Tomorrow is a big day for me – I start the Oprah and Deepak (or as I like to call it Doprah) 21 Day Meditation Experience. I know that I am supposed to write about potassium today, but I find myself more interested in another topic that is equally energizing – courage. I was flipping through an old issue of Oprah – I’ve always been a quiet fan of her magazine – and I found an interesting suggestion to keep a courage journal. That got me thinking about what courage is to me. Obviously a fire firefighter who runs into a fire-filled building is courageous. A mother who throws herself in harms way to save her child can easily be considered courageous. Even just answering a wake up call can be a moment of courage. Here is what Dr. Oz says about emotion versus reason (from doctoroz.com): “…we rely on emotion and feelings to guide action. People often form a judgment about something by subconsciously asking “How do I feel about this?”
For me, courage means saying I feel afraid, but I am still going to try this. When I “Google-d” courage, that was essentially the definition given to it – the ability to do something that frightens one. Basically, that means we are all capable of courage. I am lucky – I have seen courage first hand through the dignity someone close to me has shown when life has dealt her lemons including disappointment and disease. I also had a friend, who has since passed away, that had cancer of the salivary glands, ultimately spread to her lungs. She was a bright light who continued to live her life to the fullest, even during this trying time. When she had disfiguring surgery, she still came out with our group of friends, even though people did stare. I know that you may not think that something so small can be courageous, but it truly was. She could have stayed home and wallowed in self-pity, but she chose to be with her friends.
I haven’t really done anything spectacular, but I thought that I would share just a few things that I have done in my life. I am a travel junkie, so most have to do with my travel experiences. I don’t think I can ever keep a courage journal, but here is a small sampling of what I would include if I did:
-I travel, in spite of the fact that flying is one of my top two fears (bugs are the other)
-I swam with a shark and have the pictures to prove it! Unfortunately, it was before digital cameras so no pic
-I went on a hot air balloon ride in Arizona even though I was terrified, but it was really nice – quite peaceful. Then our pilot, Captain John, informed us that there are only two types of landings – rough landings and really rough landings and we were in the the really rough one. OH BOY. It ended up being fun though, but this was before digital cameras were really popular – now I can’t imagine life before them
-I hiked for 5 days in a row in Malibu – I’m not talking little molehills either – these were mini mountains – check out the picture from Charmlee Wilderness Park – I climbed to the vantage point (you can see Point Dume, which I also hiked in the distance). I’m a princess-y klutz who managed to be at one with nature. I’d never do it again, but I managed at the time
-I kissed The Blarney Stone even though the thought of pressing my lips that cold sore waiting to happen – ridden rock repulsed me. Plus, sharing this crotch shot is also pretty courageous – if you go to Ireland, you have to climb to the top of a castle, lie down grabbing the bars that you can see in the pic and dangle your head looking straight down to get the gift of gab. Fun, but I’d never do it again. I’m grateful that I didn’t get any strange diseases from it
-I went to Loch Ness never fearing the monster – not even once! He didn’t show himself that day, but I know he was there somewhere and I laugh in the face of danger (real or imagined)
-I am open to changing things that don’t work – you kind of have to be. That can be changing bad habits to knowing who belongs in your life and who is a seasonal person
-I blog. I think anyone who does this is opening up themselves to people that they don’t really know or who they do and that takes a certain amount of moxie. Sometimes your opinion may not be popular, but once it’s out there in the universe there isn’t a lot that you can do. So to all of my fellow bloggers, I salute you
As you can see, there are a lot of things that maybe courageous – and keeping yourself open to experience is probably one of the most important things that you can do for yourself. I’ll stop with the self-help advice, until some other time : ) Have you done anything that you’ve felt was courageous? I’d love to hear about it!
Today, I am grateful that I had a chance to quickly reminisce about some of my favourite moments. Can’t wait to start meditating ok I can – but maybe it will be a good change?
Gratefully and courageously yours,