As a former avid yogi and advocate of peace it came as a shock when I told some of my close friends and family about my recent interest in krav maga. The idea was inspired by a book I had recently read about empowering your darkness. The book is called Darkness The Power of Illumination by Shaahin Cheyene and I highly recommend it to anyone who is on a path of self-discovery or enlightenment. The book talks about the law of opposites, killing dogma, and embracing the sometimes-unlikable traits about ourselves—things that we consider our darkness or not of  the “light.”

As much as we try to embrace the idea of being ourselves around others, we almost never actually are. In reality we pick and choose what we would like to share so that someone else can paint a picture of our  “ideal self.”  We may actually believe we are who we say we are, but most of the time it is just a story we are comfortable to accept about ourselves. While everything else we erase or tear out of the book; hoping no one ever finds those missing pages.

Most of the time I chose to dismiss or hide the parts of myself that were not aligned with my story. I was comfortable in accepting only the good things about me; like the compassionate and nurturing side of myself, or the accepting and loving person I thought I was—“the light worker.” I was afraid to embrace the fact that at times I can be very aggressive. Truth is as much light as I posses I also harness just as much darkness. I find this valuable to share because as victim of domestic violence this was something I was afraid to embrace. I know others who have been through similar trauma often advocate peace, and totally deny the parts of them-selves that are aggressive. By nature, we are all aggressive and by suppressing this, we are denying a part of our selves that is still very real.

What I learned was the seeker of light and peace is also the fighter and warrior who has mastered the art of harnessing their darkness and using it for their own personal power and strength. In this cultivation of light and darkness—you become the warrior—fighting for your life, with every breath and every cell in your body.

The ego restrains us from such power often telling us we cannot do it because “you are a woman” or “you are not strong enough” even people who are considered spiritual masters and whom I still have a lot of respect for have told me “It’s not conscious to be aggressive, and we should transcend this.” I will tell you that this isn’t the truth, there is always a balance of being a peaceful person and embracing the warrior. You can be a nurturing soft woman and the fighter. Not that peace is weakness—it’s the denial of our own nature, or the circumstances at hand that makes us weak; it’s poison for our soul.

As a woman we are often associated with having empathy and compassion; which are two of the most beautiful qualities anyone can possess. And as a woman we have the profound ability and power to create life and nurture to sustain it.  In the same turn as women, we also have the same ability to stand up for our selves, and fight for what is right. Just as the light seeker is also the warrior.

Don’t be afraid to be the opposite of your “ideal self” or embrace the unlikable qualities we are often too afraid to share. It’s through the law of opposites; by embracing these shadow aspects of self we are actually ascending into more light.

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