I recently dove into a ‘Visionary Branding Course’ taught by my friend Nadia Payan.
In the course, she led us through a process to find our brand pillars, which are 3-5 of the top values that create the vibration, direction and feel of a business…
(Shout out to my fellow business owners who love this stuff, too!)
If you’ve ever read The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and created your ‘core desired feelings’ then you have a sense of this process…
a. Start with a list of words.
b. Circle the ones that really resonate with the depths of your soul.
c. Narrow down again to the most important ones.
In Nadia’s words, choose 3-5 words “that you’d take a bullet for.”
I went on to answer some questions around what this word means to me, why it is so important to me, and why I believe it is important to the world at large.
This got me thinking, wow, I really need to share my love affair with this word.
It is at the heart of transformation.
And that is a perfect place for us to begin!
Courage comes from the French root word cœur, which means heart.
(the fact that I have a love affair with France and the French language takes this deeper for me.)
Some synonyms for ‘courage’ might be bold or brave, and the meaning for me boils down to the willingness to take risks, the willingness to face fear, and the willingness to be vulnerable.
Hold up now! Who ever said anything about vulnerability?!?
Ah, this is where things get real juicy.
In order to exhibit true courage, we must be willing to step outside our comfort zone.
Courage, after all, means nothing without a juxtaposition of threat.
The very definition of courage hinges upon a contrast created between what we want and what we must do in order to achieve it.
This, my friends, is why courage is necessary for transformation.
To speak truth, to be just, to do what’s right….
To not deny fear, but to walk with it and through it…
To not defy the darkness, but to feel, explore and even befriend it…
To love, for goodness sake!
All these things require courage.
For all my fellow lions out there, it’s officially Leo season!
Let’s step into the warmth of this word & explore a few ways that courage will help you push through whatever phase of transformation currently has you stagnant.
1. Courage can help you to apply for a new job, join a choir, or attend a plein air painting group. In other words, step beyond of your bubble and put yourself out there for professional, creative or personal expansion.
2. Courage can help you quit that job you hate, leave a toxic relationship, say no to energy vampires or stop eating that food you suspect is making you bloated on the daily. In other words, stepping forth even though you’re afraid of the outcome and claiming healthy boundaries for your body, mind, spirit and heart.
3. Courage can help you feel everything in your heart.
E V E R Y T H I N G in your heart. The grief, the confusion, the pain, the depression, the loneliness, the shame; and of course, the joy, the beauty, the wonderment, the elation, the delight, the love. In other words, it’s scary as hell to feel the full range of our humanity. Most of us use a variety of substances, toys, tools and distractions to numb out from ‘all the feels.’
Feel inspired yet?
Did something in those lists hit you in the chest with a blast of truth?
Courage is necessary for creating the world we all so desperately desire to be a part of…
And I believe courage is required for all the best things in life to happen.
So here are a few more places where you can find some further inspiration on COURAGE!
1. Watch the Wizard of Oz (yes, seriously)
Notice the deep themes of inner knowing, facing threats and rising up despite them. And of course, you gotta love the Cowardly Lion!
2. Read any book from Brené Brown.
I just finished the audible book of “Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice” and it was mind-blowing. “Rising Strong” is a great place to start, but really all of her books are gold. She also has a special on Netflix that will likely win your heart and make you a Brené fan for life.
3. Do a short journaling exercise with yourself with the following Qs:
Where am I currently staying in my comfort zone?
Where have I stepped out of my comfort zone in the past?
What were the results I got from leaving my comfort zones?
With those results in mind, what might happen if I stepped beyond my fears for the situations I wrote down in #1?
Stay courageous, friends!
“The price is high, the reward is great.”
– Maya Angelou
From my heart to yours,