An authentic leader guides and supports people to their own truth, thus developing sustainable leadership capacity in those they serve. To make this happen, people must first recognize that they have inner guidance and learn to trust it. Learning to tune into one’s own harp strings and live with periods of doubt is a life-long process. My work involves teaching simple ways to contact deep wisdom from your authentic self and encouraging you to trust and follow it.
From my experience, many physical ailments are connected to not living in alignment with one’s inner guidance. With so many voices clamoring for attention, listening to and connecting with your inner advisors has become a foreign language. Consequently, we do not trust and take care of ourselves according to our inner guidance. In my upcoming residential retreat, we will explore how helpers and those in the healing profession lose their center and get burned out, then develop methods to restore themselves.
On the journey of learning to contact your deep wisdom, the body is an important source of guidance. One of my early teachers, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, said that illness can be considered a Western form of meditation. In the West, where the meditative tradition is not strong and people are not in the habit of stopping periodically to become quiet and reevaluate their lives, illness – and sometimes only a serious illness such as a heart attack or cancer – stops a person so they can step back and take stock of what is important to them.
This is a common experience of people with serious illness. They often make a profound assessment of their life and values and rededicate themselves to those things of most importance.
But you don’t have to wait for a serious illness to connect to yourself. Pay attention to any ailments you are currently experiencing: back pain, headaches, intestinal issues, especially ulcers, discomfort in your joints, any kind of chronic pain or discomfort. While painkillers can certainly suppress the symptoms, be sure that you take time to listen for the root causes. What is your body telling you to attend to?
Your body is a wonderfully tuned instrument. Are you hearing the message? How has tuning in to your body been helpful for accessing inner wisdom? How does listening to inner wisdom make you a wiser, more thoughtful, compassionate leader?