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December 16, 2013

Courage to Be. ~ Jillian Locke

It takes courage just to Be.

Sometimes, just getting out of bed can be the greatest act of courage.

Adversity surrounds you,

It flows like streams of blood.

Still you rise to meet the day to stop the raging flood.

~Diecast

Courage is a shape-shifter. It comes guised in the opportunities to be present and really see clearly rather than through filters and lenses. It’s so easy to relax back into the reality we paint and contort with assumptions and blocked ears; miscommunications caused by one ear on the moon and the other on the television; frustrations and misunderstandings born of anxieties and apprehensions and ugly assumptions.

Assume nothing. Someone once said to me, “Assumptions are the basis for all f*ck-ups.” I’ve never forgotten that sentiment because it’s one of the purest truths I’ve ever heard.

Courage is hearing what’s really being said and accepting the truth for what it is, no matter how painful. It’s accepting, allowing and switching gears to navigate through what is actually happening rather than trying to stay on a course paved with fear and denial.

Courage is never, ever giving up. No matter what.

I know what I’m searching for, 

Courage from you it keeps me pure.

I draw strength from watching you

Never give up you see it through.

~ Diecast

 Courage is pouring our hearts out for mass consumption on the regular.

I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced anything more terrifying than the act of hitting “submit” on the vast majority of my articles.

Courage is flipping the switch on lock-down mode and opening up.

Courage is exposure. Telling the truth—our truths—no matter the consequences. It’s taking responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions by respecting them enough to share them and stand our ground for what we know to be true, even if no one else sees it.

“We are asked to acknowledge our untruths, to bare our fragile stories in the open, to be seen – which is also to release. Without any proof, we trust that a way will be born then in the dark, out of nothing, by this braving forward.”

Dreamwork with Toko-pa 

Courage is challenging the status quo. It’s going against the grain because deep down, we know we have no other choice.

Courage is authenticity. It’s being who we are, regardless of what’s expected or imposed.

True courage is walking away from those we love in the name of our own awakening. It’s having the strength and will to take those first terrifying steps in a new direction because our hearts are directing us.

Courage is acknowledging your heart by listening to your inner child.

Imagine if we all did that more often, how much happier we’d be? Our inner children know the way—they’ve just been lost, forgotten, damaged or silenced. Courage is revisiting those lost dreams and aspirations by taking a chance on the truth we once knew but have since forgotten.

Taking a second or third or fourth look at our dreams and allowing them to take on different forms and grow, rather than dismissing them because they seem outmoded, is the core of real courage.

To do that, we need to practice presence.

I notice the intense difference the second it happens—I switch from being a million miles away to being present. It’s like a veil is lifted—like colors, details and depth become real. A person’s face presents itself rather than fading into the same faded lines that have become etched into my mind. Everything pops.

Everything becomes vivid. Almost too vivid…like reality-slap, vivid. Reality can be stifling. It can be suffocating, too real, too loud. It can be our worst nightmare.

No wonder we’re all such skilled escape artists.

It takes courage to be present, which is why most of us exist everywhere but where we are at any given moment. Really existing exactly where we are can be a terrifying thing.

It brings choice. It brings responsibility.

Courage is integrity. It presents itself by tempting us, challenging us to rise above, become better, master ourselves, our crafts and ultimately, our lives.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 

Winston Churchill

It takes real courage just to Be.

 

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Girish Jain/Pixoto

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