Have you ever needed resolve to follow through on something in service of a larger goal? Or fiercely defended a person, belief, purpose or value that is dear to you and under threat? Have you taken decisive action, even in the face of opposition or disinterest in service of integrity? Are you ever bravely vulnerable in your relationships and share something with a partner or friend where there is the risk they will laugh at, or ridicule, you? Do you open yourself to risk of failure? If you have done any of these, you would have recruited the Warrior archetype.
Conversely, if you haven’t, would it serve you to cultivate Warrior, so that you are better able to honour these qualities in yourself?
When people hear the word “Warrior”, their minds go to war, violence, conflict and aggression. For you, it might conjure thoughts of abuse, brutality, domination and cruelty. Warrior can be all these things. And Warrior can be honourable, respectful, purpose-driven, disciplined, determined, courageous, in service, protective and loving.
And people think of Warrior as predominantly masculine. But it is not. Watch a mother protect her child. I have seen first-hand the power of women as they have defended their ideas of justice, integrity, kindness, love, respect and self-sovereignty. With confidence and power, they have embodied their femininity as well as their fierceness. The Warrior Queens of history like Boudica, Elizabeth I and the Spartan Queen Arachidamia were both majestic and feminine. As are their modern counterparts like Aung San Suu Kyi, Serena and Venus Williams, J.K. Rowling and Susie Ma.
Warrior in Service
You and I may not be world famous. We may not want to be. But embodying Warrior when you need courage determination, tenacity, commitment and sometimes fierceness is important when you are trying to create the life you want for yourself.
Your unique Warrior style shines through as you keep going in the face of failure, exhibit bravery when you take risks and passionately defend what you know to be right in your heart. Warrior can come from the heart. That is the nature of service.
The Japanese version of the Warrior archetype is the Samurai. The root of the word “Samurai” means “to serve”. The Samurai’s whole purpose is to be of service. It is a loving and selfless commitment. In the film, The Last Samurai, there is a beautiful scene where the rebel leader is saying that the world no longer wants or needs the qualities of warriorship like love, honour, respect, service, integrity, camaraderie and discipline. As he pours his heart out, he lovingly strokes his sword, the symbol of all that he cherishes and holds dear. The man he is speaking to says, “Necessary. I have never known a time when it is more necessary!” That film is set in the 1860s. I think that is still true today, perhaps even more so.
Qualities of Warrior
I have really come to appreciate the qualities of Warrior as my life experience branches out beyond the world of martial arts. Those qualities that I spent years cultivating in my training, keep showing up in valuable ways as I work on and in my business.
Qualities in Business
Perhaps the most effective have been determination and commitment. To dedicate myself, deeply, to being coach and facilitator in service. And to persevere in creating a successful business- taking risks, being vulnerable, facing failure, learning from failure and creating from the learning. And being fierce about defending my values within business, as well as calling my clients forth and believing in them, most especially when they are in a place when they may not feel so confident in themselves.
Warrior’s energy is so refreshing. It is purpose and values led. When I act from that place, it is always empowering for me and the people my actions impact.
Qualities in Life
And in my personal life, Warrior has supported me in my relationships as I’ve learned to ask for what I want or need and have the confidence to remain vulnerable and open during challenging times.
I am a recovering “people pleaser”. It takes courage to ask for what you want when your habit is to do what pleases others. I used to do it in an insensitive and even brutal way, by doing whatever the hell I wanted. I’m not sure that takes much courage though, but it is determined. Now, I am more open- to discussion, compromise, negotiation, openness, vulnerability, honesty and transparency. Cultivating Warrior has been transformational.
Linked to this is the ability to have difficult conversations in service of important relationships. It can be hard to say something to someone that might be disappointing or may cause pain. But, if it is right to say it, in service of the individual, or the relationship, or because I feel out of integrity if I remain silent, Warrior gives me the energy to say what I feel needs to be said. As a “people pleaser”, I do not always manage to do that. Sometimes I am unable to muster that Warrior energy and things are left unsaid. Other times I can summon the resolve with Warrior giving me the strength to do it.
Warrior and Compassion
So, Warrior can act from compassion. When balanced with the empathy of Lover, the purpose and values of Sovereign and the inspiration of Magician, Warrior acts from wisdom and love.
Warrior can be harsh and even that can be in service. Challenging any person on their b/s can feel harsh. But, when you get a vision of what a person is capable of, the potential that lies within, the gifts they have that can be shared in their world. And, you can see that they are playing small, allowing themselves to be limited by their saboteur or inner critic, then a harsh, loving truth from Warrior can offer the clarity to break loose from those limitations and live in greater freedom.
This is one of the gifts of coaching. I have received that gift many times from the countless coaches that have worked with me. And, in martial arts, I have been given this gift often. I give it in love to my martial arts students and to any coaching client held in limitation by their saboteur. Warrior in service of freedom.
Over to You
How does Warrior show up in your life? Perhaps you are a people pleaser, and you want more resolve when setting your boundaries? Maybe your Warrior is over harsh, and you want to practice greater compassion? Where do you need more Warrior? Where do you use Warrior too much? How is your Warrior in service to you, the people you share your life with and your world?
Pass it on
What are you taking away from this article? Can you think of a friend, family member or colleague who would benefit from that take-away? If so, why not share it with them? And, if they are intrigued, please send them the link to the blog and find out what they get from it.