Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Inner Lion

As Cameron's nose starts to twitch, his sleepy eyes open, and he lifts his head to further investigate the smells drifting with the breeze. Unconcerned, he falls back to sleep. Observing Cameron sleeping, I can't help but think of his ancestors walking the plains of Africa as fierce predators and as prey. Knowing animals reflect the human condition, I wonder how to cultivate the strength of my "inner lion" without letting it wreck havoc in my life.

Humans are omnivores and have characteristics of both predator and prey. Our society has reinforced and rewarded predatory behavior in school and business. If we don't claw our way to the top, it's a challenge to imagine an alternative because the wisdom of the prey has been suppressed within us. And yet for change to occur, the human psyche has to accept another matrix of wisdom capable of balancing the violent nature of the predator inside.

Bringing our predatory nature back into balance is the challenge of a lifetime. However, when we develop the wisdom of predator and prey, the lion transforms from aggressor to protector, from the murderer of sensitivity to its champion, helping us access the courage to feel and the willingness to act. Cameron is assisting us in reawakening the wisdom of the prey, while demanding that we own our inner lion and putting it to good use because true empowerment depends on finding a balance between the two.