On Being Courageous

Here we are, another trip around the sun complete. As cliche as it can feel at times with resolutions and so on, the New Year marks a significant passage of time and an opportunity for us to take stock.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to invite in for 2017, what I want to create/manifest/experience. And the word that keeps coming up is Courage. This poem appeared in my inbox the other day;


See with every turning day,

how each season wants to make

a child of you again, wants you to become

a seeker after rainfall and birdsong,

watch how it weathers you to a testing

in the tried and true, tells you

with each falling leaf, to leave and slip away,

even from the branch that held you,

to go when you need to, 

to be courageous,

to be like that last word 

you’d want to say

before you leave the world.

David Whyte 

Most of my life people have been telling me that I am courageous, but I don’t always feel that way. In fact, I clearly rememberer a moment in 1996 when a colleague expressed how brave she thought I was because I had accepted a job in Mexico. I was astonished, because to me it was just what I wanted to do and it felt rather natural, not that big a stretch for a girl who had been dreaming of exploring the world my whole life. The thing with courage is that it is all relative. What feels courageous for me might feel easy to you and vice versa. Courage is pushing beyond our edges. Doing things that truly scare us.

For me it’s challenging blind spots in my clients and my loved ones in the service of our growth. It’s throwing out the rule book of how to build a business and following my instincts. It’s crying in front of strangers. It’s being with a dying father and letting him be whatever he needs to be without putting my wanting for him to live longer ahead of that. It’s sinking into whatever shows up and experiencing it whether it be euphoria or abject loneliness or anything in between. It’s really standing up for what I believe in, not just liking or sharing a post on Facebook. It’s trusting that whatever is happening right now is here to teach me something important. It’s the stuff that makes me feel like throwing up, or squeezes all the air out of my chest. The courage to be Grace when all I want is to crawl into a hole and hide.

And then to make it even more clear to me, this was sent to me this morning by a dear friend;

“Looking at the arrows and swords, and how we react to them, we can always return to basic wisdom mind. Rather than trying to get rid of something or buying into a dualistic sense of being attacked, we take the opportunity to see how we close down when we’re squeezed. This is how we open our hearts. It is how we awaken our intelligence and connect with fundamental buddha nature.” ~ Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

My intention for this life is to have the courage to allow myself to fall apart again and again and again, so that I can be fully alive.

Will you join me?

with much love,