How to Develop Your Own Warrior Ritual
Our ancestors knew the value of ritual for getting into just the right mindset before battle. Warriors and fighters of all kinds would drink and feast, sit quietly, paint their faces, make sacrifices, consult with their deities or dance into a frenzy to prepare themselves mentally for the challenges ahead.
Few of us are warriors in the obvious sense anymore, but we all wake up each morning with the day’s battles ahead of us. No matter who we are, we are all waging war against our weaker selves, against fear, against laziness or ignorance. By incorporating rituals to enhance your own combat mindset, you take inspiration from ancient fighters to set the stage for your actions and choices throughout the day.
Maybe you have to give a speech to a huge audience. Maybe you have to stand up to a destructive and unwelcome person in your life, once and for all. It may be that you have to push through the most formidable foe of all — a raging procrastination monster, ten feet high with thrashing limbs like Cthulhu. Maybe you’re marching into battle against an army of disgruntled customers, or perhaps you need to prepare a secret snipe mission to get in there and remove your own self-sabotaging confidence issues. It doesn’t really matter.
A warrior ritual for your combat mindset
Become calm and alert. Stop. Become aware. Feel your breath for a second. Tune in, shake off distractions and quietly bring your focus and awareness to one clean, sharp point. This can be a formal meditation or it can be some deep, clearing breaths. You decide.
Set your intention. You could do a ritual each morning that ties into your overall discipline. For example, if you do martial arts in the morning, bow to your reflection to honor your practice. Just as you put on your gi or workout shorts, put on your mental gear for the task ahead. Decide your attitude and focus, and commit to it.
Make your rituals your own. You can throw in some religious imagery if that’s your style, make it New Age or borrow from Eastern traditions by burning incense or saying a mantra. The form it takes it not too important, only that it taps into your unconscious mind, stills your thoughts and focuses your attention and awareness, preparing you for the task ahead.
Ideas for daily rituals
- At the start of every morning, immediately step to a window and draw in a few deep, fresh, cold breaths. Relish being alive. Stand up straight, clear your mind so that it’s light as air, and visualize the oxygen cleaning and refreshing you — nothing matters now except this moment and what you can do with it. Yesterday doesn’t exist. All you have right now is the air in your lungs.
- Get up early in the mornings to meditate. Don’t do anything. Don’t even try to think of nothing. Make no effort. Forget about it all. Focus on your breath, the weight of your body on the ground. That’s all. Just exist. Feel how intense just existing can be, and how utterly ordinary, too. End with some stretches to wake up your physical form.
- Do some affirmations, a prayer or meditate on some poem or quotes that zing you into just the right state of mind you want.
- Rituals don’t have to be fancy. Write down the three goals you will achieve that day, come hell or high water, listen to some music or have a long walk in damp grass.
Originally published at Combat Mindset.