A couple of years ago, my home was not as happy as I’d have liked. I desired more harmony in my family and set about to be its source. So, I dedicated 40 days to a daily act of service for each member of my family: my husband and my two children.
To remind me of my practice, every day I took several moments in the humble warrior yoga pose. This act solidified my intent. As I dropped my head forward each day, I dropped ego and pride.
I thought it would be simple. I planned to do things like make a special lunch for the kids or do the dishes for my husband. Since we married, we’ve had an arrangement: I cook and he does the dishes. It works for us. What I discovered early in the practice was that it wasn’t about doing new things as much as it was about stopping existing ones.
I would catch myself frustrated, about to make a snarky comment, and stop. Or I would be on the verge of complaining about something my husband wasn’t doing, and instead ask him to do it. Or catch myself about to get angry at the kids, and let it subside.
I thought the 40 days would be about special items that I would add on. Instead, it was existing behavior that I was stripping away.
Like our lives, we think we need to add more of this and more of that, when what we really need is to drop this and that.
As I bowed my head each day, as I stripped away each day, I learned how to be a humble warrior.
A Humble Warrior Is
A humble warrior is not about shining up her armour with good deeds. A humble warrior is about learning to soften her blows.
She is not about a sharp tongue or a quick defense. She is about a strong heart and a focused mind.
A humble warrior knows her true enemies: impatience, anger, frustration, fear, arrogance. A humble warrior knows that the only battle she fights is within.
A humble warrior knows that in order to win she must lay down her sword. Again and again.
*image of statue “Self made woman” by Paul Slipper