horsejoy: how to transform dilemma into authentic leadership

Guru Front coverhorsejoy is a very profound, life-changing process defying simplistic description. You can read a full account of the process in my book Why talk to a guru? When you can whisper to a horse.

However, in summary, we design an exercise for you to do with a horse (on the ground) that is a metaphor of your dilemma. The horse will only cooperate when you are being the true you. As you work through the dilemma, and discover the true you, the horse begins to give you his trust, respect, understanding and engagement: the four key parameters of authentic leadership. The process works in 3 seamless stages:

  1. Acknowledge
  2. Risk
  3. Expand

Acknowledge

Dilemmas are always lies about ourself we’re attempting to live by – believing they are true. They have 2 sides to the same coin. One side is fear, the other pretence (image). Subtly, it’s not so much ‘what I am afraid of’ but ‘who I am afraid I am’.

If, say, I’m afraid I am ‘unnecessary’ (one of my existential fears about myself) then I may pretend I am ‘important’ in order to compensate, to make myself feel better, and gain the approval of others.

The dilemma is that since the truth is I am already ‘necessary and important’ (or I would not be here) so the more I create an image that proves I am not unnecessary (double-negative), the further away from living in my truth I am drifting. The dilemma can never be resolved by staying in it. It can only be resolved by transcending it.

The first step in transcending your dilemma is to become aware that you are in a dilemma – rather than the truth and have the courage to acknowledge this. Acknowledging your dilemma takes back the power you have given it and returns to you the power of choice and the authority to lead your authentic life.

Authentic leadership starts right here, right now by putting your happiness first by reclaiming your right to live your own life guided by the true you. Putting your happiness first and standing your ground in the face of fear requires a risk.

Risk

Because the horse will only respect the true you, we now coach you into taking a life-changing inner risk into discovering the power and joy of simply being you. As the horse recognises your shift in energy, it now gives you what it previously unwilling to give – its engagement. When you are centring in this new, authentic energy, we anchor the process by which you took this risk and the energy you are rewarded with.

Expand

So that you can readily access the true you and the power it brings, you are now coached through more and more challenging exercises with horse to strengthen your new awareness and change the default patterns of contracting in the face of fear to expanding.

Authentic leadership is all about expanding in the face of the urge to contract.