How to Step into Courage

Look.  I get it.  It takes lots of vulnerability to be courageous sometimes.  Trust me, after writing my previous post here, I almost erased it.  So how does one step into courage?  First, let’s take a look at the word itself.  What is courage?

  1. :  mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

That was how Merriam-Webster defined it.  But to be honest, I define it in thousand little ways and I am willing to bet that you have done any number of things that could be considered courageous.

I want to show you an exercise that I might do with my Club, so bear with me a moment.  Take a good look at this quote:  It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.  ~Erma Bombeck

Have you ever shown your dreams to other people?  That moment when you are on the brink of telling them the greatest joy you ever had and the plans you want to make and you rush forward and.  Stop.  <<< well that’s fear and we’re actually going to talk about that a little later in my Club and on my FB Page, but courage is when you take that deep breath after the panic and you go ahead.  So if you’d like, take a moment to journal around this thought.  You can pin this to come back to this if you want, but I really want you to think about this quote.

Our culture is ripe with tales of courage.  Do you remember being a kid and watching Indiana Jones?  Oh how I loved that movie.  Especially this part, and I didn’t make it so ignore the spelling:

Well, it just so happens that I couldn’t stand snakes after I accidentally stepped on one in an outdoor hotel lobby.  And it wrapped around my ankle and bit me and I had to go to the hospital for hours with no food in my stomach in case it was venomous.  Anyway, so later in life I volunteered at the Virginia Living Museum and I learned how to reach my hand into a pillow case, no lie, and grab a snake that was not venomous.  I also learned that their scales are like the same thing as finger nails…it still doesn’t mean I like them, but I tried.

Anyway, I bet you have done something in your life that took great courage.  I felt fear yet I was choosing to try to get over that fear as best I could.  That is a sign of stepping into courage.  I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  ~Nelson Mandela

Then there was this time that a lady was bullying my friend and everyone at work was so afraid of this lady.  She would scream we were racists if we stood up to her, so she would hide, go on longer lunch breaks, not come back to the classroom for hours, seriously, and then when she did show up, she wouldn’t help my friend (yes, later she was put on probation).  Anyway, she stood in the hall screaming at my friend in front of kids and other teachers one day so I stood up to her and said whatever it was I said to get her to calm down, and then later I reported the incident when no one else would.  They didn’t want to be the ones to report this lady, no lie, because they knew she’d come after them.  A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

After that incident, I was shaking, but I got it done.  Have you ever stood up to a bully before?   It’s not easy, but it must be done.  I will always practice what I would preach to my children.  How could I not?

At some point in your life, there are any number of actions that have taken courage my friends.  I just know it.  You have probably felt afraid, but done something anyway like riding a roller coaster.  You have listened to your heart or even your gut and stepped out on that stage to speak.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”~ Steve Jobs

I said yes to jumping on an airplane to England last year, and going by myself to speak at a conference and I am so glad I did.  I hadn’t actually met anyone in person and my parents thought any number of things could have gone wrong…it was a list daily.  But without the courage to travel alone, walk around London alone, and go see Stonehenge alone, I would have always regretted it.  What if…what ifs are the things we don’t want to be thinking about.

Want to learn more?  30 days of journal prompts around courage in the month of August plus tutorials, master classes online, meditations, bonus yoga poses and more.  >>>  Head|Heart|Health Club <<<

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5 Things People Who Value Their Self-Worth Do Differently

As you drift off to sleep each night, you begin to dread the next day and it hasn’t even happened yet.  You wonder if anyone would even notice if you didn’t show up for work.  You are tired of going through the motions when it seems other people are out there living.  What are they doing differently??  You ask yourself this question for the hundredth time.  How are they making it look so damn easy when each and every day is a struggle just to get out of bed…

5 Things People Who Value Their Self-Worth Are Doing:

  1. Secure people are making time for their self-care routines.  That doesn’t mean they are ignoring everyone else, it just means they know how important it is to put the oxygen mask on first in order to help others.  This is a huge block for most people.  You feel selfish.  The opposite of that is actually caring.  you are caring for yourself like no one else will, and you better believe you have every right to feel good.
  2. Confident people set firm boundariesNo means no.  They don’t say things like “I’m sorry, but…” and then explain why because that might leave a hole for some wiggle room.  I said no to someone recently based on my own self-care and then got a but what if.  Umm.  No.  I said no, I mean no.  Don’t let the other person make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself.  If this were reversed surely they wouldn’t feel guilty, right?  So don’t feel the need to explain yourself.  Again, only you can set your limits.
  3. Courageous people accept responsibility for their own lives.  In my talk today, I used a quote from Brené Brown “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”  When we stand in our own glorious mess, we don’t project or deflect the blame.  We step up and say here I am.  This is my life and I am entirely responsible for HOW I am being.  How I am showing up, and what I am throwing down.  Can I get an amen or a right on sister here?  This is such a vital lesson that many don’t learn their whole lives.
  4. Brave people let go of past guilt.  This is so hard.  Everything up until this moment has been a choice and just like I said today in my talk, if you could have done better back then, you really would have.  You were doing the best that you could, so let that shit go.  Yup (pooh doesn’t have the same effect).  Guilt is just another block on the path to accepting yourself so you can use it as a paver or stepping stone.  See it, acknowledge it, but lay it on down.
  5. Positive people don’t stay around negative influences.  They know when it’s time to move on.  This can be at work, avoiding those gossiping ladies, or even in a relationship that just isn’t working out for you anymore.  Whatever it is, know when it’s time to move on down the road.  Sing the song “Moving On Up” in your head as you get away from these situations.  Seriously.  The Jefferson’s approve.  Higher vibrations are much better for you anyway.

If you are interested in the whole FB Live chat, see this link here.  Next month, in the Head|Heart|Health Club we are going to be removing the blocks to worthiness, letting go of guilt, and working on replacing these old patterns of thought with new ones.  I am super excited about the content and can’t wait to have you join us!!  We will be diving really deep into the cycle of negative thoughts, setting up new boundaries and testing for weaknesses, and creating affirmations on self-love which will lead us to a more confident outlook on life.

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Motivational Monday…own your own story

SO last week, someone tried to steal my joy.  I like that saying only because my old Principal would look at me and say “No one is going to steal the “J” from my JOY.”  She said no matter what was going on, when I passed her in the hall, I would make eye contact and say hello.  If I passed her 5 times, I’d say hello 5 times.  Or how you doing?  She would always be walking with intent to get somewhere, but I knew she had lots going on, so I would make sure I said hello.

Life is like that.  Sometimes, we forget that other people have lots going on too.  We want to think we are the only ones mired down in this life.  We lose sight of the bigger picture.  We lose sight of humanity.  Our focus goes from global to microscopic.  We start to doubt that there is a place for us in this world at times.  The demons of negativity come out.  She hates me.  She isn’t here for me because she didn’t say hello this week.  Well, I’ll show her.  I’ll delete her.  Chances are, she has no idea why you are doing that, but go ahead.  If it makes you feel better about yourself, go ahead.

Then there are the huge declarations on your social sites…in one week, I am deleting my account!!!  Waits for people to beg them to stay to see if anyone cares.  Or my favorite, no, not at ALL.  The FML status.  They wait for people to say “Ohhhh girl, what’s wrong?”, but sometimes, sometimes, people forget that others are doing the best they can at that moment too, so your grand display on social media might not be noticed.  However, I bet if you called someone or even private messaged someone and said, hey, I really need someone to talk to.  I am not feeling the love over here.  Then, just maybe then, you would get the response you wanted.

The problem is, no one wants to OWN their story.  That’s right.  If this were fixed, my life would be so much better.  If I didn’t have blah, blah-blah, I’d be great.  If such and such liked me, I would be fine.  But the real deal is, once it’s fixed, something else is going to break.  If you didn’t have one thing, you’d have another.  And if that person did like you, you might still have problems.  So start with yourself.  Focus on loving yourself.  Believing in yourself.  Trusting yourself. And saying HELL YES, I can do this.  This might be a hard thing, but I can do this.  Smile at people.  Say hi 5 times.  Even if they ignore you or look away.  Don’t let anyone steal your joy.  Not even you.  NOT EVEN YOU. 

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Old Wounds…

Hey everyone…I have been busy with lots of things this week.  First of all, we had this impending snow storm.  So I went to the store, and then forgot something so I went again.  I probably go to the store more than most people to find the things on my Paleo menu.  But that’s okay, its “hunt and gather”.    After I got back, I was coming in the house with bags of groceries and my cell was ringing.  The school nurse called to tell me my daughter spilled soup on her hand.  Guess what she got?  A burned hand.  That’s right.  How’s that for irony?  I didn’t really appreciate it.

I was not told to pick her up.  I was told it was a small blister.  By the time she got home, it was not so small and her hand was bothering her.  Unfortunately, everyone, and I do mean everyone, had been sent home early for this “winter warning” we were under.  The school handled it as they thought they should, but I told the principal I expect more from the cafeteria.  One of the ladies on the “line” had seen it happen, asked my child if she was okay, and moved on with her day.

If you remember, I was a teacher and I understand how hectic the lunch line is; however, what I do not understand is why they would serve soup so hot my child has second degree/partial thickness burns.  This brought back memories of my burn as a child on my hand, which was my entire palm, but also of the blisters during my early Porphyria days.  Those days are locked deep down and I usually keep a lid on them.

I spent countless nights with raw flesh on my hands trying to heal from the blisters that popped.  I thought my hands would be scarred and so did everyone else.  I rarely talk about that time, but if you want to read more you can check here.  So I brought out all my old resources.  The white cotton gloves, the creams and ointments, and the hope that this would heal.  I am so very tired of old wounds splitting open.

So her wound is healing, and she is wearing the white glove everyday.  We tried to find some humor the other night by telling her about one of our favorite performers, Michael Jackson.  That did lighten the mood as we showed her a video and tried to get her to do the moonwalk.  It was pretty funny.  There is a lesson to be learned here, but I really wish someone else could carry that burden.

strength

 

This is who we are…

September 11, 2001

I don’t know where you were on that day…maybe you were a student. 

All I know is that I was the teacher and it was only the second week of school.  I dropped my baby girl off at daycare that morning.  It was a special day because she was 6 months old.  I was walking my class down the hall when another teacher stopped me and asked me if I heard the news.  What news?  What is going on?  She whispered to me what they thought was happening to our country right then and all I could do was hold myself together to get down the hall.

These little people depend on me to keep it together.  I wasn’t allowed to turn the TV on in the classroom, and there was no other way to get news.  At lunch, I sought out other teachers and asked them if they knew what was going on.  They hadn’t heard either.  We didn’t have cell phones that got internet back then, so most of us had no idea what was happening.  The towers were falling in New York and I had goose bumps going all up and down my arms.  I think I called my mom to check on my cousin then.  My cousin lived in New York and her family lived in D.C.  Luckily, all my relatives were accounted for.  It was such a blur.  I heard the Pentagon was under some sort of similar attack, but surely the news didn’t have all the facts.  I mean the first plane was an accident right?  But then they were saying there was a second and some mishap over Pennsylvania.

I had a class to teach and a baby to get home to.  I started praying.  Prayer belongs where you need it, and I needed it.  It seemed the longest day of my life.  There are no words to describe how good it felt to scoop my baby girl up in my arms after work that day.  I went home and turned on the TV.  It looked like a scene from a badly made television movie.  That’s my country you are destroying.  Who would do such a thing?  It was horrible to watch then, and it is horrible to think about now.  People deciding their fate that day were so brave.  They jumped out of windows to escape fire, and it made me cry even more.  They took down a plane to save others not knowing if they would be saved themselves.  They went back into buildings and helped people not knowing if they could help themselves back out.  The stories poured out and we watched, listened, and learned of a country so resilient our forefathers would be proud.

The next day, they were still piecing together the news, but I knew I had a job to do.  When I turned and faced the flag that morning to lead the class in the Pledge of Allegiance as usual, my voice was a little bit louder.  A tear slipped down my face and I stood up straighter.  Everyday since then, when I lead my class in reciting the pledge, my voice is loud and strong and always will be.  “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

“Great tragedy has come to us, and we are meeting it with the best that is in our country, with courage and concern for others because this is America. This is who we are.”  ~George W. Bush

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