Perhaps somewhere in my deep, dark, ancestral past I was some sort of warrior. On the other hand, I may have learned through the ages to become one.
I’m unsure of the evolutionary process that my DNA has undergone but perhaps I’ve learned to become a warrior by remembering the pain of the past, skills taught to me and what I’ve grown to comprehend, to help me cope in this life.
Does this mean my life-lessons will be more difficult? Is life just hard? Or am I over-thinking again?
Ruminating for too long is said by the Chinese Masters to be ‘injurious to the nerves’ – the worrier finds problems in every opportunity so avoids situations, perceiving threat instead of the chance to grow. Usually this course takes those prone to it on a downward spiral of catastrophic thinking.
The worrier will most likely act in the most extreme manner, either verbally or physically lashing out – or conversely, retreating to a safe place without saying a word in opposition but harbouring a thief in their heart.
The perception here is that their ‘strong-suit‘ of impenetrability will keep them safe when in fact, it is damaging. This front only serves to limit one’s beliefs, thereby defining boundaries which may not exist.
The Warrior, in contrast, seeks learning in everything. Having gained balance in all areas of their life, he or she pulls on their courage and steadfastness to stand up for ‘righteous’ causes, sometimes pushing beyond what is seen as ‘normal’ human behaviour, with a completely open heart. The Warrior occupies the space of ‘readiness’.
Both, in different ways, are in states of heightened alertness; both are ready and awaiting the signal to fight for their belief – it’s what happens from here that differentiates between the two; both have a lifetime’s training in dealing with abuse, but only one will be self-disciplined and truly empowered to deal with it effectively at this time – the one who has practiced Satori – the warrior state of being as described by Dan Millman in The Way of the Peaceful Warrior.
“Satori is the warrior’s state of being; it occurs at the moment when the mind is free of thought, pure awareness; the body is active, sensitive, relaxed; and the emotions are open and free…”
One will act with integrity, the other will not. One will serve the greater good, the other will serve the self.
There are some who believe we’re born this way or that, that perhaps our destiny is pre-determined by our pre-natal chi.
Some say we choose to be who we are – that in some way, we have even chosen our experiences, good and bad; others would argue that we have no choice, especially in early childhood where we have no option but to deal with a wide array of fears and insecurities.
No matter the theory, as adults, are any of those reason enough not to learn skills to maintain a balanced and healthy mind? Or for not being active in attaining and maintaining personal well-being?
Are there any reasons not to treat people with the utmost respect?
Is there any reason to deny responsibility for the state of our own lives?
In my opinion we each have the potential to become either the worrier or the warrior; we can train our minds in any way we choose.
As grown-ups we have the ability to direct our choices to that which is fulfilling to the self or for the good of all, sometimes personally gaining in the process but that’s not of prime concern.
Warriors need not become engaged with petty squabbles or associate themselves with negativity; their attention is focused on achieving a positive outcome. Worriers just don’t get past the negative.
The warrior utilises eustress (‘good’ stress) where the worrier is more in distress, as he or she fears forthcoming challenges.
The warrior begs no pity, the worrier wallows in it. The warrior self-empowers, the worrier dis-empowers.
These comparisons, although seemingly opposite, share similar qualities and cannot be seen in only black and white. If we take into account the principle of advaita (non-duality), we can see both the worrier and the warrior as being one – set apart on the sliding scale of the fear/ love continuum, sharing the ability to shift position at any time.
Let’s imagine we have the perfect warrior who has everything in balance; he or she has little or no need to shift perceptions because they’ve already done the work, arriving at a place of peace both within themselves and with the world at large.
For the worrier to change their perspective the first thing they need to do, is to learn to relax. It’s imperative to relax both body and mind – opening up to achieve balance, although it may seem like the wrong thing to do.
If you believe you are stronger when you’re tense, ponder the fourth Taoist Principle;
Harmonious Action. This can be observed in a bamboo stick. Watch it bend with the wind: it overcomes the wind by yielding to it. If it were stiff, it would break because it’s so brittle, but because it yields, it overcomes. Thus, weakness produces strength, and strength produces weakness.
I’m of the opinion that the next thing on the empowerment cards for the worrier is to change their chi ~ to replace their greatest fears with peak experiences, allowing different perspectives to enter their awareness – and ultimately, enter their reality. It comes down to making a decision to maintain presence – living in the here and now; to leave worrying behind.
The choice is clear; we can remain worriers, living in the past or fretting about the future OR choose to become a Warrior; tackling only what is important in our lives, here in this moment.
Nothing can stop you but you.
2012 - Self Mastery Training will be posted here soon.