The Peaceful Warrior

Oh my, how lovely you have all been sharing your experiences of stress and how you manage it (eating a pint of ice cream or taking seroquel were my favourite suggestions), and giving me wise words of encouragement.

I am glad to report that I am back to my usual chirpy self: the sun is flooding into the apartment, the patio doors are open and I can see the swans gliding elegantly on the canal; my neighbour has just bought me round a plant and a bottle of wine (at 8.30 am!), and I am sipping coffee and writing – life feels good again.

But I am not naive – I know I have not suddenly transformed into a Zen Goddess. And although I am glad I am not a crazy woman this week, I am taking last week as a warning sign and as a reminder to keep working on being a more relaxed person (for my husband’s sake if nothing else – poor sod).

And I often find it is when I have a ‘wobble’ that I learn the most. It is when I pick myself up, reflect on what happened and look at something in a new way that I move forward. I haven’t suddenly got all the answers (sorry if that is what you were hoping for) but I have reminded myself that I have made serious changes to my patterns of thinking to get to this place of wellness and if I can do that in other areas of my life, I can do it about stress.

I had a coaching session a couple of weeks ago and one of the aims of the session was to explore how can I work with the Type A in me, how can I make her a good part of me and not a dangerous part of me?

‘I don’t want to let go of her’ I said, sounding like a sulky teenager. ‘She is the part of me that makes things happen, I want to keep hold of that drive and determination.’

Kelly gently guided me to imagine a more balanced version of that person (that word balance haunts me); nudged me to see that I would still be me if I let go of this part of me.

She also recommended I watched The Peaceful Warrior. The film – based on the book Way of the Peaceful Warrior – is about a young, arrogant, talented gymnast, who gets good grades, all the hot girls and is training for the Olympics. But whilst on the outside Dan seems to have it all, inside this is not the case. He meets a mysterious stranger – who he refers to as Socrates – who ends up becoming his mentor, showing him a different way to live. This becomes even more challenging when Dan has a serious motor bike accident which threatens his whole way of life. But with the help of ‘Socrates’ he learns to let go of the person he thought he was and start living in a completely different way. (I know it is sounding a little on the cheesy side but…)

It was just what my spirit needed – apparently, a little cheese on a Saturday afternoon is a good thing. And I hope you Type As are sitting down for this part: to be a Peaceful Warrior you have to let go of control. *and breathe*

And it gets worse – apparently, life is a mystery and you will never understand it. The good news, however, is a sense of humour is also essential to being a Peaceful Warrior (oh, this I can do).  And you have to accept that change WILL happen – I think I accept that, so JUST control to work on then.

There was also a focus on how it is the journey that is important, not the destination (I know this is King of Cheese himself). I do kind of buy into this but I think the journey is better if you know where you are going – yes, work in progress.

Kelly said to me in our session ‘it’s about letting go, letting go of who you think you should be, letting go of control, letting go of your attachment to the outcome of your goals. If you become attached to the outcome, you believe you will only be happy WHEN… WHEN you have a six-pack, WHEN the apartment is finished, WHEN you are a successful writer, WHEN…’

So this is it people, I am letting go… you can now refer to me as Karen ‘The Peaceful Warrior’.

12 thoughts on “The Peaceful Warrior

  1. I think it is key to enjoy the journey but never lose sight of the destination! I think that your drive to get there is the reason you are no longer Sofa Karen and it is an important part of you. Sometimes we get frustrated that we are not reaching our goals fast enough, which is understandable and that point you need to sit back and enjoy the journey.

    I’m loving your blog and it is so great to see how far you have come.

    Love Susie xx

    • How lovely to see you here Susie.

      Oh, it’s back to balance isn’t it?! I think you are right – my drive is very much part of the reason I have made the progress I have made BUT…well, you have read the rest.

      Sitting back…enjoying the view…promise.

      Hope all is going well for you and thank you for coming by….xx

  2. Hi Karen,
    Your Coach is wise to get you to ” let go”. Carrying around excess baggage is no good for the soul. Release and imagine a better you. The journey can be great as long as you have a sense of direction.
    be good to yourself

    • Hi again David.

      I am liking your wise words – you are welcome here any time! I am releasing as we speak. By next week my bags will be empty 😉

      I am curious, as I know you are a coach too, does all this come naturally to you? Or do you have to work at it like the rest of us?

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.


      • Karen,
        I have to ‘work at it’ like anyone. I am subject to getting off track, temptation, loose thoughts. The trick is knowing that you are ‘off track’ & getting back to where one should be. If one has a strong enough desire to improve, getting back on track is easier. I’m only human afterall however I have a great love for helping others.
        be good to yourself

        • Thank you so much for coming back and sharing more thoughts. A little disappointed to hear that you are only human 😉 But mostly encouraged that working at it works!

          It has been so interesting to meet you.

          Thank you


    • Oh Evan.

      That has amused me no end. I may try both today and see where it takes me!

      Interestingly, we are off to Turkey on Saturday so I will keep my eye out for some Whirling Dervishes and see if I can pick up some tips for good technique 🙂


  3. Hey Karen,
    This canalside living ain’t bad is it? I’m keen on wondering around such places myself as you know! (fortunately for you nowhere near Nottingham!) 😉
    I’m adjusting slowly to thinking a little differently, no choice lead to it, but hey!.
    A doctor giving a talk in front of a group that I was attending mockingly said……”Sue is happy to except her limitations” “and Roger of course want’s it perfect” *(sneering git) (I didn’t say that bit btw)! :-D…………He was right though!! GRRR. Perfectionist isn’t the best thing to be in terms of illness recovery, I have found that out. So balance is the key I believe, it is important not to lose all the fight in me but control it!
    At the end of the day it was the “Roger wants it perfect” attitude that created the ideas behind starting to work for myself from redundancy, designing new artworks, and making them marketable. So you need the will to succeed tempered with the tactics to win the match of life.
    Hope i don’t sound like an arrogant git!……doesn’t sound like me now I’ve written it.
    I think I’ve missed another blog, so sorry I’ll catch up on that too. & yes I am working 8.45pm on Sunday! & yes I don’t learn quickly do I?……don’t answer that! 😉 xx

    • Hey Rog. Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply – you know how it is with all these holidays!

      I think you are right, it’s a balance. You don’t sound arrogant – well not to me anyway, basically because I am the same.

      I haven’t learnt quickly either. But I have made changes and I am determined to keep working on it. Maybe it is like being an addict in recovery, if you have those tendencies it will always take work to keep them in check.

      But in check they must be if we want lasting health. Here’s to balance Rog. (God, that word haunts me!) xx

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