Hello Lovely Readers,
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Okay! Now to the main event…
In September, I had the opportunity to take a safari in South Africa.* And, while the experience inspired me, it wasn’t for the reason you might expect.
The safari was an (often morbid) reminder of the harsh parts and fragility of life. While we saw many beautiful things, we also saw predators hunt prey and wounded animals get left behind by their families. As we approached some of the fiercest animals in the world, we were reminded how to stay safe. Those recommendations were supported by tragic stories about people who did not heed the advice.
As all of this unfolded, my coach brain was going a mile a minute. Witnessing life in the African bush led me to many insights…but here’s the one I was most inspired to share:
Humans are frickin’ magical
The fact that early humans survived in this environment completely blows my mind (and, yes, I know many communities still call the African bush home — that’s amazing too!).
Our ancestors faced the threats of lions, leopards, scorpions, snakes, drought and more, and STILL grew a population big enough to span the globe.
To me, this means a few important things:
1) We are endowed with incredible intuition
We are programmed to sense even the most minute details and changes in our environment. In the early days, intuition helped us stay safe from predators, find resources (food, water, medicinal plants), and survive challenging situations. Every one of us is endowed with this same, largely subconscious, capacity today. It’s why sometimes we “just know” that something is about to happen.
Sometimes we ignore or deny our intuition, and that’s too bad. By tapping into our intuition, we can generate great ideas and find the “inspired action” that allows us make the biggest impact.
Even if you feel disconnected from your intuition, you can trust it’s still there. It’s innate to us like our other survival instincts. Sometimes, we need to remember to listen and have the courage to follow our intuition (especially in the face of fear). This is part of the work I do with clients, and I love watching how it propels them forward!
2) We are programmed for community
To stay alive in such a challenging environment, our ancestors used the power of community. They often traveled in groups and organized their villages to protect themselves and their animals (for instance, the Maasai people of East Africa create fences of acacia thorns around their compounds).
It’s no surprise, then, that humans thrive through close relationships (check out this study by Harvard), and creating these bonds is a human tradition and basic survival strategy.
This is part of why I’m so passionate about my work as an Authentic Relating Games facilitator, as well as the relationship coaching I do. When we remove the resistance we have to closeness, support, and learning from others, we are more likely to live a fulfilled life AND reach our goals.
3) We are instilled with a remarkable resilience and courage
The next time you feel fear getting in the way of your goals, remember the courage of your ancestors who beat the odds in the African bush. Resilience, creativity and brilliance are in your DNA.
I hope this email reminds you of how awesome you are, readers. You have everything you need to create a life you love — it’s all about tapping into the genius that’s already within you and the community that’s already around you!
With gratitude and respect,
*Special thanks to the South African Tourism Board for the prize, and to my parents for joining me!
One of our guides with my dad’s favorite souvenir — an elephant made of pink beads
The protea is the national flower of South Africa and they have gorgeous bouquets with proteas EVERYWHERE.