Don't Slay Your Dragons, Invite Them To Tea

All the dragons are princesses that want to be recognized.

Sally Kempton

If the goal is peace of mind, then wouldn't it be better to make peace with our dragons than to slay them? Wouldn't it make more sense, instead of wrestling with our demons, that we invite them to tea?

The Dragons in Our Psyche

If our aim is self-awareness, then instead of trying to banish these pieces…

  • anger
  • frustration
  • jealousy
  • the one who overreacts or doesn't react at all
  • the one who yells
  • the drama queen
  • the victim
  • the tyrant
  • the child with the temper tantrum
  • the guilty or shamed one
  • the blamer
  • the constant critic
  • the incessant judge

…isn't it more fruitful to sit down with them and listen to their stories?

Spend Time with Your Dragons

If what we resist persists, pushing away the unwanteds may actually keep them chained to us. Feel the difference between fighting against a part of your personality and inviting it to rest with you awhile.

You're not asking it to take over your life. You're not surrendering to it. You are treating it like an old friend who has something to say and needs your ear. You invite it to tea. Suddenly, the dragons become quite cordial.

When I began to move from contentious relationships with my dragons to compassionate friendships, I noticed only one thing: I felt more peaceful.

If the point of my meditating, my mindfulness practices, the time spent on my yoga mat was to make peace with the present moment, with the circumstances of my day, my environment, and my life, then the practice of inviting my dragons to tea seemed a beneficial one.

3 steps towards making peace with the pieces

1. Invite your dragon to tea

Close your eyes, relax your breath and body, drop your shoulders, put a smile on your face and silently extend an invitation.

"Hello anger, my old friend, sit down with me and rest. Tell me your story."

It is in acknowledging this part of your character that you begin to make peace with it. Your dragon may have something to share or may simply enjoy the invitation and the space to rest. Sit quietly relaxed, and listen. Invite as many dragons as you feel comfortable, or that your meditative tea pot can serve.

2. Widen the circle

Expand the practice to include the high points of your personality:

  • the exuberant one
  • the comedian
  • the conversationalist
  • the trusted friend
  • the happy one
  • the one always ready to lend a hand
  • the one who celebrates
  • the triumphant one
  • the leader
  • the cheerleader
  • the counselor

Invite them to join your circle. You may even invite old stories or events of your life that continue to emerge.

Then you are surrounded by all your pieces. All the parts of your character. And that leaves you. But if all these pieces are sitting with you, then who are you? You are not these pieces, yet each of their stories plays a role in yours.

3. The remainder

Feel what is left when all the pieces surround you. Feel peace among the pieces. You don't become removed from the pieces—that is not the practice. You begin to see them as with you, but not you. With all the pieces around you, all the old friends, you are peaceful. None of the pieces pull at you or tug on you for attention.

You are what is present when all the stories of your personality have been acknowledged. You are the one who acknowledges. You are the awareness of self. And all the princesses have been recognized.

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tannischamberlain, posted on June 12, 2015

I have recently been doing this and I didn't realize until I read your article. I have found that when I do sit with my dragons they don't come up as often or I can recognize them and choose what action to take instead of just reacting without thought. I have been more peaceful and gentle with myself and I love to laugh at some of the funny things I have done and still do. It's nice to know that I am not alone in this practice.
Thank you for your insight and knowledge

StephanieHrehirchuk, posted on June 12, 2015

You are welcome, Tannis. Thank you for sharing your experience. It's a powerful practice to look at the pieces and be able to laugh at the things we do. And a nice feeling: gentleness with ourselves. Keep up your practice! Wishing you a wonderful summer. ~Stephanie

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