Our focus in this newsletter is Courage -- acts of Courage to face our fears and and speak our truth -- to move forward in the midst of uncertainty, chaos, and tragedy.
“Excessive caution destroys the soul and the heart, because
living is an act of courage, and
an act of courage is always an act of love.”
This is a quote from Manuscript Found in Accra, a captivating novel by best-selling author Paulo Coelho, published in 2012. It is a story of a city under siege, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims live together peacefully and are preparing for annihilation from the armies of the Crusades. The novel is a series of parables as spoken by a Sage about love, faith, friendship, bravery, community and uncovering the sources of human fears and anxieties, written down to preserve the wisdom of the city’s soul. Yes, reality can be stranger than fiction.
Indeed, "living is an act of courage and an act of courage is always an act of love."
I have been doing a lot of reflection on Courage, these past few weeks. The Energy of Courage is inspired by family, friends, colleagues and clients in their everyday acts of courage. I want to honor their struggles – our collective struggles.
Change is a constant. Sometimes change happens to us. Sometimes we make change happen. Either way, change can evoke fear or courage, or both. In my opinion, Courage really starts with being aware of what we fear – and taking action anyway.
We have role models for courage in films, books, cartoons -- and in real life. What does everyday Courage really mean to you? What does everyday Courage actually look like?
I believe, deep inside each and every one of us is a courageous soul -- in some way... in our own unique way. Let us do an exercise to feel and see the Energy of Courage that is in each of us. This is an exercise I love from our Certified High Performance Coaching™ Program. I invite you to stand up, right now. Stand in front of the mirror and see yourself as your most Courageous Self. What do you see – in the mirror or in your mind's eye?
Keep looking and adjusting and seeing your most Courageous Self. This is you as your own Coach. You can always be there coaching yourself for your next challenge. THIS is your Energy of Courage!
Bank your image in your mindset so you can call it up any time you are preparing for a new challenge. Perhaps you have a major sales pitch tomorrow – or a real estate showing. Maybe you have a difficult conversation coming up this afternoon with a partner, a friend, a business associate. What if you are teaching your dog a new habit? How about that doctor's appointment or scheduled procedure? Or, there may be a contentious situation where you are trying to help people find common ground. The list of challenges goes on and on and on. This is Life -- and living is an act of Courage.
Look into the mirror again! Do you see yourself coming from a place of love? As Paulo Coelho says, “An act of courage is always an act of love.”
When you believe that Courage is truly an act of love -- your body language changes. You are not fearful, aggressive, egoistic, tense, or uncertain of yourself and your convictions. Rather, you are self-confident, compassionate, and Courageous.
Personally, I believe Courage is within each of us. When we look within – I believe we connect with Love. That is exactly why you see it in a person’s body language, how they move, how they express themselves. We all know when a person is speaking from their heart. Do you agree?
So, let us use the energy of love that is in each of us to infuse and inspire and live with feeling our acts of everyday Courage. For example, when you smile with your entire face – rather than with a tight, sarcastic smirk – your body and mind automatically respond. Your energy shifts and you have a higher resonance or vibration. You feel it and everyone around you feels it!
I suggest each of us take a moment to reflect on the personal of acts of Courage and love which we have demonstrated over the past four months. This is a very deep and valuable exercise. It is about being honest and positive, celebrating both the big and the small wins. Let us recognize the value is in our best efforts rather than the outcome. Let us discover deeper levels of self-awareness -- more deeply appreciating and celebrating our acts of Courage.
Now – let us look ahead to the next 60 days or the final months of 2022. Ask yourself:
What are the three areas in my life – either professionally or personally – where I am committed to take bold action – where I am committed to being Courageous?
I have my list. Do you have yours?
If you could use some ideas to get to started, these are a few questions to challenge us, to motivate us, and to move us forward to identify our next bold actions. I will take a page from Brendon Burchard’s best seller, High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way; to be precise, page 288. Brendon closes the chapter, “High Performance Habit # 6: Demonstrate Courage” with these questions:
Hear the call to Bold Action. I write my 3 Bold Actions down in my planner or my journal. I set my intention every day, every week, and every month to follow-through on my commitments to take bold action. I invite you to write your three bold actions in your journal or planner -- and go change the world, or at least, your world.
Now, as you plan, prepare and practice taking bold action – call to mind your Energy of Courage, your image of your Courageous Self, as your best Coach. Feel it and see it in your body language.
Our bold actions truly are an expression of love.
I offer a short meditation you can use to reinforce this habit and commitment. Here is the link to a 7-minute meditation, a "Morning Call to Courage," by Bethany Ariel-Hagan, a meditation teacher on Insight Timer: Morning Call to Courage. [This link only works on mobile devices.] The meditation ends:
"And you have been called... Are you in? …. Will you stand up, come forward, add your voice... give the best of you, and help change the world? … Now is the time for courage."
We have opportunities every day to call on our Energy of Courage. Living from our Best Self … Living is an act of Courage.
In closing as we approach Memorial Day here in the USA, let us honor and remember the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedoms. This tradition dates back to just after the Civil War, and through various transformations, continues to remind us: "All gave some, some gave all."
Till next time,
May you be happy now and always.
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