Being a warrior in the Basic Goodness philosophy means to be courageous. But I am not necessarily thinking about the action hero type of courage but courageous in the definition that I used in my previous post. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Therefore speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) is what makes us courageous.
Speaking honestly and open about what we’re feeling is an unconditional path: if you hold something back because of fear of judgment or other social consequences you are not open. When you are not open you are not a warrior. This doesn’t mean you can’t become one or that you don’t have it in you. It only means that you are not behaving like one: you are not manifesting it. A warrior is naked all the time. Not some of the time but all the time. Which brings me to a funny conclusion: a warrior is a nudist. I haven’t thought of that before!
Not many of us speak from the place of the warrior all the time. Most of us speak from the place of the coward. The cowards symbolizes the one who is self-protective, selfish, careful with revealing his truth, manipulative, political, and – most of all – afraid. To become a warrior we have to integrate and transcend the coward. Acknowledging our cowardice is key. You must accept before you can change.
An interesting and paradoxical litmus test: a sign of warriorship is if someone speaks freely about his cowardice. He will speak about it as an ongoing path and an ongoing struggle and will be able to discern different phases and themes in his process. A coward preferably hides whatever he perceives as weakness and will defend his self-image. What is interesting is that being a warrior is both a state (you are a warrior or you are not) and place on a continuum (hardly anyone is 100% a warrior 100% of the time). A warrior consciously and deliberately works on the edges, a coward tries to stay away from them.
Currently I am falling in love with Brené Brown. I’m reading two books of hers at the same time (one on my Kindle and one on my laptop). The one on my Kindle is called Daring Greatly: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. What fascinates me about her books is that she has derived her conclusions from 12 years of scientific research. She actually found a special species that she calls The Wholehearted. I would call them Warriors. They identify vulnerability as the catalyst for courage, compassion and connection.
“In fact, the willingness to be vulnerable emerged as the single clearest value shared by all of the women and men whom I would describe as Wholehearted. (…) Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences”
From: Daring Greatly: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
Structurally avoiding vulnerability leads to guaranteed missing out on meaningful human experiences. This is why you want to practice warriorship: it is the only way towards leading a full life. Crossing the gap between coward and warriors means going from save and comfortable to increasingly vulnerable. Because all of us know when vulnerability kicks in we can train ourselves. That is a very interesting notion.
As an exercise extensively explore the following statement: vulnerability is [insert what comes up]. Keep going until you really feel you depleted yourself. Some answers that were given to Brene Brown were: standing up for myself, asking for help, initiating sex with partner saying no, calling a friend whose child just died. Some of my own answers if I would respond to the question right now: facing rejection from a woman, putting my feelings into words even though I fear I will overwhelm her, getting naked with a woman for the first time, showing people where I live, cooking for people (especially if they are good cooks themselves), doing acquisition, asking my trainers for help with my training, trusting an old friend who has betrayed me in the past and – last but not least – posting this shit on my blog.
Now if you look at the things you wrote on your list, do they sound as weaknesses? This is what Brene found: vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.
Now explore the next question, just as extensively as the previous one: vulnerability feels like [insert your answer]. Again, deplete yourself. Some of my answers, off the cuff: vulnerability feels like being exposed, being unprotected, having nowhere to hide, being aligned with my purpose, being true to my self and my creator.
Want to know what it feels like to be a warrior? Dive into these two consecutive questions and evaluate the experience: let thoughts and feelings come up freely after finishing the first question and repeat that evaluation after finishing answering the second question. Then look inside yourself and answer a third question: how do I want to live?
Photography by Lauren Renner. During this project she invited strangers to write stereotypes on each others naked bodies.