Some of you may remember my intention for the beginning of this year. One word. Courage. Well, as they say, be careful what you ask for. I’m not sure exactly what I thought. Maybe that courage would be bestowed upon me magically and I would feel like a courageous lion just like that? More like earn your courage hah … even this post is taking courage for me since I haven’t updated this blog as often as I would have liked and so yes this “coming back” (even if no one is reading this) does take courage. If you are ready to “brave the wilderness” as one of my favorite books by Brene Brown is titled, how do you go about finding your courage or having your courage find you?
1) State your intention. Intentions are incredibly powerful and maybe I didn’t quite know what I was asking for with my courage intention but here I am. Meditate on the intention you want to bring into your life – courage in this case – and you may be surprised at the courage opportunities that begin to manifest in your life.
2) Try something new. What better way to be courageous than by trying something new and just a wee bit out of your comfort zone. We all (or maybe it is just me) tend to have a bit of a fear of the unknown of change. As exciting as new things can be, they can also be a bit scary. Now this doesn’t mean you have to go skydiving tomorrow (although that is fun) but you can pick something just a little new and out of your comfort zone. For me, this year, I picked up rollerblading which I haven’t done since I was a kid and it was equal parts a little scary and exhilarating at first and I’m so glad I did it.
3) Climb a mountain. Maybe literally, maybe not. I took on the most challenging hike I’ve done so far in my life (Precipice in Acadia National Park for those who are curious) and it felt symbolic of my efforts to confront some of my inner demons and mountains this year. As you’re working on your courage, remember to take a moment in nature to take in the vastness of it all or, borrowing a phrase a friend of mine coined, to have a global awareness. Remembering that as high as the mountain may seem, just putting one foot in front of the other, taking breaks or maybe even going backwards will get you to the top still. It’s not a sprint.
4) Have a difficult conversation. Courage isn’t just new physical activities of course. Often the most courageous things involve people and communication and conversations. I have a tendency, and maybe you can relate, to shy away from conflict for fear of upsetting the peace. But sometimes those challenging conversations are necessary and healing. And having them requires the most courage of all .…
5) Be kind to yourself. With all this said, the journey of courage is just that, a journey. And there will still be many moments when you still put on your lamb outfit instead of your roaring lion one and that is perfectly ok. It really is. It’s about practice not perfection. Doing your best each day. Cutting yourself some slack if you run away from the difficult conversation one day and maybe saving your best lion roar for the next. Remember that courage (contrary to what I maybe thought when I set my courage intention at the end of last year) isn’t the absence of fear, it’s facing the fear and roaring at it even if that roar just comes out as a kitty meow at first.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.” Mark Twain
How do you choose to be courageous? Share in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.