Waiting

May 17, 2007

A warrior can wait for a long time.

How long? For as long as it takes.

As I talked about in the previous post, waiting brings clarity.

One might think that waiting entails sitting in a corner and staring at the wall, or twiddling one`s thumbs and waiting for life to just magically come together. But this is not the case, at least not completely.

We have to put effort into what we do. We have to put energy and focus on what we want, or at least what we think we might want. I don`t always know. But I find that if I put all my energy into it, and it`s not what I want, I know almost immediately.

But then the universe does the rest. Paulo Coelho talks about in his book, The Alchemist, that the universe conspires to help us. I believe this.

When there is a direction we feel lead in, or something we feel we want, we should travel in that direction with all of our strength.

Then, when we feel tired, we should wait. When we feel like we want to continue in that direction, but we don`t know where to go, we should wait. When we are looking for guidance along our paths, we should wait.

This waiting helps us become who we are, and helps us to really know what we want.

Good things come to those who wait.

Clarity

May 17, 2007

A warrior constantly searches for clarity in his life.

He stares at himself intently, hoping the mirror will give him some clue into his own innerself. He wonders what he should do next, and he waits.

A warrior spend a lot of time waiting. I spend a lot of time waiting anyway. I feel like I spend almost as much time waiting as I spend acting.

But it`s all worth it. If I try to act before that moment of clarity, I look like a little kid jumping up to reach a cookie jar. I`m not tall enough. So I devise all these plans to try to get the cookie jar: a chair, a ladder, perhaps I could hitch a ride on the next adult.

Sometimes I do this. Sometimes I get the cookies. Sometimes the cookies end up all over the floor.

When I wait though, there will come what I consider to be a perfect moment, a moment of clarity unlike no other. At that moment, there is no question in my mind that it is time to act.

I act, and found out that I have grown tall enough to reach the cookie jar by myself.

But how does this moment of clarity come about? And how is it that I can wait my whole life for it?

It just comes. I just wait, and listen, and be aware. And before I know it, I can see, and it`s exactly time to act, to move…and sometimes it`s time to wait again.

But this waiting brings clarity. In a way, the more I wait, the more I realize that nothing else matters. Just that moment, that moment when I know that everything I`m doing in my life is all worth it.

Freedom

May 17, 2007

What is freedom?

Freedom is the ability to let go while staying connected to oneself.

A warrior should strive to master this. He should strive to become a picture of freedom.

But freedom is a scary thing. At first thought, it sounds great. We think, If I`m my own boss, I can do what I want. I can live my life the way I`ve always wanted to live.

And yet, when we try to define what exactly that entails, this concept of freedom, something that is supposed to liberate us, becomes entrapping.

I had this experience when I first began to reach a point of financial stability. I thought, Great, I can start my business any time now! But then when the time came to put my feelings into action, I realized that doing what I (thought I) wanted to do was much more difficult than actually doing it.

One reason was because of the schedule. At a regular job, a school for example, I have a very set schedule. This is something I complain a lot about. And yet, as I found when I tried to start my business, it is something I need desperately.

I thought about trying to set my own schedule, but then instead of being trapped in someone else`s doing, I would be trapped in my own. Somehow that seemed worse than being free in the first place.

I think the key for a warrior is to develop a sense of freedom doing whatever he is doing, whether it`s his own business or a regular job.

The freedom a warrior experiences comes from within. It is this freedom that allows him to do what he needs to do when he needs to do it. It is a freedom of the spirit.

The Way of the Warrior is Action

May 17, 2007

Action.

A warrior is always aware of his circumstances and he acts when the time is right.

Sometimes this is now…Sometimes it`s never.

As an American, I`ve learned to plan before I act. I try to map out exactly how something will work, and then I execute my plan. I tend to way overdo it…I plan enough for a whole clan of warriors.

Working in Japan is an exactly opposite experience. Japanese people don`t tend to like to plan for hypothetical circumstances, even if they are inevitable. They prefer react when they occur.

A recent example again stems back to the bad job I had two years ago. Recently, I had reason to believe that my former employers may try to contact me by coming to the school I`m at now. So, I informed the school. Immediately, everyone went into a panic. They behaved as though a visit was inevitable and already happening. And worse, it was my fault.

I was just trying to give them a heads up.

But Japanese people in general, don`t do well with heads ups…they automatically react as though the situation has already occured, rather than taking steps to prevent it. Immediately, there are cover-ups, and steps to make amends with the offender. They want to sweep it under the carpet as quickly as possible–even though nothing has happened.

On the other hand, when I left that terrible job, I planned for weeks in advance. I believe this was smart, and necessary to keep myself and others safe. Then, when the time came to actually leave, the moment of truth, I did not hesitate.

I acted. I went through with every step of my plan swiftly and flawlessly.

This is the way of the warrior.

Spirit

May 17, 2007

Everything a warrior does, he does with all his spirit.

Even if he thinks he can`t do it, he borrows some confidence from somewhere and proceeds forward. He moves forward as though the results were already decided. He moves for as though he knows the future.

Often times he is successful. This is because he was able to give it his all.

Just as often (at least), he fails. He fails well, with all his spirit.

This is the way of the warrior.

Many times in my life I don`t know where my path is leading. I don`t know which way I should go. I have no idea how to proceed forward…or even which way “forward” is.

So I just keep moving. Sometimes I stop and wait. I listen to myself, to what`s going on around me. And then I just go forward.

If I don`t like the path I`m on, I just change. It is easy to tell this if I put everything I have into what I do. I either want to continue. Or I want to stop and do something completely different.

Through putting spirit into everything a warrior becomes a more complete human being.

I become more complete.

 

Listening

May 17, 2007

A warrior is a listener. A good listener.

He pays attention to what`s going on around him, and he hears everything.

Listening is a warrior`s key for peace keeping.

Many times when people fight, it is because there has been a misunderstanding or an inability to come to any resolution on a matter.

A warrior is a great arbitrator. He is able to not only hear the words of both sides, but more importantly, decipher their meanings. This is a gift. And it is a gift that comes through listening.

When we have conversations, we have to ask ourselves, What does the other person want? What is it that he is actually saying to me?

I find that in asking myself these questions and listening to his words, I am much better able to determine what he wants, and if arbitrating, where the breakdown in communication occurs.

Many people feel this is an amazing gift. I feel that it is commonsense, and something that happens when we listen carefully to other people, and just for a second try to put their needs above our own.

If people know that we are listening to them, they will know that we care about them. If they know that we care about them, they will come to trust us.

It is important for people to be able to trust warriors. Warriors help people become better people. We help people become warriors. We help make the world a better place by listening to and trusting one another.

Friendship

May 17, 2007

Friendship is very important to the warrior.

A warrior deeply appreciates his friends. He searches for true friends all throughout his life, and pays careful attention always. For he never knows when someone might become a true friend.

Friends are a warrior`s stronghold. He knows he can go to them when he`s feeling weak. Just thinking about them, he begins to feel better. Friends are an important part of a warrior`s life.

There are many people in my life, but only a few who I could really consider my true friends. True friends are rare. They are people who want the world for me, and who will do whatever they can to show me that they care about me.

Not only will they sacrifice themselves for me, but they will accept my sacrifices for them.

Sometimes I think people are my friends, but they`re only interested in me for something I can offer to them. I am not saying this kind of relationship is bad, but I don`t think it consititutes true friendship.

True friends love unconditionally. The friendship is enough. It is strong enough to stand on its own.

I really care about my friends, and I will do whatever I can to help them move toward their goals, to help them become better people. I value them as people, and I love them.

I love to have them in my life, but I understand that friends can`t always be together. But as I am reminded by one of my favorite songs:

Friends are friends forever
If the Lord`s the lord of them.
And a friend will not say never
Cause the welcome will not end
And although it`s hard to let you go
In the Father`s hands we know
That a life time`s not too long
To live as friends.

Health

May 17, 2007

A warrior does the best he can to keep himself healthy.

This doesn`t mean a warrior is always a picture of health. It means he tries.

Sometimes there are things beyond his control, which make it hard for a warrior to stay healthy. Two of the biggest culprits are nature, and genes.

There are many ways a warrior tries to keep himself healthy. He tries to do the following:

1.) Get enough sleep at night.

2.) Eat a well-balanced diet. This doesn`t always mean what is traditionally considered balanced. This means what is balanced for him, which he comes to learn from being in touch with his body.

3.) Stay active. This is important to help a warrior stay fit, and stay on top of his game. It`s true that there are some warriors who have physical disabilities or uncontrollable circumstances that prevent them from being active. Each person has a different level of abitilities, and each person should work to reach his own level of top activity.

4.) Do things for leisure.

5.) Do things to feed his spirit. This can be anything that helps a person get in touch with the deepest parts of himself.

6.) Keep his friendships alive. A warrior remembers who his friends are and takes time for them.

7.) Take time to himself.

8.) Remember that he`s a warrior, setting the example as he blazes his path through this world.

When one is in poor health, nothing in the world becomes more important than regaining one`s health. The warrior`s journey is one of keeping healthy.

The Example

May 17, 2007

A warrior sets the example.

Whether he likes it or not, whether he wants to or not, the warrior is the standard that the rest of the world uses to judge.

Many say, “Oh, that standard is too high. I could never reach that far.” But this is misguided. The warrior did not always start out knowing with such high standards. He chose them. Then he chose to reach them, and move beyond them.

A good warrior shows us how to live. I strive to be a warrior that can also lead others down their paths.

A good warrior is one who can relate to a lot of people, who can empathize with struggles one faces along the human journey, and who can encourage people to find their own paths and follow their own hearts.

When we look at a warriors who have traveled the path before us, we are looking for strength, we are looking for guidance, we are looking for an example of how to live our lives.

We are not looking for royalty, for kings or valiant knights. We`re looking for someone who knows what it`s like to be alone, to be scared, to feel that things in life are useless–and still find the courage to move forward.

This is the mark of a true warrior, and example for all people.

Warrior as Fearless Risk Taker

May 17, 2007

That`s definitely not me. But it`s an image that I sometimes wish I were.

A warrior may be afraid to take risks, but he takes them anyway. At least he should.

Risks help us learn about our limits–and push past them. Risks help us realize that we are not bound by things we think we`re bound by. Risks help us become better human beings by making us strong and teaching us to trust ourselves and our instincts. Taking risks makes us confront our fears and gives us confidence.

I have taken many what I consider to be, safe risks. In general, I have always had a fall back plan. I have chosen to pursue a life in Japan, at least for now. When I quit my first job here, I had no idea where I was going next. That was probably one of my biggest risks. Here I was, nearly broke, in a foreign country, and no idea what to do next.

I chose a safer path, accepting another job in a different part of the country, even though it wasn`t where I really wanted to be. I knew I would receive a paycheck and be able to live.

Many of my fears revolve around family & money. The choices I make in my life reflect this.

I am afraid if I risk too much, I will lose everything, become lonely and destitute and fighting for my life. Perhaps this is a good place to be.

As a warrior, I think I should take more risks. But a bit at a time. It`s my path.


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