As many of us in the South Pacific head back to work after a summer break, we may be confronted with challenging circumstances and find ourselves reacting to others and situations in spite of our best intentions not to do so.
Wayfinders cultivate a state of response-ability, being able to respond with wisdom and discernment and not merely being reactive. If we are in the grip of reactivity on the voyage, we jeopardise our ability to respond appropriately to vital signs.
The hoe on the waka (the rudder) symbolises the journey of self-knowledge that starts with: Ko wai au? (Who am I?) Understanding yourself is a core requirement of being a wayfinder, and requires sensitivity and response-ability, that is, the ability to respond to the signs of the physical world and human dynamics, and the world within oneself. Wayfinders are voyagers of inner-scapes as well as outer-scapes. The experience of great explorers is epitomised in the words of Mt. Everest climber Sir Edmund Hillary, who famously observed, ‘It is not the mountain we must conquer but ourselves.’
If the steerer on the hoe pushes too far one way or the other, the waka won’t get to where it needs to go. This is an apt analogy for our lives. If we are caught up in our problems, hooked on our personality and judging others for theirs, we are in danger of clouded thinking. We are no longer response-able; we are being touchy and reactive.
• How do you typically respond to challenging situations? Are you simply being reactive or do you respond with self-understanding of personal triggers that might be at play?
• Explore your own thought and reactive processes that cause you to meet the world in a particular way. See what ‘gets you’ and has you in the grip of deep assumptions that can inhibit your ability to respond well.