There’s a warrior within you.
Your mind is capable of warriorship. Warriorship in the 21st century follows the tradition of human bravery, but bravery today does not mean a willingness to fight—rather, a willingness to be vulnerable.
In this instalment of Wild Minds—The Headless Club, the mindfulness educators and practitioners at Black Turtle have distilled centuries of inner knowledge to establish a useful list of ten qualities of the mind to help you unlock the inner warrior. Recognize and amplify these characteristics as you journey within yourself.
The ten qualities of the warrior mind:
Aspiration to be continuously open to discovery in recognition that the most unexplored territories lie within one’s own mind. Stepping out from our comfort zones, we can become benevolent warriors.
Patience with oneself. Patience to hold the vision, ride out the boredom and the frustrations, and reap the well-deserved rewards. Patience with others: understanding that one’s own time is not more or less precious than that of another’s.
Effort to build the habits of mind and body that will keep you on track and hitting those goals. The opposite of complacency, effort directed with the right aspirations, allows us the space to grow.
Dignity to maintain one’s integrity without creating harm to others. Dignity in one’s own way of being means developing inner confidence without shouting it from the rooftops, balancing the individual with the harmony of the community.
Truthfulness in identifying our emotions, the willingness to be vulnerable in our examinations of ourselves. Truthfulness extends to examining what we hold to be the truth and asking ourselves why we believe it to be so.
Empathy to recognize that we are all interdependent and cannot exist independently of others’ efforts. Empathy can help to ground our aspirations in the service of others, and to not discriminate between objects of empathy: every single human is subject to disappointment, guilt, anger, frustrations, sickness, loss, and grief.
Generosity to offer our resources—whatever they may be—to others without expectation of reciprocity. Building a habit of generosity only increases the ease with which generosity comes.
Equanimity is the ability to not get caught up in the drama: to experience the ups and downs in life with the understanding that all are subject to change. Equanimity is finding that sweet spot in the middle that allows you to enjoy each experience for what it brings, for what it teaches, or for what it celebrates.
Wisdom is what awakens us. A wise decision, a wise thought, a wise person is one that takes us closer to an understanding of the truth. For something to be ‘wise’ means it is in service of a quest to understand the true nature of things; to not be fooled by appearances, to not be caught up in desires that masquerade as goals.
Renunciation in its most basic form is a renunciation of our personas, a shedding of our skins, and developing the courage to be vulnerable. It means renouncing ‘what-ifs’ of the past and the expectations of the future, to really be in the present and to come to terms with the uncertainty of everyday life.