Seven Principles of the Warrior of Light: (First Dispatch from Guatemala)

Flying Into Guatemala City  It's my first dispatch from overseas. I've landed safely in Guatemala at a little haven called San Pedro La Laguna at the beautiful Lago Atitlán. The hotel wi-fi is unreliable as expected, but here at the gorgeous little cafe across the way the connection is fast as I could hope for and the coffee isn't half bad too..

I can't say I've arrived 100% yet -- I've only just started really dropping into this journey. In the middle of the night somewhere above the midwest on my flight over it finally hit me, and I started laughing outloud at the delightful absurdity of it all. But here I am, my fingers tapping and my heart opening...and, well, racing from two Americanos.

Here then is my first "serious" piece of writing from the journey overseas. I'm finding a wonderful sense of clarity here, and a certain directionality in my thinking that's actually unusual and a bit unexpected. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds...


I hit on the archetype of the Warrior of Light in preparing for this journey and my first live workshop and breathwork healing group the last weekend before taking off. A couple days before the workshop I'd hit a wall and the pressure was unbearable so I took a grand pause and dived back into the truth of my mission, and the moment.

That's when I remembered the great archetype of the warrior of light and pulled up a pdf of Paolo Coelho's Manual of the Warrior of Light for inspiration. I started writing this then, in the midst of this great inner battle, and continued writing in the last hours of my flight to Guatemala City. The final touches and intro were written here at the lovely Cafe Atitlán. It gave me strength when I needed it, and the will to continue on. 

The mission

I have a simple mission: To fully embody the truth of my existence and lead others who wish to do the same. I seek to live from the core of my truth at all times and in all undertakings.

Probably my greatest enemy is the fear that I will not succeed -- not so much in the mission itself, but in the battles along the way -- and it tends to show it's face at those times when I'm pressed against the wall, battling demons, pushed to the end of my own limitations. At those times when the battle is at its peak, the great enemy comes crushing in.

It's at those times I've learned to rely on one of the greatest of weapons in my arsenal, and also one of the simplest...

Warrior's Principal #1: The Grand Pause

The Warrior of Light knows when to retreat -- even in the midst of battle -- to regain clarity, cut her losses and take stock of the situation before re-engaging in the fight.

A wise man once told me a great proverb:

If you don't know what to do, sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all...

In my experience, the grand pause is one of the greatest weapons for overcoming any obstacle. In the midst of the greatest chaos, when the whole world seems to be collapsing on you, a good pause can be the bravest of all actions.

The pause symbolizes the power of seeing the light in the darkness -- the unifying truth at the root of all chaos. And like shining light on darkness, the roaches flee when you switch it on.  Any losses suffered as a result of the pause -- and they may seem great -- will only be temporary. Eventually you gain more ground than would have been possible had you continued to plow on as before.

Warrior's Principal #2: Watch Closely (the menu options may have changed)

Watching closely means seeing and hearing with your heart and all of your senses. As all situations are in a constant flux, you can never rely on any event to unfold in the same way as it might have before.

For instance, you may be wondering how to know if it's safe to take the grand pause in the midst of your struggle. The alarms are sounding and you can see and feel that meltdown is imminent. At that time you have no choice then to listen and trust your gut. You just listen and see if there is somewhere, somehow, a space to pause ... and you open yourself, even briefly for a moment, to spot an escape route, an opportunity to retreat.

In the darkest hour this may come in the form of divine helpers -- friends, strangers, mysterious messages -- to help you see things from a new perspective and spot the way through. The more you learn to listen to your gut and trust the voice of your innermost heart, the more reliable it becomes.

Warrior's Principle #3: Lead With the Heart

The Warrior of Light knows that her heart leads the outcome of any experience. As she sees it, so shall it be.

In my own life, wherever I may be, I try and check in and see what's happening in the center. Is there a tightness there, a restrictive wall of defense that's closed to the truth of the world around me?

Getting stuck in patterns of thinking and feeling can only be broken by seeing clearly what's really going on. From that place you are free to move out and work from a space of alignment instead of darkness or confusion.

"All the world's roads lead to the heart of the warrior; he plunges unhesitatingly into the river of passions always flowing through his life." ~ Paolo Coelho

Warrior's Principle #4: Heart and Soul + Discrimination = Victory

The Warrior understands that an open heart must also be coupled with a strong discrimination. This is totally different from emotional overindulgence, or relying on feelings alone. It's a strong heart, full, overflowing with love, yet watchful and ready for battle at any time (the enemy rarely pauses).

Heart and soul alone is rarely enough to win the greatest battles. You must seek to cultivate a synergy between Heart and Mind.

Lead with the heart, but use discrimination and intelligence born from experience in all that you do, and you will be assured of victory in the end.

Warrior's Principle #5: Never Stray From the Mission

No matter the challenge, the Warrior of Light does not stray from her mission. She is ready to give her life to successfully accomplish the mission, but she does not mistake smaller battles for the great war.

She may not win every battle, but her adherence to the mission carries her through to victory in the end. And she cleaves to that.

In my life I conjure the strength of the Warrior of Light by remembering what I know and believe to be true, and why I am here. The mission is everything.

Warrior's Principle #6: Always Believe in Your Truth

The warrior knows in her heart of hearts that everything she undertakes is driven by her commitment to her greatest truth, and no one else's. At times it may appear as though she may stray from her truth, but the road is long with many turns.

Standing by her own principles, and the significance of her work, she seeks to ever strengthen its power and effect.

No matter the detour she stands by her commitment to her truth. With that commitment ever strong and deepening, the mission itself carries her through. And as long as she stands true to her mission, her mission is loyal to her also.

Warrior's Principle #7: Learn Your Own Principles

Beneath every lesson and experience -- whether good or bad -- is a unifying principle to incorporate and learn. The Warrior of Light catches the thread beneath the surface of every experience and traces it home to her own life and mission.

Having incorporated the truth of the teaching she no longer needs to memorize the principles. She understands how the lesson applies to her life, and incorporates it organically into her armory.

This is the difference between learning how to see and think vs. gathering information. When the warrior has learned to trace any teaching home, she no longer needs to follow others peoples' principles or guidelines for success.

In Closing...

If anything, remember this: The time you spent reading this is useless if you cannot apply the principles to your own life -- to find the underlying thread and its significance to your own life and mission. This is not 'Warrior of the Light 101' -- there is no test, and nothing to memorize. It's up to you to trace the threads and make the connections you need to accomplish your own great work.

A warrior of light is reliable.

He makes a few mistakes, he sometimes thinks he is more important than he really is, but he does not lie.

When people gather round the fire, he talks to his friends, male and female. He knows that his words are stored in the memory of the Universe, like a testimony of what he thinks.

And the warrior asks himself: 'Why do I talk so much, when often I am incapable of carrying out everything I say?'

His heart replies: 'When you defend your ideas in public, you then have to make an effort to live accordingly.'

It is because he believes that he is what he says he is that the warrior ends up becoming precisely that.

~ Paolo Coelho, Manual of the Warrior of Light

Bonus: Prepare to be surprised by unexpected boons. An attitude of openness and flexibility enables magical serendipity.

Vaya con Dios amigos!


I'm tracking my journey for a very special group project I will be launching from Central America. If you're interested in learning more see: The Hero's Journey Project

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