How To Go From Worrier To Warrior
By Debbie Eisenstadt Mandel
Summer is the season when fresh life blooms, yet many of us are not in synchrony with natural rhythms. Instead we look down, trudge with stooped shoulders taking shallow breaths. We are worriers who do not delight in the sky, the earth, a breeze, or a good cup of coffee. We are always in a hurry no time for anything, busy living in the future or the past, certainly not in the moment, restless and fearful of failure, relationships and aging. As a result the worrier identifies herself as a victim, overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities, lacking control over personal destiny. Sometimes we realize that we need to change because we get sick which triggers internal investigation: what am I sick and tired of? While all this sounds grim, the good news is that to go from worrier to warrior involves a change in perception. There is more to a knight than a sword as revealed in King Arthur. Some people let defeat ruin them; others let victory ruin them. A true warrior triumphs in victory or defeat. Neither the win nor the loss makes you triumphant, only your feelings about yourself. A warrior views problems as obstacles and her feet are directed toward a vision, clearing the path as she proceeds. The warrior encapsulates the ultimate victory: to stand up for yourself truthfully because you know who you are and like who you are. Here are ten steps to transform from victim to victor.
The Ten Commandments
• Step One: Become an alchemist. Transform base elements of personality into gold. Believe in the magic of your invincible power just like Harry Potter. You possess the power to change your energy by changing your mental picture. Motivation is key. Consider writing a contract to yourself declaring what you resolve to change and let go.
• Step Two: Let go your personal history. The past is over, but keep the lessons of memory. Reexamine parental and communal values. You are no longer a dependent child, but a self-supporting adult. If necessary, re-parent yourself.
• Step Three: Empty your cup to fill it with knowledge. We learn from everyone; the most unlikely source might provide a breakthrough. Even one word can change your life.
• Step Four: Be present to yourself. Learn to be here and now. Use your five senses to live in the moment, for the moment may be all that we have. We are often fatigued at work because we don’t just do our work; instead we bring along problems with family, relationships and co-workers. If we just do our work, we wouldn’t be tired. Begin to concentrate on each experience. If you wash the floor, just wash the floor. The present is a present.
• Step Five: Cultivate a comic eye. Laughter is still the best medicine releasing serotonin and activating the immune system. Simultaneously become an observer and participant to reinterpret humorously. If your house burns down, you have an unobstructed view of the sky.
• Step Six: Become heroic and cultivate fearlessness. In the face of adversity, do not be afraid of who you are. Stand up for yourself by not judging shortcomings, yet remain realistic about limitations. Use fear as a stepping stone to growth. Negative self-talk promotes self-doubt. Banish “I should or I cannot” from your vocabulary. Instead say, “I could, or I choose to.” Visualize the successful result.
• Step Seven: Define your goals concretely. A Clear vision leads to manifest destiny. Do not give goals a time limit, for that causes stress; instead enjoy the process. Remember we enter the world in the middle of the movie, and leave in the middle. What you focus on will expand in your life.
• Step Eight: Develop serenity through breathing. The in- breath inspires and helps restore personal power. The out-breath exhales toxins, expelling negativity. When breathing mindfully, you relax your heart-beat and agitation. We used to count 1-10, now a better practice: breathe 10 conscious breaths. Inhale through the nose for 2 counts and exhale through the nose for 4. Visualizing your breath as a fog is helpful.
• Step Nine: Awaken dormant intuition, the sixth sense. Learn to read life’s symbols. Trust your inner voice. If it doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t. Often where your eye is drawn, such as a poster, or a license plate holds a symbolic clue. Learn to distinguish between the loud voice in your head and the soft voice in your heart. Even if you have suppressed intuition through hyper-education, it still exists. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, creating self-empowerment.
• Step Ten: Integrate higher and lower nature. Balance earth practicality with spiritual vision. This balance forms true identity. Each morning take a moment to imagine alignment. The solar plexus, your gut, the ego, is golden sun. Your heart is white, center of true feelings. The middle of your forehead, inspiration, is blue. Every morning envision these 3 colors, yellow, white and blue as you align your ego, heart and mind to start the day positively.
Here are key questions for potential warriors.
1. Do you feel an inexplicable restlessness?
2. Are you fully present in daily activities?
3. Do you fear new experiences?
4. Do you say, “why me?” or “what can I learn from this experience?”
5. Do you share your wisdom and time with others?
6. Do you like what you see in the mirror?
7. Can you be alone with yourself?
By exploring these questions, you begin to empower the “worrier” transforming her into the “warrior” who does not merely try to survive, but strives to live!
Debbie Eisenstadt Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Brooklyn College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com