The following is an excerpt of Kimberly Snyder’s book, You Are More Than You Think You Are. Look for more wisdom from Kimberly in this free 4-part mindfulness collection on Wanderlust TV that features meditation, affirmations, and vitality practice. The series is also called ‘You Are More than You Think You Are’, and features insight and inspiration from her book of the same name.
You Are a Warrior
You are someone who can draw on inner strength, overcome obstacles, and persevere. You can be a warrior for good, for love, for positive change, for the betterment of all, and for accomplishing worthwhile goals, especially goals that support your central purpose. Your expression of the warrior may be soft and gentle, yet still enormously powerful to stay focused and enact great change. The more you align your actions, natural talents, and best ideas around helping others, the more successful you will become.
Like a warrior, the True Self is courageous and unwavering, determined and fierce, focused and steady. In order to move through the trials and busyness of life, and to remain focused on moving further along the path to freedom, you need to access the True Self’s warrior strength.
Each one of us is unique, and each one of us has a unique purpose. When you are aligned with your purpose, it means you are part of something bigger than yourself. Your purpose will then move you into action steps and move through you, and you end up having more energy to make your dreams happen. In fact, a lot of the “work” you do—whether it’s baking, picking up the kids from school, running a business, plucking your eyebrows, or even spending time with the in-laws ceases to feel like work. It starts to feel like an extension of who you are, and what you are contributing to the world. When this happens, you know that you have opened the door to the True Self working through you.
This is why it’s so important to have warrior vision. A warrior sees beyond what’s in front of her eyes. A warrior is aware of everything around her. She sees in widescreen. Though it’s important to tackle the task at hand, it’s also important to pay attention to what’s going on around you. In this day and age, in the 24-hour nonstop cycle of modern life, or warriorship, we need to realize that we aren’t just going to battle for ourselves, but for those around us. When we work only for ourselves, it’s far easier to quit and break down and get tired. Frustration takes hold and we feel depleted.
Bottom line: selfishness sucks. It doesn’t make you truly happy; it doesn’t energize you; and it makes your life small. You might have fun for a little while, but selfish people always end up alone and bitter. Think about it: Have you ever spent time around a truly selfish person? Hopefully, you didn’t spend much time, because that shit gets old fast. Selfishness divides.
In order to grow your world, in order to really experience an epic life, you really do have to do what the warrior does, and that is to give your life away. It sounds counterintuitive. But consider this: the more love you give to others, the more you will get back. The more time you give to others, the more time you’ll get back. The more you give, the more comes back to you. Now, you might not get that time back right away. You might not get love back from someone you give it to, but it does come back to you. Call it the universal law of reciprocity. Call it karma. Call it Bob. It doesn’t matter. Give your life away and you get it back.
There’s no scientific evidence for any of this, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence all around us. Who are the happiest people? The ones who care only about them- selves? I think not. It’s those who live from a bigger place.
Why am I spending so much time on this? Because you may think your life’s purpose is to create rocket ships or a new line of athletic wear or the best gluten-free cupcake on the West Coast, but really your purpose is to serve others. And that’s what the great heroes do. That is what a warrior does. Rarely do warriors battle for themselves. A warrior fights for something bigger than the little self. The warrior stands for the True Self within herself and others, which is the highest and best version of all of us. It’s your unique way of serving others in the world that makes up your unique purpose. It is only through the context of the collective, being part of the greater community around us, that we can feel that our lives are truly meaningful and directed by purpose.
In this way, we all have the same purpose and yet it’s different at the same time. What do I mean by this? For all of us, our core purpose is to serve others, to help others in some way. It is by doing this that we ourselves expand and grow. We grow past our own limitations, and so we are also helping ourselves reach our highest potential and stretch to actualize our dreams. If we stay small and focused on ourselves, then we reinforce our limits. Yogananda was very clear about this: “To act with self-interest is to lose sight of the cosmic plan or will of God.”
Yet your purpose is unique to you because you have a unique energy that you bring into the world, and so it will get channeled into work and projects in a way that only you can do it. In other words, you can serve and help others in a unique way.
Self-Reflection: A Warrior’s Purpose
Developing a warrior’s purpose requires some real self-reflection. We have to dig past the layers of obligation; expectations of ourselves, family members, and other loved ones around us; limited beliefs; and fear. It requires you sitting with the questions that follow, writing them out in your journal, and then returning to them time and time again to hone and reflect. We go deeper into exploring this topic later in the book, but let’s start here first:
- What are you passionate about? What really lights you up?
- Fill in the blank . When I look back at my life, I will be most proud of____________.
- What are your unique gifts, or ways you do things, and how does that relate to your purpose of serving others?
- If you had a billion dollars, what would you do with your time?
- I love to help others ________.
Practical Tips for Being a Warrior in Your Life
- Organize your life. Yogananda urges us to “methodize your life.” A warrior is organized with his or her time, so he or she can maximize daily efforts and energy toward his or her purpose. I’ve always talked about the importance of creating a morning and evening practice, to consciously create a flow to how you start and end your day. If you are disorganized, you will waste a lot of time and energy. So, get organized, and also schedule time for your practice and meditations so they become as honored and important as your daily list of to-do’s.
- Develop self-reliance. Depend on your own inner strength. Never think you have to rely
on someone else for your success. Sure, helpful contacts are important, but ultimately, it is your own valiant, consistent efforts—your smart actions—that take you where you want to go. Yogananda teaches us, “Be honorable enough never to hang on anyone else. You are a child of God. You have all the power necessary to take yourself where you want to go.”
- Develop patience. This is not the easiest quality to develop, I have personally found, but along with willpower and intuition, this is important for success. Things don’t always work out in the time frame that you want. It’s important that you remain positive and focused, like a watchful warrior, knowing the difference between being patient and letting things slip by the wayside. Feel into the wisdom inside of you, in order to discern when to take action, when to gather information, and when to simply be.
- Work for something greater than yourself. As I’ve mentioned, if you are working for yourself, it’s far easier to quit and break down and get tired. But when you are part of something much larger, and your purpose includes dedicating your efforts to something much greater than yourself, you will find yourself blessed with infinitely more energy to get through the day.
- Write down your purpose and place it on your altar or other focal point. I revisit my purpose and the goals that align with it regularly, and I write them out on pieces of paper I fold up and place on my altar, either in a little bowl or underneath one of the statues, making sure it is peeking out so it catches my eye. By doing this, you keep your purpose as a focal point in your home and in your room.
Life gets busy and it’s easy to let things slip, but don’t let your purpose slip from your mind. Ideally, it’s something you reflect on every day as a warrior. Look at your purpose like a Warrior’s Code, a statement you live by every day. A statement that guides your decisions and keeps you rooted to your overall higher purpose as you move through life.
This excerpt was taken from You Are More Than You Think You Are: Practical Enlightenment for Everyday Life by Kimberly Snyder (Hay House, Inc).
Kimberly Snyder is a 3-time New York Times bestselling author, spiritual and meditation teacher, nutritionist and wellness expert. She has authored 6 books, including Radical Beauty, which she co-authored with Deepak Chopra. Her highly anticipated 6th book, You Are More Than You Think You Are: Practical Enlightenment for Everyday Life, (Hay House) just published earlier in 2022.
She is also the founder of Solluna®, a holistic lifestyle brand, Practical Enlightenment Meditation,™ Solluna Circle and the host of the top-rated Feel Good Podcast.
She has worked with dozens of top celebrities to feel their best, including Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon and Channing Tatum, and has been featured by numerous national media outlets, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Kimberly resides in Los Angeles and Hawaii with her husband and children.