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Mirror Gazing

I took a rather extended hiatus from the Warrior Goddess Training, at least the writing about it. I did get the workbook. Then promptly left it sitting on a shelf for a few months.

It’s dug out now, and I have gone back to the beginning.

The first lesson is all to do with the commitments we make to ourselves, for good and for bad. And the first exercise is one that I really don’t want to do. Which is probably a good sign that I need to do it.

I’m talking about looking at myself in a mirror for a few minutes each day. Letting the self-talk flow over me and seeing where I am running myself down, and ways I can change that voice into one more positive.

Here is what I wrote in my journal the first night, just thinking about doing the exercise. Before I actually got around to doing the looking.

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Reflections of Power

Warrior Goddess Training, Section 1

I’ve spent quite a bit of time considering this section in the first chapter of Warrior Goddess Training. This included taking time to do the 10 day Warrior Goddess Bootcamp which was offered through the web site free of charge for those who pre-ordered the workbook. And also time to consider women I admire, and why I admire them.

When I began this journey of discovering who I am 2 years ago, I started with a blank slate. All of my life who I am has been determined by who I am with. Their likes became my likes, their dislikes because my dislikes. Who I am was determined by who they are.

But now, in my life, there is no one else. There’s just me. I’ve been trying things – do I really like this TV show? Do I really like that vegetable? Do I want to dye my hair? Do I want to wear make up? Sometimes, the answer has been yes, but many times I’ve realised the answer is no.

The end of this chapter asked some rather telling questions. These were my answers.

Do you find your self-worth in how you look?

Not in a positive way. I have used my looks as an excuse to devalue my worth. So, in a backwards way that is defining my self-worth by how I look.

There are dozens of messages that have gone through me head over most of my life. Some I told myself first, others were said to me and incorporated into the tapes that played in my head.

You would be pretty if not for….

This is a picture of Nancy when she was pretty. (said by a family member)

I’m fat. I’m too short. Don’t smile. Your words aren’t worth hearing. So many flowing through me, many of which I wasn’t really aware of until I began listing them out.

To counter this, I am paying attention to what meets my needs in the way I dress and in my appearance. What do I want. Some times that agrees with what society says, many times I have found that it does not.

Do you base you value on how well you are taking care of everyone else at the expense of yourself?

This can be a real danger spot for me because I am a healer and I am empathic, and my first urge is to provide healing to others and to remove their pain, whether physical or emotional.

Growth for me has been taking a step back when the urge to heal someone comes over me. Does this urge come from my own intuition or from a desire to get the other person’s approval? Has the other person asked for healing?

Recently, this idea was tested for me in two ways. In the space of 12 hours I was contacted by 2 different people. The first was a request for training in Reiki. The second was a request for an Amulet of the Goddess reading. The difference between the two requests was that the second request came with an unspoken (or unwritten) implication that I should do this free of charge because we knew each other through a social networking group.

Once upon a time, I would have emmed and ahhed and either sent a message back listing my prices, but taking time to justify the reasons why I should be paid, and feeling guilty over asking for money. Or, I would have done the reading but felt resentful at having to do it for no money when this is one of the ways in which I provide for my family.

This time though, I did neither. After giving myself 24 hours to consider the request. I sent a message back letting him know that the Amulets may not be the most appropriate means of finding answers for his questions, linking him to the part of my Pagan Witch blog that lists the various prices, and letting him know if he still wanted a reading this was what the various services would cost.

I’ve not heard back since.

Now, I do occasionally do readings at no charge. But only when the Amulets let me know that I need to do the reading for that person. And only when I know in my heart that the reading is coming from a pale of love, and not from feeling guilty for not doing it.

Does my strength come from how much money I have, how sexy I am or who I know?

I don’t have a lot of money, I don’t particularly care if I am sexy or not, and I certainly don’t know anyone who could boost my outward appearance of power.

But when I was married and before when I was in a relationship, I think that I did do this. Knowing that someone found me sexy helped me to feel powerful. I took my power from someone else’s thoughts and feelings towards me. And when those feelings were removed, my power base disappeared.

Female Role Models – Who are your role models?

What qualities and actions do they embody, such as presence, courage, passion, honesty, compassion, and clarity.
My great-great grandmother, Arminda Jane (Moore) Morton who travelled in a covered wagon from Illinois to the Nebraska Territory, while pregnant and gave birth in a wagon on the journey. Who raised a family through times of extreme poverty, living in houses made of dirt and sod. Qualities in her that I admire – faith, courage, perseverence

My ancestor who divorced and remarried 3 times in the 1800s. Qualities in her that I admire– courage, passion, going after what she wanted and discarding what she didn’t

Temple Grandin – a woman with autism who has become a spokesperson for people with autism around the world, and who is also a world renowned expert on improving the welfare of animals in slaughterhouses. Qualities in her that I admire – presence, courage, perseverance.

Laura Ingalls Wilder – the author and the fictional character. I grew up reading her stories, and as an adult find nothing but admiration for the struggles she dealt with while growing up and as an adult. Qualities in her that I admire – courage, perseverance, presence, fighting spirit.

Pippi Longstocking – the fictional character. She had adventures and was fearless, and she did lots of things because there was no one around to tell her they weren’t possible. Qualities in her that I admire – belief in herself, bravery, sense of adventure.

Esmerelda Weatherwax – fictional character. When I grow old, I want to be a witch just like Mistress Weatherwax. Qualities in her that I admire – her no nonsense approach to life, her common sense.

I’d like to finish this off with a message from the amulets that I received this week.

Labrys – Personal Power

Hold your power in your hands. You are a leader and many will follow you. Make sure you know where you are leading them to.

Hold your power.

Power is not anger. Power is not force. It is not coercion or manupulations. It is not held through fear.

Power is the core of who you are. It sits in your belly and fills you each day.

You have always had this power within you. Even as you denied it, ignored it, and stuffed it away in a corner of your mind. Still it was there for you.

You do not need to claim power, it is already a part of you.

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Warrior Goddess Training: Commit to Self

Since making a commitment to doing the Warrior Goddess Training work, I have read the first chapter and begun finding my answers to some of the guiding questions and tasks.

Just at a time when I found myself getting caught up in “wanting to do it perfect” the Fates intervened with a bid to reread “The Gospel of Falling Down” by Mark Townsend. So, here I am now sharing with you what I have discovered so far.

I am not yet through doing the work for the first chapter, But a commitment to share my journey means sharing the steps I am taking, not the final destination once I think I have reached it. (And we all know that in work like this, the destination is never truly reached.)

I picked out some quotes from the first chapter which spoke to me.

Quotes

We commit to who we think we should be rather than committing to meeting ourselves where we are. We commit to seeing ourselves through other people’s eyes, gauging our self-worth based on their acceptance, rather than witnessing our unique inner beauty and strength. We commit to being nice rather than being real, or we commit to being right rather than being vulnerable. And when people in our lives don’t behave the way we think they should, we sulk and mope, or worse, we get even.

Committing to your true, authentic Warrior Goddess self is the beginning of a lifelong journey of living in authenticity.

The keystone of committing to yourself is very simple: Learn to love all of who you are, flaws and all. Doing this, however, can be a difficult thing. You commit to yourself to the same extent that you are willing to release the past and any ideas that you are holding that you “should” be different that you are at this moment. Our deepest healing occurs when we learn to be our own best friend.

Old view: Power is defined by how you look, how much money you make, who you are dating/married to, and how you are progressing on your career track.

New view: From a Warrior Goddess point of view, power is defined very differently. Power is not sought after from the outside, but rather is patiently cultivated from with. Power has nothing to do with money, or fame, or outside appearances, but with our connection to self, love, authenticity, and the inner mystery of life.

When we create a life based on what we think we are supposed to do rather than from our own heart’s desire, we always feel like something is missing, that we are not quite free.

It’s time to be honest about what your definition of power has been, and then letting it go.

What are my ingrained thoughts on and reactions to personal power?

  • Power is something held over others and used to control them.
  • Power is held by others but not by me.
  • People in authority, or who I perceive to be in authority over me, must like and approve of me.
  • I will do anything I have to do in order to control another person’s perception of me, so that I can get their approval. Generally, this means changing who I am to fit what I think the other person wants. His likes become my likes. He interests become my interests.
  • I am constantly gauging another person’s reactions to what I am saying, and changing my words when I sense they don’t agree.
  • Standing in your power means being angry. Anger leads to a fear response. Power through fear and intimidation. I can’t claim my power because I don’t want to be like this.
  • People who claim their own power are egotistical.
  • It is not acceptable to outwardly claim your own power.

I am now doing work on my own and with help from others on redefining these definitions and thought processes. As part of this, I drew a card from a friend’s Faerie Oracle Deck.

The card drawn was the card of Illusion. Illusions brought to you, and the illusions we create for ourselves. This card spoke to me on two levels. With illusions of the heart, it spoke to me of the illusions which I had created and had a vested interest in maintaining through my now ended marriage. I had recognised that he had lived in a fantasy world, and his real world. In my ex’s case his fantasy world was the world where he had a wife and children, was a loving husband and father, and a good provider. His real world was the one he created online.

In taking this card, I began to recognise the illusions which I too had held. Illusions which had to be burnt away in order to get me out of an abusive marriage.

After meditating further on this card of illusions, it spoke to me once again on another level:

Realise the barriers which keep you from claiming your power are all illusions.

It is not enough though to just say – I don’t want these illusions any longer, so go away now! I need to honour these illusions before releasing them because it is these illusions which helped me to survive up until now. They kept me safe and sane in an unsafe and insane world.

Until next time.

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