To be taken seriously in his or her tribe as a true healer, the ancient shaman had to return from death or a near-death experience, or from the brink of insanity. The shaman knows the only way to deeper truth leading to profound healing is to walk through the dark side of the inner self. And it’s that darker side of us, our shadow, that keeps hidden the full truth of who we are – our authentic selves. Hidden from our deepest truth, we are blocked from our greatest authentic resourcefulness.
Fortunately, leaders today don’t need anything so dramatic as near-death experiences to be taken seriously, or to find their truest expression.
But neither is it easy.
As a descendent of Nicaragua’s Nicoya tribe, a Shamanic mountain tribe revered for their intuitive and healing gifts, intuition has always come easy to me. Authenticity has not.
Our shadows create unconscious blocks to our strongest expressions of authentic leadership and honest communication, impacting our every choice. Over time, we build up defenses, patterns, and habits to help us cope, often not recognizing how much energy goes to hiding shame, blame and inadequacy that the shadow clings to. Those coping mechanisms lurk beneath the surface of our consciousness, cause us to give up our power, and keep us from boldly and intuitively living our lives with confidence, compassion, resourcefulness and strength.
We’re gifted at different times in our lives to take that dark walk.
When we’re ready, or when it’s thrust upon us, there are tools such as the Enneagram that can help. I’ll explore some of these in future posts.
For now, recognize we all have blocks to our greater potential. It’s the chatter in our heads that says we’re wrong, we don’t have what it takes (not really), everything’s my fault… Some of you may be saying to yourself, “I’ve already worked through that,” and you’re right. And yet, we’re always given another chance to take a deeper look, to peel off the proverbial layers.
To fully, completely live an authentic life, we must dive into our deeper selves with the fearlessness of a shaman, the courage of a soldier, and the heart of a lion. When we do this, then, and only then, will we live with passion and authenticity.