In a World of Soldiers, Be a Warrior

   You may know the famous lyrics “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” in the song All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers. I’m here to say that’s right Brandon Flowers, although I would extend that to say if you have “soul”, or character, that is actually what sets you apart from being a soldier. Having soul does not make you a soldier, it makes you a warrior.

We’ve all heard the term “soldier on” when we perceive a need to put our thoughts, feelings and inclinations aside just to get through the day, the week, the month, or even the years. But I am here to propose something different, and to suggest that this might not be the best attitude to have.

Perhaps it is the mental space we get in when we are looking for determination. We know that determination and will is the key to weathering any storm or overcoming any challenge. However, what are you conquering if you’ve turned off parts of yourself? A part of life perhaps, but not all of it. Soldiering on is not a way to be alive. It is damaging, not only to ourselves but to our surroundings.

The difference between a warrior and a soldier is that a soldier soldiers on while the warrior transcends its path. The soldier mindlessly pursues duty, without plugging into any higher, deeper purpose or meaning. The warrior is mindful of each step that it takes upon the Earth, lighting him or herself on fire to serve as a guidepost for anyone lost in their travels. The warrior walks an illumined path of sovereignty. The soldier is unconscious to what he or she is manifesting, taking orders from an external authority or an external standard.

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What is the point of moving forward when your footsteps are not created with purpose? It is in this way that there is little use for the soldier in this world, if only to service the current paradigm. That’s why I say, in a world of soldiers, be a warrior.

This is where the message turns to metaphor, so bear with me here in this next part.

The tricky element is that to be a warrior requires one to be okay with not being okay. If you are lost in the context of your surroundings, it asks that you be okay with not having a path to follow, because when you begin your journey on fresh ground, you’ll fall into a place of belonging through conscious will. The best part of making your own path is that limitations are no longer an issue, with no marching bodies in front or behind, and no line to tell you where to confine yourself. When you lift your head from the dirt and trail of the other that was showing you where to go, suddenly a new world becomes apparent to you. There are landscapes you’ve never seen, obstacles you’ve never faced, but all the while in awe at what would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

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So what do you do? You wander a bit. It gets interesting here because you may start to question where it was you were even trying to go, or what you were trying to achieve in the first place. What was it that you were servicing? Certainly not yourself, and certainly not the people, which are still in need of assistance in a world hurtling towards self destruction, all while the world persists in their hypnotic, militant trance. It all comes apparent, one way or another, and that is when you receive the call to service, true service. It is the path that embodies service to others rather than service to self.

It is in this way that service comes in many different forms. Service is not always direct, like volunteering at a soup kitchen or buying meals for the homeless. These acts, I will ask you to consider, can be more of a symptom of service rather than the service itself in this specific framework we’re talking about. There is a service to walking to the beat of your own drum, to allowing your own unique expression to shine through and be shared with others rather than conforming and editing parts of yourself to fit into a regime. The concept that this is a form of service is not so far fetched when you consider the fact that you are the only you in the world. There can be no other, and will be no other in the history of Earth than the you that is you at this exact moment. Therefore, what you bring to the world cannot be replicated, and cannot be replaced. In conclusion, you have a duty to be yourself, to walk your own sovereign path, and shine your light in the world.

To be yourself in a world that wants nothing but to put a reign on individuality, to put people in boxes of gender, sexuality, political association, race, and so on, rather than let you identify and walk as a human on the Earth, requires the strength of a warrior. As a warrior, do not let anything happen other than what your soul is naturally inclined to do, to be of service to humanity in the awakening realization that we do not stand alone but together, and that because we are all sharing the same air on this brief dance on a speck of dust floating through space, we’re not going to make it unless we call ourselves what we are, humans, and accept that we’re all connected in this way.

So with that I bid you farewell. Please share your thoughts in the comments. If you like my work and would like to support what I do here at Metanoia, please visit my Patreon page. I offer services for self discovery, promotion, mindfulness, and book lovers.

Also, thank you Marci Brockmann, Joe Milians, and Jen Dougherty for becoming a patron for Metanoia!

Featured image by RHADS

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Living an Organic Life: Worthy Goals for 2017

From what I’ve gathered these past few months, 2016 has been a terrible year for most people. Not just globally, but in our individual lives. I found this surprising. It’s interesting how the world can experience turmoil as one in this way. It makes you wonder about the true nature of our reality, and just how deep our connection to one another penetrates. We’re all on the same ride on spaceship Earth whether we can feel it or not.

I was one of the many unlucky souls apart of this massive wave of destruction. In 2016, I graduated college into a fruitless job market, had my father diagnosed with a severe brain tumor after a very sudden grand mal seizure, experienced the death of my last grandparent, and had to deal with an onslaught of family drama concerning alcoholism, codependency, and people refusing to pull their head out from under the sand. It has been one low blow after another, my goals once again put aside so that I could handle the daily traumas that ensued. With all of this happening, it’s at least comforting to know that I’m not alone in all of this, and if you had a similar year, know that you’re not alone either.

I don’t know what will come of all of this as it is not yet over, but I can say one thing with certainty. I’ve never been so determined to cut out everything that I don’t need in my life, and to base all my intentions on the highest good. I’m no longer living for myself, and in some strange paradoxical way, this feels like living more on my own terms than ever before. Living at home at the time my father developed his illness was the best thing that could have happened, and I’ve done everything I could to help my parents so that my mom didn’t have to quit her job and my dad could possibly live a little longer with my cautionary advice, but now is the time for me to start my life. My start has been long overdue, as most get theirs when they graduate high school or enter college. There will always be something standing in the way, and it is time to cut the chords and take the leap unhinged. I’m writing about this personal experience because it might be relevant to anyone reading this, especially if they were also apart of the transformative shit storm that was 2016.

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The Death card in the major arcana of the Tarot stands for profound change. Death teaches us to let go of outgrown ways of thinking and move forward. This is the perfect card to meditate on when you want to break free from old habits or circumstances. It’s a time to cut out what is not necessary in your life. For a new life to be realized, we must release old energy. When Death rides in, it is on the understanding that change has been sought after on a subconscious or spiritual level.

I’m entering into the New Year with a very important detail that I haven’t seen emphasized on social media and fellow blogs. Yes, we’re entering into a new year that will bring us into a new cycle and a different path, but despite this, the change is not going to be as sudden as we want it to be. Just because I’m writing a 7 instead of 6 at the end of the date does not mean that my father’s health will suddenly turn around, or that people will start making better life choices, or that a job will fall from the sky, or a place for me to call home will emerge. These things take time and they will remain unchanged without my will and determination.

What can any of us do to move beyond our obstacles?

A healthy diet can surpass food alone, pervading all things that include relationships, how we spend your time, and any aspect of life that we have control over. If there’s some feature of your physical environment that you don’t have control over, such as a job, finances, and home life, make it a life quest to change this, to work with it. The year of 2017 may not be the year that it all happens, but it can be the year when you begin to push up against a wheel that wasn’t turning before, one that will slowly gain momentum the harder you push and the more time you spend trying to move it.

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The Wheel of Fortune welcomes a change of course. The Wheel is always turning, and so where you are on it now will not be where you are forever. You should not simply stand still and accept what life hands you. You can actively work towards improving your situation. Remember to remain optimistic, keeping in mind that when we’re pushed into a new direction, it leads to somewhere even if you don’t know where it is. This is better than stagnation. Meditate on this card in times of powerlessness, and when you wish for fate and destiny to be in your favor.

For some of us, this will mean an organic diet of meaningful relationships, fulfilling activities, practical information, and daily actions based on sheer life purpose. You will have to cut out harmful people like you cut out sugar. You will have to shape your day on the basis on how everything you do is contributing to your goals. It will require the airy fairy essence of faith, and the solid grounded character of grit. All in all, just know that when one understands the illusion of separation, there is always a way out of the fire simply waiting to be realized.

Thank you Marci Stern and Joe Milians for becoming a patron for Metanoia!

If you like my work and would like to support my endeavors, please visit my Patreon page and explore what services I have to offer.

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The Freedom to Choose

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Hello to all my loyal followers, and hello to any newcomers.

   Now that the spring semester has begun, most of my time and energy will be funneled into school, especially since I am trying to secure my graduation for May. This unfortunately means less  posts, and allotting any free time I have to writing my novel, so I apologize for the lack of posts over the next few months.

   I’m finding that this is a very unnerving time in my life where there is much uncertainty for the future, and fear of this unknown. It is not so much the typical scenario for all youth where there is a dilemma in not knowing ones purpose or passion. Its more of an anxiety brought on by the apparent lack of opportunity after a life of trying to produce just the opposite. This discomfort brings me to what I wish to talk about today.

   I see it in others and I see it in myself. Very often we believe that we are stuck in life. We don’t think we can get out of our career choice, our job, our relationship, our geography, our finances, or anything at all. Perhaps the mindset comes from knowing that these situations were completely circumstantial, which often is the main factor controlling where we end up in life at some point, despite our best efforts, and despite what we’re told about things like hard work and perseverance. But recently I was reminded of something, and it prompted me to take my own advice.

 

   I’ve seen horrific things that people must endure on this plane of existence, things I will not go into detail. I’ve been fortunate enough, and thankful for having a life in which I did not have to go through these things, and yet still be able to learn something from being a bystander. What I’ve learned from these people is that there always is a choice, no matter what. There really are no excuses.

   I must convey what making a choice actually entails here. When you are depressed for example, you do not simply decide to start feeling better and make it so the day after. This is what many people mistakenly say to others, especially those who have never been through great hardship (or for those who have and see this as a way to avoid their baggage rather than working with it and truly moving on). Change doesn’t work like that here. For some, it takes an entire lifetime to bring forth some manifestation, or a change in destiny. For these people, it was between that and never breaking free, and they chose freedom. With this, you are presented with the option to let life happen to you, or to gather up some courage for the long haul. I suppose everyone is different, but I  would rather have a life trying to get somewhere. I would not want to give my power over to circumstance. I do not believe thats what I, or any of us were meant to do. As the saying goes, “After all, none of us are getting out alive anyway”. In the end it didn’t matter what occurred for the people who took control of their destiny. What mattered was that they acknowledged their position, had a conversation with themselves, and started looking for a way to make a change. They evaluated what was worth taking and what was worth leaving behind.

   I have no idea if this will strike a chord with any of you at this time. Perhaps it does for some time in your past, or perhaps it will somewhere down the line in your future. Either way, I felt compelled to say something about this.

   For me personally, there is this feeling of being lost, but not in life, in another way entirely. I recently heard someone present the question “Where is my Joy?”. Yes, where is my joy? Where is that old friend? For me, it is misplaced in the distractions and the checklists and the obligations. I warn myself not to disconnect from the path that leads me to my bliss, because when I do, I could temporarily lose my way back to that. This is where I find myself now. Overcoming this may be the way to dislodge myself from the clingy sap of self doubt, mistrust, and disappointment.

   Perhaps getting back to oneself in this way is not as complicated as it feels. There’s a song by my favorite artist Aurora I wish to share that resonates with this.

   In her song, it is extremely frank, and yet so eloquently put.

   “I know I can. Thats why I do it.”

 

Featured image credited to Folkert Gorter

Our Flaws Are Symptoms of What Makes Us Good People

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To some, this will sound obvious, but I think it is still easily forgotten, and thus worth pointing out.

We tend to focus on the imperfections in ourselves and in our surroundings. Its not necessarily a bad thing. As humans, we naturally want to improve what we can. But there’s something I’ve noticed about flaws, particularly with people, that I have found worth noting.

It is that our weaknesses seem to have a correlation with the type of positive attributes one has.

At first it is not difficult to understand, and even well known. We have all  known the quiet child, whose way of looking inward both served as socially incapacitating, but also the trait that allowed them to notice things others didn’t, or to think before reacting impulsively.

Knowing this has made me wonder about other possible traits that aren’t so obvious, expressing themselves either positively or negatively within a person. After all, we are all a conglomerate of attributes, a heterogenous mixture, rather than making up wholly of one thing.

What if low self esteem meant that a person could have higher empathy? Is there a reason someone might be more or less sensitive? Why does someone do well in Math but not History? Is what makes us good at one thing, actually inhibit our ability in something else?

I believe this view, which seems to hold at least some truth, could possibly alleviate some of or frustrations with not owning up to all that we want to be, or all that is asked of us. Instead of striving for perfection, we could all take some comfort in knowing that we are not devoid of a skill, but rather predisposed in something else.

So, what if you knew that your flaws were linked to the quirks you loved about yourself. Would it change anything?