“But I’ll never survive with dead memories in my heart”-Slipknot (Dead Memories)
Often time, creative warriors are hounded by memories of the past (as I can fervently attest to). I spent years being haunted of the wreckage of my childhood. Filled with much fear and trembling were my dreams until I awoke from that deathly state and said “enough!” Enough to being the chattel of dead memories, enough to being marred by past misery. A warrior knows that the past is literally a figment of one’s imagination, it’s called the past for a reason. Becoming the hero of your story means that you cannot burden yourself with illusory thoughts.
The only thing that is real is right now, all else is delusion
Burn the above in your brain, as it is your duty to authentically create yourself. If you are still attached to that which does not exist, then you are doing yourself a grave disservice. Let go of irrational rumination! If you do not, then you are as dead as the past you cling to.
Now I can almost hear the protests from some of you and I understand your position. As I stated before dear traveller, I did not have a happy childhood (to say the least lol) I was (long before my resurrection) a victim to La Bruja Endriaga and she delighted in spilling my blood. But wait, how could it be my blood if I am here in this present moment writing this? Am I not just imagining a recollection of things that happened a long time ago to someone else?
For who I am now is not who I was then.
My point is that you are here, not there; so why waste time elsewhere? Isn’t your imagination worthy of being put to better use? Aren’t you tired of those ephemeral chains that keep you locked away from reality? Fellow traveller, you have the keys to your liberty in your own heart and mind. Freedom is indeed a burden, but so is the past; which one would you rather bear?
It is time that you started being nice to yourself; you are a beautiful person with something unique to offer the world. While it is important to prepare for war, don’t wage war upon yourself in such a way that you become your own critic, which would just allow your internal assassins to have an easy victory, and that’s no bueno.
A creative warrior strives for diligence and discipline, but also for freedom and lightness. The blossom and sword fall the same in the void; the rhythm that I aspire to learn, an equilibrium that the true mind possesses without possessing.
If authentic self-creation is your desire, then you must not berate or beat yourself up. if you’ve adopted a warrior-mind, then you are above all irrational self-abuse. A warrior knows that the past is dead and the future an illusion, therefore only the present is what exists. In this moment, you have infinity in your grasp; why not love your part in all this beauteous vastness? I think you’re worth that, so why wouldn’t you?
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.–Buddha
Do me (and more importantly, yourself) a favour; take some time to write a good-bye letter to your critics, real or imagined. Inform them that:
You are a creative warrior worthy of love
You are on a heroic path towards excellence and thusly have no time for dead memories and hurtful falsehoods
And that they are no longer welcome to steal time from you.
Although we are united in our struggles, we are also alone with our own selves. Why not be your own best friend as you sojourn? What do you say?
Yours upon the Way,
P.S. You don’t have to share those letters; but if you wish to do so, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. ¡Gracias!
I am starting a new segment called “Warrior’s Bow.”. The idea is to honour someone (or many someone’s) past and present, real and fictional, that I believe heroically exemplifies some form of the Bushido code. Not sure what Bushido is? Click here to find out.
If you have been following this blog, you know that I am an artist who advocates living a creative warrior’s lifestyle; I sincerely believe that it is both your privilege and duty in becoming your own hero. I hope that you don this mantle and join me on this journey.
I’m going to start this segment off with a commentary on a story that Los Afro-Latinos has been compassionately covering in-depth; a human tale about perseverance and fidelity to your defining commitment. In Cauca,Colombia, (Suaréz in particular), a community of Afro-Latinos is under constant threat by corporate interests and organized crime (is there much difference between the two?) who have dedicated themselves to taking by force which is not theirs to take. Why? For bloody gold, that shiny symbol of abject greed. I believe that all people are my brothers and sisters and that their suffering is, in part, my suffering. However, as an Afro-Latino, my outrage and sense of camaraderie sharpen a bit more. So to is my pride in these beautiful, warrior women.
I give Clemencia Carabali and Francia Marques a warrior’s bow for their stoicism, compassion and courage in the face of these mechanized dragons of exploitation. Quote Franica; “Although we are fighting for a piece (of land), the fight is for humanity itself.” Is this not what matters, our humanity? I am humbled by their example of what honourable living actually is. I hope you have a wonderful day and that you celebrate the courage to have equanimity while in the path of a cruel storm.
I know that I know nothing. I know this because what I think I know is as a pebble in regards to the Himalayan mountains of my profound ignorance. Knowing and feeling this Truth is a step towards deeper understanding; understanding of both myself and the world that my Self is a part of. As I walk the Way, I sometimes stumble and fall to the unyielding earth. But the hardness of the earth contains compassion because it does not coddle me. What do I mean by this? Imagine that you have broken a limb and that it has set badly; it is swollen, deformed, and pain is your new best friend. You go to the doctor and she tells you that she must re-break the limb.
But if she does not, gangrene will set in and then you will soon join the undead hordes of brain-lusting zombies. Or something like that.
Is life not like this at times? I recently learned a valuable lesson that has corrected my thinking. It hurt to see how mistaken I was, but I embrace it because one must be in accord with Truth. I wish to live authentically no matter how painful, so that I can communicate all that I have learned to you.
I leave you with a quote from one of my most favourite movies: “Batman Begins”, and one of the best lines from it (in my opinion) was from Alfred to Batman: “Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” Is this not the heart of warriorship?
As creative individuals, we can not only suffer from biological depression but also fromexistential depression. We realize that our acts of creation are necessary for our survival, necessary for our lives to meansomething. I learned this truth after much inner strife and it guides me upon my Way. I hope to share this and much more as we progress.
With this blog, we will support each other and share how we try to live our lives to the fullest. I wish to show you how having a warrior-mind set can help you become the best you, a heroic you. If you wish to authentically create a life of compassion, and creativity; then join me upon as we walk the Way.
I am advocating living an unconventional life filled with a sense of honour and adventure; I wish to triumph and see others triumph over all self-imposed limitations (by embracing hard work and dispatching our ninjas). I challenge you to start a new course upon your journey. Why not become a creative warrior; and say “yes” to creating meaning? Now is the time to take your life in your own two hands and craft it to your best ability. What say you?
You know what I call those sneaky, little attacks on your self-esteem? Those in-the-night barbs of self-criticisms? Ninjas, because they are covert bastards who bear creative warriors ill-will. They’re so good that they’ll mimic the voices of detractors past like a twisted version of “A Christmas Carol”.
Say no to Ninjas! They will cajole, connive and/or outright murder you. They are the internal agents of the status quo, they are there to keep you there. One of my ninja memories is of a teacher who told me “poets don’t amount to anything, be a lawyer instead”. The voice (be it spouse, friend, lover or parent) that told you to “be practical” is also a ninja. Any hint of rebellion and they swiftly deal with you.
But if you adopt warrior mind and prepare for war, you’ll be able to withstand those attackers from the dark. If you truly desire to excel your present state; then you know your duty. I say this to both you and myself. Thank you and remember, say no to ninjas!
Yours upon the Way,
What if I told you that you are the sole arbiter of your destiny? That no gods or man can create you but you. What if you could be your own hero?
I believe the virtuous warrior-artist must first defeat his or her self. Is this easy? Not in the slightest. But that is the wrong question. The correct question is; is it necessary? Your heart knows the answer to this even when your own mind tells you lies. You must journey inside and slay those demons that wear the faces of all your failures, that speak with the voices of all your critics. They are maya (illusion) and in order to save your life, you must risk it within the battlefield of your own mind. I fight this war every day and my opponent hates me with the fury of a thousand exploding suns; but I stand before him with blade raised. I feel fear but I still fight, for what is courage without fear?
The Hagakure says :”In just refusing to retreat from something ,one gains the strength of two men” When you grapple with yourself, say this aloud as though your heart had a voice. Can you do that? If so, then you have walked another step upon your journey.
One of the things that Julia Cameron advocates in the “Artist’s Way” are Artist’s Days. I love my artist’s days, I’ve happily discovered that they are a crucial component of a self-created warrior. Your inner-artist is a child that needs love, attention and nourishment (I am grateful to have learned this lesson). Setting aside a day or even a few hours of quality “you” time is essential. Why? Because to neglect the life inside of you will render you a walking, talking zombie, and don’t we have enough of those?
An artist’s day does not mean you have to go to necessarily do anything “serious” like go to the orchestra, (although I recommend that too), but doing something as simple as a colouring book (don’t judge me!) will suffice. The point is to spend time with yourself, and just yourself. No friends, no spouse, no children; just you. Without compromise, take yourself and inner artist out for some quality time. I assure you that a measure of peace and enhanced creativity will manifest themselves; this I can happily attest to. All I ask from you is a few hours for yourself, do I ask too much?
Yours Upon the Way,
P.S. I had a wonderful day with my inner artist, I “stocked my pond” so to speak and I feel marvelous. I have poems swirling in my skull as I write this.
Sometimes the Way is not a walk but a stumble replete with stubbed toes (would someone explain to me WHY it hurts so bloody much?). Anyway, I still struggle with being mindful and not letting irrational thinking cloud my reason. While I have made great inroads in this area, mistakes are still made. But the funny thing is, I learn from my mistakes without much self-flagellation. (I once was the king of self-criticism, now I am merely a duke lol)
The Way of Artist and Warrior alike value mistakes because there is always a lesson within them. The last thing that you want to do is compound the mistake with criticism. Simply observe that the action has happened, stoically accept the consequences, and move on. The lesson is in the mistake, you don’t learn anything of value by making your own self a punching bag, trust me.
There is a difference between sober self-reflection and destructive self-criticism; the true mind recognizes this and adjusts itself accordingly. As a self-created warrior, you will learn to ignore the latter and embrace the former. Take a deep breath and tell yourself “Yes, I have made a mistake but that is no reason attack myself” Why not try this now and let me know how it has worked for you?
Why do I believe that a warrior-mind state is the golden ideal for creative souls? This is a good question that deserves a good answer.
The Way that I advocate is grounded in a dedication to creating an authentic life of excellence, creativity and personal heroism. Imagine being thebest you, the strongest you, the most creative you. Now that you’ve envisioned that, you can create that. Your life is a canvas, let me help you find the best colours and techniques that you can use. Allow me to share with you the warrior-mind state and shall you gaze upon yourself with awe and excitement; for now you see the hero that has always lived inside of you.