This is part 4 of 4 in our Enter the Arena series.
Sometimes we can sense a threat on the horizon and conflict waiting in the wings. We might not see it, but we can feel it in the unknown. Waiting. Lurking. Unseen.
How do we balance our vigilance and our anxiety?
In D&D and other TTRPGs, the ranger provides a blueprint for how to find comfort in this liminal unknown space between what we know and what we don’t, the threats we perceive and the real and present danger. They can observe and take in the broader view.
Rangers are skilled hunters and explorers, but their strength comes from understanding their foes and their environment. Their perception of the environment gives them clues as to how others might act, but also how they might use their current situation to their advantage.
In real life, we could learn from the ranger’s techniques. Here are some questions to consider:
What assumptions am I making about the current situation?
What evidence do I have of threat or conflict?
What are signals of potential conflict I should watch for?
What position do I want to be in if conflict comes my way?
What is my top priority if I enter into conflict?
Whenever we enter a conflict - whether that’s a disagreement, a screaming match, or a negotiation - we need to keep our top priority in mind at all times.
This concentration is like the ranger’s Hunter’s Mark - it makes us more effective if we maintain our focus.
Then, with that focus in mind, we can allow ourselves to soften our awareness and turn from vigilant of our surroundings to watchful. We can start to turn our anxiety into a healthier resilience strategy.
Just be prepared for any coming storms, and just as prepared to take action accordingly.
When you know your strengths, your opponents, and your environment - the opportunities to take action will always surround you.
Remember, you’re a natural explorer!
Autumn & Jerod