Heart of a Warrior – A Song for This Moment

These past weeks have been deeply challenging for many of us.

Friends of color are striving to say and do the right things to keep their children safe.

A friend who is a school director called weeping about a third grade Muslim girl in her school being bullied by classmates.

Friends involved in reproductive rights are redoubling their efforts to protect them.

Lesbian, gay, and transgender friends are wondering how their daily lives will be affected by freewheeling hate in the streets.

Old traumas are coming back to haunt many of us.

During this time, I’ve heard many gentle, peace-loving people proudly naming themselves “warriors.” They proclaim themselves ready to step forward with fierceness, bringing wisdom, beauty, and even joy to the challenges at hand. Many have traveled to Standing Rock to support the water protectors there. Others are extending themselves to listen to neighbors who have different backgrounds or opinions than their own. Some are donating to causes that support the human spirit and others are treating people they encounter in their day-to-day lives with increased kindness.

Years ago I wrote a song called “Heart of a Warrior” in honor of a dear and feisty friend.

Like many of my songs, its meaning has shifted over time. I heard the message of the song in a new way this past week. It called out and named the spirit I feel arising in me –and many others — in this perilous moment.

It is a song full of drums to call the heart to courage.
It is a guide for sustaining ourselves through the long road ahead.
It invites us to “dance empty-handed into the fray.”

Turn it up.
Sing along.
Be brave.

We are in this together.

Heart of a Warrior

Fear holds no sway in the heart of a warrior
She dances empty-handed into the fray
Rivers of laughter to temper the shadows
From life’s invitation, she’ll not turn away.

Love is the fire in the heart of a warrior
There in her eyes its flames leap and sway
Those who are warmed there do count themselves blessed
To bask in the warmth of her sunfire array.

Deep wisdom runs through the heart of a warrior
A curious mind and the words to say …
Mysteries fresh from the lips of the angels
The voice of the earth as under our feet she commences to pray.

Grant many gifts to the heart of this warrior:
A balance of rest in her rigorous days
Courage to step forth into her true power
Conviction to know the love all around her is going to stay

Fear holds no sway in the heart of a warrior
She dances empty-handed into the fray
Rivers of laughter to temper the shadows
From life’s invitation, she’ll not turn, not turn, not turn away.

© Barbara McAfee





About Barbara McAfee

Barbara is a voice coach, singer/songwriter, keynote speaker, and author who merges lessons from 12 years in organization development with the transformational power of sound. Her book, Full Voice: The Art & Practice of Vocal Presence (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) was a #1 Amazon bestseller in Business Communication. The book is based on her 25 years as a voice coach, supporting people from many professions in learning how to access the full power and expression of the voice in service to their work and relationships. Barbara’s musical keynotes blend practical content, sophisticated humor, and thought-provoking questions on topics including voice, leadership, and engagement. She was “the band” for Margaret Wheatley’s Women’s Leadership Revival Tour, which visited 15 North American cities. She also appears with authors Parker Palmer and Peter Block. Barbara has produced seven CD's of mostly original music and is founder of the Morning Star Singers, a volunteer hospice choir in the Twin Cities. She lives across the street from the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
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2 Responses to Heart of a Warrior – A Song for This Moment

  1. Ruth lynch says:

    This song is imbedded deeply within me; it helped me through a heart wrenching divorce. I felt a powerful strength & hope every time I played it, thank you, Barbara, thank you so much for helping me be a Survivor!

    Sent from my iPhone


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