Archive for the ‘building your business’ Category

IMG_5390The effective use of personal energy is something we are never taught when we are growing up, yet it can make all the difference both in our personal success as well as the business success in our life.

Emily, during a recent retreat at Epona Ridge, had an opportunity to work with Cierba who is the beautiful lead mare in our herd. Emily wanted to enjoy her life more and felt that if she could understand why she was running into so many brick walls, both in communication at work and at home with her husband, that she could make things better.

She said she has a highly demanding career and a manager that doesn’t seem to respect her ideas or enthusiasm for her job. In fact it is quite the opposite, she said she feels like she is almost ignored and it was getting more irritating by the day – to the point where she was considering quitting her job.

Emily choose to work with Cierba and walked straight up to her but got an unexpected response. She was pushed out-of-the-way as Cierba rudely walked past.

Emily was not new to horses but this kind of connection/communication/learning was different from anything she had experienced before.

All of her natural training techniques she had known were clearly not working. Emily expected Cierba to respond in a certain way. What she was learning was that horses, given a mutually respectful environment, try to communicate in a two-way conversation. These horses were clearly not “trained to obey”. They were making their own choices, even the choice to be present or not.

Horses provide living biofeedback for us if we are clever enough to see it. In any given situation that we present, the horses respond with the energy appropriate to the presenter. All of this is done without the human ego and emotion since the horses offer a clear energy of reflection.

Emily thought about what her approaching energy might have felt like to Cierba, how even though she thought she was friendly in her approach, she came to her with expectations and in the process she stepped over the signs of Cierba’s boundaries giving Cierba no choice but to move away.

“Oh this is so much like work’, she said out loud. Cierba was twenty feet away from Emily at this point and she just stood there. Emily took a deep cleansing breath. She was thinking about her work environment and how she was getting more and more intolerant. She recalled a recent episode at work where she tried to explain to her boss about something that they were doing and how it wasn’t working. Her boss, like Cierba, dismissed Emily with her energy. Emily, reflecting on some of the lessons she had been learning in the retreat, thought about where her vibration was.  She felt the energy of starting off with what was wrong, what wasn’t working and began to understand how that might create bigger boundaries to be raised. Creating that vibration, no matter how enthusiastic you may be about the solution, can close doors.

When Emily approached Cierba with what wasn’t working, she got more of the same response without even realizing how her vibration effected everything. It was a mirror of her work environment all right, but the message was about her own energy.

The most interesting thing happened, after a few moments I noticed Cierba licking a chewing, a sign I always look for because I know it means that something significant has just happened or has been discovered.

Emily shared what she had thought. She said she wondered about how she might change her energy in a way that would be more easily heard and even appreciated. This was the underlying desire to the discomfort she was experiencing. She wanted to be valued for her ideas and effort to help improve the company.

Just as Emily was becoming aware of the deeper message, she shifted from a forward stance to a more relaxed and invitational posture. Cierba softened as well and began to approach Emily from across the arena.

Cierba’s eyes were large and inquisitive this time and her ears were forward and attentive to Emily. She stopped within a foot of her and Cierba dropped her head – Emily reached out and gently touched her.

The vibration in the entire arena seemed to shift.

Learning how to effectively modulate our own non-verbal communication (vibration) helps us find the keys to connecting with mutual awareness and respect, no matter who we are with or where we are in our life process.

Learn more about your personal vibration and the non-verbal energy you are emitting all the time. Gain skills to effectively modulate energy in relationships at home and at work in our upcoming retreat: Your Signature Vibration in March, 2014





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We have heard from the great grandmothers who have passed down wisdom for generations that it is time; we have heard it in the ancient teachings of Native Americans and other indigenous peoples. Many of you already know why you are here, we have known about this calling from deep within our hearts for centuries.


Now is the time for the feminine voice of leadership to expand and bring light into our world.


I am a leader in this community because of my experience from a lifetime of seeking to understand and expand the heart’s connection between our human experience and our greater divine nature in connection to all things. This power of the feminine voice of leadership deep within all of us is calling to both man and woman alike.

Many of you know that horses are prey animals while humans are predators, and over the ages we have learned that predators dominate. But who really wins when life is about domination? May I suggest that life is more about co-creation, leadership most definitely, but co-creation at it’s best creates results far beyond any great leader. Maybe we have something to learn from horses about leadership that we never saw until now.


A successful team moves as one, like horses in a herd, but in the business world where survival of the fittest has caused separation, there is distrust at immense cost to businesses everywhere due to high turnover, infighting, and dysfunction. Most managers end up spending their days managing the many problems that occur instead of creating an environment that is set up to self-direct, expand and thrive.


Recently I had the opportunity to be involved in a forum discussion about the frustrations for women in leadership today. When the conversation got going it quickly turned into anger about their work environment, inequality and the lack of personal value that was felt.


There is so much passion and heart innately in women, heart in the commitment to do a great job at being the best we can be as an executive at work, a wife and mother at home, as a caregiver in life even if it leaves us with little time and energy left over for ourselves.


Women are wired differently than most men and we have the capacity for great vision, a compassionate vision that comes from what we Know deep within our souls. If we have the tools to get really clear on that vision and are able to communicate with emotional intelligence and healthy co-creative business skills, the world will change to support that vision.


Being able to create a business through leadership that builds trust and feeds the strengths of each member, you will enable an authentic community based in self-empowerment and personal responsibility among your team. Expanding your personal intuition gives you the needed insight to read non-verbal communication, thereby leading in a way that supports the ebb and flow occurring everyday, and through a set of simple tools you can learn how to gain a vast amount of information that you currently miss through the intellect alone.


After working with over a thousand women through my own business in creating retreats, as well as multiple thousands of corporate teams and leaders over twenty years creating performance improvement for businesses in fortune 500 companies, I have learned what cripples women, both personally and professionally in organizations and how, if we really want to make a difference and create a world that thrives, we can make the change we truly want and need to see.


I understand these truths:


1) To co-facilitate with the Universe is a humbling place to align life and career.


2) When given the proper tools and an empowering vibrational space to expand our Be-ingness, each of us finds our divine connection that holds the secrets and gifts to create the life and career that brings us inspiration and joy.


3) There is a short path and a long path to thriving and finding personal fulfillment in this world, either way you will get there if that is your desire. I have no attachment to anyone’s path but my own.


4) Most of us were never taught how to modulate or effectively use our own energy and can either end up overstepping, causing separation and distrust, or getting lost in the shuffle and aggression of others. This is what causes dysfunction and ultimately dis-ease of an individual or an organization.


5) When you learn how to effectively work with your own energy and vibration of others, you greatly improve all your relationships at home and at work. From there positive energy ripples out into the world and it is contagious.


6) The gifts that the horses and I bring are but one part of a greater journey to awakening the divine light of the leader that is within us all. As a horse and human facilitating team, we teach at a cellular level, organic with each client, and from there the sky is the limit.

Click Here for information on programs at The Sacred You Academy.

Barbara_Alexander_thumbnailBarbara Alexander is President and Founder of The Sacred You Academy at Epona Ridge – a magical place where women have come for years to gain insight about their inner lives and seek a greater awareness of their hearts’ true calling. Barbara serves as their mentor and guide as her retreat participants go through their individual journeys towards true happiness, joy and inner peace.

Barbara has worked with over a thousand people as a spiritual life and business coach, teaching transformational techniques that shift core energy awareness providing a more joyous life experience.

After many years of a successful career as a business executive, Barbara has dedicated her personal and professional life to mentoring women and men, in building their life as well as their business with a stronger foundation for wellbeing and personal fulfillment.

Barbara provides techniques for enhancing the mind/body connection, personal core energy awareness and personal empowerment. You will love the feelings of rejuvenation and inspiration that you experience at the Epona Ridge Retreats.

Barbara Alexander

Epona Ridge LLC

Asheville, NC

For more information: http://www.EponaRidge.com


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I’ve heard from so many women that have studied Abraham-Hicks, Wayne Dyer, and Louise Hay. They understand the concepts, but the personal integration can be hard.

Following your heart, and finding the life you are meant to live, is one of the greatest journeys we can have. It’s about learning how to hear your own inner wisdom, and having the courage to follow it, no matter what anyone else has to say.

See the video above to hear more about this journey within…

For more on this…

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How high are you setting your bar?

Are you making your life a conscious choice for a life well lived?

“Setting the bar” is a phrase that refers to the goal we are trying to meet.

Years ago, I learned something I didn’t really allow myself to admit – or even tell others about – until now.

It defied what I had been told about working hard to get ahead.

Ultimately, it became a lesson in how I was “setting the bar”, and not selling myself short…

Rising to the Top
In my first job, I absent-mindedly ‘set my bar’ at the level that management had set. I aligned myself with ‘the goal’.

Then I attended a national conference. I quickly found that there were several people who were doing multiple times what I had done, going far beyond the business goals and ‘going where no man (or woman) had gone before’!

Raising the Bar
And then I did something you won’t find in any positive attitude books.

No, I didn’t put my written goals all over my home or in my car. I didn’t meditate on success and do just 1% more every day. I changed my focus to a new level of expectation.

I spent each day not unlike the year before, but the results were drastically changing. I raised the bar and the rest came from the inspiration that aligned with that intention.

By the end of that year, I could see the powerful results and I was overjoyed with what is now called the Law of Attraction!

Could it really be that simple?

Are our lives truly affected by our intention and where each of us sets our bar?

If I told anyone about this when I was that young, I would have crumbled at the criticism!

Where does it say that life is meant to be hard?

A Visit with My Friend
I recently visited a friend and we spent the afternoon relaxing in her beautiful and magical garden. It was one of those special moments when you stop what you are doing and just enjoy the fresh breeze and warm spring air.

Baby flowers were just beginning to bloom and the flower beds had all been cleaned to allow the sun to nurture the budding plants.

She talked to me about how utterly content she was looking back on her life, how she had grown up with a loving family who played games and had fun together. She spoke of her wonderful children and the partners in her life that were so very special and loving to her.

She had experienced grief, sadness, joys and laughter like most of us, but something was different.

Creating a Magical Garden, Inside and Out
I saw the loving glow of a blessed life in her eyes and felt such a sense of peace and appreciation for all that she had shared with me that day.

It occurred to me that long ago, possibly even before she was born, she had set her bar for a life well lived… and once again I wondered if it could be that simple.

Could all of life, even our personal life be affected by our focus?

If you could reset your current experience, where would you set your bar?

In other words, if you could go to a new frontier where no man or woman had gone before, what would that be?

I am resetting mine again as I am writing this to you!

Life is never dull when you feel for inspiration!


Barbara Alexander, Founder and Director of Epona Ridge, Teacher and Leading Innovator of Equine Experiential Learning and Coaching for Advanced Human Development.

Epona Ridge, a sanctuary retreat center for inspiration, is located in Asheville, North Carolina and offers life and career support, Reiki certification, facilitator training, individual workshops and retreats incorporating the teachings of Abraham — Hicks and the Law of Allowing. For more information see: www.EponaRidge.com

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I had looked for daily connection to Source energy and wanted a life that felt fulfilling and inspirational…

It is wonderful to have a sacred place to go to, to feel a sense of deep peace and inner Knowing, a safe and comforting place where you can learn how to tune into your most heart centered alignment and feel your way forward to a life of intention…


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Meditating with Horses as Epona Ridge

Meditation Made Easy

Feeling perfectly content to be so physically small in this great big space, I was sitting on the ground in what I have come to call the Temple of the Horse and though no other humans were there, I was far from alone.

We were just watching the snow gently falling outside through the arched doorway that led from the arena to the forest. A spring snow is not at all uncommon in the mountains of North Carolina. It was so quiet that day, the air was fresh and it looked like a winter wonderland, cold enough for snow but not too cold to be outside. I just wanted to ‘BE’ with them… without an agenda … enjoying the beauty of everything we had right there … together ‘just BEing’.

During those moments of quiet meditation and a deep sense of gratitude, he quietly came over and stood within inches of me. Normally I would have gotten up, since the sheer size from that angle felt immense and could have actually been overwhelming. As I looked up at him, I felt his commanding presence yet I felt safe, he was the alpha horse of the herd … and I was in his house.

Zorro stood so close that I had to bend back to see his great white head and mane. He is an Andalusian, the white dancing war-horse of Spain and is strikingly beautiful. He slowly lowered his face all the way down to my level, until his eye was literally within inches of mine. It is not common for a horse to look a human in the eye, yet he was looking right into mine so intently, so sincerely and without as much as a blink. I felt his warm breath blow on my hands and on some level I was aware of the sacred gift he was offering.

Suspended in Time

I am not sure when it happened or what prompted the shift, but for that moment it felt as if we were suspended in time.

We were caught in an inward spiral and connecting from one heart into the place where we were no longer separate beings, into a place where all of us… animal, human and nature were all connected and still one.

I could sense that he was trying to tell me something, something so deep and personal that everything seemed to fall away from around us.  I was conscious of having to let go of thought and I felt tears quickly rushing to my eyes, tears of relevance and honor with a mutual wish to trust and to learn…

I became lost in those deep black pools within his eyes and there was a sense of recognition that I felt from within my body. He was teaching me something … I knew he was helping me to heal on an inner level, I could feel a sense of deep peace within my body and the bliss that comes from the feelings of comfort and love.

Blessed with Rejuvenation

Within a few moments, my awareness of the space that surrounded me came back. Zorro had shifted his head and he began to lick and chew for a moment. I could feel the energy shift in completion and he walked away and stood in the sun that was streaming through the archway just twenty feet from where I sat.

In the precious moments that followed, there was a warm reception from the rest of the herd as each gentle being came over to the place where I was still sitting. One by one they got close enough to gently sniff my head and touch me with their soft warm muzzles. It felt as if each of them in their own way had been part of this loving ceremony.

I knew that these were special moments and we all had benefited from the experience. The feeling was so peaceful, like a very deep meditation.

Meditation had never came easily for me, but this happened so simply and within moments. Everything around me just stopped and I felt all at once comforted and connected to some higher awareness within myself. The outcome was a sense of rejuvenation, as if I had a good long nap and had woken refreshed, energized and at peace.

From the Human Experience to Clarity and Bliss

If someone had told me about this years ago, before I had done research on the healing effect horses can have on personal well-BEing and how they can help with the development of human awareness,  I would have questioned the viability of such a concept. But for now, as I am left with this feeling of complete awe and awareness, I know my experience with Zorro was possibly one of the greatest gifts I could have been given. He helped me to slow down enough to find the clarity and bliss within myself and he taught me that I could easily go there anytime I needed.

In one moment I was in a state of the ‘human experience’ all of my thoughts and lists of ‘to dos’ had been swirling in my head. By comparison, it was a state of discomfort, out of the vortex as Abraham-Hicks would say. But simply and within a moment, I was once again deep within that vortex of connection, and I felt the peaceful alignment with my heart that has to be heaven…


Barbara Alexander, Founder and Director of Epona Ridge, Teacher and Leading Innovator of Equine Experiential Learning and Coaching for Advanced Human Development.

Epona Ridge, a sanctuary retreat center for inspiration, is located in Asheville, North Carolina and offers life and career support, Reiki certification, facilitator training, individual workshops and retreats incorporating the teachings of Abraham — Hicks and the Law of Allowing. For more information see: www.EponaRidge.com

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Lizards, Wizards, Horses and Humans: From Corporate Burnout to a Life Inspired
By: Barbara Alexander

It all started at Barnes and Noble. I had a cup of coffee and ended up with a book that unbeknownst to me, would change the direction of my life forever.  It was titled: The Tao of Equus, A Woman’s  Journey to Healing and Transformation Through the Way of the Horse.  Of course, there are no coincidences …

Joseph Campbell said, “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”

My ‘treasure’ seemed to be found in achieving corporate goals, fulfilling clients needs and caring for my family.  Keeping up with the things that inspired me was an exciting adventure, reaching for the incredible feeling of doing more, doing better than I had done before and continuously moving forward … but something insidious had slowly been changing.

Over time, I had begun to lose my energy, and my inspiration had long left the stage!   I ignored the warning signs that my body had given me … until one day I realized, that I just wasn’t happy anymore.  So what had shifted and why didn’t I notice long before this, that I was loosing the joy in my life?

Inner Lizards – Bouts of Doubt

Many of us put up with a lot of things before we are willing to make a change. It’s the ever increasing discomfort that makes us reach for the new doors to life-breathing inspiration.  So how much discomfort is enough before we are ready?

The Inner Lizard, referring to one of the most primitive layers of our brain, sends out warnings to keep us out of danger and is thought to link back to the neural structure that evolved in early vertebrates.  Listening to the Inner Lizard leaves us believing we don’t have an option, there is not enough to go around, we can’t get what we need, and that we may lose something we want.

These fragments of conditioned patterns cause us to fixate on what is wrong. We’ve all experienced bouts of doubt in what is commonly called the self saboteur. We tend to turn on mental tape loops from the past, laced with ‘things we should have done’,’could have done,’ and ‘aren’t doing good enough’ …

The problem is that the Inner Lizard blocks us from feeling our way to a better life experience.  It inhibits the path to the life we dream about and we can end up with a feeling of being stuck where we are.

Inner Wizards

Having found your inner guide, you have found yourself …

I had overridden my ‘Inner Wizard’ and had put personal self-care and self-awareness on the back burner for when I had more time – but no matter how I may have muffled the sound, it was always there … boundlessly there … waiting for me to listen.

Through extensive research, we are learning that there is infinite wisdom in every cell of the human body; however, most of us have no idea how to access this ‘Inner Wizard’ in our everyday lives.  We are just beginning to learn how to tune into in to this silent, personal awareness that provides the best answers for our health, well-being and the ultimate satisfaction of our Soul.  Getting to the place where we can hear who-we-really-are, unencumbered and clear, seems to be a common challenge.

I knew I needed to change but I was not sure what was wrong or how to fix it.  Who was qualified to help me on this most intimate of journeys to the me I wanted to be?  That was when I found the book that serendipitously led me to my first personal retreat, but I had no idea of what I was about to experience …

Horses and Humans

My first encounter was with a magnificent horse who was skilled in the art of allowing his own authentic nature to be fully focused and in the moment … all 1200 pounds of him!  I was mesmerized by his presence. It was as if everything else had fallen away …  just me and a horse, untethered.  It was exhilarating, and I felt so alive!

Many of the people attending this retreat had never experienced horses this closely. We had no idea of what to expect, but the outcome started an extraordinary shift that has helped to reclaim the person I was meant to be.

It was like a rush of clarity and serenity was unleashed, along with the onset of my own self-awareness.  I was seeing myself mirrored through the eye of the horse. While it took a few moments to stop resisting the possibility of what was actually happening, I realized that this was the equine-influenced shift in consciousness that I had just been reading about.

Horses do not project their opinions of us as good or bad, they simply mirror, with discerning awareness, each person’s individuality.  They sense our heart rate and blood pressure as opposed to what we may portray, for instance acting like we are in control or that we have no fear.

As opposed to dogs,cats and other predators, horses are highly intuitive and responsive because of their prey animal instinct.  They sense our non-verbal energy, the messages that we are continuously, and involuntarily emitting. Because of this ability, horses shift their behavior the split second we energetically shift ours, thereby teaching us precisely what we need to learn in the moment … that is, if we are ready to learn.

The Vibration Between Two Beings.

This unforeseen equine teacher, like many spiritual teachers, appeared in my life with perfect timing.  He patiently taught me how to shift my physical energy forward and back as we played with the experience of mutual respect and all of it’s subtleties. His patience and persistence was amazing, and if I had not experienced it for myself, it would have been hard to believe.

As the retreat began to go deeper, it all started to make sense.  The fragments of my conditioned patterns that had been keeping me from seeing my life clearly, were playing out right in front of my eyes though the actions of this horse.  He helped me to see, without judgment, what I needed to do differently to change the unhealthy dynamics in my life.  How did he know?  How was he so gracefully reflecting the experience that I had been living?

The Effects of Being Out of Balance

Because I had learned to value my intellect and was never taught how to listen to my emotions or inner wisdom, I did not pay attention to the red flags signaling that my life was out of balance.

I also realized that without learning the subtlety of simultaneous awareness in connection to others, relationships could become a painful experience. It was an epiphany when I began to understand all that the horse had shown me and how it related to my life at home and at work.  This was the primary key as to why many of our experiences in life and business end up falling short of what we most desire.

Having spent most of my adult life working with Fortune 500 companies, I felt a great sense of sadness for what we, as a culture had been missing.  The lack of personal awareness was causing ripple effects of dysfunction among individuals, families and organizations.  In many cases, people resorted to acquiescence, or conversely, dominance to compensate for personal imbalance.

A New Beginning

What I learned was not about the horses, it was about me and the way I had been living my life.  This equine dance of biofeedback was extraordinary.  It was exquisite personal guidance at the most intimate level – something I never could have learned from a book or a lecture. From that point forward, my new direction was born.

Up to that point, my life had been the sum of all that I had learned and this had offered the crucial missing piece that I needed to move forward. Because I was willing to let go of the things that needed to change, I was opened to a new life-breath of inspiration, one that helped me to fulfill my greatest dream so far …  Epona Ridge.

My journey started when a book landed in my lap. Now this one is in yours, and you have opened to this page …


Barbara Alexander, Founder and Director of Epona Ridge, Teacher and Leading Innovator of Equine Experiential Learning and Coaching for Advanced Human Development.

“Barbara is an incredible teacher, whose profound understanding of human emotions allows tremendous healing and growth for all participants in her programs. Her workshops quite literally changed my life. It was almost like hitting a reset button… I am reconnecting with all of these parts of myself that I had almost forgotten were there… ”

Epona Ridge, a sanctuary retreat center for inspiration, is located in Asheville, North Carolina and offers life and career support, Reiki certification, facilitator training, individual workshops and retreats incorporating the teachings of Abraham — Hicks and the Law of Allowing. For more information see: www.EponaRidge.com

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