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In your hand hold gently all you think you know. Let go.

Knowing where you are is more important than where you are. The problem is that most of us never stop for long enough to find out where we are. We rush ahead, we pursue, we charge on ill-equipped and blind with the desire to just keep going. The result? Few of us ever really know ourselves.  We wheel  around in circles. We hurt each other. We hurt the planet.

Most of us don’t understand the patterns of our own mental states, the machinations behind our actions, the basic and beautiful alchemy of our own minds. We hold beliefs strong as an oak in our heads and hearts, beliefs that have grown from seeds planted unconsciously and blossomed unnoticeably, never questioned, only nourished until the roots run deep and become the foundations of our unwavering view of Self and World.

What are your root wrong views? What rules do you live by? Most of us don’t know the answer to such questions – they are buried too deep and we do not put in the time and energy needed for the excavation process.

We are each caught in a cycle of our own becoming. The only way to escape t is to stop. To notice where we are. To take a side-step.

The world is full of people righteously going forth, warriors wielding their views and opinions and beliefs in their hands – some of us clumsily, others, who can wield their sword with confidence (arrogance?), become the people we follow – either by choice or by force.

We may have deep and strong motivations for justice, for equality, for peace – but any sword wielded by an unexamined mind is dangerous.

But the little day-to-day actions of us little people don’t matter, right? Power is reserved for politicians and CEO’s and people at the top, right? Wrong. Each of us wields power, and like any good fairy tale, the root of that power can be good or bad. Most of us don’t know we are dark warriors – that in a thousand subtle ways we cause harm each day – not because we are bad, but because, like a misguided youth, we don’t know how to hone ourselves, to refine the minds that wield the sword.

Think of what you said and did yesterday – or what you did not say or do. That kind word to a colleague; the smile at the shop-keeper; the white-lie to your spouse, the few extra pounds added to the expense sheet at work – every subtle act has a power of its own, the consequences of which can be manifold. Each action plants a seed, and these seeds become who we are. Most of us are at the mercy of our habits, of our deep-seated patterns of body, speech and mind – we are not in control of ourselves. We need to take responsibility. We need to stop, look, listen, think.

The hardest thing to do as we career forward in our lives is to pull over, put on the handbrake, roll down the window and take a breather.

Who am I? What patterns govern my behaviour? In what ways does my speech, my thoughts, my actions entrench further habits of the mind and body? What dark seeds do I nurture, what light? What beliefs do I hold that keep me from really opening up to the world?

The bravest warriors turn to face themselves. It is easier to fault others than to explore the deepest pits of our own being. Courage and humility. Patience. A clear-seeing, penetrating eye. These are the hallmarks of a true warrior, of a person who has come to know themselves and can step out into the world with arms wide open, sword discarded, mind clear and radiant.

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