How to Be a Warrior of the Heart
Excerpted from The Warrior Heart Practice
One day, as I was having lunch with one of my best friends, he began sharing his story of pain, self-doubt, and fear, which he repeatedly shared with anyone who was willing to listen. The repetitive voices inside his head were harsh, and he couldn’t get away from them. The cycle was deeply entrenched, and I found myself moving toward that edge where I would no longer be able to hold space for him.
As he told me about the experience he couldn’t let go of, I reflected his perspective of it back to him in an effort to show him how skewed his version of the story was. I would listen and say, “Fred, that’s actually not a true story, because I was there. This is what actually happened.” And he’d say, “You’re right! That is what happened! Okay!” And then he’d get totally solid again. He’d have an aha moment that allowed him to see more clearly, feel better, and leave his story behind, which then enabled him to go about his day.
A few days later, he would come to me with the exact same story, spoken with the same amount of angst and self-punishment, as if he had never shared it with anyone before.
We’ve all had stories like this that snag the fabric of our being, where an experience gets caught, but rather than reflect and challenge the story, we keep going back again and again to pick at the loose stitch. Whether the experience happened in child- hood or yesterday, our stories can unravel our self-esteem, drain our energy, and keep us struggling in emotional quicksand.
As I looked at my friend, I could see the pain in his face, his closure, and his self-hatred. Despite repeated attempts to pull him out from under the drowning heaviness of his story, nothing was working. So I offered up a prayer: “Please let me help my friend see and hold the truth.”
As I opened my heart to his suffering, I felt an entire process of getting to the truth drop into my being, and right then and there, a practice that I call the Warrior Heart was born.
The Warrior Heart practice is a straightforward and well-tested system that will help you untangle your emotions from your stories and your stories from the truth, then connect the truth with your intent. This systematic exploration toward truth is an inquiry practice using Toltec wisdom as the framework and your emotional body as a starting point.
In The Warrior Heart Practice, you will learn how to move through a simple process that transforms confusion into clarity and pain into peace.
Here are the four chambers of the Warrior Heart practice, which change the way you operate in the world by helping you to rearrange the pieces of your personal puzzles into an integrated new whole—mentally, emotionally, and physically.
THE FEELING CHAMBER
You enter the Warrior Heart practice by learning to gently
sit with emotional triggers, fears, or pain that arises within you, separate from the story you believe is causing the emotion. In the Feeling Chamber, you learn how to be present with discomfort and become curious about what is actually happening in your physical and emotional body rather than just thinking about the upset, trying to repress emotions, or cycling stories endlessly. In the Feeling Chamber, the goal is not to fix, understand, or explain emotions but to simply be with them consciously.
THE STORY CHAMBER
Once you have spent some time breathing, witnessing, and
feeling your emotions and how they affect your physical body, you will move to the Story Chamber. Here you give yourself full permission to let your judgments, fears, worst-case scenarios, doubts, and insecurities speak without censorship. You invite those parts of you that feel victimized by your inner critic, other people, and the world to share their story. You follow the threads of old story lines deeper into where hurtful words, hatred, and longing are hiding. You learn to stay curious, witnessing each story as it unfolds from past and present as well as those story themes that try to fix or explain or threaten to haunt your future.
THE TRUTH CHAMBER
While the Story Chamber gives you information on the
multifaceted and noisy layers of your internal dialogue, the
Truth Chamber opens up space for stillness. You cross a
threshold between Story and Truth, where you must leave
behind being right, being wrong, being understood, or any other desire. You move toward the simplicity of what is real in this moment. Most people enter the Truth Chamber dragging their story with them like a familiar blanket they can’t let go of, and they believe that creating a better, more spiritual, or more pleasing story is the truth. In the Truth Chamber, you explore the difference between ultimate truth and subjective truth.
THE INTENT CHAMBER
The Truth Chamber opens up space so that you can step into
the Intent Chamber and get clear about what you really
want in each situation. Your intent is your focus and 100 percent commitment. Without intent, you are at the mercy of outside forces, even when you are clear about the truth. Having clarity about your truth is like patching the holes in your sails after they have been torn in the storm of a story; your intent is your steady hand on the ropes, allowing you to catch the wind and consciously navigate where you want to go.
The Warrior Heart practice does not end here.
The real potency of the Warrior Heart practice is what happens next: You go back through the chambers. Once you are clear on your Intent, you step back into the Truth Chamber. I like to imagine that you revisit the Truth with new eyes, holding your Intent in one hand and your Truth in the other as you step back into the Story Chamber, where the view is now very different. The process of moving from Story to Truth to Intent
As you move through the four chambers in The Warrior Heart Practice, you will rekindle the power of deep intimacy with self; release self-judgment, guilt, and shame; and claim the path of being an aware, transformative Warrior of the Heart.
Order a copy of my new book, The Warrior Heart Practice: A Simple Process to Transform Confusion into Clarity and Pain into Peace.
Also, don’t forget to check out my free webinar HERE!