Take A Walk In Courage
Courage is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as ‘mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.’ But sometimes when we think of Courage, we think in terms of big-ticket items like jumping out of an airplane or running into a burning building. It is both those things, and it is also just opening your Heart and saying ‘yesssss’ and doing something that you’ve been talking yourself out of because of fear.
It is also standing up to a bully. In the fourth grade, I was bullied by a girl named Venus who was much bigger than me.
I don’t know why she decided to make it her mission to pick on me, I always tried to get along with everyone, living up to the definition of my sun sign, Aquarius.
Now Venus is the Roman name for the goddess of Love but chick-o was anything but. For whatever reason known only to her, that girl couldn’t stand me and helped to make my life continue to be a living hell.
Dang, I had only just gotten to that school!
Earlier that year, I’d suddenly lost my mother and my whole world exploded. 5 months later, I had a newly-minted step-mother I didn’t know at all and dealing with her was a trip in and of itself. Great googa-mooga, she was a MEAN ASS so and so PHEW! Add to that upheaval, right after her arrival in September, I began traveling alone to a new school over a mile away from my house. Lots of newness for my little 9 year old self, events so out of my control. And the last thing I wanted to do was to have to defend myself.
I was doing enough of that at home.
The Day of Reckoning
Leaving home alone to travel so far on two buses gave me little time to get my bearings or have a sense of safety. My classes and teachers were ok enough but after school I practiced my running skills. Each time that girl approached I tried to get away, wriggling through kids on the crowded bus home but not unscathed. No matter how fast or clever I was, darling Venus managed to get some scratches in.
Dad told me to fight back (which in hindsight is rather ironic). I didn’t want to. Why did I have to? I already felt like I was fighting for my life with all the new and bizarre changes at home and I didn’t have anyone in the world to talk to about any of it. Fight back? Hit someone? What if she beats me up?
Well, she was kinda doing that anyway.
(Oy, as I write this, I’m getting a bit choked up. breathe Bird, BREATHE, you’ve already lived this. And SURVIVED).
I Digress. As I Was Saying…
Tired of my slippery exits each day, on the day of reckoning my nemesis issued the threat: “wait till after school, I’ma beatchore butt!”
You know how when you want time to move fast and it drags, but when you don’t want it to go fast it zooms by? Yeah well the end of school came way too fast and in a flash, your heroine found herself the recipient of woof-tickets, pushes and shoves at the bus stop corner of St. John’s Pl. and Franklin Ave.
The child spectators made the obligatory circle when a fight was about to go down with me unhappily in the middle. Here she comes, pushing me while I think the anthem, ‘Idon’twannafight Idon’twannafight Idon’twannafight’
But it was apparent that I would have to.
I let go of fear’s hand and out popped my Courage. I took a chance and dove in. I swung my heavy ass book bag with all my might, I seem to remember swinging in a circle to keep her at bay. I walloped her good and she was in no position to touch me.
How did I know to do this? I followed my gut.
And then, it was over. Just like that. The bus came, we all got on. I went home with a small scratch on my face. That’s it.
She never bothered me again. We actually ended up becoming friends. Hmm.. how ‘bout that eh?
Ahhh, it’s the Aquarian in me.
Courage Be Like A Quiet Fire
Little did I realize, I was quite a courageous little girl. For all of my short years on the planet I had exhibited an enormous amount of grit, resolve and perseverance and moved through the challenges with a lot of Grace. Moving on from a devastating loss takes an immeasurable amount of Courage, but it’s not always a loud trumpeting thing.
Courage can be like a quiet fire, like saying no when you’ve always said yes because you worried about what someone else would say or think about you (but you really meant to say, HELL TO DAH NO!) Something as seemingly simple as saying no when you mean no is one of the hardest things to do, particularly for us women…
(But we end up letting ourselves down because saying yes when you mean no is the antithesis to self-care).
I did a lot of things in my young years to help someone else feel good about my going along with their program that ultimately ended up to my detriment.
Doing something you want to do when others think you shouldn’t do it because of XY and Z, takes Courage. Living your Life based on your Gut/Intuition/Inner Guidance regardless of what others think or say–in other words, being True to Self, takes COURAGE. Particularly when you don’t see a clear road or path to your desires and goals. To others it may just look WRONG.
But they are not YOU. Your Life Story has it’s own plot twists, turns, Good Samaritans, Joys and Lessons. How can anyone tell you what’s right for YOU. And why listen?
We listen out of fear. We listen and doubt because we give our Power away to our parents, family members, friends, social media…
Courage Can Introduce You…To You & Your POWER
Take Chances, Step out on FAITH. The Universe/GOD/Allah/The Creator/All That Is or whomever you give glory to has got your back! It takes Courage to step out on Faith and to not allow fear to dominate us. We are scared about so many things. We must Take A Walk In Courage to Transmute the fear. To Transmute the anxiety. To Transmute the stress. Courage to make changes in habitual thought patterns that no longer serve us.
Changing takes Courage, Courage to look at how our mentality, our Life outlook is so rooted in fear. We don’t open our social circles, we don’t make it our business to reach out to others different from ourselves, so suspicious of others are we, generally speaking.
We become very set in our ways and though unhappy with a lot of things that our habits dictate, many people are resistant to changing, they would rather complain about what they don’t like as opposed to summoning the Courage and Will Power to make changes.
How does one get Courage? In knowing that Courage is not something you get or have to buy but something you ALLOW, it is already inside you. When one exhibits Courage, they have made the choice either Consciously or unconsciously to step around, under, over or through the fear, to fully be PRESENT and do the damn thang, whatever that may be.
Quoting Some Inspirational Folk
“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
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow”― Mary Anne Radmacher
And from one of my favorite poets, Hafiz:
“We have not come here to take prisoners
But to surrender ever more deeply
To freedom and joy.
We have not come into this exquisite world
to hold ourselves hostage from love.
Run my dear, from anything
That may not strengthen
Your precious budding wings,
Run like hell, my dear,
From anyone likely to put a sharp knife
Into the sacred, tender vision
Of your beautiful heart.
We have a duty to befriend
Those aspects of obedience of our house
And shout to our reason
“Oh please, oh please
come out and play.”
For we have not come here to take prisoners,
Or to confine our wondrous spirits
But to experience ever and ever more deeply
our divine courage, freedom, and Light!”
Some Takeaways and Action Steps to Unleash Your Courage
It takes Desire, Courage, Intention and Will Power to step out of our comfort zones and to make changes. Try that new idea, start that business you’ve been wanting to begin, learn a new language no matter your age, move to that new place or country, leave that relationship and begin anew. Embark on learning the True You better without any outside interference. Exercise the Courage that’s within you all along, let go of fear’s hand long enough for it to come through.
Courage is taking your own hand to do what Your Inner Being urges you to do. Courage doesn’t wait for the opinions, sanctions or approval of another for you to do YOU. Courage is giving yourself your permission.
When you find that you are holding tightly onto fear because it has assured you that you’re safer with it, sit quietly with eyes closed.
Breathe in very deeply through the nose on the count of four.
Let the air out slowly through the nose on the count of five.
Repeat three more times or more.
Listen to the sound of the breath, as it nourishes every cell of The Temple that is Your Body.
Listen as it Flows out of you into the atmosphere.
Feel your body let go of pent-up tension.
Relax the jaw, unclench the teeth.
Relax the shoulders.
Move your head slowly to stretch the muscles in the neck, shoulders and upper back.
When you find yourself totally relaxed, ask, “why am I afraid to do __________?
What is the worst that can happen?”
And you may get a barrage of answers, all the things you’re scared of. Notice what happens to your heart rate, to your breathing as you go through your Fear Laundry List.
After you’ve had your fill, repeat the exercise of The Breath in and out slowly through the nose.
Once you’ve returned to a relaxed state, ask, “what’s the best of what could happen if I do ____________?”
Let it rip! Envision the Possibilities, GO FOR IT!! And once you’ve had Your fill, make note in your phone or on paper (my personal favorite) or both, the list of the Possibilities to look at when you forget and have taken fear’s hand again.
THAT, IS YOUR COURAGE LIST. Time to Take A Walk.
Dang, I hadn’t thought about that incident about Venus the bully in a good long while. What things can you think of in your own Life where you exhibited Courage?
Check out my guided meditation videos to help you reduce stress and anxiety. They are also offered in audio form with a choice of 5-6 minutes and a longer deeper session for about 30 minutes. You can also order custom guided meditation audio tailormade to fit your needs. And keep in mind my StressBusters Guided Meditation sessions to book in-person or virtual.
For more ideas, tips and How-To’s on getting your Zen Zone Mojo happnin’ and to reduce stress, anxiety, anger, depression as well as increasing Mindfulness and Awareness, there are an array of stress and anxiety relieving products and services as well as events to check out on my site.
Thank you for being here, won’t you share this blog with a friend, family member and/or colleague?