Sometimes courage sits quietly waiting for a moment to make an appearance. I have never been close to drowning. I know how to swim and yet I have panicked while swimming.
As a child I would swim out to a floating dock, in the lake, my heart beating just a tad faster than normal and then with a sigh of relief I would scramble onto the relative safety of the dock.
Swimming back was more challenging for me. I didn’t know when the sand would rise up to meet me on the shore. I would swim, heart in my throat, until the sand was grazing my knees.
I dislike swimming in water where I cannot see the bottom but one day I was swimming laps in a pool and became panicked in the middle of the pool. I talked myself to safety. I never swam alone in that pool again.
Kayaking is also challenging for me. One summer my husband and I visited our son at the lodge where he works. It sits on a lake where they kayak, for fun. Come on Mom, we can go across the lake and picnic-he said.
Maybe, this time would be different. I could be in a tandem kayak with an expert paddler. Pretty darn safe and they had experience in case we tipped. This could be fun!
Even so, I wasn’t entirely comfortable until I remembered; I have tools now! And I began to use those tools to ease my anxiety. It worked. I wasn’t entirely at ease, but I didn’t panic.
Fast forward, to a winter vacation in Mexico and a day trip that included snorkeling. The last time I tried this I was in water up to my knees and I panicked as I put my face in the water with the mask on. But, this was years later and everyone was in the water but me. I asked myself –was I willing to let this opportunity slip by because of some unnamed fear? I would have a life jacket on. I didn’t have to wear the mask unless I wanted to. I didn’t have to breathe through the tube unless I wanted to.
I had choices.
With some trepidation I slipped over the side of the boat into the crystal clear water, at least I could see the bottom! I paddled around a little and discovered that I liked this. I put my mask on, still without the snorkel and put my face under water.
Wowsers! Beautiful fish surrounded me, some of them tickling my skin as they swam by. I came up for air. Maybe, just maybe I could try the snorkel. If I didn’t like it I could stop. I put the mouthpiece in and breathed. This was easy! Why did I think this was so hard?
I loved it! I may have been the last one in but I was also the last one out!
Courage quietly showed itself to me. Whatever energy I had shifted in the kayak allowed me to enjoy this breathtaking moment. My heart wasn’t in my throat. It was slowly beating in my chest and with each beat, my joy expanded. I had made a choice and courage quietly supported my choice.
Courage is simply the choice to be who we be-I am hearing. You are not your fears. They are simply a reaction to some event in your lives, past or present or they have been taught to you by well meaning others, who live with their own fears. It can be a cycle that never ends.
But through choice you can end it. You can look your fear in the eyes and through whatever tools you have or can find, you can choose to react or respond. We prefer responding to situations. Reactions limit you and will further box you into corners of no choice.
Prayer is a tool. Asking for help is a tool. They often go hand in hand and then just the right being comes along who gives you just information you need to enable you to move into choice. Oh, the freedom of choice. It is the ultimate gift that you have.
The deep waters will always be there. You don’t have to dive into them right away. You might choose to never do that-whatever those deep waters are, but we ask you to simply make sure that you are making a choice and not reacting from fear. You may still choose from fear-sometimes that is a wise thing and sometimes it isn’t. You dear ones are the only ones who get to choose for yourself.
We would so love to see you move into the joy of choice. The joy is always there, sitting right next to courage. Sometimes we notice that it takes a lot of courage to find the joy. When you do that we rise up as one in celebration for you.
Such magnificent beings of love and light you are! We dear ones are in absolute joy every time you step into who you be.
Go For Your Joy
Linda and The Group
In my life, I have spent many minutes, hours and days trying to be something I was not. I was always someone who wanted to see the good in the world. Even as a young child I did not understand the concept of bad and yet there bad was.
I had done something bad. My brothers were doing something bad. Of course bad equalled punishment of some sort. I remember telling two of my brothers to stop what they were doing because I didn't want to see them get into trouble. They were not as concerned about it as I was.
I also remember crying as they were being strapped. I cried for them and I cried for me. Of course I did my best to be "good" so that I wouldn't be punished. It didn't always work out!
My dad was not a "bad father". He was only doing what he thought he needed to do, just like his father, so that his sons would not turn out "bad".
I almost did the same thing with my second son, until his older brother stepped in and told me to stop. I wasn't using the strap but I was going to spank him.
I had mistakenly given my power to an authority, in a book that declared if you didn't have control of your children by the time they were five, then the teenage years would be horrible.
My youngest was a strong personality and he was born to be awesome-not perfect-just awesome, just as we all are. Each of us holds a gifts to offer the world and they may not be perfect but they are just what is needed when the moment arises. My oldest son used his gifts of compassion and fairness to advocate for his younger brother. Thank goodness! I never lifted my hand to him again. He turned out imperfectly awesome!
Isn't that what we all are? When did you stop being you? What if by being you-unedited you could change a life and the world?
My oldest son spent the the years between 3 and 13 living with his father who did not understand how awesome he was. My job was to let him know. Somehow, between all the trials and tribulations of "visitation rights" and a very angry ex-husband, I managed to let my son know that he was very okay and I must have done okay because he stepped in stopped me from hitting his brother.
Along the way he had found a part of who he was and he has stepped into his own awesomeness.
Soon he will be a father and I know that he will be an excellent father. I am pretty sure he will encourage the expression of awesome in his child.
You can do that for yourself too. You could let out the parts of you that you had previously considered unsafe.
There are always opposites in this world and if you don't want to be seen as "bad", then you do your best to be good. To varying degrees that was the box I put myself in. It may not have looked like it to some-but that is what was going on. It also didn't serve me all that well sometimes.
Sometimes we need to be a little bad in order to be good!
So where in your life might you be hiding from life because you want to be seen a certain way? Where have you allowed others to define for you who you are? Where in your life have you decided that this is you or not you, and disallowed the many expressions of your awesomeness?
The world is waiting for you and you just might find that life gets more joyous. Isn't now the time to let yourself just be you?
There is much fear on our planet. Fear is birthed from the great unknown. If we feel that we can't control something then we will allow ourselves to step into the great void that is fear.
Ebola is on North American soil. One case so far but it caught many people in it's web of fear. ISIS is not only being birthed "over there" but young people from around the world are being caught up it's web of idealism and jumping into their destructive cause.
Climate change is occurring and with it we get caught up in the fear of our planet changing in ways that won't look like it does now.
Gang slaying, murders, drugs, child prostitution, home invasions, illegal immigrants, cancer, poverty and the list is endless.
And the people who are most effective at creating change that comes from the heart are the ones who are not caught up in the fear but are willing to see each situation as it is and decide to do what they can from the place that they can and in the moment that they can.
They are often on the frontlines stepping into whatever needs to be done in the moment. They are nursing ebola patients, looking for more effective medications and doing what needs to be done.
They are the parents and friends of the at risk teens who are not afraid to ask the questions that need to be asked and to listen to the answers, unafraid of them, knowing that the answers come from a moment in time and those answers can change as their lives change.
The climate is changing and it always has. That doesn't mean we don't do our part in order to not hasten a process that is unfolding.
We have the power to create change with our hearts.
Our hearts know what steps need to be implemented. But, if we are in fear, that has often been created by the news media, who don't often believe in "just the facts mam" then we cannot hear what our hearts have to tell us. The fear creates a shield of unawareness. If we allow ourselves to be aware, observe without judgment and conclusion then we will know what we need to do in any situation that presents itself and frequently we will have already removed ourselves from any danger that is present.
When our awareness is activated-our spidey senses if you will-then we will know when to get out of dodge, when to turn left instead of right and when to contribute as best we can.
I refuse to live in fear. I choose to be as heart centred as I can. It isn't always easy but anytime I find myself in fear I stop and ask myself "Is this true for me?" Truth feels light and a lie feels heavy-for me. ( a wonderful tool that you too can use!)
Yes there is stuff going on around us and yes some of it looks pretty yucky. But is doesn't serve me to jump into the pit of fear just because someone is creating fear around a subject.
I can choose for myself-now and always and so can you.
Linda lives in White Rock, B.C. and is the owner of Go For The Joy. Linda helps people internationally to remember that there is a different perspective available that will create more ease and joy in your life.