Monday, June 11, 2012

Having Courage

It's a word I have been thinking about a lot lately.  Tony Robbins says that courage is not the absence of fear.  I get what he means - fear is natural and necessary in certain situations.  Fear catapults us to action in the event of an emergency.  It gets the heart pumping and the adrenaline flowing and is the fuel we need at times to make things happen.

Sometimes though, fear works overtime and keeps us from doing the things we want to do.  It can be such a block that it causes us to become frozen and we can even become convinced we no longer want what we once thought we did.  Courage on the other hand, is what we use to accomplish a goal in spite of the fear.  Courage and fear are never really far apart - i think of them as feuding brothers.  Fear says, "you can't do that, you will fail, you're not good enough, you don't have enough experience, what will people think?"  Courage says, "you can do it, you are awesome, you know what you want, trust yourself, go for it!"  Being courageous is when we are so scared to do something.. but do it anyway because it is the right thing to do.  Courage kicks in when the pain of not doing what we want becomes greater than the fear of doing it.  Courage is not the absence of fear, but works in spite of fear, pushing it to the background.

I've often thought I'd like a tattoo similar to the one pictured above, but mine would start with a capital "C" because for me, the things that matter often start with courage.  I remember being asked, "will you let fear decide for you?" and that question comes up in my mind time and time again.  I have let fear make many of my decisions in the past - too many really.  But I have also found the courage to push ahead and face fear, going for what I wanted in spite of it.  Courage is always there.

If our purpose in this life is to just be ourselves without fear, than finding courage in spite of fear will reveal us at our best.  To me, a life filled with courage is a life lived on purpose, a life of freedom and of choice and a life filled with doing exactly what I want to do.  I often wonder how different my life would be today if I had never pushed fear aside and mustered the courage to say or do what was needed.

What about you?  What would having more courage mean in your life?  Tell me in the comments below, I'd love to know.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finding Inspiration

Flipping through the channels on the tv last night, I saw someone that caught my eye. Wayne Dyer. Have you heard of him? I thought he might be a preacher at first, but as I listened I realized he was an author and an inspirational speaker. I've discovered quite a few of these types lately, and feel as though there is a reason for it. Each time I hear an inspirational talk, I'm able to take something from it that helps me along my path. I think I have mentioned before how it's funny how the universe sends us what we need when we need it. This was no exception.

Lately I have not been feeling very inspired. Circumstances have changed for me over the past couple of weeks and it would appear, not for the better. I say "it would appear" because I do believe that although I'm feeling a little blue (okay, well, alot blue, miserable, exhausted, waaaa!), I need to trust the process and believe that this too is all part of the bigger picture for me and where I am supposed to be. And I'm trying to trust the process, but I've not been doing a good job at it at times, to be honest.

So Wayne Dyer - one thing I liked about his is that he quoted some Bible verses but he had a different way of interpreting them than what I was accustomed to. Having a Christian background, I've often suspected the Bible is full of amazing wisdom, if we could just separate it from how we are told to interpret it by the church. So this piqued my interest. He talked about using our imagination to create our future, and how this is an area that we should not let anyone tamper with. I found this encouraging. Decide what I want and where I want to be and don't let anyone tell me I can't do it.

Wayne Dyer spoke about beginning from the end, which is really similar to Stephen Covey's message of beginning with the end in mind, and worth repeating. He said that when he feels inspired to write a new book, he decides on the title, has the art department create the jacket, places the completed jacket over any book, and keeps it in front of him as he begins writing. He sees the book sitting in front of him and asks himself what the book is about. Then he writes the book. Again, this goes back to using your imagination to create the finished product and then work towards it. It puts the intention out there, and gives the universe something to bring to you. It may only be in your imagination, but you will be drawn towards that end if it is there.

This reminded me to consider again, and I will ask you - where do you want to be? What does you living your life on purpose look like? It's a good question to ask yourself every once in a while. Because when you know what you want and where you want to be, you can take that picture (either a literal picture or an imagined one) and hold it up high and proud. And then you have something to work towards.

A final great message I got from last night's talk was from a woman on the show who had had a near-death experience. Her message at the end of her story was that her life purpose was to be herself and live fearlessly. She was not to continually search for a life purpose out there, but to just be herself, and in doing so, she would be exactly what the world needed. That for me, was one of those "a-ha" moments Oprah talks about. We are all creative, resourceful and whole, just as we are. And our divine purpose is to show the world by just being ourself.