Poise: A Warrior’s Guide

Preface to Poise: A Warrior’s Guide


Our focus is about getting the most out of every moment of our lives. Most of us know what it’s like to get the most out of a moment, and we’d like to figure out how to do it all of the time. Poise: A Warrior’s Guide, reveals what traps us in an ordinary life and charts the path toward sustaining a fully alive state. This fully alive state is the state of poise.

We may believe that the best we can do is to enjoy life some of the time and suffer through life the rest of the time. The premise of this book is that we can increase dramatically the time we spend in joy. There is no limit to how far we can go. We can become poised all day, every day for the rest of our lives, embracing life no matter what it brings.

A significant number of the human population is pursuing good explanations about life’s possibilities. These men and women are only a minority of the earth’s current population, but they have enormous influence because they are the most rigorous seekers of awareness on the planet. From all walks of life and from every corner of the globe, they are systematically seeking to become more poised in order to welcome all things life brings to them each day. These seekers are creating new knowledge and new awareness for themselves and others. They work on loving others, and they work to protect our mother earth. In a human species that is still often unspeakably violent and erratic, these poised men and women make it possible for us not only to survive as a species but also to thrive and continue to emerge.

This book refers to these poised men and women as “warriors” or sometimes “warrior travelers,” terms picked up from Carlos Castaneda’s magisterial work about his apprenticeship to Don Juan, a warrior of stupendous poise. Warriors, or warrior travelers, are people who pursue breakthroughs in personal awareness. They are impeccable men and women who give their best at all times. In a deeper sense of impeccability, they are exquisitely aware that we are all going to die, and thus they bring a vibrant appreciation and value to every moment. Even though they are not at all morbid but, in fact, indifferent to death, warriors are keenly aware of the short time we have on earth. Knowing they have no time to waste, they come alive now, joyful, unencumbered, humble and alert.

By traversing a path of love and avoiding the worn ruts of ordinary human behavior, warrior travelers seek power, a mobilization of personal energy that allows them to witness the full wonder of the world. Because they strive to become the epitome of poise, nothing could be more fortunate than being a warrior traveler.


What People are saying:

Four Stars (out of five) According to Stokes, people often lose poise when they take offense at perceived inequities throughout government, business, and society as a whole without realizing their own involvement in the dynamic. “[I]t is not other people or life challenges that trigger our lost poise,” Stokes says. “It is always our self-pity raging away in our minds that insists on poisoning the precious now with long-past victim stories.” He explains that no one escapes feeling the emotions of self-pity that cause insecure behavior and impact almost all interpersonal encounters. This exaggerated emphasis on protecting “self” causes people to resist change and reject opportunities that might improve their lives….The book will offer significant value to individuals interested in reading about self-improvement. And professional life coaches and therapists will find Poise: A Warrior’s Guide a practical reference for client treatment. Margaret Cullison, ForeWord Clarion Review

Five Stars I found this book so engaging and different from any book I have EVER read. As I read through the pages it caused me to think and rethink about how I have handled my life ….This book makes for a great opportunity to look inward and it gives one the courage to step up to the task. I’d say this book can be a defining moment for the reader. Martha Allbee Hansen

Five Stars It is nothing short of an invitation to a new life. For the religious among us it is the experience of death and resurrection. For the secular among us it is the process of claiming one’s full potential. For those in recovery it is the daily decision to live the 12 steps as the spiritual path toward sobriety. The book zeroes in on the discipline required to identify and root out self-pity, the nemesis of a deep and connected life. The author invites us to confront our demons – pride, anger, rigidity, fear – all couched comfortably in self-pity, in order to rise like the phoenix from the ashes to engage our loved ones and the world in a full and loving way….All you warriors out there, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest this book. Then prepare to change the world as you are changed! Jeff Paul

Five Stars This book is a gem! Katie Kaites

Four Stars If you want to feel more joyful and alive, buy this book. Stokes has solid, practical information for winning the war we all fight — or at least should be trying to fight — everyday: the fight to be fully present in day to day living. Stokes is very honest about his own struggles to have “POISE” each day and has very practical advice for moving from mindless living to gratitude and joy. POISE inspired me both to live and love more fully, and be kinder to myself when I come up short. This book is definitely not any sort of religious book, but it served to motivate me to walk more fully into my own Christian beliefs. Steve Harrison

Five Stars Inspiring and mentally daring, this book provides us with great insight in how we may find fulfillment in ordinary life. Madeline Tremain

Five Stars This is a powerful book that is both provocative and empowering. As Stokes challenges us to live a fuller life filled with love and joy by letting go of self-pity and complaint, he is asking us to take a journey into a side of ourselves that has not been so eloquently described or explored to date…. He pulls from the work of Carlos Castaneda and the theory of transformational change and helps us turn those theories inward as we embrace the most significant transformation of all – transforming our view of the world and our place in it. Every word is carefully positioned and crafted for maximum impact and every sentence is worthy of reflection. Mary Delagardelle


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