Courage often evokes images of knock down, drag out fights against an assailer, or a firefighter dashing into a burning building to save someone – an in-the-moment response to an emergency situation. And while I love that our bodies support us in those fight or flight moments, for me, true courage is something that lasts waaaay longer than that!
What if courage was a state of being – a capacity that we nurtured?
I believe the truly courageous are those of us who are nurturing the capacity for
holding our powerful visions of what’s possible
right alongside being present to what is now –
Instead of holding to an either/or, we are learning to expand our capacity to be present to paradox, while freely choosing where we focus and engage our attention.
Whether courage shows up will reflect our responses to our life circumstances; how and where we choose to focus and engage our attention.
- Grounded energy – making a fierce commitment to create and live out the vision embedded in our big ‘yesses’. When life feels shaky, our commitment acts both as a touchstone and a stake in the ground.
- Present energy – as we are truly present to and accepting of ‘what is’, we’re actually inhabiting (really living) in the now. This enables us to tap into all the resources and power (internal and external) available to us, and take courageous action
- Expansive energy – being grounded in our commitment to live our vision, and present to what is, gives us the freedom to truly be curious about what else is possible! From here we can take the next step available to us; becoming even more the people we need to be in order to live into that possibility.
Each of these steps more clearly anchors us in our courage, and in the power to act.
Courageously creating from the inside out
(C) 2005 Maralyn Cale – www.realizingrichrelationships.com
When we choose to intentionally create our future, a good starting point is wondering how we’re doing with being present to our deep desires – those big ‘yesses’, the inspired intentions of our lives.
Perhaps paradoxically, once we’ve courageously put our stake in the ground and made the commitment to make our inspired intentions a reality, all the reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t do so tend to surface!
The truth is our deep desires are actually Life’s invitations to us to full engagement; to our becoming even fuller expressions of the courageous creators we came here to be.
Tapping into the resources (internal and external) and clearing the path of those things in the way of enacting our commitment is a clear expression of courage. As we do this, we have unobstructed access to the power we need to take that next action step, allowing for Life to meet us in the emergence of what’s next in the expression of our vision.
We often find ourselves looking at the amazing things we see others doing, or even at what we think we might be called to do in the future, and say “I can’t do THAT!” And while that might well be true, we can drive ourselves crazy, and become immobilized with that kind of thinking. We aren’t called right now to do what others are doing, nor even what we might have to face in the future. In this moment, we don’t need access to the resources (including the courage) to do those things.
I’ve always remembered the story told by the extraordinary Dutch woman, Corrie ten Boom of a conversation she’d had as a little girl with her Dad. She’d just come home from visiting with her friend whose Dad had died, and she couldn’t imagine having to face the possibility of her own Father’s death. He realized how scared she was feeling.
In her book The Hiding Place, Corrie says:
Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam – when do I give you your ticket?”
I sniffed a few times, considering this.
“Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.”
Life IS supporting us, and the resources to be courageously present to ‘what is’ and to become who we need to be as we create more of our big ‘yesses’ ARE available to each of us, in the moment we need them!
As I always say, this is NOT a journey we take in isolation. We, in this community, engage these practices and support each other as we nurture our capacity for courage and step into enacting our big ‘yesses’, right alongside honouring our humanity.
If you’re recognizing the draw in you toward a greater capacity for courage, and are sensing the value of company along the way, I’d love for you to consider joining us!