Good Bye

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June 30, 2014

Warrior Spirit has been a wonderful adventure, but I’m sad to say I have decided to scale it back considerably.

I haven’t really been able to focus it and lately, it has felt more of an obligation and a burden than something I get excited for. Also, my life is undergoing massive changes at the moment, and I feel that Warrior Spirit, as something that was started right after college, is making it difficult for me to let go of my old ways in order to grow, largely because I have several hundred eyes on me as I’m shifting things around.

What that means is that the email exercises will be discontinued, and the blog posts will be reduced to once a month. I may write more, but I’m not going to hold myself to it. The emails will simply be converted to an RSS feed of the blog, so you’ll get updates whenever a new post is published.

I know many readers have been inspired by what I’ve written, and I want to let you know how much I appreciate your support. I’ll keep all the old articles up, and of course there will be occasional new ones.

Thank you for your understanding.

Be well,
Khaled Allen (**

Photo credit: hobvias sudoneighm on Flickr

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The Art of Life and Love

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June 25, 2014

Two weeks ago, I took the Landmark Forum. For those of you who don’t know, Landmark is a personal development coaching workshop that has a reputation for being confrontational. I wasn’t a fan of their coaching method, but I certainly did learn a lot.

One concept that forms the core of the Landmark approach to life is that life is meaningless, and that this fact is itself meaningless (which is kind of a clever solution to the problem, though it becomes contradictory considering the intention behind making the statement).

If you’ve been on Warrior Spirit for a while, you know that I’ve spent a lot of time working on the idea that life has no inherent meaning. The conclusion I came to, and that which Landmark offered, is that we create the meaning in our lives.

However, that is a simplistic answer that fails to capture the true nature of being, a creative, artistic act. …Read More

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True freedom isn’t doing whatever we feel like. It’s being able to do what we want to accomplish.

There is a difference between doing what we want and doing what we feel like. The latter takes discipline.

Life is stressful. Besides all of the frustrations of making ends meet and getting work done, there never seems to be enough time to do everything you should be doing. Besides work, you’ve got your health, exercise, self-improvement, relationships, education, volunteering, cooking, playing…the list goes on and on.

Sometimes, it can get overwhelming, and it’s so much easier to just turn on the autopilot and let things drag you along without thinking.

Do you ever find yourself doing any of the following? …Read More

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I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

- Dune, Frank Herbert

Click here to read part 1.

After my first night alone in the woods, I had learned that fear is a choice. It came from the fact that I often saw myself as a victim, someone who was generally vulnerable to others’ whims and the world’s catastrophes.

You may be thinking, “Of course you were vulnerable! You were alone, asleep, in the forest! If something had happened, there would have been no way to get help.”

The truth is, I’m much more vulnerable on a highway, where the chance of injury in a way I cannot respond to is much higher. I perceived myself as vulnerable in the woods, but it’s not a fact of the situation. A tiger doesn’t feel threatened alone in a forest. It is the thing that makes others feel threatened.

So, the first step to overcoming the fear of sleeping alone in the woods was realizing that my fear was the result of how I chose to view myself and the world.

That enabled me to question it.

The next step, and the project for the second night, was actually learning to quell fear. As the sun set for the second time on my trip, I wasn’t any less afraid than I had been the night before, but I was more confident in my ability to handle the anxiety that might come up.

Until I saw the signs.

In the privy were three scrawled notes, memorials to those who had passed away in the last year. Those three letters–R.I.P.–have a lot of power to set an overactive imagination in a particular direction. I imagined that my campsite was the lurking place of a serial killer.

So much for my confidence.

But as I lay in my tent that night, I came up with a few strategies to deal with the new terror. …Read More

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Success, 14 Truths

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June 9, 2014

The Basics

Stay Healthy: Respect your body. It is your most vital tool. Eat well. Stay active. Sleep.

Respect Yourself: Dress well. Stay clean. Give yourself a clean place to live.

Love Yourself: You must, must, must be your own biggest supporter. Treat yourself with the same compassion you would offer your children. Commit to yourself. Commit to doing what it takes to make yourself happy and successful.

Be Kind: To yourself, to others. Everyone knows the pain of loss, of loneliness, of dreams dashed and heartbreak. We’re all in this together. Really. Do your part to make the journey enjoyable for those you share the road with.

The Next Step

Seek Growth: Learn, educate yourself, ask questions, always seek to move forward, to face bigger challenges.

Celebrate Success: Appreciate and honor what you’ve accomplished.

Play to Win: You owe it to yourself, your playmates in life, the universe that put you here, to always play to win. You might not always, but if you’re not trying, you’re wasting our time and your own.

Protect Your Integrity: You are responsible for making sure your faith remains strong. This means choosing what you allow to influence you, and who gets to impact you.

The Expansion

Accept Responsibility for Your Own Happiness: Your life is the result of how you have chosen to be. Your happiness is in your hands. If you’re not happy, change.

Understand that You are the Maker of Reality: You are a part of the world. To make it a better place, make your own life a point of joy and inspiration.

Honor your Bliss: Love exists for a reason. Commit yourself to spending your energy on what you love. You’ll only get this one chance.

Pay Attention: Life is happening now, here. It is not happening on the other end of a smartphone, or in your past, or even in your dreams about the future. You want a good life? Then make use of it as it happens, not after the fact.

Never Lie: Dishonesty, even in small things, is a concession to a world that does not exist, to your own weaknesses, or to false expectations. Each lie degrades your reality a little bit further. Nothing useful can grow out of such soil.

Worship your Divinity: God, the Universal One, Karma, your inner Buddha. Whatever it is, it is on your side if not something you are a part of. Recognize the power that comes with being an expression of God.

Photo credit: Simply CVR on Flickr

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As I stepped onto the trail, I gave one last look back at my car, parked by itself in a clearing off the road in upstate Connecticut. I could turn back now. I didn’t have to go out there into the woods. Two hours of driving and I’d been back in my house, surrounded by people and light switches.

I turned and headed into the forest. The sun was high, but it would soon begin its long descent.

A History of Fear

Fear has been a constant companion in my life. When I was very young, I discovered that the night is full of terror. There were ghosts in my closet, monsters under my bed, aliens in the air ducts, and unnameable things down the stairs. I had complex and confusing bedtime rituals to deal with all these dangers.

Then, I realized that I would one day die, and my nights took on a whole new form of terror. Sleep seemed like one step away from the eternal unconsciousness of death. I suffered panic attacks thinking about it, and the fear of being alone at night when one of these attacks happened was enough to keep me from sleeping well most of my life.

Then there were the night terrors, waking dreams of unseeable presences in my room and the urgent need to jump up, despite being apparently paralyzed (psychologists speculate that this form of nightmare is the origin of alien abduction and possession experiences. I’m inclined to agree).

All these things got worse in the wilderness. Even sleeping next to my father in a tent, I would lie awake and paralyzed with fear, waiting for anything from a bear to the reanimated corpse of the Camel Woman to attack.

These fears didn’t subside much as I got older. Even as recently as a few months ago, after an episode of Doctor Who, I woke up in my bed with dead certainty that there was a stone angel lurking in the living room…only to find myself totally paralyzed.

Anything and everything my mind could use to scare itself, it has hoarded and nurtured, bringing to life at the most sinister moments.

Setting a New Path

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” – Anon

This was becoming a serious problem, affecting my sleep and my self-confidence; it’s very hard to imagine changing the world when you are afraid of the dark.

So I decided to put myself to the test: I would spend three nights alone in the woods. I would either learn to control my mind, to see the world for what it is rather than a stage for my personal terror, or I would spend three miserable nights in a near-panic.

I guess the second option wasn’t really a great alternative. …Read More

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Six Practical Tips to be More Present and Engaged

May 29, 2014

The greatest gift you can give someone is your attention, but that’s hard work. Here are some tips to make it easier.

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The Magical Power of Attention, Your Most Valuable Asset

May 27, 2014
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When your attention is scattered among a million different channels, your presence dissipates. Protect and cultivate it in the same way you would your money and your health.

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If You Don’t Show Up, Life Won’t Either

May 23, 2014
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But if you don’t even have the commitment to show up for your life, why should opportunity and growth?

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Want to Be Irresistable? Be Authentic

May 20, 2014
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One key element of an arresting and inspiring presence is authenticity.

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