The kiddos and I just spent a few days in AZ. Yes, it was freakin HOT, but I LOVED IT. Oh yeeeeaaaah…117 degree weather and pool water that feels like a bathtub.
When I moved to Phoenix from Idaho, I was that hick chic who’d moved from the small town to the city. I grew up in an area where there were more potatoes than people.
I hated the cold and dreary winter and the sun and palm trees of the desert called to me. I fell in love with Phoenix immediately and I stayed there for seven years…loving the “dry” heat. Yup, I love the fact that you don’t have to shovel sunshine.
During my time in AZ I became a new version of me.
I learned how to drive on freeways with more than two lanes (and got my first speeding ticket from a camera), I bought my first designer purse…a darling silver and tan Coach bag (because I couldn’t afford a Louis Vuitton)…after which I promptly got a Chihuahua who refused to actually be a purse puppy. I bought a condo in the East Valley, all by myself. I gigged regularly with two country bands (who actually got paid real $ vs. shots of Jaegermeister), and I finally gained the courage to end a terrible, abusive relationship that never should have a started in the first place.
And most importantly, I met some of the VERY best people I know, including my Husker Lovin Hubby (who then convinced me to leave AZ for Colorado…how he did this, I’m still not sure. LOL).
These people supported the hell out of me and my personal development…and a few of them taught me important things like how to enjoy blueberry martinis on hot summer nights and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches at trendy spots in Scottsdale.
It was in AZ that I learned about somatic leadership. Through my work as a Director of Training and Development for the two largest credit unions in AZ, I got super grounded in the fact that leadership is more about BEING than DOING. AND it was in AZ that I was exposed to the fact there were people in this world who work with horses to teach corporate leaders.
My mind was blown. I could marry my love of HORSES and leadership? Shut the front door.
I’ve been a horse crazy girl for as long as I can remember and this news changed my world.
Thank god for my life in Arizona. I honor the time I spent in the Valley of the Sun and embrace the lessons I learned and how they’ve shaped who I am right now.
During this trip, I got to enjoy a few of my favorite things. Dutch Bros coffee, Oregano’s Italian Chicken Pizza with red onion and gorgonzola, rolled Tacos with red sauce from the hole in the wall drive-thru taco joint, and time with friends. I also did my first Periscope broadcast in the horse pasture with my kiddos (follow me @millcoach) and I facilitated equine coaching sessions with two powerful women leaders. Yes, we had to do them at 6 AM, before the sun melted our skin off, but my AZ herd gifted the women with some powerful and practical lessons in leadership.
Here are two leadership gems that stood out the loudest:
1. Support. You have an amazing network of people around you, both young and old, who have your back. Don’t be afraid to lean on them in times of need. They WANT to help you. This lesson showed up through a herd of four horses who surrounded a leader as she talked about a tough situation she was having in life. The horses stood close to her, with stillness and deep breaths. It was truly beautiful.
What areas in your life could YOU use some support, gorgeous? Reach out to your network of support now. It’s a sign of strength. Be strong.
2. You don’t have to eat dirt. One leader shared the fact that she felt like she needed to pretend to be ok with a situation at work, when she really wasn’t really ok with it. The mare she was working with literally started to eat dirt as she spoke. How often do you feel like you have to eat dirt in your work or personal life? As we talked about what the horse was doing, it became very clear that we have choices. We can choose to lead in ways OTHERS want (and eat dirt), or we can choose to influence a third alternative. In doing so you’ll honor yourself, your people and your company.
Is there a place in your life where you’re feeling like you need to be someone or something you’re not? STOP being a fraud and SHOW UP THE WAY YOU WANT TO SHOW UP. It’s what you’re being called to do and everyone around you will benefit when you honor what’s been put into your heart.
Interested in experiencing what horses can teach YOU about leadership? Give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org AND be on the look-out for my FREE 21-Day #EpicShit challenge. It’s coming soon!
The time to leap is now honey, so let’s leap together!