• Paul and Phoebe Hoogendyk

What do you need now for effective self-leadership?

SOUL TV Episode 245

What do you need now for effective self-leadership?

In work, family and relationships we are expected to be natural leaders in our lives. How do you learn to do this well if you currently don't? Watch 8pm Mon 12 Oct

We may have to all be our own “leaders” in this day and age but it still rings true that some of us are born to be more effective leaders than others based on the acuities and pre-dispositions that we came in with. That doesn’t mean that we cannot all learn to be effective in self- leadership.

For effective self - leadership there are three things that need to happen.

Firstly: Know yourself.

Secondly: Be yourself.

Then thirdly: Be the best YOU that YOU can be.

From the perspective of the ancient tribes the grandparents would watch the children from the time they were born to see what they were drawn to and where their talents and skills naturally lay; were they hunters? were they healers? were they tribal leaders? The stars that they were born under would also give them a big clue as to which direction to guide them. For example, natural tribal leaders were all born on the full moon.

In a tribal situation, even today, when girls and boys are on the threshold of adulthood they were sent out into the bush, the wild or a place that would challenge them on their own with no food and water for up to 3 days and sometimes more. To sit with themselves in the vastness of the Earth, spirit, the ancestors and the Universe to face themselves, their fears and to learn all they could about who they were and what part they were to play within the familial and tribal structure. They would bring back the visions or knowledge that they had gained for themselves to share with the tribe also so that the tribe knew who they were and the part they had to play.

Your individual spirit or strength is called by the Maori “Manna” and the Githabul people of Northern Rivers NSW call it moogai: It was in ancient tribal times and is still today, your responsibility to look after it, to grow it and keep it strong. It is the mastering of yourself and can and does take a lifetime to master. As we experience life we grow and continually learn about ourselves and our place in the world and beyond. Life is 24hr University that we are all enrolled in.

This concept of going out into nature is a really important part of who we are that has been lost today and is part of why we are constantly searching for something that we feel is gone. And you won’t find it in the shopping malls of life. We need to go back to sitting on the Earth who is after all in a very deep sense of the word our mother. We were created from the Earth itself. The Aborigines of Australia who live on country are still drawn to go “walkabout” to find themselves and to be a part of the country that is them as well.

Billy Connolly once said “It is not the absence of people I seek but the presence of self.” This is what we all must strive for to be able to master self. The Buddhists recommend 3 years, 3 months and 3 days in contemplation of who you are and why you are here. Of course with our very busy lives today, in reality structured to side track us and distract us from finding out who we are and how powerful we truly can be, we find it hard to put aside even an hour a day to go within. In truth we have a whole generation lost in cyber space, in a virtual world that is worlds away from reality.

So it brings us back to effective self-leadership and that means bringing yourself back to your authentic self. We need to remove the outside pressure from on us to “fit in,” to be seen but not heard. Many of us don’t fit in and we are not supposed to, we are here to make change. So be the change that you seek. Be the change within you so that you can lead the way for others to be more of who they came here to be. Have courage to walk your own path and speak your own truth even if you feel you are the only one who is supporting you at times. It will always open doors to others who are on the same path. You will find each other and when you have spoken out it will give other people permission to be themselves also.

Self-mastery has a lot to do with self-trust, patience, self- discipline, self- love and inner peace. As we said before true self-mastery can take a lifetime to achieve and is the difference between an old person and an Elder. An old Chinese proverb states: “Grey hairs do not make a master. Some people grow old in vain.”

Be realistic with yourself. Learn the art of self-discipline through mediation, a martial art, a course that trains your particular strength. You will also learn patience and inner peace through the same things. Take yourself out in nature and reconnect with the Earth and whilst there push your boundaries and face your fears. It is your life after all and the further your boundaries can expand the further you will grow. The more fears you can face the less fearful your life will be.

Have courage and step into who you want to be, one step at a time and don’t let anyone push you back. Be open to change and listening to those you respect as an Elder or wise person for they have been on the road you seek for many years and can offer you sage and practical advice.

Remember that one day if you are lucky you will be old so strive from this moment on to be the Elder you would respect and wish to learn from. Being a good leader of yourself is also about learning to defer to the wisdom of others, to listen more than you speak and be open to learn from others, so that you can grow.

Paul and Phoebe Hoogendyk

Ancient Wisdom Mentors



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