Courage — Choosing Discomfort

Earlier this year I gifted myself the experience to do an online ecourse with Brené Brown on her profound book, The Gifts of Imperfection. Our work has many similarities despite the fact that I’m not a researcher, though I am passionate about vulnerability, courage, and wholehearted living and how to integrate and embody a more permissive existence.

Since completing the course, I’ve been going back to my art journal as guidepost for when I feel lost or find myself stepping on uneven terrain. It’s my treasure chest of sacred tools to help me navigate those unseen curves in the road.

I’ve heard from many this month on how challenging it was, whether energetically, personally, professionally, it didn’t matter, many of us were in the same soup, feeling something, and that something often brought up feelings of discomfort.

I was definitely in that soup (right next to the overcooked, mushy carrots as my sacred sister and I joked about recently… who wants to be near a mushy carrot? Bleh!). Yes, Mercury was retrograde, and sometimes communication can be challenging, though I do my best to not utilize that as an excuse for poor behavior or poor communication skills. It means that I must be even more diligent, and sometimes it means hearing more, speaking less.

My boundaries were tested this month. Ever have one of those months or moments where you’re certain your boundaries are in tact when something rubs up against it and you realize that there was an area uncovered? Yup, that’s how it felt this month. My vulnerability was exposed, and my boundaries were tested.

I reflected back to my art journal with these survival tips on navigating courage, and the one thing that has been deeply rooted in my mind, the mantra that I have taken on this year appeared right before me. It was:

discomfort3

Choose discomfort over resentment. — Brené Brown

I find myself repeating that monthly, weekly, sometimes even daily depending on the situation I find myself in. I’m challenged at times to let my hurt feelings linger and stew (it must be this time of year that has me craving soup!), and the taste becomes both bitter in my mouth and in my heart. It’s not an energy I want to carry around with me, so I remind myself that discomfort doesn’t feel good, but it feels better than resentment.

That has been the Courage for this month, tied up together for me. In what ways can I lean into my Courage by choosing the road of vulnerability, bravery, and sometimes discomfort, to lead me to a clearer vision of my Truth? 

Choosing discomfort isn’t a permissive act to behave inappropriately or to speak your truth unkindly. It’s about not allowing the resentment to grow. I do believe we can be kind in our process of being Courageous.

May your Courage guide you, lovingly and safely, to your Truth, and may that Truth be wholeheartedly divine.

Courage — Being “Brave”

I have been completely and utterly obsessed with the Sara Bareilles song, “Brave” since my trip to Florida in August. I am such a believer in omens and have had humorous moments where pop culture, specifically music, has spoken to me in answer to my questions.

While in Sarasota, cleaning out my sacred mother’s writing room, I became overwhelmed by the notion that her house was now my house. The lawyer had mentioned it several times, my husband even reminded me, as it hadn’t quite sunk in yet. What would we do with this home became the most intimate question we asked ourselves.

I had this moment where things felt quite overwhelming, and I looked to a portrait that was created of her several decades before and asked for a sign. My phone started playing “Brave”, and it took my breath away:

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

“Honestly, I wanna see you be brave”… Brave. It’s another layer of Courage, another layer of vulnerability, another layer of being seen and authentic. My bravery then, in that sweltering, emotional room is different than the bravery of today, or even this weekend.

I have just returned from my annual writer’s retreat, and it was just as amazing, if not more amazing, than the year before. While I sometimes have a general idea of what my writing will focus on, this year I was clear on my openness for whatever my muse wished to work through me.

On Saturday we had our second writing session, but the first in which we would share our work out loud. The teacher asked “Who will be the first one to be brave?” and I nearly fell out of my seat.

That precise word has been a trigger to be Courageous, and I accepted the challenge. I raised my hand, he smiled and gave me the floor. I was brave… and nervous… and shaky… and vulnerable… and wondering what the hell did I just agree to do?! I say all of this with the smile of someone who has come leaps and bounds in sharing her personal writing with others.

The act of bravery doesn’t come from being brave. It comes from leaning into whatever you are feeling and choosing bravery anyway.

In what ways have you chosen to be brave and courageous?

Here is a snapshot of my journey to Courage:

road journey

What does your snapshot to Courage look like?

Intention Series — Courage

We have entered into my favorite time of year… I’ll admit that I don’t understand the pumpkin-flavored everything phase, however, I delight in the first cup of apple cider (which I just enjoyed last week), the changing leaves (the red ones are my favorite!), and the way my toes start to crave their fuzzy slippers as the cool evening breeze blows in through my kitchen window. Yes, these are just a few of my favorite things…

In this favorite time of year, I begin to feel the deep stirrings of inspiration. It’s more than delightful, it’s thrilling! It also happens to be the beginning of my busiest time of year, and I enjoy the curvy roads I take through my work.

As I embraced the energies of Being last month, I wondered how I could carry that same present moment awareness forward. What was the energy I was beginning to work through? What was the medicinal properties that my soul craved? The answer became inspired by a song that I have been obsessed with since August (more on that next week!). That essence was Courage.

courage

The interesting piece about creating art in conjunction with these intentions is that it creates the opportunity to get in touch with your inner creatrix… it also gives you opportunity to scowl when the art doesn’t turn out at all how you would imagine, or even want it to be. There is a lesson there, a gem to lean into. Yet this picture really spoke of the duality in which I can sometimes face Courage: clean, inspired, flowing… or messy, bumpy, and emerging from shadow.

Courage has these layers of drawing up your authentic truth, wearing the cloak of bravery when it might feel too heavy to bear. It’s like a trip on a windy road, aware, mostly, of your destination, and yet the comfort in which you navigate the pedals between moving forward, slowing down, or just coming to a complete stop, that’s like the traveling journey through and to Courage, or perhaps just one traveler’s experience.

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow”. — Mary Anne Radmacher

We head further and further into the darkness of the year, where introspection brings us a platter of choice and decisions. Join me in drawing up your Courage and seeing what road you travel down. Let’s take that momentum with us into the shadows and cast what no longer serves as we bear the torch of our own strength.