Read an Excerpt
Warrior Goddess Training
By HeatherAsh Amara
Hierophant Publishing Copyright © 2014 HeatherAsh Amara
All rights reserved.
Commit to You
Don't ever give up.
Don't ever give in.
Don't ever stop trying.
Don't ever sell out.
And if you find yourself succumbing to one of the above for a brief moment, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, whisper a prayer, and start where you left off.
But never, ever, ever give up.
—Richelle E. Goodrich
Most women know all about commitment. We commit to hiding or exaggerating our flaws, trying to make others happy or comfortable at the expense of our happiness and comfort, supporting other people's dreams at the expense of our own dreams, or criticizing ourselves (and others) at every turn. We commit to who we think we should be rather than committing to meeting ourselves where we are. We commit to seeing ourselves through other people's eyes, gauging our self-worth based on their acceptance, rather than witnessing our unique inner beauty and strength. We commit to being nice rather than being real, or we commit to being right rather than being vulnerable. And when people in our lives don't behave the way we think they should, we sulk and mope, or worse, we get even. We justify our emotional outbursts or bad behavior based on the actions of others, and in so doing we often act in the same manner as the person who set us off in the first place. When we give others the power to push our emotional buttons, we become their slaves, often without realizing it. The problem is, we are the ones who suffer.
Our first Warrior Goddess lesson, Commit to You, is designed to close the gap between self-rejection and true acceptance, thinking and being, wishing and becoming.
This commitment to self shows us that there is no hidden treasure or savior outside of ourselves; we are the treasure we have been searching for. Or, put another way, we are the one we have been waiting for.
Your commitment to this idea is the activation of your Warrior Goddess power. When your words, thoughts, and actions foster self-abuse and self-judgment, you are using your immense power against yourself. This type of emotional, mental, and physical denial can take many forms: saying yes when you really mean no, being in relationships that don't nourish you, thinking and believing thoughts that drain your energy and enthusiasm, eating foods your body doesn't like.
Committing to your true, authentic, Warrior Goddess self is the beginning of a lifelong journey of living in authenticity.
As I've worked to release the old habits of "I need-to-make-sure-everyone-likes-me or I need-to-be-saved" matrices within me, I've been amazed at times by how deeply the patterning has been woven through my being. I've been walking this path for over twenty years, yet life inevitably presents new and unexpected changes, and each such circumstance is an invitation for me to look within and release whatever is still holding me back. Like layers of an onion, there is more to be peeled, and each peeling is sometimes accompanied by a fresh shedding of tears. But every time I am willing to look within I am so grateful for every experience, every obstacle, every learning, because I've learned to use everything that arises in my field of awareness as a tool to discover who I truly am.
The keystone of committing to yourself is very simple: Learn to love all of who you are, flaws and all. Doing this, however, can be a difficult thing. You commit to yourself to the same extent that you are willing to release the past and any ideas that you are holding that you "should" be different than you are at this moment. Our deepest healing occurs when we learn to be our own best friend, companion, and cheerleader.
For example, the year my book The Toltec Path of Transformation was published was a pivotal point in my life that showed me what commitment to self really means. The same week my book was released my husband, teaching partner, and business partner moved out and headed for Colorado. I felt like someone had handed me a beautiful 160-page creation after months of hard labor, and then chopped off one of my legs. I didn't know how to stop the bleeding or how I was going to share the teachings in my book and feed my business and community when I felt so much loss.
Luckily, the book I had just written became a guide to remind me of the steps to freedom. I had written the perfect book at the perfect time; I just didn't realize I had written it for myself. As I reread the first paragraphs of The Toltec Path of Transformation, I simultaneously cursed, cried, and laughed.
Here is what I had written in the introduction:
Have you ever had your world turned upside down in an instant?
Or struggled to re-align with a big change in your life?
Or wished that some aspect of your life would shift?
Being in a physical form means that you are constantly invited to adjust to change, whether joyous or frightening. From your first lost tooth to your first heartbreak, from a child's graduation to the loss of a friend, from starting a new job to adjusting to a chronic illness, life continues to flow and sometimes gently, sometimes abruptly alter the landscape of your being.
How you adapt to the changes in your life can mean the difference between being in struggle and fear or in sweet ease and faith. The simple truth is that when you fight change, you suffer. When you embrace change, you open to creativity, possibility, and healing.
Change is inevitable, but transformation is by conscious choice. While you do not always have control over how or when the changes will occur in your life, you can choose how you are in relation to those changes. When you step towards rather than ignore, fight, or resist change, you reclaim your personal freedom. You step onto a path of transformation, and move from being a victim of change to being a co-creator with change.
Damn, I thought. The Universe was giving me yet another, deeper, opportunity to "walk the talk."
So there I stood, sobbing in my kitchen, missing my friend and lover. The house felt empty, as if all the comfort and joy had been drained from it. I vacillated between numb desert-island shock and drowning oceanic grief.
And then suddenly my mind cleared, and a point of clarity arose like a star on the horizon through the rolling storm of my emotions. I heard myself say, "What do you miss about him?"
Somehow I was able to let go of all the stories and sadness and bring my full attention to this simple question. What did I miss about him?
I internally scrolled through countless images and feelings of our ten years of living, teaching, and working together. What I was grieving in that moment was his quiet, calm love and presence.
In a flash I realized that I had two choices: I could spend years longing for something that was no longer present, or I could make a new Warrior Goddess commitment to myself.
As the waves of grief threatened to engulf me again, I took my Warrior Goddess power back.
"OK, sweetie," I said out loud to myself, "What are you going to do to bring what you are missing—quiet, calm love—into this space? How can you create that for yourself?"
As I looked around my house, I smiled. I knew it was time for me to stop looking outside myself for quiet, calm love, and to creatively commit to cultivating what I was craving. Over the next six months I externally cleared clutter and rearranged furniture, internally slowed down, increased my meditating, and practiced being more calmly loving to myself and others.
I also did a lot more grieving and had some spectacular emotional meltdowns. But at the end of each of these episodes, I recommitted to creating quiet, calm love in myself that I so desperately needed. Over time, the feelings of sadness and grief were released from my being, and I realized that this change in my life circumstances was exactly what I needed. My life was better because of it.
The point I want to make with this example is that when we commit to ourselves, we don't get to bypass our emotions or get a free "all-problems-go-away-instantly" pass. We don't magically change into the perfect person we've been judging ourselves for not being. Walking the Warrior Goddess path is a process, one that starts with the commitment to empower ourselves and continues to ask us to recommit to our healing and truth every time we face a new and often unexpected challenge.
Each time we recommit to ourselves, things change on the inside. We begin a process of realigning ourselves to our authentic power, and holding ourselves in a new way.
Let's look at old and new definitions of power, and how to use the first Warrior Goddess lesson to strengthen your commitment to yourself.
Attuning to a New Power
When you watch television or read magazines, what is most reflected in pictures and words is this: Power is defined by how you look, how much money you make, who you are dating/married to, and how you are progressing on your career track.
From a framework of fear and scarcity, powerful people are the ones who have, in one way or another, acquired the most sought-after or "best" external resources available, be that money, fame, or beauty.
Many of us have spent years tied to this old model of power, where we rate our worth on how we are perceived or what we have attained.
As women we worry about how others see our body, constantly asking ourselves: Are we pretty enough? Thin enough? Sexy enough? Since many of us have used our sexuality as a tool to get what we thought we wanted, we worry about getting older and no longer being attractive.
The same can be said for money and social status. We may worry we don't have the financial means to do everything thing we want to do, or that others don't recognize how important we are (through our own career accomplishments or those of our significant other's).
We struggle with our judgments around where we should be in our career or even on our spiritual path. We compare ourselves to others. We slip into jealousy and fear around other women who shine more brightly or threaten our sense of self in any way.
Even after we have acquired some of the things we think we want, our struggle with power is still not over. We then try to hold or increase our power by working to please others and control the outcome of situations, or we stay safe by hiding in the background and conforming to the status quo, hoping no one notices the power we have (and therefore cannot take it away).
When we don't acquire or hold on to the things valued by the old methods of power, we then resort to self-judgment and condemnation, saying that if we were only prettier, smarter, more dedicated, etc., then we would have everything we wanted and life would be full of bliss.
It is only when we begin to look at the old power structures in this way that we can see the insanity behind it.
From a Warrior Goddess point of view, power is defined very differently. Power is not sought after from the outside, but rather is patiently cultivated from within. Power has nothing to do with money, or fame, or outside appearances, but with our connection to self, love, authenticity, and the inner mystery of life. From the perspective of true abundance and immanent spiritual connection, powerful people are the ones who have the strongest connection to their internal resources.
Our challenge, then, is to be honest with the places we are still pursuing the old modes of power and to move ourselves toward attuning with a new power: our own. This will not be done all at once, but over time as we unhook ourselves from old patterns and agreements, consciously reconnecting to our authentic center.
Remember, becoming aware of where we have pursued the old methods of power is not a call for more self-judgment, but rather an opportunity to release these habits and recommit to our Warrior Goddess self. As we become more aware of what agreements, or beliefs, we are holding that don't serve us, we can choose again, can make conscious agreements that support and nourish who we really are.
Outside, the societal dream beckons us to buy more things, to stay young, to be in a relationship, to climb the career ladder, to have a child or two, to be sex kittens one second and sweet virgins the next. Inherently, none of these things are bad. But when we use them to fill up a feeling of emptiness within, or do them to please others rather than ourselves, they become our jail. When we create a life based on what we think we are supposed to do rather than from our own heart's desire, we always feel like something is missing, that we are not quite free. There is a deeper longing that keeps calling us to stop conforming, to break the chains of our fears, to jump the fence of people's opinions and find our innate wild happiness.
Inside, your essence whispers to you to remember your light. The authentic feminine waits to be embodied in your form. Your being yearns to blossom, to share your soul's love. You taste it, you sense it. When you attune to your inner bounty, life is glorious. Each breath is a joy. The external form does not matter. You know your own wholeness, and you feel complete when you are alone or with others.
By aligning with Warrior Goddess wisdom, you have given yourself a big gift of choosing a pathway that will encourage you to face and clear out the old power structures and reclaim your authenticity. You are not trying to take on the image of being someone you are not; instead, you allow your inner truth and beauty to be free from the weight of your fears and outdated beliefs. As you accept and honor yourself, you suddenly stop needing to be different, and you see the unique, perfect creation that you are. All of you is magnificent, even the parts you wish were different.
It's time to be honest about what your definition of power has been, and then let it go completely in favor of embodying your power. Let go of all your expectations about what your path will look like, or who you will become. You don't know! It is a mystery! You step into true divine Warrior Goddess energy when you no longer need to define yourself as this or that.
Stepping into a new power means doing the work and having the courage to unweave the tangled web of limitations, agreements, and judgments within to allow your true radiance to shine forth, and to love yourself fully along the way.
Lesson One Resources
What you commit to, especially your unconscious commitments, rules your actions and determines the quality and vibrancy of your life. You may have deep-seated commitments to the old power structure that no longer serve you. It's time to become aware of those and release them.
Committing to yourself is a process that happens in layers. Committing to yourself means saying yes to all of you—both the parts you love and the parts you dislike.
Power does not come from who you know, what you do, or how much money you have in the bank. It comes from blossoming into unconditional love for yourself and embodying joyful faith in your gifts.
When you let go of who you wish you were, you reclaim your power to be radiantly, magnetically, and creatively who you are.
Moving from Old to New
Where are you still hooked to old reflections of power? How are your judgments and fears tied to an old power matrix? Write down your answers to these questions over the next few weeks.
One great way to purge yourself of old ways of power is to name them without making yourself or others wrong. Here are some other questions to help you explore this idea further:
Do you find your self-worth in how you look, or is your self-worth an inner spring based in your self-acceptance and respect?
Do you base your value on how well you are taking care of everyone else at the expense of yourself, or do you honor the importance of self-care and loving boundaries?
Does your strength come from how much money you have, how sexy you are, or who you know, or does it flow from your inner peace and resilience?
Keep questioning and writing down what true power means to you, and pay attention, without judgment, for where you give your power away.
Female Role Models
Who are your role models? Who do you strive to be like? Our role models can be teachers, family members, fictional characters in movies or on TV, public women or private women. Role models and mentors are very important to inspire us and give us courage to take risks. Honor these women who inspire you for their contribution and wisdom, but recognize that you are not going to be just like them; do not use them against yourself. Be aware of the sneakiness of self-judgment. Surrender to your own unfolding, in your own time. Let go of using other women's accomplishments and grace to beat yourself up; instead be inspired and motivated by the beauty and skill around you. As you name the women who inspire you, write down the qualities and actions of what Warrior Goddess power they embody, such as presence, courage, passion, honesty, compassion, and clarity. In the next Warrior Goddess lesson you will take your new commitment to self and create a new foundation by learning how to align with, rather than being in fear of or trying to control, life.
Excerpted from Warrior Goddess Training by HeatherAsh Amara. Copyright © 2014 HeatherAsh Amara. Excerpted by permission of Hierophant Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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