I was hiking down Enchanted Mesa in the snow over the weekend thinking about being a warrior.
When I started this journey I was the “Mohawk Warrior.” Ready to overcome any obstacle in the way of my goal (staying alive). During that time my buddy, Micheal, surprised me at work with a present. A poster of Johnny Cash flipping off the camera with his guitar slung on his back. That was exactly how I felt and it hung over my desk for months. The first thing you saw when you walked in mine and Justin’s office was that poster and I loved it.
A few weeks ago I took it down. It didn’t feel right anymore. I’d gone to Bodhi School around that time with my kids (Buddhist Sunday school kind of thing put on by Shambala here in Boulder) and the teacher, Rachel, was talking to the class of about 50 children and she asked, “When you think of a warrior what comes to mind?” Kids raised their hands and said things like, “Ninja” “Brave” “Sword” “Gun” “Not Afraid.” Rachel then said, “A Shambala Warrior is a little bit different. A Shambala Warrior is not afraid of one of the scariest things. Does anyone know what it is? (Lots of little heads shaking.) A Shambala Warrior is not afraid to open their hearts to everyone and everything in the world. Sounds kinda scary doesn’t it? (Lots of nodding.) She said, “To just open your heart and let your heart be seen to everyone. Shambala Warriors live from their hearts.”
This was an unknown kind of warrior for me. But, thank God I decided to go to Bodhi School with Nan and the kids. It was as if Rachel was talking directly to my soul. I had recently opened my heart to the one thing I wanted eradicated from my body and spirit. I had realized this thing in my head has become a certain kind of friend, a very difficult one, but one that has taught me more lessons than anyone or anything in my life, and I was grateful to it for 2 big things: vulnerability and my ability to forgive.
My biggest healing and learning experience in this past year has been in a place of vulnerability. Something I hadn’t experience since being very young. To be vulnerable and surrounded by love on all sides from your spouse and parents, relatives and friends (all of you) is the most fulfilling place I’ve been on this journey. I would think that being a Shambala Warrior with your heart open all the time (I think it sounds scary just doing it for a few minutes!) must be a very vulnerable and healing place.