Linda Neale's Blog

Warrior Mode

Linda Neale - Friday, October 10, 2014

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written a blog.  I haven’t felt like writing, or teaching, or interacting with others much at all.  It wasn’t depression, or “writer’s block”, or just having too much to do.  I couldn’t identify the problem, until the other day when I had a phone conversation with a lawyer friend about our recent trial in Harney County over road access to our property.  The details are not important, but the issue started in 2006 when a neighbor began locking a gate on our access road, preventing us from getting to our homestead.   Repeated attempts to resolve the issue were unsuccessful.  I was telling my friend what a relief it was to talk to someone who understood the stressful dynamics of being in court, when she said, “Going to court is like going to war. You’ve been in warrior mode.”

A light went on for me and illuminated all the rooms of my life where “Warrior Mode” had prevailed in the last year.  Last November a good friend’s brother was murdered and our friend entered a time of serious depression and anger.  In February we began to actively engage with lawyers for our Harney County trial – depositions, witnesses, etc.  In May another friend died under very difficult circumstances, and sent confusion and sadness throughout our community. In July the Buzzard Complex wildfire came a foot from destroying our homestead cabin in Harney County, and did burn up our horse trailer and fences. I was on alert for days afterwards with my garden hose and shovel.  In August we finally went to trial -- we’re still awaiting the verdict from the judge.  Then, in rapid succession, two more close friends died. 

It seems like I have been moving from one Warrior situation to another all year.  I haven’t been able to write much of anything, and I haven’t kept in touch with many friends.  It’s as if I’ve been on “alert”, not able to reflect or go inward, just dealing with difficult situations as they arose.

The night after my conversation with my friend about court, I slept for eight hours, for the first time in years.  It was as if, by identifying the Warrior, that part of me could relax for a night.  I decided to investigate a little further, and found the following, excerpted from an article by Mary Ovenstone in Odyssey magazine.  If you, too, have needed to activate your Warrior archetype recently, it’s helpful to be aware and conscious of this part of ourselves. If we’re aware, we can use it when needed, but also put the Warrior down when the situation resolves.

“The first characteristic of the Warrior is the ability to maintain the boundaries around the self, or the realm. This does not mean maintaining the defenses, but the boundaries…

The Warrior is the aspect of ourselves that maintains the boundaries around our realm. There is a wonderful healthy aggressiveness to the Warrior archetype, which does not mean that it wields power over others. It just goes out and achieves what needs to be achieved. This aspect of ourselves is not generally accepted in women, and has very much been put into shadow in womankind, because we don't like to see women being aggressive, we don't like to see them going out and achieving things…

The Warrior aspect of ourselves is both focused and emotionally disengaged. When you are in your Warrior, you are simply determined to get the job done. You are defending the boundaries of your realm in a way that requires that you 'just do it'…

The Warrior always engages in life, is actively present, and never withdraws. It is the part of us that is controlled, self-disciplined and achieving. It is seen in the person who will go out and exercise until he is strong enough to achieve his purpose. There is that determination and willingness to suffer the discomfort and pain of what he has to do in order to achieve something.”

Interestingly, I also began an intensive exercise program in January.  The Warrior part of myself (and Fitbit) has helped me lose 30 pounds and start running.  At age 64, I feel pretty good about that.

As the rains begin to fall, and we begin walking toward the west, I’m excited to move away from my Warrior self, and resume writing and teaching.  The Day of the Dead is coming up on November 1, and once again I’ll be offering the Honoring Your Ancestors ceremony.  This is an opportunity to learn more about yourself, and more about ceremony in general.  Go to for more information.

Carolyn Gray commented on 11-Oct-2014 08:11 AM
Good Morning,Linda,
I appreciate your writing very much and this has been a very hard year for me, also. Writing is such a good thing, shows us other ways of looking at things and I am grateful that you are doing it.
At this point, I really don't know what to make of this last year, but sure with Creator's guidance, I will understand and be better for it.
Many Blessings to you and Grandpa,
with Love,
anand arupo commented on 11-Oct-2014 08:40 AM
Greetings Linda, Do appreciate your writing this as can surely see now how trouble sleeping relates to not relaxing the warrior.
My warrior is strong too and has been more on alert these days over family concerns but does help to talk about it to a loving friend and then sleep does improve.

You carry so much for so many so happy too you are taking care of what you need. With love to you all, arupo
Babs Smith commented on 11-Oct-2014 11:35 AM
Thank you Linda for putting your recent life experience into perspective for us. It has been a very intense year for you and I forget that warriors need respice also. Thanks for being out in the world for you and all of us. Love you, Babs
Denise Moore commented on 11-Oct-2014 11:44 AM
Thank you for sharing your awareness, may it be a light for others…
“Becoming "awake" involves seeing our confusion more clearly.”
― Chögyam Trungpa
Leela Goldstein commented on 12-Oct-2014 04:55 AM
Thanks Linda Neale for sharing this - it describes my experience and helps me to breathe. I feel I have been in Warrior mode since I moved here 9 yrs ago due to all that has happened and all that I had to "just do" and still must continue to do so. Its a long warrior period and I am ready for it be over or at least to have a break from it. Your sharing helped me to discover/recognize what mode it is Ive been dealing with and I may be able to begin to look at it differently. --- Blessings----Leela
Ginny Peckinpaugh commented on 12-Oct-2014 04:59 PM
Thanks, Linda, for the update. Even more going on than I was aware of. I hope you get a ruling soon, and a favorable one! Love to you and Rod.
Anna Zach commented on 12-Oct-2014 11:35 PM
Hey Linda! Shedding your skin, heh? It was a heavy one 30lb!YU SURPRISE ME WITH RTHE FITNESS! tHAT'S GREAT. You still have 56 years ahead(according the Ayurveda we were designed to be here for 120 years).Well, I started sundancing at 62, downhill ski racing at 57 and doing Amazon.ceremonies in 75. You see what is ahead of you still to accomplish?
Well, I think there is some misconception about the warrior mode here. I can't sleep if I worry and am not relaxed. Firstly, to be warrior doesn't mean to be aggressive. Have you ever heard about "peaceful warrior? I guess you did. Take the warrior mode when needed and let it go when not needed. How about taking some vipasana meditation and/or mindfulness? Anyway I am not in a position right now to write more.
Love to you and keep on going. Send a picture of Linda who shed 30 lb. and in your jogging outfit!
Love Andula
Sharon Eng commented on 15-Oct-2014 03:16 PM
Linda, thank you for sharing your dramatic traumas of the last few month. It did seem that for awhile, you and Rod dropped off the face of the earth. As Rev. David Alexander from my church in Lake Oswego, New Thought Center for Spiritual Living said at last Sunday's sermon, sorrow, pain, life challenges come and go in waves. Don't put on galoshes and wade in that pool. Let crisis wash over you. Love, Sharon
heather williams commented on 16-Oct-2014 06:42 AM

Thank you for your writings. What you wrote about the Warrior completely resonates with me from the past few months of my life as well, I've had to harness and utilize this energy to make it through and I am not only grateful but appreciative of it. Thank you for sharing what you've been going through. There's something very healing about sharing our own personal struggles.
Many blessings to you ~ ~ Heather
Louise Osman commented on 16-Oct-2014 01:39 PM
I'm not clear about how to be in warrior mode when it is my teenage kids doing what feels like attack...they need both enforced boundaries and soft acceptance. A tricky balance point especially when they have extra challenges that often make them less regulated and more in need at the same time.

I'm glad you saved your homestead cabin! If you decide to do a fencing party let me know and I'll bring a strong teenage boy along. Louise
Hise Sandy commented on 29-Oct-2014 10:23 PM
This helped me look in the mirror and realize I have been in warrior mode helping my aging parents for the past six years. It has been my steadfast focus -- a commitment that helped me deepened my connection with my parents in a new way. Mother died October, 2013. She shows up in my life at unexpected moments showering me with love, helping me connect with the ancestors, and to listen. I am grateful to you, Rod, and to my sundance sisters and brothers for being my teachers about standing in my hoop, going beyond and embracing my warrior self. It's amazing that being a warrior brings a new compassion and a desire to be of service in new ways. It inspires me to live each day to the fullest and to explore my personal passion for life.

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