As we continue to focus on how each of us will strive and strengthen our resolve for 2014 to Be Fearless! we come to the letter “A” standing for the words “Aware” and “Authentic”.
There is nothing that teaches us more about ourselves, our own leadership strengths and direction and the words “aware” and “authentic” than horses do.
Horses are “Nature’s true fairy tales.” ~ Lynne Pomeranz
By definition, “Aware” is having knowledge or perception of a situation or fact; conscious of, mindful of, informed about, acquainted with, familiar with, alive to or alert to. “Authentic” is of undisputed origin; genuine, real, bona-fide, true or veritable.
Horses teach us, remind us, that living right now and fully in the now brings with it peace, serenity and connection. They fill the emptiness that invades us and drains us from living our busy and stressful lives.
Through these gifts, we are refreshed and made ready again to fully embrace our passions and goals.
Aware and Authentic
Horses don’t care what we look like, how we speak, what we do for a living or where we live. They give us acceptance and tolerate our ignorance. The empower us and allow us to stand up straight without fear. They teach us that body language is as important as any speech.
To lead from the heart and in service to others, we need only to watch the dynamics of the horse herd. As leaders, it is up to each one of us to teach and guide others, to empower others to be greater than they are and bring out the greatness that already lies inside them. To teach them to Be Fearless! as they too will lead someday.
As Professional Guides, horses teach us patience and tolerance as well, with each other and our clients. Our clients come from all over the world and many are very successful people of their own professions and they are very much used to being in utter control of their surroundings. Many are in positions of command and leadership themselves. It can be very disconcerting to many of our clients to come into this remote and true wilderness, so massive and apart from all they have experienced.
Horses live in the now. They don’t worry about yesterday or the future. Horses live in the contentment and peace that we all desire for ourselves in our lives. They teach us and remind us by their own actions of honesty, that being the real you, the authentic you is the way to peace and serenity. They don’t expect us to be anything but what we are, unlike society that convinces us to hide our true selves, trying so hard to be what is expected of us. They teach us to trust our feelings, our hearts and ourselves.
To be fully who we are, our weaknesses and well as our strengths; allows us to be authentic. This is an absolute if we wish to lead with honesty, integrity and honor.
As I often share with our own Alaska Guide Trainees, it is paramount to learning: to be authentic, to be honest, to live a life of integrity and honor. Without these, it becomes to easy to want to hide our own weaknesses and mistakes, to easy to slide from wanting into doing; and that is only one slippery step away from dishonesty and unprofessional choices.
They teach us to be aware. Horses are incredibly alert to their surroundings and aware at all times, it is their natural defense. If we are alert and aware of our surroundings, we are not tied up in our own personal trials. We see more beauty, more opportunities. We see more opportunities for connections, the chance to witness great and small gestures of love, grace and need. We are more aware of those around us, who may simply want to love us or may need our love.
As people, as leaders and as Professional Guides to be aware is one of the most valuable skills one may have. There is joy to be found in focusing outward, instead of on ourselves.
To be aware of others, be they family, friends, coworkers, employees or strangers on the street, it allows us to take part in the life that surrounds us. It allows us to draw inspiration from it, create relationships with people, to enjoy the world’s beauty, to see where we can be of service and to see dangers ahead.
To be aware of the world allows creativity to flourish and leaders to envision greatness. It allows us to see problems that may arise before they become issues or offer a kind word or helping hand.
Horses are incredible animals. They set a perfect example of what we each wish for in ourselves: strength, courage, kindness, forgiveness and love. They lift spirits, quiet the busy mind and soothe the tired soul.
Are you Aware and Authentic?