Following versus Leading

“The Camino reminded me that whether overcoming an addiction to dairy or an addiction to co-dependency, my will and intent would be constantly laundered on spin, until what ever is left emerges clear and clean. Realizing uplifting change requires the steady strength of our will, and the clear vision of our dreams.  It’s the pragmatic one footfall after another, that will not only make our dreams come true, but will ensure they can be realized in a sustainable fashion.” Oct 3, 2016 Camino-in-Writing

I’ve been recently contemplating the pros and cons of following in the foot steps of others, as the means to the ends I have dreamed up for myself.  The Camino del France offers a useful analogue, as it is literally a series of pathways well established by pilgrims of the past who have walked down, and sign-posted along the way, a successful route to a desired destination, Santiago or Finesterre.  But there are other pathways I am talking about, such as if your dream is to become an Naturopath, your route might look like following through with an undergrad in health sciences (or any sciences), and then continuing on in a graduate program in Naturopathy.  Or, if your dream is to become a Mom, this might look like following the pathway of getting pregnant with a fellow parenting-inclined adult, and then making house in a way that enables the fulfillment of your dream.  Or, if your dream is to become spiritually enlightened you might follow a pathway such as yoga, or Buddhism, or the kabbalah, or a religion such as Christianity, as a means of fulfilling your goal.   All of the above mentioned routes are pre-established ones that a certain populations of people have walked down, and hopefully experienced as successful means to their desired ends.  These proven results tend to be what inspire us to consider following in the footsteps of those who’ve gone before, but I think there is also good cause for keeping a weathered eye for opportunity to break new ground and go your own way.

Each moment carries with it a myriad of possibilities, some likely, some less likely, some miraculous if they occur; however, each NOW is the opportunity for creative becoming, for evolution.  And this is where following, versus leading, can limit creative possibility for change.  If you adhere to a world view that we are all connected, and because of this connection are essentially part of a greater whole, than it is possible to imagine that each of us truly carries one piece of the collective solution.  In order for us to skillfully navigate and offer our individuality to our collective health (which means to be whole), then we need to be Awake, and connected to the inner compass (or inner compassion).  If we loose sense or sight of the present-moment, inner compass, than not only is it easy to be derailed or confused, but also easy to find ourselves walking blindly in the groves, ah-hum ruts left behind by another.  Although established paths appear as offering efficient and effective opportunity, they also offer risk of assuming the same mistakes, bugs, and errors of the ignorant past.  Many pathways are littered with mindsets and limiting beliefs that no longer apply to the present-moment; but without a doubt, breaking bush  takes a reasonable amount of courage.

How do you find your inner compass?  This is where being embodied: feeling, seeing, and being awake in your life are essential to uncovering your authentic, soulution-oriented self.  Being alert to your inner sense of passion and curiosity supports an interdependent (not independent and not co-dependent) expression of you, your way, your song, your contribution.  And, then, instead of becoming “another brick in the wall”, we can each offer our gifts as a collective way-finding towards peace, health, and happiness.

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