Friday, April 25, 2008

Grappling with a Warrior Spirit....

I've been thinking lately.

Can you smell the burning rubber?

Seriously though, I have been trying very hard to take the advice of my mentor in Thailand who says it's time to lay down the mantle, time to put the warrior to rest. He says it's time to hand the torch to those who are younger and have more fighting energy.

The reality is that it seems too soon. I'm not ready.

I still have the fire in the belly and can not seem to squelch it. It's unlikely at this stage that I will be able to walk the path of the peacefully detached.

There are conditions in the world that still enrage me, still make me angry to the instinctual core. It's useless trying to pretend otherwise.

There is value in the warrior spirit and it is needed, just as the peaceful, the detached and the more spiritual are needed. It is all part of the tapestry of this life. We are all needed and integral to the process of making the world better.

While I respect entirely those who have chosen another path, this seems to be mine. I may not be able to change anything single-handedly - but with those others, those who have a gentle voice can join with my louder one and together we can make the world a little better for those who come after us.

So I will continue bringing people's attention to the things that need to be changed and offer solutions where I can. I will continue raising my fist at the injustice and the harm perpetrated on those who are innocent or unaware. I will continue to deconstruct western culture as I see necessary and maybe - just maybe - I can plant a seed. If one person changes his or her way of seeing things and chooses to change behavior in even a small way, I've done my job.

My warrior spirit is too strong to simply put the fire out and retire to my garden. It's too much a part of who I am. It's not like choosing to change my hair color.

As Joan of Arc once said, I won't be looking behind me to see who is following - but I do hope some will listen.



heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have always loved that quote from Joan of Arc.

I don't think you can be other than who you are. None of us can. So the trick is to use what we are in the best possible way, to shine a spotlight on the world's wrongs and to work to correct them without falling into bitterness, because bitterness taints even the highest ideals and turns them to dross.

I have no doubt that you can do this.

Julie Pippert said...

Chani, I have bitten my tongue each time you commented that you have laid your warrior spirit to rest.

I think warriors never retire. Maybe I will, who knows, but I can't imagine it, nor can I imagine asking it of myself. It is a raison d'etre for me. Grow wisdom within it? YES! Learn how to make it positive? YES! But lay it to rest? I don't plan to.

I think we all bring gifts. Some are easier in some places and times and some are harder. But we need to value our own and others.

I'm always wary of people who ask me to BE someone other than who I AM. Sometimes I need to consider behavior and methods, but to change my base? I'm done with that.

I think you receive lots of wonderful and wise counsel, but I am awfully glad to see you embracing your own spirit, as it is. Very inspirational.

Just my very humble opinion.

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

I think you know yourself better than your mentor, as well intentioned as he may be, he can't know what's in your heart. Besides, this world needs all the warrior spirits it can get.

Rima said...

Chani, I do not see any reason why you should squelch the warrior spirit. If that is part of your calling in life, you can't ignore it and you would be unhappy if you did. Is it possible to be a wizened warrior? One who can expend a little less energy while still aiming to right the age-old wrongs?

Anonymous said...

Wow, Joan said that? How very cool...and wonderful. Yes, that is how I have always walked this world and, yes, like you I am toujours a warrior.

Ain't it grand to be who we really are? Self-love and acceptance is da bomb, uh, I mean, flower. (hee hee)

Brings a smile to my face each time I read you embrace that necessary, life-affirming, succulent, powerful, inspiring Beloved fire in your belly. Best!

Chatty Crone said...

I'm beginning to see what strong women we middle agers are becoming. We may get down. We may think our fire is out, BUT it's not! It's just sleeping and resting and when the time is right, it will flame again.

Gillian said...

Perhaps that is why we are kindred spirits you and I...I too have the warrior spirit and it dominates me to the very core.
I am buddha and peace on my exterior, but I fight fight fight.
I cannot stand many times I have been on the road to becoming one of those peaceful detached folk, and something happens and boom! The warrior emerges.
Perhaps we are here to learn how to tame the inner lion, and use our strength wisely.

I hope I find my way, because I just can't seem to extinguish that part of me that is so very real and central. Fire in the belly is exactly the way I would describe it.


thailandchani said...

Susan, you're right. It's all about being able to direct it in a positive manner and turn it into something good. That is probably the real lesson. I still have a tendency to get angry and unfocussed, especially when it seems so hard to communicate with others, that they don't understand.


Julie, I don't seem to have a real choice about it. I tried it the other way and was finding that I kept my lip zipped a lot. It's really affected everything. Even this site, truth told.


Chanda, I think he was responding from protectiveness. When I got to T., I was so totally exhausted! He just doesn't like to see me in pain.. but maybe the better option is to teach me how to use this essential part of me well.


Rima, "wizened warrior". That is it exactly.


Wendy, it just seems to be a matter of learning how to use it correctly. A passion should energize us, not take it all away. Around the time I left for T., I was on my last leg.


Chatty Crone, hello. :) Thanks for coming by.

I do think parsing out the energy in an appropriate way is critical, learning an outlet for it that makes it of value to others - as well as preserving our own resources.


Gillian, I think you are correct. As Rima said, it is about becoming wizened warriors - learning to direct that energy into something beneficial to all. That is where it gets rough. Anger is at the core of a warrior spirit.. but we can't sound angry. :)


crazymumma said...

yeah. Joan got toasted though.

I don't think the warrior should ever be put to rest.

thailandchani said...

Hi Anne, I guess she thought it was worth getting toasted for. :)

That's a big part of the warrior spirit. We're willing to call the BS, defend those who need defending and even piss people off if that's what it takes.


slouching mom said...

As a personality psychologist, I think once a warrior, always a warrior.

Also, we need our warriors.

I say keep at it.

Carla said...

Great attitude. I think we can all fight in our own ways. And when we no longer have the strength to go full force into battle, we at least bring the situation to the attention of others and offer solutions. We all have a part to play.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Even if we change our behaviors, I'm not sure we can change what is our essential nature.

thailandchani said...

Sarah, I think that's true. And the more we try to stifle who we are so that it will please the masses, the more unhealthy we become.


Carla, at that point, we become the elders. I don't think I am quite ready for that. Even agewise, I have another ten years or so to go.


Jen, I agree. We come with certain traits because that's what we bring to the world. None is any less or any more valuable than the others.


Say It said...

Don't warriors find it more honorable to die in battle?

hele said...

I salute your warrior spirit.

blooming desertpea said...

What an interesting turn around, Chani. Like others have said before - as mature women we can decide better when the matter is worth to fight and when it isn't, where as young people we just fought with all our energy.

Angela said...

Yeah, pretty difficult to imagine you retiring to your garden anytime soon. :) I salute your warrior spirit.

Dandelion seeds said...

I think it rocks that you are so true to your inner guide and nature.

Kate said...

I think this is a beautifully written entry, your message is clear and strong and full of passion, i don't think people can deliberatly put the fire out within them, if it is there it can only burn out gradually never delibratly. I will certainly be reading your blog more avidly from now on it sounds like you have alot to say and i am more than happy to listen

Anonymous said...

Only you will know when it is time to change that, and it may be never. If you are moved to bring attention to the wrongs of the world, then follow your heart. The Quakers call "speaking truth to power."

Christine said...

i'll be here to listen. . .

thailandchani said...

Say It, I think that's really part of it, ultimately.


Hele, thank you :)


Desertpea, that is a good distinction. This part of me isn't going away - but it does have to be tempered with wisdom. Just freaking out all over the place isn't doing anyone any good.


Angela, I'm not the "retiring to th garden" type. I can't see it either.


Seeds, it's the only way that will work. I tried turning it off and that's not going to work at all.


Kate, thank you for coming by. I'm glad you'll be listening.


Citizen, there are certain things I'll drop. They're no longer useful or good - but there are other things that do need to be challenged and discussed. A lot of people go through their lives unconscious.. and it matters to bring them to consciousness.. with kindness.


Christine, thanks. :)


Defiantmuse said...

right on. I think we need more warriors around these parts. I often wonder if I'll feel as fierce 30 years from now but....I sure hope I do. :)