An invitation for greater self-advocacy & diplomatic skills in our artful warrior-ship of service.
The following is an “opinion post” and a “call to action” in response to a shift in the skies.
Today Mars, the fiery planet of war; our symbolic guide of action and our karmic mission energies moves into the relating, collaborative Zodiac sign of Libra. As one who has her natal planetary Mars in this sign, I am quite familiar with the polarity inherent with this placement of self-action & other. Some astrologers view this as a “challenging” placement. I however have come to appreciate the greater wisdom for me in it’s call to embrace the AND of my actions as a leader of my life and in my work/service.
As I contemplated this shift of martian energies from the earthy, mutable Virgo, detailed (get er done) Zodiac influence to the now relating airy, initiating vibe of Libra, the image of a Diplomatic Warrior has emerged.
The hermetic principle, As Above, So Below has been, and continues to be an important principle for how I integrate astrology into my consulting services. In many ways this principle comes alive in Systems Theory. A science dedicated to understanding complex systems.
As I take a breath, step back and consider the expression of the archetypal dance of the Diplomatic Warrior in the context of our “times”, the following post winds through some personal opinions & observations which I hope inspire your own “re-think” on how you’re choosing to engage your leadership & warrior-ship, today.
In many ways the challenges we’re facing as individuals, organizations and society feel insurmountable. Here in Canada we have an election underway. Each party vying for our vote. As I look to our neighbours in the USA, well, It’s extremely difficult to watch and understand what’s really taking place. Like a great drama, the world is in mass transition. We’re in the space between. That familiar foggy, uncertain and yes at times scary place can find ourselves in, in our own personal transitions.
There are a three themes I’d like to begin to explore today in relation to the diplomatic warrior:
- Self Advocacy & Self Care; and
- a broad exploration of Diplomacy Guiding Principles, Mindset, Choice, Principles, Skills & Practices.
Advocates for change, whether in health, climate, education are stepping up. Most notably our brave youth who’re taking a stand across the globe to say, enough!
It’s inspiring and yes, for me personally still feels daunting. As I bring this back into a more local level and consider the challenges we face here at home and then in my own home, I wonder what wisdom we need to tap into to cultivate greater resiliency as leaders.
Whether a leader of a large system or as a leader in your “home& life”, are you sensing a need to re-think and re-engage how you’re engaging yourself as an advocate?
Self-Advocacy & Self-Care
For many advocates and leaders who serve through healing and helping professions, I often see a core thread that runs through the path to burn out. That is, “we struggle to advocate for ourselves to the degree we advocate for others.”
This shows up for many of us with ways of relating to our bodies, minds and spirits that are survival driven and not sustainable.
For us to continue to do our good work in the world, this pattern needs to shift. It begins with an awareness that a shift is required and then a willingness to connect and learn how else.
We must learn new information about ourselves and approaches to engaging in self-advocacy behaviours. Yes behaviours. To shift these however, we need to entertain a larger quest around identity. Who are we? What is our emerging vision? and Who do we need to become to thrive (vs solely survive) through these times.
Are you ready to up level your self-advocacy & self-care?
For the purpose of this post, I happen to like this definition of diplomacy:
Diplomacy is the art of advancing an idea or cause without unnecessarily inflaming passions or unleashing a catastrophe. It involves an understanding of the many facets of human nature that can undermine agreement and stoke conflict, and a commitment to unpicking these with foresight and grace.The School of Life, https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/how-to-be-diplomatic/
When I consider the current brand of diplomacy being illuminated in the sky (Mars in Libra), I resonate with these two quotes:
Diplomacy is the velvet glove that cloaks the fist of power.Author, Robin Hood
Put your iron hand in a velvet glove.Napoleon
There are axioms (or natural laws) of relating we’ve seemed to have lost in our evolutionary pursuit of ME. Regardless of your world view of who the WE actually is; I hope we all can agree that mirroring of actions influences us. In fact one of the most powerful self care acts we can choose to engage is honouring how we relate to another.
From a body-mind view, there is a beautiful dynamic dance between the second & third chakra that embodies an invitation to honour another, with how we honour ourself, and vice versa.
Self-management, leading self is the cornerstone for any great leader today. There are many practices alive for us as leaders to build a daily foundation for success.
The work of diplomacy demands I believe both a commitment to it’s potential and a willingness to do our own work through living by ethical, guiding principles, working with our mindset, choice, principles, skills & practices.
Interested in receiving support to do this?
In addition to practices to support your foundation of self-leadership, we need some guiding principles. Guiding principles act as a navigational system in the storm. The path isn’t clear and yet, we need something to help us navigate through/in the fog.
A simple and yet deeply effective set of tenants I feel could most serve our practice of becoming diplomatic warriors is the work of Don Miguel Ruiz shared in his book: The Four Agreements.
If you’re unfamiliar with this book, I highly recommend considering it as a resource to embody in your choice points of leading through the storm of transitions.
The four agreements are:
- Be Impeccable With Your Word.
- Don’t Take Anything Personally.
- Don’t Make Assumptions.
- Always Do Your Best.
Imagine what our life & world could look like if we were to honour practicing these principles.
From a yogic perspective the ancients knew the power of living ethical principles. We’re taught these in both Ayurveda and Yoga. They are known as the Yamas & Niyamas.
For more information, check out this article.
Mind Set: Win-Win
Often what runs our engagement of relating as warriors is a view of competition, as opposed to cooperation. The history & origins of this are vast, deep and primal. Suffice to say for the purposes of this post, consider what might shift, open up for you as you choose to step into diplomatic warrior-ship if you were to dig into the mindset of win-wins.
- What are win-wins?
- What do I believe about win-wins?
- Who could I become in my leadership, if I were to adopt and embody a win-win mindset?
Choice Point: Commitment
Yes, commitment as a choice.
I love this quote as it reminds me of the power that lives inside the choice point of commitment:
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.William Hutchison Murray
Skills: Listening, Empathy & Curiosity
There is no greater skill in leadership, than the power of listening. Yes, being able to express our ideas and opinions are important. And…to what degree are we listening. Listening to ourselves; listening to those in front of us.
This is a skill that we all fail at. Our worlds are filled with a multitude of priorities and distractions. Listening has become the new muscle of effectiveness to build. Like going to the gym to build our body muscles; there are practices available to support us in building the muscles that help us listen better.
Interested in learning more?
I can think of no greater reference point to illustrate what empathy is and it’s potential offering to the work of a diplomatic warrior, then Brene Brown’s Short on Empathy & distinguishing it from the default of sympathy.
Curiosity is a great antidote to judgment. In fact I share a tip with many of my clients as they begin to wake up to the presence of judgement.
Simply put, as you choose to engage the skill of curiosity, begin with noticing when judgement of self and or other happens. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself or the other a question. Being curious is a skill that can deeply fuel a spirit of discovery and learning. This spirit opens up possibility and potential that gets collapsed when we think we know; think we need to know or judge another.
I hope today’s post has offered some valuable information to support you wherever you stand in your journey of leadership & transition.
Remember, as you travel this journey, you need not travel alone.