I read something interesting about bullfighting the other day (for the record: I am totally opposed to bullfighting. But there are lessons to be learned in the oddest situations!)
There is a place in the bullring where every bull feels safe. If the bull reaches this spot, he stops running and rests. It might seem like the bull has given up or injured himself when he enters this place, but this is not the case at all. Rather, this break from the action enables him to gather up his full strength again, centre himself, be ready for a fresh charge and can continue fighting.
This safe place is called the querencia. This spot is different for every bull. It is the job of the matador to figure out the location of the querencia for the bull and then prevent the bull from entering this sanctuary.
What is the querencia in your life? It doesn’t have to be a physical place, although it can be. It can also be a state of mind or a particular memory or mental picture that makes you feel safe and whole. It can also be as simple as a photograph or other object that, when you look at it, makes you feel secure.
What a beautiful concept: a place in which we know exactly who we are. The place from which we speak our deepest beliefs.
When you find it difficult to achieve your goals or want to temporarily get off the treadmill of your life, enter your querencia, even if for just a few minutes.
If you don’t yet have a querencia, make it a top priority to find or create one.
You probably have many matadors out there preventing you from entering your querencia. These matadors take many forms: illness, the needs of your family, demands of your work, all the distractions in any given day.
Unlike a matador in a bullfighting ring, your matadors usually aren’t deliberately trying to prevent you from entering your querencia and their demands are often legitimate and not at all hostile. But remember that you do have power over all your matadors. Give yourself permission to say no to your matadors, even the benign ones. And don’t forget that only you know where your querencia is — your matadors never will.
When a cabinetmaker works with wood, he works with the grain, not against it. Regularly visiting your querencia will help prevent you from going against your grain and taking on tasks and responsibilities that go against your personality. You have the right to say no to anything that diminishes your sense of identity and peace.
Finally, the purpose of entering your querencia isn’t to hide from the world, but to emerge again with strength and energy to achieve all your goals and set new ones and find the right opportunities to say YES to.
I’d love you to share what your querencia is. Mine is soaking in a hot tub: as my body relaxes with the heat, my mind opens up to new, powerful thinking. This is my source of renewed strength for current challenges, as well as breakthrough thinking. So I make time to enter my querencia 5 to 10 times per week. What about you?