up from inside. I didn’t find my angle, my voice, my perspective. So I put it aside and declared my horse days and horse book writing days were over. I focused on other things, wrote other things. At least I tried.
Every year since the idea of the CHS book came back to me. It haunted me, it never let me be. A new loop started. Every year I got a new idea and a new angle to approach the book. Every time I started fresh, wrote some stuff and stopped. The second-guessing started and I shoved it back in the dark secret rooms of my computer. Demanding it to stop haunting me.
I even had a photo shoot with the book in mind. One of the best days in my professional life, so much fun. I’ve often thought maybe it was just to experience that fun day. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be anything more than a fun day where we let our creativity out. Every time I stumble over the pictures, they scream to me: “Ready to do anything about it yet?” Every time I see them I get the same feeling that CHS is my way out. It doesn’t make sense because I have made my way out of the extremely difficult situation I was in after the bankruptcy.
Fast forward to 2017, CHS is still haunting me, still calls for me to take action. The power I feel when I think of this book, the content, the impact this book potential has, is beyond words. I’m drawn to it, and at the same time, I’ve pushed away from it. Maybe I push myself away, or maybe I get pushed because I don’t approach it right. Maybe it isn’t about my way out as I saw it back then. Maybe CHS is my game changer, my breakthrough to find my way out of fear and second-guessing. Maybe CHS is my way into a fun and a more playful way to address the interaction between horses and humans? I don’t know. The only thing I know is that the idea of CHS hasn’t left me after all these years and that it is important to me. It’s that time of the year again – it’s time for Corporate Horse Sense take #8.