Background for the ‘Warriors, We Are’ series of mind-meanders
We cannot have a healed society, we cannot have change, we cannot have justice, if we do not reclaim and repair the human spirit – Angel Kyodo Williams
The bulk of this series was drafted throughout 2019. It was a year referenced worldwide as one of ‘challenging times’ and a ‘time of extremes’.
Already then, the media as well as many leaders in holistic wellness were in agreement: society was suffering.
We felt alienated even from our ‘loved’ ones.
No time to feed them better.
No time to listen to them better.
No time to love them better.
No easy way to better care for ourselves. No apparent reason to love ourselves more, either.
Already then, chronic insomnia affecting roughly 25% of the population in the so-called west was linked to a range of severe health problems.
Already then, we had lost focus on what was motivating us.
Already then, our emotions and thoughts often worked against our own well-being.
Already then, even in the most affluent democracies, chronic depression, the leading cause of self-harm and suicide, was ripping through all age groups.
Already then, we thought our lives were crazy.
Little did we know what the universe had in store for all of humanity!
So, between January and August 2020, it was easy to review pages of this Warriors, We Are series to adapt my favourite, age-old spiritual and philosophical themes to the specifics that were pushing humanity into unprecedented challenges.
Regardless of the subjective perception of reality beyond our bodies, an authentic search for an elusive state of inner/outer wellness begins with the active acceptance of the following concepts and points:
- a heart/mind coherence allows us to get out of our head and take charge of our ego-persona, the otherwise dated but default operative of our human system
- seldom with our full understanding of possible consequences, our ego-persona (a.k.a. our ego or our ego-self) is constantly co-creating our daily reality on our behalf.
The emotions, thoughts, beliefs and old stories our mind keeps reviving dictate the lifestyles habits of our ego-persona which, in turn, co-create our daily reality.
- driven by a lifelong desire for contentment, our ego-persona is often conflicted by her perception of how others ‘see’ us. More often than not, that perception hinders our quest for authenticity.
- our daily reality is the result of the ongoing co-creation generated by our ego-persona and the universe.
- unless, attuned to our intuition and open to coherent possibilities that abound out of sight, we do our best from a place of heart-based coherence, the results remain random and limited in scope.
Contentment will go on eluding us.
- reality, near and far, is partly the result of the cumulative conflagration of our false sense of separateness. Inclusion, division and rejection are the by-products of our co-creation.
- a good dose of realistic optimism balanced with openness topped up by an almost childlike curiosity is a potent remedy for what ails us and the planet
- a move away from recurring, fearful flurries of ‘What if this…?’ and ‘What if that …?’ in favour of the energised vision of ‘How might my life be positively different if …‘ is the first step.
- we are energy, bodies of light, compressed in 3-D bodysuits of flesh and fluids essential when free of religiosity is our connection to Soul, our inner self, our divine intelligence – truly our ‘better half’, she is.
Essential, too, is understanding the role Soul plays as our unerring, uniquely individualised, karma-optimised GPS.
- all of humanity and all that is contained on, in and beyond planet Earth is interconnected by its own similar energy.
- the agreement that karma, by nature of its purpose, is always neutral prompts us to actively accept the unanticipated, unpredictable karmic choreographies that impact us in the succession of moments underfoot. Instead of finding them traumatising, challenging and depleting, may we, one day, find them interesting and ‘thought’- provoking in the best possible way.
Throngs of thriving survivors of the most devastating hardships imaginable always confirm that they were neither victims of karma, nor of their childhood, nor of their heredity nor of any complicating factor. Not victims either of those devastating occurrences occasionally called ‘Acts of God’, punishment or miracles.
We’ve all seen and heard them speak time and time again.
They are the ones who have surmounted terrible odds and inspire others, if only for a moment.
They are those who have grasped with their heart and with their Soul whatever devastating karmic events’ life’ threw at them.
Millions of these survivors were gripped by the fear of impending pain, violence and death – their own and/or that of loved ones.
Others were tormented by the dread of losing all that was of a material nature while many more feared losing their sense of self to illness or traumatic injury.
They feared being found lacking and abandoned.
Those who actively survived despite dramatic odds and those who thrived beyond their wildest dreams must have sensed that aligning their bodies, their minds, and their emotions with steadfast coherence could only be an inside job. A job done from the inside/out.
They may have spent some time wailing and whimpering.
They may have wasted some time cursing God or the universe, demanding to know why s/he had been treated so unfairly.
Though they might have asked a higher entity for their nightmare to end, eventually, they chose to make themselves resilient.
They chose a life in which they could participate – a life in which they could find themselves – a life in which they continued to love and care for others until their last breath.
These survivors are, for the most part, invisible to us, but they are in our hospitals, as healthcare workers and as patients.
They are in our schools and universities, as lecturers and students.
They are in our Courts as judges, lawyers and defendants.
As they walk our streets and live among us, however unseen and unknown to us they might be, they are in all our places of business.
Too often, though, they are the ones discrimination limits to essential tasks others consider too menial. Too poorly paid.
They are domestic helpers and cleaners.
They work as caregivers for the elderly and the disabled.
They are supermarket workers.
They are truck and van drivers.
They are labourers and street cleaners.
They are paid a pittance for the service they provide.
While we remain uninterested in them, we miss out on hearing their inspirational journeys of courage, will and faith that, always, somewhere, there exist satisfying possibilities.
Energised by fear but also, it seems, by true will and confidence in a divine
power, they stayed awake and aware in every moment underfoot. No matter what they endured, they trusted that they would be protected from the worst.
Always trusting things would get better though they couldn’t imagine how, these challenge survivors have co-created at the very least a bearable reality for themselves.
For their loved ones, too, as long as death was not written in as the final act of their karmic choreography.
Torn between despair and hope, they fought a hard battle but hope prevailed.
Among resilient hardship survivors, some migrants and refugees have rightly attracted international fame.
Whether success or fame, in turn, end up being trojan horses or genuine silver linings will be revealed in the next chapters of these persons’ lives.
Again, as is true for each one of us, it will depend on how they handle themselves.
And again, whatever comes down in their lives as in ours will be karmically intended to help us out of a current rut.
When it comes to trauma survivors who have become internationally known, I can think of Turia Pitt, the 26-year-old Australian mining engineer and ultra-marathon runner who, in 2011, became trapped in a fast-moving bushfire during a 100-kilometre race.
As karma would have it, though another two runners were seriously injured, their impairment seems minimal in comparison to what Turia has endured.
She barely survived the flames that seared 65 percent of her face and body, leaving her with horrific permanent burns.
Seven of her fingers had to be amputated.
Eventually, having undergone more than 200 operations, Turia became a motivational speaker of international fame, an author, a wife and mother.
As a woman, as a model, the manner in which she handled herself post-recovery also makes Turia the ideal ‘poster girl’ reminder that we are more, so much more than our body
I also think of Paul Pritchard, a British rock climber and award-winning writer on his sport.
In 1997, while Paul was climbing up a 65-metre-tall matchstick of dolerite rock known as the Totem Pole, a boulder from a higher ledge became loose.
With unerring timing and precision, a trademark of karmic events, the rock struck the climber’s head, crushing his cranium. What are the odds, right?
Paul survived the horrific brain injury after rock fragments were removed from his brain.
After years of determined rehabilitation, with the support of close friends and modified equipment, he resumed writing and adventuring.
“Without the hardships that I’ve gone through,” he said, “I don’t think I would have learnt some valuable lessons.
The accident’s taught me humility. It’s taught me a lot about acceptance about letting the future go without anticipation.” (ABC TV- Australian Story by Rebecca Latham 2016)
When it comes to hardship survivors, we can also think of any Paralympians we might have seen compete on our screens.
And I think of the Black American poet and novelist, Maya Angelou who, at the age of eight, was raped by her mother’s boyfriend.
Traumatised by the event, Maya did not speak for the ensuing five years.
At 16, she gave birth to a son and worked as a waitress.
The rest, as they say, is history but, better said, the rest is the dramatic story of a survivor who remained true to her higher self throughout years of physical and emotional ordeal.
Resulting, no doubt, from the karma Maya had co-created, later in life, she was nominated for several important awards.
At 65, she was invited to read On the Pulse of Morning, a long, all-encompassing poem at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton.
As an aside, the theme of this poem is on our interconnectedness to all and to everyone.
Understanding and integrating this theme to our daily lives is as relevant today as it was when presented 27 years ago.
And, of course, I think of Nick Vujicic, currently 37 years of age.
Sonograms had failed to reveal any complications but, even prebirth, as for each one of us, the karmic choreography that would shape his life, that of his parents and that of others near and far was already underway. Nick was born without limbs.
To this day, there are no medical explanations for his condition.
Today, Nick is a dynamic evangelist, an author who fills stadiums to capacity.
He enjoys swimming and fishing and, last but not least, he is a happily married man – the very proud father of 4 young children.
Seriously? Yes, very seriously. Of course.
What the life journey of these survivors of all ages and of all colours confirm is that within any moments underfoot is embedded a potential karmic prompt.
Regardless of its nature, though such moment capsizes our day-to-day and threatens to sink our spirit, there always is an entire universe of options and coherent possibilities open for exploration.
Serious question: how long does a moment underfoot last?
Serious answer: it lasts as long as the blink of an eye. It lasts as long as a breath.
Then it becomes the next new ‘moment’ underfoot.
What happens within each of these moments is linked to what we did/say/thought and felt in the nanosecond that preceded.
It’s very easy to practice ‘being’ awake throughout the succession of tiny moments underfoot while preparing something in the kitchen. Something as simple as making a cup of tea, a tasty sandwich … or a salad to begin with.
Bar rare exceptions, each one of us was born equipped with a mind that, by default and in the fulness of time, would enable us to become coherent and congruent with our best intentions. Still, karma, like a good parent, leaves it up to us to choose the pathway believed to be the best … under these moment-specific circumstances.
Then, of course, good, bad or indifferent, the consequences are also ours to manage all of the way – all of the time.
Ideally, overtime, objective observation, reflection and intuition shape our self-management protocol.
Then, when hit by a setback, an unexpected complication or a trauma of cyclonic proportions, cry and curl up in the fetal position we might but, adapt, adjust, rethink, trust and rise, we do.
Characteristics of a fierce warrior, according to Don Miguel Ruiz in his book, The Four Agreements:
‘The warrior has awareness,’ he said.
‘[…] We are aware that we are at war, and the war in our mind requires discipline.
[…] The warrior has control […]
They have complete control over their own emotions and therefore over their own behavior.’
Reality check #1: being spared even one day of harrowing suffering and adversity, let alone months, years or a lifetime, is a real blessing that is often mistakenly taken for granted.
Reality check#2: no matter how quiet and regulated our life might seem, beyond dying one day, there is no certainty about anything.
Everyone’s life is insecure by nature.
As long as Soul breathes us, life’s plot beats will happen to us.
Yes, for the great majority of us, tomorrow is another day, but what sort of day do we want it to be?
Fearing fear and fearing death keeps us from living fully, but it doesn’t stop anything unwelcome from happening to us.
Only self-enforced resilience and trust in Soul or in any divine entity of one’s choosing can help us manage the worst aspects of fear and bring back resilience and coherence to our day-to-day, today or any day.
It is only once the baggage of fear, and physical trauma is genuinely relegated to the past, that we can coherently co-create with the universe the upcoming episode of Season X of our ‘life’ series. That’s the series that is due to be released the moment we open our eyes on a new day – the day that, today, we call ‘tomorrow.’
Thus, the only valid option we have is to do our best to co-create the sort of physical reality we think would bring us, not just small bursts of childish happiness, but a fair degree of sustained contentment.
The kind of life that would not only benefit us personally but one that would also ensure the wellbeing of those near and far, starting with our loved ones, those who should be an integral part of our ‘clan’.
The kind of life that only leaves a minimal negative footprint.
Faith moves mountains; if faith were easy, there would be no mountains – Immaculée Ilibagiza, survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Reality check #3: courage comes from our willingness to trust and be humble little blind mice in a maze.
No idea in which direction lie the coveted morsels of cheese.
No idea behind which are hidden the punishing electrical pulses.
The best we can do for ourselves is trust that, once tucked under Soul’s wing we are able to maintain a heart-based coherence, whatever comes down will be fair and positive.
That it will be karmically engineered as a springboard into an alternative pathway to contentment.
Gam zu letova, as Yudit CS, my mentor used to often remind me. That’s Hebrew for, That [complication] is good also.
So, dear Reader, unless you can think of a healthier way to go about your ups and downs, Warrior for the greater good that you are, onward through the maze, you go.
Onward, with a smile on our faces, we go.
Alone and together.