Heart of a Leader

Leadership Matters

Are you Awake?

Some years ago, I was a student of Richard Strozzi Heckler. Richard is extraordinary. He is a 6th degree Aikido black belt, has a PhD in clinical psychology and is one of the founding spirits of modern Somatics. I was in his dojo one summer afternoon with 30 fellow students. Lunch was delicious, and many of us ate more than necessary. Most of the class was in a dozing kind of mood.

Richard entered the dojo, and we assembled around him in a circle. He immediately sensed our inattention. Richard suggested we consider we were sitting on a very narrow precipice. Below us was a long drop. Our sitting perch was only as big as our bottoms. If we teetered in any direction, we were certain to fall to our death.

Immediately the class’ attention went to full alert. In the 15 years since that summer afternoon, I bring that experience back when I feel I’m drifting. Richard’s point that day was that every moment calls us to full alert. When we drift because our body is out of harmony or our thoughts are about something other than the present moment or our actions aren’t deliberate, we are missing the aliveness that is always present.

As a leader, in whatever way you choose, remember you are always called to be alert, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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One thought on “Are you Awake?

  1. Excellent illustration and thoughtful wisdom. Thank you for sharing …

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