Retiring – From Head to Heart Space

By Barbara Broxterman

This month of May-2015 finds me one year since my retirement from my profession as a Agricultural Engineer and starting a new heart centered career. The day after I retired, my husband and I moved south, back to Florida from SW Pa., to where I graduated school and horse country. I needed to be out of the ice and snow, start a new equine coaching career, spend quality time with my husband and start a journey from my heart and not my mind space.

We moved the farm by taking three separate 1000 miles trips, transporting horses, tools, implements, dogs, cats and household items to our new retirement farm. During one stop in NC we overnighted at a very nice hotel. The next morning as we were grabbing a quick breakfast, we overheard a number of conversations trying to determine what was being moved and who was that elegant commander? I looked out the window and saw our red 250 truck, piled high and attached to a long flat bed trailer, full of 50# stall mats, a manure spreader, hopper, a rocking chair and pitchforks sticking out all over the place. Overseeing our treasures, nobly sat Lincoln, our big, black standard poodle. He was elegant, cool yet very serious of his position as guard dog. Hotel guests gawked and discussed the bundle of disorder, as we quickly left laughing. We were excited at the prospect of experiencing this next phase of our life, more on our terms, then ever before.

The first nine months of retirement were what I would describe as measured chaos and metamorphosing into a quiet, simple routine did not seem possible. I learned it would take time to change and that the hectic schedule I took on “as retirement” was a familiar feeling, like a security blanket. At first, I transferred my typical professional role where I allowed my work to demand most of my time to “retirement work”. We moved from a 80% completed farm to a now 80% needing fixing place. We built fences, barn floors, cleaned, cleared and installed roofs, plumbing and windows. A new foal arrived 2 months after moving to the property and all the horses had problems adjusting to the new grass, heat and bugs. Then a new kitchen was required when our new roof leaked and destroyed what was usable in our old kitchen. Flooring was installed. Throughout this I started my new career as a life coach and Wayfinding With Horses was kicked off. The horses and I were writing blogs, giving radio talks, telephone coaching and setting up a workshops. My tag was re-finding purpose, passion and play, but I had to admit I gave myself little if no time to re-find myself.

Did I mention nine months? Well, this re-birth took a year and I’m not sure if I’m over the labor. Going from a pressure cooker mentality and making things happen, creating rules and specifications for others to follow was easy; I had been trained to do that. Learning to trust my heart and listen to it, was hard. Manifesting through creation and the desires of the environment and others, so others could experience healing is difficult. The time I gave myself to savor was time I found myself questioning, who am I to help others when at times I can’t even help myself? Who and what I wanted to serve changed almost daily. At times I have huddled up in a ball and said to myself “what’s the point? I can manifest a dream, but what good is it if others don’t know it’s there to serve them? So I am learning there is more to “building” a heart centered business.

Barbara and LincolnThis phase of my journey is the stepping out part of the business, a place where I am most uncomfortable, but a place where my authenticity is key to my success. No more trying to guess what others want, I am stepping out, not as I thought who I was but as “who I am”. The “me” that is full of love, laughter, a bit crazy, full of flaws and doubts. The “me” that needs to share with others the healing power of horses and nature. The “me” that knows there are others who are searching for clarity, balance and their authentic self. The “me” that invites others to a quiet, simple, farm; to share with horses and nature, their journey to the authenticity.

Barbara is a certified EGCM life and wellness coach. She lives on her new farm, Wayfinding Farm, located in horse country, near Ocala Florida. Her business name is Wayfinding With Horses and you can visit her website at