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Daily Actions & Mantra
The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
— Anna Quindlen
Many of us hold an image in our minds of who we think we should be, and we constantly compare ourselves to this imaginary version of ourselves. Anytime we fall short of this standard by not being pretty enough, successful enough, smart enough, or fill-in-the-blank enough, we judge ourselves harshly.
The truth of the matter is that we will always fall short of perfection when we compete against an imagined version of ourselves. You are perfectly imperfect, just as you are. Free yourself from the imaginary chains of perfection. You are the only one who can do so.
I am whole. I am powerful. I am divine. I am enough.
One of the secrets to staying young is to always do things you don't know how to do, to keep learning.
— Ruth Reichl
Sometimes we stop ourselves from doing new things because we want to do it "right" right away. We're not willing to be messy or clumsy, or to make mistakes. But trying to always do things right can make us rigid, and never trying something new can keep us isolated in our old routines.
Imagine yourself looking at the world with a beginner's mind, and being willing to try new things. This means you are also willing to be messy, clumsy, and imperfect. That's what beginners do.
Make a commitment to learn something new. Have you always wanted to knit, roller skate, skydive, or play an instrument? Try it! Be a beginner and see what calls to you.
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
— Mark Twain
My favorite thing about wrinkles (yes, you can have a favorite thing about wrinkles!) is that they can be a gauge for happiness. The more lines around my mouth, the more I've laughed; and the more crow's feet around my eyes, the more I've smiled. Despite what TV, magazines, and popular culture tell us, wrinkles are a natural, beautiful, normal part of our expressive faces. They are only flaws if we let them be, if that is our perspective. This is true of many physical flaws that we women are taught to buy into.
Think of a few (two or three) of your physical "flaws" and write them down. If your wrinkles are a gauge of joy, what positives do your other "flaws" represent? For example, stretch marks might represent the birth of a beloved child or a new muscle. Next to each "flaw," write something positive that it represents. Notice how each one helps you gain a new perspective.
When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.
— Saint Francis de Sales
Bravery is often equated with smashing through walls like a roaring bull, or leveling everything in your path like a foolhardy bulldozer. While this type of fierce push is occasionally needed, the equally potent forces of gentleness and patience are more effective at bending and melting something to your way — and they can be just as courageous.
Next time you find yourself in a conflict or disagreement that would normally upset or trigger you, try bringing your gentleness to the situation instead and see what happens.
I am like water. I flow continuously and overcome all obstacles with ease.
We are braver and wiser because they existed, those strong women and strong men ... We are who we are because they were who they were.
— Maya Angelou
Teachers, friends, mentors, guides. Strangers, fellow goddesses, comic book superheroes, and movie heroines. Who are the women and men in your life who have inspired you? Who has helped make you strong and brave by their example? Every time we think about and enumerate the people who have inspired us, and remember the qualities they've modeled for us, those qualities become a more integral part of our way of being. The more we practice gratitude for those influences in our lives, the more their presence shines through in our actions.
Take a few moments to sit in gratitude for every person who has ever inspired you. Imagine a riot of gratitude: glasses raised to toast to each other, happy high fives, and big bear hugs of love. Imagine holding a grand thank-you party for all the wise and courageous role models who are woven into the cloth of your being.
Life is too short for shoes that hurt your feet, friends that make you feel bad about yourself, and jobs that crush your soul. Take a chance. Make a change. The time is now.
— Lisa Lewtan
The time is now to buy a pair of shoes that fit your feet. Ones you can run and skip and dance in. Almost magically, once we begin to make changes in our lives, it's easier and easier to make more positive changes. If making a particular change seems overwhelming, then it's usually time to break it down. Baby steps in those comfortable new shoes can be the key to success.
For instance, if finding a new job seems too big, maybe reaching out to a college classmate who knows your field doesn't. While you most likely won't land a new job overnight, one thing does lead to another, and nothing happens without taking that first smallest step.
Find one baby step toward your goal that you can work on comfortably without feeling overwhelmed. When you've completed this step, find the next one.
There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.
— Sophia Loren
Sometimes we forget about the importance of being creative, especially when "more important" things get in our way. We tend to push creativity aside if it's not making us money, or isn't helping our lives in some tangible way.
In reality, being creative just for creativity's sake enhances the mind, the body, and the spirit. Your fountain of youth is your creative approach to each and every day. Does this mean you have to be a prizewinning writer, have your paintings hang in a museum, or play at Carnegie Hall? Of course not. Creativity lies in the doing — not in the result.
Do something creative today with no end goal in mind. Draw, write, paint, play an instrument, crochet, try a new recipe — whatever it is that makes your creative spirit feel alive. Notice how it feels to do this thing, with no result in mind.
How do I become still? By flowing with the stream.
— Lao Tzu
One aspect of stillness is the absence of our relentless inner critic whose opinions, judgments, and complaints throw us off track. If we spend a lot of time listening to that noise, we become entangled in frustration, worry, and comparison, all of which put us at odds with the natural flow of life. And what happens when we flow with the stream? We accept each moment as it is. We quiet our inner nag. We give up the "shoulds," the "if onlys," and the "have tos." We live in the moment and go where the day takes us.
Notice the mind's tendency to judge, complain, or opine. And when it does, say, "Hello, new day! Today I choose to flow with the stream and listen from my heart for what my next step is."
The beginning is the most important part of the work.
Nothing changes, evolves, grows, or moves forward without a beginning — and for this reason the beginning can be the hardest step of any journey. Beginnings are this wonderful mix of idealized outcomes and uncertainty (and maybe anxiety) about how we will get there. But of course the only way we will know if we can make our idea a reality is to take the journey.
It doesn't matter if the beginning is rocky, or if you don't feel a hundred percent confident in where you are going; what matters is that you begin — and that you keep beginning over and over again.
In your mind, work backward from your goal until you have a task that will aim you in the right direction, but is so simple that your heart leaps at the chance to do it. Remember, you can't ever really accomplish a goal — only a series of actions toward that goal.
Now that I knew fear, I also knew it was not permanent. As powerful as it was, its grip on me would loosen. It would pass.
— Louise Erdrich
It's tempting to think that the fears you are experiencing today are permanent residents of your psyche; that your worries and anxieties will haunt you forever like ghosts. But no matter how fierce or large your fears may be, they are all temporary visitors, and they show up to teach us something about ourselves.
Our job is twofold: to figure out what our fears can teach us, and to let them go when the time comes. Sometimes we get so used to being afraid of someone or something in our lives that we don't notice those particular fears no longer serve a purpose, and we need to let them go. For instance, if I'm afraid I'll never be a success, but I have a good job that I love, maybe it's time to tell the failure monster goodbye.
Name a fear you are currently carrying and imagine it is a temporary visitor that you can sit down and have a cup of tea with. What will you learn from that fear before it goes on its way?
At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
— Lao Tzu
When we look outside into the world, we find myriad ideas about who we are "supposed" to be and what we "should" want in our lives. Everything from advertising to the opinions of friends and family informs who we think we should be. While many of these ideas may be well intentioned, the truth is that you are the only one who knows what you really want and what is best for you.
The Warrior Goddess path is about cultivating the relationship with yourself, and this means learning how to tap into the power of your intuition. Intuition makes its appearance only when you get still, go inside, and focus with your heart on what you want and need. If you listen, intuition will speak to you about small daily issues and your bigger problems and opportunities as well.
Take a moment to get still and silent. Go inside and focus on what you really want in your life. After a few moments, say the following: "I trust my inner knowing, I listen to my deepest wisdom, and I will not lead myself astray."
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.
— Aldous Huxley
In my book Awaken Your Inner Fire, I write about the importance of cultivating what I call elder mind and child mind. The elder mind is the wisdom of the elders of the tribe, the learned counselor and advisor. Child mind reflects the excitement, exuberance, and curiosity of a little one. The balance between elder mind and child mind is such a special space to be in, because it allows for both the wisdom of old age and the enthusiasm of childhood. When we approach our life with these two attributes in mind, surprising things can happen.
Name a situation that you need to bring your elder mind and child mind to. What is your inner wisdom telling you? What could your enthusiastic child tell you about that same situation? I invite you to notice these two aspects of yourself, and to call on them when needed. I bet you'll think of a solution you've never seen before. Genius!
Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.
— G. M. Trevelyan
It is theoretically impossible to touch hot coals and not get burned. Yet, as a certified firewalk instructor, I have led thousands of people over burning hot coals. When someone first walks on coals, the belief that "fire always burns" disappears before their very eyes. And suddenly the world is full of new possibilities.
This is the gift and lesson of firewalking, and it is analogous to our lives. If we can walk on fire, what other seemingly impossible things can we do? Or, looked at another way, what else do you believe about yourself and your abilities that isn't true? There is plenty of "that can't be done" negativity in the world, but change happens when we stand firm in the wild realms of the impossible, improbable, and miraculous. We are far more powerful than we realize.
Take ten minutes to list as many things as you can that you've accomplished despite once thinking them "impossible." Keep this list to inspire you to achieve the impossible with the challenges you face in your life now.
You are much more than just a businesswoman or a mom or a student. You are a divine, irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind, amazing, loving, eternal being, and your value comes from that fact alone.
— Kimberly Giles
While you likely play many different roles in your life, be careful not to confuse what you do with who you are. The roles we play will change over time, and clinging to them or demanding others reciprocate only leads to suffering. When we use up energy trying to fulfill a role that we're no longer needed for or called to, we inevitably feel less like our divine, irreplaceable self and more like a confused, overwhelmed victim.
Remember, when one role ends, another begins — and you get to choose how to play it. But no matter how much you love, like, or dislike playing a particular role, it won't come close to defining the totality of your being, the Magnificence of Life that you are.
Today I will release or change a role that no longer serves me. I will remember that who I am is far greater than any role I play.
I did not want my tombstone to read, "She kept a really clean house."
— Ann Richards
There's nothing I love more than adventure. And the good news is that you don't have to be a swashbuckling pirate queen or a battle babe in shiny armor to find it — because adventure is all around you. The goal is to see the adventure (or, better yet, create it) in everyday moments.
Kids are especially good at this, so if you have kids, ask them to help you envision an adventure while you run errands or cook dinner. It's amazing what their imaginations can come up with. Adventures don't have to be big, either — it could be as simple as taking a car ride down an unfamiliar street, trying a new restaurant, or taking a painting class. The main thing about these adventures is that they nourish you, which ultimately helps you figure out what's important to you. What do you want it to say on your tombstone?
What's something you can do to create adventure in your daily life? Start a list of small adventures you want to take. Put this list in a place where you'll see it and make sure to treat yourself to at least one adventure a week.
As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.
— Mahatma Gandhi
In my view, the world is simply a reflection of those who live in it. When you change your internal perceptions, and how you see the world, your external world changes as well — and the universe feeds more of the same to you. So if you were to practice moving from anger to action, or from a place of complaining about what you don't have to being grateful for what you do, you would likely feel less anger, be more active, and become even more grateful for more blessings. And the more love, joy, and peace you see in the world, the more you will attract those attributes in the future. As we remake ourselves in this way, not only do we see the world as a better place, but the world also becomes a better place.
I invite love, harmony, and joy into my life and trust the Universe to provide me with my greatest good.
You won't forget a woman like her. Once you cross paths with Magic it's hard to see life the same.
— Nikki Rowe
In our modern society, believing in "magic" is often portrayed as childish, foolish, or even crazy. But the truth is that magic is inside us and all around us. I know this because I feel it and see it.
There is a great wonder and mystery to our very existence. When we adjust our perspective, we see that everything that occurs becomes magical and the world becomes a much brighter place. A child's smile is magic. A tree in full bloom is magic. A deer grazing by the side of the road is magic. Magic abounds if we know where to look. The truth is that we all have magic inside of us, and this includes you. It's time to get in touch with yours.
What makes you feel magical? Is it decorating an altar with fresh flowers and a beautiful scarf? Spending an evening dining by candlelight? Walking barefoot and reconnecting with the earth? Today, do something to bring you in touch with your divine magic.
Every truth has two sides; it is well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either.
Excerpted from "Warrior Goddess Wisdom"
Copyright © 2018 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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Daily Actions & Mantra,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR,