I spent the weekend at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health for my friend Gabby Bernstein‘s “Expect Miracles” retreat. The weekend was full of awesome gems of wisdom from Gabs, but one thing stood out more than anything else for me:
“Are you going to the victim or the warrior?” Gabby asked all of us.
Every human goes through painful stuff sometimes. Whether it’s physical pain, emotional pain or just life not feeling as good as we’d like it to feel, none of us are strangers to struggle in some way. We can choose whether to live in the victim mentality when we’re going through tough times — or the warrior mentality.
Living life through the role of a victim means we feel helpless in our situations and make excuses as to why things can’t improve. Being a warrior means turning our pain into purpose. I’ll admit, I’ve found myself in both categories at times – but at any given moment we can choose to switch from victim to warrior. For me, developing a consistent yoga practice works WONDERS!
It’s about taking the next step forward, even if it’s a baby step. Seeing your pain as a path to growth. Finding a way to help someone else as a result of the pain you’ve gone through.
Gabby went on to say that there’s a huge difference energetically when you’re talking to someone who’s in victim mode vs. someone who’s in warrior mode. Someone playing the victim role will act powerless over their circumstances, with a “giving up” mentality…”why me?”
The warrior might say something like, “this is what I’m going through — it’s been really hard, but I’m taking things one day at a time, healing, working through it, and learning a lot about myself.”
(And as Gabby also pointed out — which one would YOU rather have lunch with?! I’d rather chill with the pain-to-purpose peeps!)
We may not be able to fully live from the warrior mentality 100% of the time. After all, breaking down and crying is cleansing and healing, too. Things may not always be easy, but the choice we do have at each second is to be willing to see things differently.
A few tips on how to, as Gabby says, “combat the darkness with a tremendous amount of light”:
- Make self care your primary function.
- Remember to ask for help. Find your personal team of healers – maybe it’s your friends & family, a therapist, support group, yoga instructor, spiritual practice, chiropractor, juicer, etc.
- Find ways that working through your own situation can help others, and help someone.
- Say to yourself, “this may be uncomfortable, but I know it’s a radical assignment for growth.”
Life happens. Experiencing challenges gives us a chance to become stronger and more compassionate. A whole new set of possibilities arises with every life change. Let’s choose to operate from a peaceful warrior mentality with as much strength as we can possibly gather!
(Thanks for an amazing weekend, Gab)