Picture a packed auditorium in Southern Spain. A lone guitarist takes the stage. The audience stills. A single note sings out, pure, evocative, spell-binding. Then another and another, gradually picking up tempo until you are carried away on a wave of soaring sound and complex rhythms—the power and passion of flamenco.
A dancer stalks in from the wings. A woman. Her hair is pulled back in a severe bun, her dress is black, with flashes of red. She strikes a pose and glares at you. She is not concerned about looking pretty. She does not need you to like her. She demands your attention. She is strong. She is angry. She is powerful.
Slowly, she begins to dance, a step, a hand gesture, a turn and a snap of the head. She listens to the music, becomes one with it, loses herself in its rhythm and flow. A flurry of steps, heels clattering, skirts swaying, arms curving and twisting, a magnetic display of breath-taking skill, of discipline, of undiluted magic. The dancer ignores you, but you are riveted. You are in awe.
Everything else falls away. You and the audience become one, a single awareness focussed on her presence, unable to look away. She commands the entire room. She owns the stage, and in that moment, she owns you, heart and soul.
She is in touch with her warrior spirit, and you won’t ever forget her.
I was in that audience a few years ago, while on holiday with my family in Grenada, Spain. I don’t know the dancer’s name, but she stayed with me. There were other dancers, all of them stunning. But the woman solo dancer made the greatest impression. She was inspirational. She understood her own power.
What do I mean by your warrior spirit? I don’t mean the sword-wielding, ass-kicking variety of warrior (though I like that kind, and they feature regularly in my stories 😊). What I mean is more of an attitude, a state of mind. It’s about walking tall with your shoulders back and your head held high. It’s about looking the school bully square in the eye. It’s about picking yourself up when life knocks you down. It’s about speaking up for what you believe. It’s about finding, and living, your passion.
Too often, we are afraid of our own power, but making friends with our inner warrior doesn’t have to be scary. It can be liberating, exhilarating. We are taught to be nice, to defer, to swallow our pride and stamp down our anger, to play small. There’s nothing wrong with being nice, or with deferring to others, but if that’s all we ever do, we can’t stand up for what’s right. If we play small, we don’t allow ourselves to shine.
The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to be true to our highest self. And when we do that, we also give that gift to the world.
Do you have the warrior spirit? I’m willing to bet that …