Insights from Warrior Monk

On January 1st, 2014, I ushered in the New Year by participating in a Warrior Monk retreat with Dan McKee here at the Whidbey Institute.

Warrior Monk is an experiential and transformative retreat for those seeking wholeness of self, strength of purpose, spiritual connection, and the healing of self-limiting beliefs. I didn’t know quite what to expect when I signed up, but I came to discover that this ambiguity was actually an important part of the experience. Like many others, I find that it can be difficult for me to let go of control, trust the process, and release into the unknown. But that is exactly what I did, and the outcome was incredible!

For four days and four nights I experienced living with a deeper sense of intention, mindfulness, and peace. The more time I spent in sacred space – meditation, journaling, dancing – the more I cultivated that sense of sacredness within myself. It was this feeling that inspired the insight below, which I jotted down on the final day of the training:

The outer world is a direct reflection of our collective sense of self-worth. When we love ourselves courageously, we manifest the true beauty and potential of existence.

I finally ‘got’ the idea that I create my own reality. I give my life its meaning. By deciding how I respond to the world, I get to create who I am in each moment! It’s a powerful feeling. The troubling thing is that when I am not actively choosing who I am, I tend to fall back on stories and behaviors from my past. These old patterns and habits rarely serve me in my quest to be my greatest self. Rather, they often keep me feeling powerless and detached. It seems the antidote to this shadowy tendency is only found when I cultivate presence and sacredness in my daily life. Only then am I able to hold my shadows out in front of me and live my life with true clarity and purpose.

Perhaps the greatest work of my lifetime will be to love myself courageously. 

What if I offered myself the care, generosity, and compassion that I often so freely offer others? What if the more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible (as Charles Eisenstein would put it) is already here – alive in each of us? I am ready to co-create that world, starting from within myself. It’s time I let go of what I think I know and dive courageously into the beautiful mystery of the Universe.

Dan Mahle


January 13, 2014

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