I’m a HUGE fan of Purpose Fairy. It’s one of those websites that makes you think about who you are and why you are here with every single article/post. And I LOVE that. So when I saw “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” on the sidebar as a recommended reading, I decided to check it out at the library.
Honestly, all I knew was it’s a spiritual book written by a former gymnast.
Well, I picked it up on Saturday and finished it on Tuesday night. I kinda liked it a lot!
This is a hard book to review because no two people are going to walk away from it with the same thoughts, feelings, ideas. However the basic premise is this – a young student gymnast happens to meet a mysterious man one night at a gas station and his life changes forever. He can no longer go back to being a college student caught up in the ups and downs of everyday life. He’s forced to “wake up” and see the world and his own life in a different light.
One huge lesson I gained from this book is that we must try our very hardest to live in the present. The past is gone, and there’s absolutely nothing any one of us can do about that. And the future is one big unknown, and no matter how hard we try we can’t predict it. All we have is now. This is easier said than done, but I’ve found that I’m the happiest when focused on the present. When I go back in time or jump to the future, I’m robbing myself of the only sure thing I have…the now.
Another relatively simple concept that stuck with me had to do with keeping a sense of humor whenever possible, especially when it comes to yourself. I’m trying to do this more in different situations (marriage, friendships, work) because I find that it helps give me the strength to move forward. And honestly, I’ve learned that taking myself seriously is a lot of work. It’s much easier to laugh at my imperfections and quirks because they they make me who I am. And who I am is enough.
Vulnerability is another topic that’s addressed over and over again throughout the story. We are so afraid to get hurt, so afraid to let others see us as anything other than perfect, so afraid to let our guard down. And that’s really ironic because the only way to live life is to open yourself up to all that it has to offer, including the not so great stuff. Vulnerability is true courage and without exposing it and owning it for ourselves, we’re only half living.
My short review/lessons learned don’t even begin to scratch the surface with what this book can offer to people who read it with an open, clear mind. Like I said before, no two people are going to walk away with the same a-ha moments, but that’s the beauty of it. In fact, this book may not be for everyone. But if you’ve even once questioned your purpose or thought about life’s true meaning, this book may be worth checking out.
And with that, I leave you with my favorite quote from the book…
“Wake up! If you knew for certain you had a terminal illness–if you had little time left to live–you would waste precious little of it! Well, I’m telling you…you do have a terminal illness: It’s called birth. You don’t have more than a few years left. No one does! So be happy now, without reason–or you will never be at all.”