Taking the Lead
This week’s topic comes from Hexagram 7 - Shi, most often called The Army, but also called Leading. I am going to go a bit further and call this topic leading and following. It is often hard to know when to take the lead and when to follow or who is leading and who might you follow. I have spent the last week on a farm, a farm with two pregnant horses, one pregnant cat, two large dogs, 7 chickens, one person who lives there and several who come and go every day. Needless to say, one can begin to wonder who is in charge. We like to think we are in charge, and by we I mean you and me, and whoever you and me think we are. But are we really? When it comes to the birth, death and the facts of life in the life of any animal, the undeniable truth is that we are not in charge. Birth happens at its own behest. We are not in charge.
When we took the horses (not the pregnant ones, but rather, the oldest and the youngest ones) from one pasture to their nighttime shelter, my friend cautioned me to either lead or follow. I hadn’t considered this. Interesting, that I hadn’t considered that these very large animals, (even the 8 month-old baby horse is quite a bit bigger than a human) needed to know if I was leading or following. Even more interesting was noticing that after my attention came to the question, I felt confused. Should I lead? What would happen if I did lead? Was I qualified to lead?
When it comes to your body, you are most qualified to lead. Even if you don’t feel qualified, you are unquestionably, the one who lives in your body, and who can gain access to the knowing that lies within it. Even more than being qualified to lead, for your health, it might be critical that you “take the lead.” You might not know where you are going exactly, but you may still be called on to take the lead. So how do you take the lead and whatever does that mean?
You take the lead by taking your attention right into your body and your perception. Your body can’t give you anything but the truth. Your body can’t be anywhere but here. Your body can offer you what you need to take the lead, but you will have to focus your listening to find what you need sometimes.
You can use what you discover on behalf of yourself or on behalf of yourself and others in a given situation, but either way, good leadership would ask that you act from your own knowing. Allowing for your own leadership, your own knowing to come forward even when you don’t know exactly where you are going, this is the essence of authenticity, honesty, something that often inspires others to follow you anywhere!