Thursday, April 17, 2014

April Moon 14: Day 1 -- Courage

A new writing prompt series from Kat McNally, she of Reverb and August Moon and probably others that I am forgetting!

This one is for 14 days, sort of a check-in with oneself, and I am grateful for the reminders and for the timing.

Read more about it here. And play along. 

Today's prompt: Courage

What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

So I'm slow actually getting started although I began this post on time and have been contemplating the concept for several days.

Courage is taking action because you simply cannot be where you are any longer, which is different from moving from one place to another because you physically cannot stay where you are. I believe courage can be both planned and spontaneous: either way, it requires coming to a place of non-acceptance within yourself for what your current circumstances are, and choosing to create or go to a different state of circumstances. Courage is always a bit scary, if not at the time, definitely in retrospect.

I'm not sure that makes sense even to me.

I know that it takes courage to walk into a classroom on your first day of school where you know no one. It takes courage to take off the training wheels on your bike or tell your dad to let go of the seat so you can pedal it all by yourself. It takes courage to read out loud a poem or a story created from your imagination to an audience. It takes courage to move to a new city and begin again, especially by yourself. It takes courage to ask a doctor for medical tests that you are terrified to do because you are terrified that they will show that your deepest fears are, in fact, accurate. (Yeah, I'm kind of there....)

I've done all these things and more. Courage has brought me tears, anxiety, opportunity, and great love. It excites me, scares me, challenges me, and sometimes eludes me, at least for a time. It is risk-taking at its deepest level: the interior risk, the risk to your well-being, your core self.

Mixed up with the idea of courage, at least for me, is the concept of faith. And no image for me more clearly identifies courage/faith than the one in the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," where, desperate to save his father from dying, Indy steps off a ledge hoping that something will be there to keep him from falling.

(Oddly enough, this exact scene and movie was referenced in our daily reading this morning, in the book The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Marc Nepo. I have always loved the courage/faith image.) 

We find courage within to do something that we believe will make our lives better for the action. We find courage to do terrifying things because somewhere we have faith that no matter what, it will be all right. Like Indy, we step out into the abyss of not knowing, hoping desperately that there will be the strong rock bridge that will catch and hold us up. So far, so good....

Another introspective opportunity I've been doing this week is the free Oprah-Deepok Chopra "Finding Your Flow" 21-day meditation series.  Follow the link to register and you can listen to the daily meditations. I am finding them strengthening and very helpful as I navigate this journey, and I am grateful for the opportunity.



Kat McNally said...

I love the way you explore the relationship between courage and faith, Beth. Worth pondering!
Lovely to see you again, and read your wonderful words. xx

mxtodis123 said...

Thanks for this, Beth. It brought to mind when I turned 50 and decided it was time for a whole new life. I see now that it took courage...and faith...for me to close out a lucrative career, go back to school, and start out in a whole new path of life. Have a great Easter weekend.