Or: Why you want to be a warrior and why you do not.
Many plants are medicinal in the right dosage. Take too much and they can be poisonous. Take too little and they are ineffective.
Just because something is toxic in excess doesn’t mean that it is not also healing in moderation.
And just because something creates no noticeable difference in small amounts doesn’t mean that it has no value or purpose.
It’s all about knowing the right amount at the right time.
In a few days we will mark the transition into summer in the northern hemisphere. On June 21st we celebrate the summer solstice and the longest day and the shortest night of the year. (For our friends below the equator it is the time to celebrate winter solstice; the longest night and shortest day of the year.) The questions I ask myself during this light-filled time of the year are “What is blossoming in my life? What needs more energy? What fruits of my work can I celebrate?” I also check in with what I call my warrior energy.
People sometimes think of warrior energy as only harmful or destructive. They shun or are afraid of warrior energy and only see it as something negative. In fact, a close friend recently posted on her feed: “Don’t be a warrior, be yourself.”
But I believe to get to truly know and be yourself you have to cultivate your warrior first. Not a warrior that destroys, but a clear, focused, trustworthy, self-respectful, mindful warrior that heals.
A warrior that heals is not at war with the world, or even with themselves. They are willing and ready to show up to battle their inner fears, delusions, and negative patterns. The battle is not about destroying or burying what doesn’t serve, but about skillfully transforming behaviors and reactions so that we are free to be who we truly are.
There is a skill to balancing the warrior energy within you.
Warrior energy can be healing when it is empowered, destructive when in excess, or draining when it is deficient.
So, what are the hallmarks of the warrior energy? Read the list below and notice which qualities are the most familiar to you, which ones you struggle with, and which ones you’d like to strengthen within you.
Warrior – Empowered
Warrior – Excess
Warrior – Deficient
We live in a society where we see a lot of excess warrior energy: people, structures, and systems that are based on control, judgment, and power-over. This is why people who have been hurt by this type of expression tend to shy away from warrior energy, and only see it as destructive.
Balanced warrior energy is about owning your power, your passion, and your vision in a clear and humble way. When you are empowered in your warrior self you know what you want and aren’t afraid to ask for it. You also know you won’t always get what you want. You know how to set boundaries, when to say no and when to say yes, and you take centered mindful action. You don’t waste energy or time, you understand that your reality is shaped by your perceptions and actions, and that you can’t force or change others; you can only change yourself.
To get a better sense of where you fall in the spectrum of your own personal excess – empowered – deficient warrior expression, read through the list above again and put a number from one to ten next to each quality: 1 being you rarely experience that quality and 10 you experience it a lot. Don’t think too much when you are writing down your 1 to 10 numbers, just follow your first instinct. Then add up the numbers for each section. This will show you if you need to cultivate more or less warrior energy in your life.
If you have excess warrior: Be curious where you learned to hold an excess of warrior energy and why. How have you benefitted from holding an excess of warrior energy, and where has it caused you to suffer? Practice compassion for yourself and others. Be gentle. Soften your hard edges.
If you have deficient warrior: Be curious where you learned not to hold warrior energy and why. How have you benefitted from holding a deficiency of warrior energy, and where has it caused you to suffer? Practice speaking up for yourself and staying true to what you want. Let your fierceness out. Stay steady.
Coming back into balance is not something you will do overnight. It is a dedicated ongoing quest to claim your most powerful, grounded, embodied warrior self and create the life you are meant to live.