To travel the terrain of an authentic leader requires a level of listening, witnessing and an open-heart similar to that of a Samurai.
The unwritten Samurai code of conduct, is known as Bushido. The Bushido code holds that the true warrior must possess loyalty, courage, veracity, compassion, and honor as important, above all else. The samurai’s code is in honor of their masters and fellow warriors.
How can we apply this code to all the parts of ourselves and others that we defend, judge or reject?
How do we listen and invite all the voices and messages of our inner experience to the conversation? The emotions, physical sensations, thoughts, stories and even our intuitive sense and intellect. The distinction is to listen for rather than to all the stories that toss us into interpretation and into ‘working to understand’.
It is not a journey of following each thought and story as if they represent what is true. Rather it is an opportunity to recognize them as they arise and to allow them to be what they are; a simple thought, interpretation or belief.
From this space we can ask ourselves what is really true and challenge our assumptions and the validity of the stories.
This practice of listening invites a greater capacity to witness rather than be pulled by every thought like a Whac-A-Mole.
The open-heart is a direct result of this welcoming home of all the fragmented parts of us that have felt exiled for so long.
I will share more about the three gateways of listening, witnessing and an open-heart in upcoming posts.
The Common Denominator
The common denominator we all face is our attachment to thoughts, beliefs and expectations. I also refer to this as the conditioned mind. What expectations do we hold of ourselves, our lives and what others want or need from us?
Often times the expectations are obvious and can be addressed in mindful ways. Other times they blindside us. If a button gets pushed or an emotional outburst arises most likely there is an unconscious expectation or belief driving the situation.
The Influence of Thoughts and Beliefs
Authentic leaders ask, ‘How many moments do I respond with consciousness and how many by conditioned default?’ They recognize the influence their thoughts and actions have on themselves and others each day. Rather than trying to avoid the experiences of the conditioned mind, they practice recognizing the stories of the mind as they arise.
It’s a moment-to-moment journey of bite size experiences of awakening and openness to whatever arises, rather than a goal in the future. This way of being is available now.
Our invitation is to be present to our immediate experiences with or without dismissal or resistance. Even our opposition to resistance is more of the same pattern; and, the merry-go-round continues.
Modeling through our behavior and actions is a powerful influence to impact and sustain change.
How different does a moment unfold when we are willing to respond based on being present, vulnerable, honest and authentic rather than ‘right’, protective or agenda driven?