The Way of the Conscious Warrioress

Helio Borges
20 min readDec 22, 2021


Know the Leadership Archetype for the XXI Century

“The warrioress will emerge from the depths of her suffering, whatever the degree of it, and will overcome her fears. She will become an alchemist who transmutes prejudice into open-mindedness; rage and anger into compassion and empathy; and fear into courage. Whoever wants to become a warrioress must travel the path of love, wisdom and compassion on a journey to the depths of their own being. Her journey will be difficult, she will encounter challenges every step of the way. But the main obstacles will not come from the threats of the world because the voices of judgment, cynicism and fear will be haunting her from within”.

The Prophecy

There is an ancient prophecy, so ancient that it has almost been forgotten in the threads of time. A friend of mine, who is a world traveler and is very curious about new spiritual experiences, mentioned it to me once. An old monk narrated it to her as they walked to a small holy village at the foot of the Himalayas, where she had gone to meditate.

As they walked, the monk began to narrate, “There will be a time when the forces of evil seem to be determining the destiny of human beings, who will feel desperate and powerless to face their power. Violence is everywhere, war prevails over peace, as does evil over goodness, betrayal over trust, intrigue over sincerity, lies over truth, cruelty over compassion, and suffering over joy. Most people look at others with distrust, fearful of being hurt physically or morally. Chaos seems to be the dominant force in the world. In most countries, the government is in the hands of greedy and cynical men who seek their gain, rather than governing for the common good. Ordinary people feel that they have no hope of overcoming this oppressive situation because the carelessness, ambition, and greed of the men in power have no limits. Not only do they benefit from their corrupt form of government, but they have also turned the Earth into a desert, due to the limitless extraction of its riches. Food is scarce and expensive; the poor eat leftovers when they eat at all. There are pandemic diseases that kill thousands of people. It is the realm of fear and darkness. Humanity has been pushed to the edge of time, driven by its choice of following the path of power, greed, and oppression, rather than the path of love, wisdom, and compassion. “

My friend asked the monk, “Is that the end of the world?”

“The end and the beginning”, the monk replied cryptically and continued speaking, “in this darker reality a ray of hope will shine forth, the hope that a warrioress will come and free the world from its suffering, giving birth to a new era of peace, understanding and mutual respect. The legend says that this warrioress will have special qualities that will disable the power of the rulers and the powerful.

“What are those special qualities?” Asked my friend.


The Child Warrioress

“Later, please,” said the monk. And he continued with the narration, “at that time, most of the people will be like camels, they just sit there and accept their load. There will be some lions, who will resist the power of the rulers with all their might, but it will not be enough to defeat them. Only the weak can and will”.

“The weak? How?” Asked my friend.

“Later,” said the monk, somewhat annoyed, and continued with the narration, “it will be the end of time and the beginning of time. It will be the ‘no time’. There can be no beginning without an end. For an era of peace to begin, the age of suffering must end. However, the suffering is not easy to end. Only the one who suffers, the victim, the weak, the meager can put an end to their miseries. They will do so by overcoming their suffering once and for all. His liberation does not depend on the heroic works of some warrior. However, only the warrioress will be able to do it”.

“Sorry, I don’t understand,” said my friend.

“Yes! It’s paradoxical, isn’t it? Please allow me to continue”, said the monk.

I will refer to the warrior as she, but it is not a question of gender, because it could be male or female. It does not matter at all because it is a matter of primordial energy, which both genders possess, only that culturally, males have exacerbated the adoption of masculine energies, neglecting the feminine ones. Hence, the time has come to balance them. She is wise and knowledgeable, courageous, magnanimous, moderate, and spiritual. However, to complete her work successfully, she will have to go back to being a girl. “

“A warrior girl?” Asked my friend.

“Not exactly,” said the monk, and continued his narration, “She has the open mind, heart, will that a child possesses. No warrior can perform such a task without those three capabilities. However, by opening her Self as a child does, she will become vulnerable. It is paradoxical, but her strength will lie in its vulnerability. It will give her power beyond measure”.

“How can it be possible?” asked my friend.


The Alchemist’s Journey

“Please pay attention to this,” said the monk, “there is no such thing as a warrior; not in the way people imagine, a kind of hero sent by God who, by exercising her powers, she is going to free us from all that suffering”.

“The warrioress will emerge from the depths of her suffering, whatever the degree of it, and will overcome her fears. She will become an alchemist who transmutes prejudice into open-mindedness; rage and anger into compassion and empathy; and fear into courage. Whoever wants to become a warrioress must travel the path of love, wisdom and compassion on a journey to the depths of their own being. Her journey will be difficult, she will encounter challenges every step of the way. But the main obstacles will not come from the threats of the world because the voices of judgment, cynicism and fear will be haunting her from within”.

“Her journey will consist of several stages that she will have to complete successfully. To do that, she will have to face challenges, for which she will need to decipher some keys”.

Seeing With New Eyes and Feeling from the Heart

Visibly moved, the monk continued his narration. “The first stage of her journey is Seeing with new eyes. To see with new eyes, she will have to open the door of her mind. For that, she must be able to develop the ability to perceive reality differently than ordinary people do. She will do this by being flexible and open to new experiences, and handling ambiguity naturally. She will also need to develop creativity to find new ways of doing things. Once she has opened her mind to this new perspective, a whole new world will be revealed to her. Nevertheless, if she allows her voice of judgment to rise and her own idea of ​​truth to become ‘the truth’, becoming a rigid, critical and controlling person, she will not be able to begin this journey at all”.


My friend listened carefully and the monk continued speaking. He did so calmly, that the low tone of his voice seemed to blend in with the sounds of the surrounding forest. “The next stage is Feeling from the heart. Seeing things with new eyes paves the way for her to activate her heart, opening it to feel compassion. However, she will not be able to open her own heart if she does not disassemble the secret armor that keeps it closed, which is her negative emotional reaction to the events of her life. By suspending those reactions, she has the opportunity to reframe her experiences, redirecting her attention to other possibilities of action. Once that armor is deactivated, she will have access to the master key of compassion and Love.

“Love has many aspects that she needs to be open to. An important facet of love is the ability to love not only other people but also to love herself and accept the love that is being given to her. She must also value close and intimate relationships with others and recognize their value, even at the risk of being hurt. To feel compassion, and to treat others fairly, she must be able to put herself in the other person’s shoes.”

“A person, when faced with adversity, must choose between two diverging paths to walk on. One is to open her heart to love and take responsibility for getting out of that situation, even if it hurts. The other is the way to suffering, blocking her heart with cynicism, negative emotions, and guilt, and making others responsible for her misfortunes. The first path will allow her to continue her walk with a new degree of maturity and strength of character. But the other will close her heart to love and all other positive emotions as well, letting resentment as the sole ruler of her life. A person incapable of feeling love will not be able to enter this stage of the journey, even if she has opened her mind”.

“What I am going to say now is of the utmost importance. Therefore, I kindly ask you to listen carefully,” said the monk.


Going Through the Eye of the Needle

“In ancient Jerusalem, there was a gate called the ‘eye of the needle’, because it was shaped like it, and it was small enough for a person to walk through it. At dusk, all the other doors were closed and only the ‘eye of the needle’ remained open. If a caravan attempted to enter the city after that time of day, each camel had to kneel to be stripped of its cargo. That metaphor was used by Jesus Christ when he wanted to illustrate that a person driven by greed had to transform himself by kneeling (being humble) and shedding his cargo (letting go of old beliefs and behavioral patterns) to pass through the threshold that would lead him to the kingdom of God”.

“Opening the mind and the heart allows the person to stand in front of the ‘eye of the needle’. However, to cross that threshold, she needs to leave behind old habits and beliefs, especially her ego, allowing her humility and vulnerability to emerge naturally. Letting go might be a painful experience and not many people are willing to experience it. “


“We all have a mission in life, a very particular and personal one, for which we come to this world fully equipped with capabilities that differentiate us from others. Fulfilling that purpose is ‘what we live for’. A perfect example of a purposeless life is Ivan Ilyich, the character of Tolstoy who on his deathbed realizes that although he has lived an abundant life, it has been artificial and meaningless; at that moment he asks himself, ‘What if my whole life has been a mistake?’

“On the contrary, if we are aligned with our life purpose, every day is a miracle. A great Indian teacher, Patanjali, defined it this way, “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”

After having uttered those words, the monk fell silent. My friend, recapping that moment much later, recognized that, amid that silence, she felt as if something was revealed to her, especially the fact that she had met that person with a specific purpose that she needed to find out.

After a while, the monk continued his narration, “having let go of what is not essential, sitting in stillness and silence, you will connect with your best future possibility by asking two basic questions. Who I am? and What is my job? From that non-judgmental listening space, you will feel your attention expand and connect to a deeper place of inner knowing. In awe, you will watch your future emerge as it begins to take shape in your consciousness. Once that connection has been established, you will begin to act to make that emerging possibility a reality. A new Self has arisen, and She will be another person from now on. However, this new Self is by no means a permanent presence. To remain in that space of intention, she will need to become her own ‘observer’ because criticizing and experiencing negative emotions, such as rage, anger, guilt, and resentment will return her to her old ego and her old way of being.”

My friend was so immersed in the narrative that she lost the sense of time, becoming speechless.


The Intention of ‘the whole’

The monk continued, “Now she will need the mana in the desert. Having crossed the threshold of her emerging future and having left her old self behind, she will need to open the door of her will to embody her new self. Her courage will allow her to swim against the current of habitual behavior and to maintain her intention over time. Hope will be the beacon that will point her the way to her best possible future. And by being true to her intention, she will maintain her reserve of enthusiasm and humor. That is the manna that will give her enough strength to continue her journey, especially at times when she will feel like wandering in a desert full of mirages”.

My friend was listening intently when the monk said, “Being steadfast in her purpose will allow her to receive the keys to the kingdom. Staying true to her intention is a lifetime job and a lifelong learning experience. Sometimes her resolve will weaken because she has chosen to walk the road less traveled. However, the strength of her sense of purpose will keep her on her true path despite her fears. In moments of doubt, her integrity and authenticity will triumph. Her vision of the future and deliberate action will allow her to take risks, facing them objectively. Being true to her purpose will make her feel alive and grateful for the blessings that she has received, making her capable of trusting and forgiving, despite the possibility of being hurt.

“As she walks down that road, mostly when she least expects it, doors will open to new paths that will take her to places and situations where she would never have imagined being into. Similarly, she will meet people who will help her without her asking. Other people will seek her out to learn about her experience and knowledge, so that they may solve their problems. Those are the rewards of being in communion with the intention of the whole.”

The monk fell silent as if reflecting in his own words. Listening to the sounds of their footsteps and the forest, they walked for a while and when they reached a crossroads, my friend stopped and asked. “Who can become a warrioress like that?”


“We are all that warrioress,” the monk replied.

“We are? And what about the journey you just described? ” My friend replied.

The monk answered in a low voice. “We all are, but the problem is that most people haven’t realized their own potential yet. People get conscious of their life purpose by three means: first by their actions, then by their values, and when they don´t get it by any of the first two, they may find meaning in their suffering.”

“Find meaning in their suffering? How do they do that?” said my friend, visibly curious.

The monk took a deep breath and began explaining to my friend what the role of suffering in the context of meaning was. “People without purpose live an empty life, and try to compensate that void it by seeking the validation of others through power and fame, or through the accumulation of material goods, or the abuse of substances, up to a point where nothing satisfies them, and the emptiness of their life leads them to depression and eventually to suicide. Many people are caught up in that vicious circle, but some of them realize that life is meant to be about something else, and they begin the search for meaning in their life, getting out of their personal black holes. I was one of them, and luckily enough, I found my way. Now, I am helping others to find it”.

My friend was speechless by the spontaneous and heartfelt confession of the monk, but asked him, “what’s wrong with being powerful, famous, or with having wealth?”.

After a while, the monk answered, “it is not what you are, it is what you do with what you are. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, or famous, or having a position of power. The problem is that when you seek them for their own sake you ‘become’ them, existing through them. If you are powerful, you seek validation through commanding and controlling other people to the point of imposing your will at any cost. If you are wealthy, you seek to have more wealth by any means, up to the point of buying people in powerful positions and swindling others. If you are famous, you become your fame, and you will do anything to keep it, mostly through the abuse of substances”.

“You have two roads to walk on in your life. The road most traveled is where you search for wealth, power, and fame. If you take it, you run the risk of ‘becoming’ what you have, what you do, or what others think of you. By walking on that road, you may lose your identity as a human being, and when you do that, you cease to Be, even though you continue to exist. At that point, the sense of emptiness of purpose and loneliness of life is overwhelming, and you have two choices, to end your miseries, or to seek meaning in your life. If you take the other road, the less traveled by, you will find power, wealth, and fame naturally, as a result of the alignment of your actions and values with your life purpose. When you do it this way, you are in harmony with a wider, more complex type of alignment, the alignment with the sustainability of our home, Earth, and with the intention of the Universe, or whatever you want to call It. That is how the human race progresses and prospers. We call it being aligned with the intention of ‘the whole’”.


Being Aligned with the Intention of ‘The Whole’ in Today’s Reality

There are moments in life when everything seems to be in suspense; when you think that you are somewhere else, and yet, you continue to be in the place where you were; when the universe seems to have quieted down and all you can hear is the sound of silence; when you don’t know if a few seconds or an eternity has passed. That was one of those moments. My friend felt like she was being thrown down back to earth from who knows where she had been when she heard the voice of the monk picking up on his narration.

He said in a calm voice, “to remain an instrument of the ‘whole’, she needs to practice silence in solitude: the whole expresses itself in silence. She is free to follow any religion or spiritual practice that she perceives to suit her own spiritual needs. However, she should be aware that there are many dogmas within religious practices. To allow your exceptional will to express itself, you must be able to recognize them. “

“The mission of the warrior could seem to any stranger, a heavy burden to carry, however, for the person who experiences that reality, it is a way of life that he would not change for any other …”

My friend cut him off abruptly. “Heavy load to carry? Please forgive me, but I think that’s impossible to do. I come here to these mountains to find peace and quiet, and to get away for a while from a world that is going crazy. To begin with, in the most advanced countries, politicians are not concerned with the welfare of the people; instead, all they seek is to maintain their power, and for that, they are willing to sell their souls to the highest bidder, even if it is the devil himself.”


My friend kept talking non-stop, “Most corporations are only concerned with making money for their top executives and shareholders while allocating negligible resources to social responsibility programs and stubbornly denying their share of responsibility in the environmental disaster. In addition, the largest banks and financial institutions have abandoned their traditional functions and continue to speculate in a growing money bubble that every time that it explodes drags the rest of the world into a deep economic crisis”.

She continued speaking in an even harsher tone, “not only are the same problems found in less developed countries, but also huge social inequalities that make half the world’s population suffer from chronic hunger and disease. The list goes on and on, and you tell me that this holy warrior is going to solve all of that?”

Realizing that her speech had been very emotionally charged, my friend, paused, took a deep breath, and said, “I’m sorry, but I just needed to get that out of my system.”

“Do you feel better now?” said the monk calmly.

“Yes, thanks. However, the essence of what I said remains true, doesn´t it?” my friend replied.

The Current Leadership

“Yes, it does,” replied the monk, and continued speaking, “however, what you have just described are the visible symptoms of a deeper crisis: a crisis of conscience and values. At the deepest level of our souls, we all share the same values. However, we react differently to the events in our lives. “

“As uncertainty increases around us, possible courses of action seem to become more complex to identify and implement. Most people, in response to that reality, try to seek inner security by clinging to what they know, and to what they have experienced, thus reaffirming their own beliefs and points of view.

As the monk spoke of more complex topics, my friend’s interest grew, and she listened attentively, without interrupting.


“They close their minds to the new, ignoring any information that allows them to explore alternative courses of action. This behavior is also reflected collectively, separating society into groups that become more fundamentalist and extremist as problems continue to accumulate, thus creating a vicious circle of intolerance and collective violence”.

“Most of today’s leaders replay the leadership patterns of the past that keep producing the same results, such as: avoiding their responsibility in solving the many problems that affect their citizens, imposing their own private agendas, and looking for scapegoats if things turn out for the worse.”

The monk stopped speaking, and they continued walking in silence. My friend had been watching the monk as he spoke and had noticed an undefined glow in him. Now, she was realizing that it was nothing physical, but rather in his expression, gestures, and voice. He radiated calm, patience, and peace, and she could feel it too. It seemed to her that the monk, when he spoke, was not trying to convince her of anything, rather, what he was doing was exposing irrefutable facts of life that seemed to be evident, but he took pains to explain them in-depth, and she was grateful for that.

The 21st Century Leadership Archetype

After a short time, the monk continued, “The great leaders of all time, on the other hand, open their minds to new possibilities of action, open their hearts to meet the real needs of people, and dare to implement the actions necessary to bring true well-being to their communities, often assuming very high risks”.

“These great leaders are true warriors in the sense that I am describing to you. None of them were born with superpowers. The only difference between them and the rest of the people is that they realized their capabilities, had a clear idea of ​​the future they wanted to create and dared to make the necessary sacrifices to create it, regardless of the adversities and obstacles encountered on their way, many times making the maximum sacrifice”.

“We all have the potential to become one of those great leaders. However, we must cultivate the internal conditions that will allow us to create, and ´be´ the change we want to see in the world. “


I see, my friend said, “Could you tell me what kind of spiritual congregation you belong to? Where and how do they cultivate those capacities? It seems to me that the journey you are talking about combines ancient philosophy with more modern practical knowledge”.

The monk stopped, looked at her, and said, “I do not belong to any particular spiritual practice or religion. However, we embrace the common core that all of them possess”.

My friend asked, “Where is your congregation located? I would like to know more about your practice”.

The monk replied, “We are not a congregation, we are a community of practitioners who are not located in a specific place, yet, we are everywhere”.

“Where are you going?” Asked the monk.

She showed him a piece of paper and said, “I’m looking for this address, do you know where is it?”

The monk replied, “that’s the address of the community of practitioners to which I belong. If you want to find the answers to all your questions, they are within you. If you want to know how to access them, then please join me”.

Six years ago, on December 25, 2016, after having had a revealing dream on the night of the 24th, I sat down very early to write something that would connect me with the hope that this Christian celebration implies. I did it using a technique that I had just learned in u.lab, “journaling”, in which one begins to write on a sheet of paper whatever emerges, without thinking about anything in particular, and surprisingly, this story began to emerge by itself. I had recently heard Joanna Macy narrating the legend of the Shambhala Warrior, and I had just finished my second u.lab that December. As I was writing, the idea of a female archetype for the Shambhala warrior occurred to me, a common woman. The story contains my particular version of the Shambhala warrior, the five stages of the Theory U journey enriched with the PERMA model of Positive Psychology, and quotes of Tolstoy, Patanjali, Viktor Frankl, W Dyer, and other great teachers; everything included in a conversation between a woman and a monk. As the story ended, I realized that I had taken the first step in fulfilling the dream I had dreamed the night before. It was a short story back then, however, over the years I had given it more complexity and depth. Now, the time has come to publish it. I hope you like it.

Since then, I have embraced Theory U as a way of life, in such a way that over time I have become the monk of this history. In that role, every day I have meaningful conversations with male and female warriors who are shaping the future of humanity today, in their personal lives, in their jobs, and in their communities.

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Otto Scharmer and his team of talented collaborators at the Presencing Institute, who are working hard to create a world army of conscious warriors and warrioresses.

If you would like to have a generative conversation with me, please write to me at



Helio Borges

Executive & Team Coach & Mentor. Cultural Transformation Change Agent & Consultant. Twitter: @hborgesg. Instagram: @heboga. FB: helio.borges.35. Uriji: @hborges