Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior

If you all don't know who Dan Millman is you might want to think about not only reading his books but going to see the movie that is now out. I have read all of Dan's books and I'm reading them again right now.

His letter below is something for us all to learn from and think about. He has given the ok for me to share it with you.

Have a great day


From Dan Millman

Don't know if I'd mentioned this, but as my 60th birthday drew near, early this year, I decided to finally learn to ride a unicycle.

A friend loaned me one (until I got my own) and he suggested I practice on the local park's tennis court so I could get a "death grip" on the chain link fence as I attempted to pedal myself around the perimeter. It was quite an adventure in learning -- felt impossible for the first few days. I didn't have a clue how to stay atop the one wheel, and my "rides" lasted about 2 seconds. In fact, near the end of the first week, one of several women who jogged by each morning, seeing my struggles, called out good-naturedly, "You should really quit that, you know." I answered, "I do quit... every single morning..." By the end of the 2nd week, I actually pedaled without the fence for three pedals before falling, then six pedals, then ten, and then twenty. By the 3rd week I was able to ride around the entire court. Once again, reminding myself that everything is difficult until it becomes easy. Well, not exactly easy yet, but I couldn't ride and now I can. Really a satisfying feeling. I share this story with you because it seems to be a metaphor for anything new we try to learn -- a language, a physical skill, adapting to a new job or circumstance. If you face one of these changes or challenges, think of me, white-knuckled, gripping that chain link fence, wondering and doubting . . . and pedaling away.

It's been quite an exciting time of late, with the opening of "Peaceful Warrior," the movie -- on the west coast, from Seattle down to Phoenix. As with the book when it first came out, some critics love it; some do not -- but audiences are loving the film. I can't wait for you to see it! This uplifting movie's fate will be determined by your enthusiasm, heart, and word of mouth. On June 23 - and again on July 14 - it will open in more and more cities across America and Canada - and after that, overseas. I'll keep you posted. For now, you can check upcoming theater listings (updated weekly) through our home page: - click on • movie site • trailer • theater listings

Poetic irony: Most of you know if you read WPW that years ago I broke my right leg in a motorcycle crash. Well, a few days ago, I was racing down a hill and around a corner much too fast (is there a lesson here, Dan?) and took the turn wide, saw a car coming, had to lay the bicycle down at high speed, and -- broke my right leg in three places -- on the same morning "Peaceful Warrior" opened. So my appearances were on crutches. Joy keeps telling me I should act my age or at least slow down a bit. I think they call it "Boomeritis." And the lessons keep coming ... With that, I'll close with a few recent thoughts I wrote down

-- On Empowerment: I teach an approach to living with a peaceful heart and a warrior spirit. So it seems natural and appropriate to offer up a few words about the idea of empowerment. Some of us feel powerful at times because others give us permission or because we are bigger, stronger, or have expertise or authority in a given place or circumstance. So we are empowered in that moment, that situation. But the most courageous among us do not wait for others to grant us power; rather, we take it, and fake it 'til we make it. We are willing to play the role of an empowered individual, one with a purpose, a direction, a centered, calm clarity. Those who bluster and raise their voice or bully do so from a felt lack of power or control. But the ultimate control is self-control, personal power, the will to remain calm - to breathe and relax the body -in the center of the cyclone; to behave with kindness and compassion even as storms rage within the mind and heart. We are all peaceful warriors in training. And each of us is empowered the moment we claim it, act it, live it. So whatever thought-storms or emotional weather fronts may pass through our body, awareness, or lives—let's practice the way by standing up inside of ourselves and bringing our power into the world for the common good.

With warm wishes to you all, Dan

P.S. If you haven't dropped by the website for a while, do drop in to see our new features, links, etc. Some message boards and other cool stuff at the movie sites you can reach through our home page...

Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

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