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.

Head|Heart|Health Club members area

Fuzzy…

You know how you are going along and everything seems to be fine in your life until one day it’s just not.  Well that was last year.  I knew I was getting worse off.  I knew that I was sore and in pain almost all of the time…until I realized the difference between almost all of the time and ALL of the time.  It seems like such a small thing, but it’s not.

I want you to understand the difference, if you can, between writing this blog to make anyone in this world feel sorry for people like me and writing it for you to understand people like me.  There is a big difference.  Last week, I met someone amazing and they told me my writing moved them.  To me, that is huge.  I want you to feel what I feel for a moment.  Not to make you feel bad, but to make you think.  When I read, I expect the same.  I want you to put yourself in my shoes while you are reading just as I do when I read.

Right now, there is the possibility that Epstein-Barr Virus has been in my system since I was 15 years old.  It makes sense.  It really does.  I had a horrible case of mononucleosis.  The doctor I saw today said there are any number of factors that could have triggered my Fibromyalgia, and did in fact tell me that is what I have been suffering with.  He did not have any advice on how to treat it naturally; however, he said I was free to treat it as I had been doing or take one of the prescriptions (he did prefer one over the others).  I have been doing some of the things on this site already as they are similar to other research to help autoimmune.

All in all, it’s kind of fuzzy right now.  I find it hard to focus on a point beyond all of this, so instead, I am focusing on one day at a time.

Stand again
Stand again.

Baggage claim…

Lately I feel like I have been left at the airport baggage claim area, and I am watching the bags go round and round while I try to figure out which ones are mine to pick up.  Whoa.  There are some who have way more baggage than I do, but at times I feel like I don’t know how to handle my light carry-on luggage, so how am I even going to carry the rest?  Which ones do I pick up?  Can I just leave some here?  Maybe I don’t even need all that stuff for my trip anyway.

I follow a few blogs and research more when I am trying to get my thoughts together.  I stumbled across this really interesting talk (lecture) on The Power of Vulnerability

I put myself out there as best I can in my writing, but I know I hold back.  I have been feeling numb since before Christmas.  Completely and totally numb.  Yes, I know the day it started.  Yes I know why.  I need a good slap like in Moonstruck.  I’m sure there are volunteers for that, but you have to wait your turn.  At any rate, the only person who can make me change my thoughts are me, myself and I.  What you think is what you do.  I know this.  So I have a new plan forming.  I am not going to lie.  I have no energy to make myself do the “plan”.  That’s where some of my good friends are going to come in.  The ones who want to get healthy and need a buddy.  The ones who want to run this race I have not even started training for.  Ha.  The ones who want me to go back to playing soccer after 20 years (oh wait, that’s my husband).  Ha ha ha.  The ones who remind me to go to yoga, even though I love it, but would rather come home and get in my PJ’s and read a book.  Seriously.

I might get mad at you.  I might come up with a million excuses as to why I can’t go workout at the gym after work.  Please see through them.  Here is a book I might need to read.  You might need it to lighten your baggage.  You never know until you’ve tried.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”  ~Ambrose Redmoon

Author’s note:  Since this post, I have become the one asking them to come to my yoga classes.  Yup.  I am now that lady, and I hope it’s ok.  I am here for you in the Head|Heart|Health Club.

Be courageous…

Sigh.   Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to.  Sometimes you have to talk to people and have conversations you don’t want to.  There is not a problem with this at all as I was reminded at work a few weeks ago, but the handout on “Courageous Conversations” did caution me about a few things.  First, you never speak in anger.  It will not get the results you want.  If you need to have the conversation, the handout did suggest you have it as soon as the issue arises so that it doesn’t get worse.  I agree.  It is best to get things out in the open.

Try to see things from the other person’s perspective.  There are some people who will not see your side, no matter what you say.  End of story.  Do you need to have a “Courageous Conversation” with them?  No.  It will only lead to frustration.  You might as well be talking to a brick wall as far as that person is concerned.  I tried having a conversation like that two years ago, and it did not go well.

Don’t apologize for how you feel.  You have a right to your feelings, but state the facts.  Some people can’t leave out the emotional drama and exaggerate the facts tremendously.  Usually, you can tell who these folks are.  When speaking with them, it is best to remember that even though they are telling you their side, it might be embellished more than necessary.

Someone recently told me that even though they were right in the middle of a conversation, they didn’t hear what was being said.  I know what it is like to be “mentally checked out”.  If I think this is going to happen to me, I always say this isn’t the best time to speak to me because I have a lot on my mind right now.  I want to be there for you, but can we please come back to this later?  True friends or colleagues should understand.

Lastly, end on a positive.  If you made a mistake or misjudged someone and the error is yours, be honest.  If you failed to do what was expected, be honest.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

A letter to my dog…

Dear Noel,

I am terribly sorry about everything that has happened to you over the last few months.  I know that you already understand how hard this is for me.  The fact that you were partially paralyzed broke my heart.  Your spirit has not been the same since that occurred and I know I am only prolonging your misery.  The way you used to gallop all over the house to find me brought us both great joy.  I know you can’t get up the stairs now and that you might be in pain.  The trick you did when I was folding laundry was always one of my favorites…you never were really a meerkat, but if you wanted to pretend, it was fine with me.  I loved the way you “killed” your toys and viciously fought over them with your older brother,  Emrys, the ancient long-haired dachshund. The guys will miss your crack-headed self as they came over to play a game of D & D and you jumped right into their laps sometimes forgetting the table was in the way.  The girls will miss you as well.  You have been a great mini-me following me around as we tucked them into bed and said prayers.  I even think daddy will miss you although he might not admit it.  I know it has been hard on him too even though you bark quite a bit.  Your grandparents wish you well on your journey and I know that you will watch over us from above.  May the road rise up to meet you and may there be squeaky balls to play with.  May the sun shine on your face, and there be plenty of holes to dig.  And until we meet again, may God hold you in His lap and spoil you.

With love,

Your family

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

P.S.  Thank you dear readers for going on this journey with me.  I appreciate all your thoughts as I have dealt with this.

Never give in…

Conversation with Winston Churchill:

What do you say to people who have enemies?  “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”  Oh, okay.  That does make sense.  I like that quote.  I’ll probably use it, but what if people lack the courage to do what is right nowadays?  “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”  Yes, I know you are right.  There are days that many of my friends get discouraged.  Sometimes, I wish I had the right words to use to make them feel better.  “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  I say that to myself a lot; however, it bears repeating over and over in order to really believe it.  I must tell you sir, that your speech entitled Never Give In has so many great quotes that it is hard for me to pick just one.  I hope my dear friends read it and think about your words.  I especially like the part where you say “appearances are often very deceptive” because that rings true in everyday life today just as it did when you wrote this speech in 1941.  Thank you sir for your help this evening.  I’ll leave my friends with one final thought for the night:

“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”  ~Winston Churchill