Lessons from Lionesses: Hold ‘em, Fold ‘em, and Slay

Masai Mara, Kenya

Leave it to me to be on safari and have a whole deep moment. As I was observing three lionesses hunt a warthog (which they call a Pumba in Kenya and I lived), a few things struck me. Struck me in a way that I literally had my wig snatched. So of course (of course) I had to share it with my internet family. These lionesses are life goals in some pretty significant ways because, first of all, they are baddies. But also because they know their role and walk in that ish and nothing else. That’s a word in and of itself but not the lessons that have been gleaned.

Lesson #1: Know when to hold ‘em
When the lionesses hunt it is in a calculating kind of way. They observe with a sort of stillness and focus that is fascinating. They do not move too fast at first. They keep an eye on the situation, but they also watch from multiple vantage points. They sat together and scoped out their prey. Then they all took a different vantage point to assess the best way to capture the Pumba.
You have to be mindful about what you are going after. This is not to tell you to be risk-averse, but more so to tell you to be smart. You should go in with a plan that you can execute. It may not turn out the way you would like it to but have an idea of the landscape that you are moving into. If you’re going to attack, do so with some insight into what you need and achieving your goal might entail.
Also: Do not be afraid to work together. You ultimately cannot get where you want to go on your own. At some point, you need people in your corner that are able to provide you with an alternate vantage point to move you closer to the target. And don’t be afraid to reset if you need to, which brings me to my second lesson.

Lesson #2: Know when to fold ‘em
Now, these three lionesses were not successful in their hunt. They surrounded the warthog on three sides but that little guy got the better of the lionesses. That thing was hauling ass. Unlike cheetahs, which are hella fast, lionesses do not chase their prey at full speed. They hunt with the intent to pounce. When they thought they would be able to secure the bag (in this case, the dinner) one lioness would start lunging one the others would run in. But this is not about the chase. If running after their target isn’t going to yield a kill, they stop and reset.
There is no harm in conceding if a plan is not working. Rather than spinning your wheels wasting your energy and time, you can take a step back and reassess. The landscape or the stakes may change and there is no harm in adjusting for new variables.

Lesson #3: Slay
The lionesses were clearly a dangerous force, but they were not competing. If one took the lead, they all still ate. Each one played their role with a laser focus and did so in ways that commanded respect and attention. You wanted to look at them all and they all were regal and lethal without having to act like it, they just were.
A lot of times we get caught up in trying to seem like we are put together or like we are something that may not be totally true to who we are. But there is a power in standing squarely in who you are and being that to the best of your ability the puts out to the world that you are a force. It is just hand to walk it out in your way. That has definitely been my struggle. I have said for the last few years that I want to be the kind of person that has gravitas. I desire to walk into a room but the sort of quiet power, confidence, and peace that people know I am there and, more importantly, feel it when I leave. I don’t achieve that by posturing to be anything other than what is natural to me. Rather, I seek to cultivate the skills and characteristics that are there so that I can love me the most. If I love me most, others will take notice of the vibe. Be your own wave, beloveds, don’t ride someone else’s.

Love and Light,

~S

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I'm Sharde', I'm a PhD candidate living in Houston! I'm a nerdy jetsetter, Master Packer and personal growth enthusiast. I share my tips, tricks, and soul searching adventures here and on my YouTube channel. I enjoy reading, writing short stories, hanging out at the beach, skin care, and discovering new coffee shops.You can usually find me writing, working on my dissertation, shooting with my camera, or planning my next adventure.

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