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The Quiet Leader
Carol Japngie Horton (602) 410 6151

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Coyote Glowing Edges

The Quiet Leader

I learned a pretty amazing lesson today from a coyote during a hike. My very large chocolate lab bounded into a pack of coyote that was hunting for food. As I called him back the pack of coyote all scattered then reassembled themselves behind their fearless leader who stood its ground as I stood mine. We were a half a yard apart and staring into each other’s eyes. This coyote felt to be more of a female only because I was seeing in her the reflection of myself standing firm, determined to protect my one dog as she was her pack. After about a minute which seemed timeless, she withdrew and we each respectfully gave each other our passage.
What I realized as I thought about this coyote was that there comes a point in our lives when we are confronted with the possibility of danger or challenge and in those moments to stand firm in our personal commitment that we made about how we chose to show up in our lives, for ourselves and for others.
It is when we chose to stand in our personal integrity, well established, and firm in our divine truth that others will also stand behind us to support, love and protect us. In “divine truth” I am not discussing self-righteous truths which are born of fear and ego, but in the truth of which we are in our hearts and the truth of how we automatically show up in our “beingness” when faced with the need to protect ourselves, the ones we love, and our community.
It is only when we are firmly rooted in our inner strength that our ability to lead can we step forward powerfully from a loving and compassionate intention. From this place of leadership there is no need to force any issues or personal agendas. When we make that deliberate choice to acknowledge that we are whole human beings with all of our discrepancies, only then can we can look on others with more compassion as they too reflect what which we see in ourselves. The next time you feel triggered or irritated about someone’s behavior look and see where that behavior shows up in your life, or where you push it away because you don’t ever want to be that. As human beings we all experience the same set of emotions, both powerful and utterly disempowering. We have all been wrong, stupid, un-thoughtful, selfish, narcissistic, clumsy, amazing, smart, generous, selfless, and the whole gambit therein.
Nobody wants to be punished for being human so why do we blatantly punish others? I always have to ask myself when I’m being impatient or rude, what is it that I’m not giving myself that I’m making everyone around me pay for?! Do I need to slow down a little and take better care of myself, do I need to stop getting angry with myself for doing something that I perceive to be stupid so I can stop beating myself up? What am I doing or thinking that makes me feel miserable enough to make everyone else miserable?
When we can stand firm in knowing that we can face our fears and our obstacles and make that simple choice to turn them into challenges that we are always able to overcome, then that we can see the truth in who we are. Just as a coyote can sense fear, so can the energetic world around us. Fear will only pull more fear into the vortex of the truth and energy we give it. Surrendering into the moment and accepting what “IS”, without allowing fear to overtake every aspect of our heads and hearts may be a challenge at first but if we can make that a conscious choice to notice, on a daily basis, when our fear arises, this act alone will help to retrain that knee jerk reaction of how we handle our daily lives and situations. From there we can choose misery or happiness, faith or fear, love or resentment.
The knee jerk reaction can be so many things, from our addictions to our inability to hear when we need to listen and speak when we need to stand firm or be heard. To stop judging others or being self-righteous and arrogant in order to feel better about our-selves. Fear and judgment will creep insidiously into our lives and keep us out of standing firm in our love, our commitments and personal power.
This is the kind of leadership that is more about self-mastery and quietly leading others in such a subtle and organic way that it’s not infringing. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about who you are choosing to “Be” while you go about your day of “Doing”. In quiet leadership there is no need to whirl about making a lot of noise in order to be seen and acknowledged by others, that’s just the ego needing to feed itself. Quiet leadership is like that of the coyote, unlike the dog who is always vying for attention as it loudly pants with its tongue hanging out and it’s wet nose in your face. The quiet leader, the coyote, seamlessly flows and blends in and out of its environment. It glides like a soft wind ever patient and fully aware of its surroundings, curious enough to want to know more yet stealth in its graceful power to be seen only when it chooses to be. The coyote holds its pack close enough to divert any harm yet far enough for a good days hunt. The leader gives each coyote its own latitude while holding space simultaneously within the pack.
This amazing lesson came just from observing a coyote standing firm in its commitment to lead and protect its pack. Life has so much to teach, and every moment can be a teachable moment. If we were to choose to see all the subtle gifts life has to offer us every single day, what other amazing possibilities would we be inviting into our lives?
-Carol Horton-

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