Who is Your Inner Warrior?
I used to be under the impression that self-care was all about pillows and softness and ease. After all, this was about being kind to myself, nurturing myself and even being a little indulgent at times, right?
What it took me a while to learn was that self-care involves accessing my warrior self too.
The warrior is the one who defends, makes tough decisions and says NO! She’s the bad-ass who is not afraid of setting and keeping clear boundaries. She’s the truth-teller (and she might even say it with an attitude). She’s got swagger.
An inner warrior can perhaps be better described as one of our alter-egos. Alter-egos are those parts of ourselves that we have some clue exist but we often decide to put away in a box, up on a shelf or down in a basement somewhere. My inner warrior alter-ego is a bit more fierce, a bit more disciplined, a bit more authoritative than I normally allow myself to be on a daily basis.
My self-care warrior is like my inner grown up. (And you know I mean mature, responsible adult who acts with integrity, not just a person over, let’s say, 24.) Self-care warriorship requires that I be the baby in need of care and the parent who does the caring, both. I am ultimately responsible for the tough job of caring for and nurturing myself– not my significant other, not my actual mother or father, not my friends.
My inner warrior does the work to become aware of what I am needing. She doesn’t ignore me or judge me for being lazy or fat. Like any good parent, she assumes I need to sleep well, eat yummy healthy foods, move my body, and, best of all, have fun– laugh, giggle, chortle, play!
Here comes the hard part: My inner warrior also decides when I eat, buys the groceries and cooks, makes decisions about when it is time to rest, establishes boundaries, does the planning, asks for help and reaches out when I need it, keeps me on task, honors commitments, makes me go to the gym…
In envisioning ourselves as self-care warriors- we take it seriously, we pay closer attention, we don’t mess around. My self-care warrior is my defender. She knows what I am needing and has the courage, wisdom, and discipline to help me get it. She does not ever question whether or not I am worth it. She’ll even tell the part of me that wonders if I am deserving to HUSH UP!
A coaching client of mine, Cecilia, named her inner warrior “Neck-roll”. This was the part of her that knew exactly what was needed to “get it together” or “set things straight.” After identifying and naming her self-care warrior Cecilia could easily access that part of herself by simply asking the questions: What’s Neck-roll’s take on this issue? What would Neck-roll do in this situation? In accessing Neck-roll, Cecilia let herself off the hook. Neck-roll did not have such a great need to be nice and she didn’t give a shit about being liked. Neck-roll allowed Cecilia to “keep it real” about what she really needed or wanted.
Are you getting a sense of your own warrior?
- Who is the one who fiercely defends you? Name her.
- Invite her to say her piece– let her in.
- Ask her for advice— she’ll give it to you straight.
- Listen for the voice who is whispering to (or sometimes shouting at) you to do something different. Now go change it up.
With love, E