Lesson 4 – The Warrior: Taking Charge of Your Life
Nurture a positive self-image and envision successful outcomes for all that you want to achieve.
Create a list of characteristics describing “who you are, what you do, and how you feel.” Focus on your strengths and eliminate traits/habits/addictions that fail to serve you well.
During the course of the hero’s journey, you may find it necessary to declare war on those things that stand in the way of heading where you want to go and becoming who you want to be. In addictions, the “enemy” may take the shape of your old lifestyle, may be a circumstance, or may be individuals or groups standing in the way of your transformation.
Remembering the Past
Celilo means “the echo on the rocks.”
Ed Edmo has experienced many changes during his lifetime. Fond memories of his grandma’s house warmed by a welcoming stove contrasts with the hostility he encountered at school from white children and even other Indian children who did not share his tribal heritage. It was particularly traumatic for Ed when his family was forced to leave the fishing village on the Columbia River where he spent much of his childhood. This village, called Celilo, was the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America. It was a place of churning water and thundering waterfalls. Indian fisherman perched upon wooden scaffolds suspended over the swirling waters filled their nets with the silvery bodies of Chinook salmon. Sadly, the village and the falls were submerged by the construction of the Dalles Dam in 1957. Now a sign along highway 84 on the Oregon side of the Columbia River designates the location of the falls, silenced and ghostly beneath the river’s flow.
Since his childhood Ed has had many achievements and has become an inspiration for others. There was a time, he recalls, when he “drank too much and spent years on the streets.” Since then he has reinvented himself. He came into contact with well-known writers and other people who gave him encouragement. As a result, his opportunities for personal development and mastery of new talents were further enhanced. He expanded his repertoire to include classroom teaching, writing poetry and plays, and performing in front of appreciative audiences.
Envisioning the Future
“Then I wish I had the power to walk on water.”
Thought is a creative process. When you consciously (or unconsciously) think about what you want or need in your life, you attract those things to you. What you attract might have either positive or negative repercussions. For example, if you tell yourself that you can’t do a particular thing, you insure your own failure. Negativism becomes a “self-fulfilling prophesy.” Your internal messages obstruct your progress and guarantee that you won’t achieve your desired goals. To be successful you need to eliminate “loser” thoughts and instead concentrate on personal narratives that make you a “winner.”
Visualize Your Dreams
To get started, THINK POSITIVE. Define what you want to attract into your life. Make a list of words or phrases that describe this “new self.” Let these descriptive words guide your visualization—which is like daydreaming—only with purpose!
An arrowhead is a tool for the Warrior. Written inside the arrowhead is an example of a list that Ed might have constructed for himself. It reflects “what he has come to be” in reality and includes challenges he embraces for himself.
Consider your own strengths and what you want to accomplish. Copy the shape of the arrowhead and fill it with powerful “winning” definitions of self. Keep your arrowhead list where you can review it regularly. Pick out one of your “star qualities” and visualize yourself behaving in that manner. Envision the steps you need to take to realize your dreams.
Poet and Playwright
Teacher and Story teller
Respected Tribal Elder
Father and Grandfather
Healthy Body Weight
Nez Perce Yakama
Teller of Legends