Of course–it takes courage to do anything worth doing in life.
There’s feeling the fear, diving in anyway, and transforming. People call upon courage when they start new jobs or decide to work for themselves, when they decide to write a book, when they enter a marathon, when they stop drinking, when they release old patterns of unhealthy eating to adopt new patterns, when they start an e-course, when they pick up the paintbrush for the first time.
This website is not usually about the practice of courage to attain some tangible goal (you might have noticed that if you’ve been around for a bit).
Moreso, I like to think that this website is about the kind of courage it takes to:
- admit it when you’re just going through the motions, trying to be perfect but not really feeling fully alive.
- recognize your own ego at work, and start getting humble in a way that is gentle and without self-deprecation.
- tell someone you love them, and tell them completely–even if they might not love you back.
- recognize the places where you are getting in your own way–but blaming others or external circumstances as the cause of your suffering.
- live with acceptance of what-is.
- feel your feelings.
- transform relationships with others by starting with your relationship with yourself.
- transform relationships with others, even if they want to play the same old tired game of suffering.
- recognize fully that fear shows up in many ways–as sudden disinterest; as needing to always be right; as making something “uncool”; as saying “what’s the point?”; as trying to be “better than”…and on and on.
- start actually taking action once you see clearly what’s going on.
- practice ferocious love, radical forgiveness, and unconditional compassion.
- stop suffering.
- start living.
The tangible stuff can be largely a matter of repetition: run enough miles, and you’ve trained for a marathon. Write enough pages, and you’ve written a book.
Practicing courage around feeling your feelings or apologizing or loving someone who doesn’t want to love you back is a matter of repetition as well–the more you practice courage with these things, the easier it does get to try again–but there’s this added component of coming up against our own intense vulnerability and every bit of conditioning, every Story, that we have about who we are, in relationship to this thing that we’re wanting to practice courage around.
This is the kind of courage the world really needs.
Doing and Doing and Doing
Much of the world is only interested in practicing courage where they can use it to “do something.” How-to, how-to, how-to. The best-sellers are those how-tos that involve making more money. (Let me guess–you, too, want the courage to quit your job and start a business where you only have to work four hours a week and get to travel the world the rest of the time? Let’s fork over the cash.)
Let me tell you about the courage to “do stuff.” The thing is, I have never really felt much of a wall around “doing stuff.” I can “do stuff” all day long. I can write books (I have). I can run a marathon (haven’t yet, but fully trust that if I keep up with my running practice long enough, I will). I’ve done a 100% legit sugar detox (and had a former smoker tell me that it was harder for them to do a sugar detox than it was to quit smoking). Living in Italy for a summer. A 30-day Bikram yoga marathon. Moving to a different city. Leading retreats. Being a speaker in front of a room, all eyes on me.
For reasons unknown, I have always understood that if I felt fear while undertaking any of this, it didn’t really matter: if I want the good stuff of finishing what’s important to me, fear is along for the ride, so I might as well get on with it and do whatever the hell it was that I wanted to do. In service to that, I’ve “done a lot.” I’ve racked up awards, degrees, traveled, etc., etc.
I am far less interested in anything that I’ve ever “done” than I am in who I am “being.”
What you need to know is this: that if you aren’t practicing courage on the inside, you’re going to have a day of reckoning.
You’re going to have a day where you suddenly come to understand that everything that you’re “doing” won’t compensate for the emptiness you feel inside yourself. Maybe it will be a mid-life crisis, or perhaps it will arise in the midst of incomprehensible grief–this question–
A Life Vision
One of the most beautiful things that my work with the Next Step Workshops ever gave me was the establishing of my Life Vision (which is: “To completely and totally love and accept myself, so that I can completely and totally love and accept everyone else, and thus facilitate healing in the world.”)
In essence, my life vision is about living in love, and I endeavor to make everything I do in service to that.
Some days, I royally suck at it. (This disclosure is important. I’m not a guru who does it perfectly.)
Many other days, I live it beautifully (also important).
There are no credentials that I can offer you. I can’t show you a certain number of social media followers that prove that “my formula works.” I can’t offer any testimonials, because my only testimonial is whatever I feel shifting within.
I can really only ever say this: that if you recognize yourself in my words, everything here is for you.
And this: I know that you can do it, that you can revolutionize from within, and practice courage to live 100% fully alive.
And this: What you’re “doing” if you take on this work is sinking into a deeper experience of “being.”
And this: You matter.
And this: You’re not alone.
And finally, this: