Tag Archives: Bravery

Something Good

halffrozenriver

1. Ronen Goldman has been recreating his dreams in photos for the past six years. Some weird dreams that made for amazing photographs.

2. The Self-Acceptance Project: Finding Our Sense of Fundamental Worthiness, a free 20-week Video Event Series from Sounds True, beginning Monday, March 4, 2013. There are an amazing group of teachers involved with this, and did I mention, it’s free?

3. From Justine Musk, creative badass, “those who tell the stories, rule the world.”

4. This quote from Seth Godin, “It’s not what you’ve got. It’s about how brave you’re prepared to be.”

5. “Dear Internet” by Tina Fey. Just one more reason to love her.

6. This quote, “The most solid advice . . . for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.” ~ William Saroyan

7. This quote from Geneen Roth, “Huge and lasting transformation is possible but it isn’t about striving to be different than you are. True change is allowing yourself to be exactly what and who you are—and becoming aware of what’s standing in your way.” And this one:

You can do it. You can rescue yourself. No matter what you believe about your competence or your worth, no matter if you weight 400 pounds on the scale or in your mind, you can change. You can become every courageous inch of yourself. But you have to act. You have to make an effort. You have to find a path or practice that knocks at the door of your heart, and then you have to do it. Keep doing it even if you don’t feel like it on an particular day. If you do nothing, nothing will change. If you act, if you make an effort, then little by little, bite by bite, morning after morning, you become the promise of yourself.

8. When Love Wins on Kind Over Matter by Jo Anna Rothman.

9. This quote from Pema Chödrön:

The Beginning of Growing Up: Opening to the world begins to benefit ourselves and others simultaneously. The more we relate with others, the more quickly we discover where we’re blocked. Seeing this is helpful, but it’s also painful. Sometimes we use it as ammunition against ourselves: we aren’t kind, we aren’t honest, we aren’t brave, and we might as well give up right now. But when we apply the instruction to be soft and nonjudgmental to whatever we see at this very moment, the embarrassing reflection in the mirror becomes our friend. We soften further and lighten up more, because we know it’s the only way we can continue to work with others and be of any benefit in the world. This is the beginning of growing up.

10. This quote, “The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgment.” J. Krishnamurti

11. This quote, “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.” Don Miguel Ruiz

12. This quote from Cyndi Lee:

When we really see, in our mind’s eye, a person we think we don’t like, and instead of solidifying our reasons for hatred we honestly wish them happiness, good health, safety, and an easeful life, we start to forget what we thought we hated and why we felt that way in the first place. A sense of equanimity toward everyone arises as we do this practice—we feel compassion for those who were once invisible to us, and our disregard and apathy morph into concern for their well-being and safety.

13. This quote from Tama J. Kieves, “The more you do what you love, the more you realize your direction. It’s like remembering night-dreams, the more you write them down, the more you remember. The truth is always present. You just have to honor your inspiration before you have clarification. Doing what you love will make everything clear.”

14. This quote, “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.” ~Thomas Merton

15. Go Public With Your Bad Self?, a perfectly timed (for me) and true post by Jonathan Fields, which also includes an inspiring Good Life Project interview with artist Lisa Congdon, who I’ve always liked and admired but am officially obsessed with after seeing this interview. I’m especially in love with her 365 Days of Hand Lettering project. Jonathan says in this post,

We all suck in the beginning. We’re SUPPOSED to suck (with the rare exception of that freakish apriori artist savant friend we all love to hate to love).

The thing that gets us from there to “Sweet Mother of God, YOU made that?!” is practice. Beginner’s mind. Being massively prolific, even if what we create on any given day is really, really bad. That, and having the vision of where we want to get to, the will to do the work, the faith that our efforts will yield progress and the sense of humor needed to forgive ourselves and be vulnerable along the way….

16. From my teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “We Need to be Warrriors,” in which he says,

Bravery is the key instruction in the Shambhala teachings. This is why these teachings use the image of a warrior: when confronted by great challenges, warriors rise to the occasion. When cowards are confronted by difficulties, they withdraw. The challenge of being brave points to one specific instruction—that we stop cowering from our basic goodness.

To be brave is to actualize our nature as an offering to others. In paying attention to the details of our daily lives in relation to each other and the environment, we proclaim our worthiness to be alive and to inhabit this planet. We empower our relationships with presence and appreciation, because when we see the goodness in ourselves, we recognize it in others. This form of warriorship builds and creates; it does not destroy. Being brave enough to fully embrace our humanity is how we will accomplish good things.

17. This quote from George Lois, “The joy of the creative process, minute by minute, hour after hour, day by day, is the sublime path to true happiness.”

18. Home, on Doorways Traveler by Lisa Field-Elliot. This:

i believe that light prevails. that even though each and every one of us will wind up in the most senseless of dramas where the smallest parts of our brains, and the arrested parts of our hearts, will make decisions that wound and hurt, i still have to believe that light will prevail.

Amen.

19. Love Will Find You Out by Jen Lemen. I’ve read it before, but she reshared the link this week, and I read it with fresh eyes, an open heart. It is so beautiful, and made me cry just as hard this time as it did the first.

20. 108 yoga images from 2012: through the lens and from the soul of Robert Sturman. I look exactly like this when I practice yoga. Wait…why are you laughing?!

21. “To realize your true nature, you must wait for the right moment and the right conditions. When the time comes, you are awakened as if from a dream. You understand that what you have found is your own and doesn’t come from anywhere outside.” Buddhist Sutra

22. Deep Soul Dive Episode #1: Andrea Scher of Superhero Life, an interview with Maggie Hollinbeck.

23. Singer-Songwriter Aimee Mann on Rejecting the Life of a Pop Star, an interview on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn. I realized listening to this that I have been in love with Aimee Mann for almost 30 years. This is where it started, back in the tender wonder years, with Til ‘Tuesday:

24. Sherwood Anderson on Art and Life: A Letter of Advice to His Teenage Son, 1927 on Brain Pickings.

25. The Underground New York Public Library is a visual library featuring the Reading-Riders of the NYC subways.

26. This quote, “All that you are seeking is also seeking you. If you sit still, it will find you. It has been waiting for you a long time.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes

27. A good reminder from my Inner Pilot Light:

Feeling overwhelmed? Try taking steps to simplify your life today. Do you really need that long to-do list? Or can you cross stuff off and just accept that it’s not going to get done, at least not today? Do you really need all that stuff in your closet? Or can you sort through it and make room for spaciousness and expansiveness? Do you really need that crowded social calendar? Or can you just pare down to the activities that really nourish your soul? Must you really say yes to what others ask of you? Or can you give yourself the gift of NO? When you simplify your life, you make room for more of ME. And when you let me in, magic starts happening.

28. Magical (and giveaway!), a good review of a book that I clearly need to read on Walking on My Hands. This single line makes me want to read the whole book, “As Katrina begins her month of yoga teacher training at Kripalu, her teacher tells her, ‘You are not here to remake yourself but to remember yourself.’ ”

29. 15 Bloggers to Watch in 2013, (12 are women–right on!).

30. And by now I am sure you are wondering “what’s up with all the quotes on this list?!” but here’s one last one, from Cheri Huber:

How do we end suffering?  By accepting everything, exactly as it is. Hearing that is like a knife in the heart.  Inside we shriek, no! That is the shriek of the ego devoted to suffering.  In fact, there is no choice other than accepting everything exactly as it is, because everything is exactly as it is.  It is as simple as that.  There is nowhere else to go.

Day of Rest

It’s not about letting go of worry or getting over fear.

It’s about letting go of the idea that you can control everything, or anything.

It’s about making space for uncertainty and doubt.

It’s about surrendering to impermanence and getting past resistance to change.

It’s about “having the life you want by being present to the life you have,” (the subtitle to Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening).

It’s about confidence, “the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment,” (the brilliant Susan Piver said that).

It’s about paying attention, being mindful and present.

It’s about letting go of both hope and fear.

It’s about having faith in basic goodness, our innate and fundamental and natural wisdom and compassion, our essential and shared humanity.

It’s about risking heartbreak and failure, knowing that it’s so much better than being numb.

It’s about living a wholehearted life–“engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging,” (from Brene’ Brown’s new book, Daring Greatly).

It’s about refusing to smash yourself to bits, and not being afraid of yourself.

It’s about choosing vulnerability over safety and predictability, letting go of the longing for solid ground, for a life of nothing but happiness and security.

It’s about love.

It’s about having the courage to face your own life, show up, keep your heart open, and allow yourself to be seen.

It’s about being brave.

a winnebago parked in my neighborhood, the brave model

Who’s with me?

Cultivating Courage and Daring Greatly

Brave BellyRecently, I have been feeling a real need to be brave. My life has been presenting all kinds of opportunities to show up with an open heart, even though I am terrified. There are two things coming up I am certain will be of great help to me in this practice: Andrea Scher’s Cultivating Courage ecourse and Brene’ Brown’s Daring Greatly book and read-along.

Brene’ Brown’s book Gifts of Imperfection was a critical resource when I started the Life Rehab this blog chronicles. It made me see I had been in a long term abusive relationship–with myself–and helped me to understand the way out of it. I’ve had the opportunity to hear her talk multiple times about her work and research, her life and experience, and her new book is going to be brilliant, (my copy is in transit, on its way to me as I write this, and I can’t wait).

P.S. Look at what showed up just a few hours later!

By showing up, opening her heart, sharing the truth (part research, part personal experience) about shame and vulnerability, daring greatly, and living a wholehearted life, Brene’ Brown is helping so many to discover the value of being brave, in being exactly who we are, in living a wholehearted life. This is the trailer for the book:

And what better to match the Daring Greatly read-along than a Cultivating Courage class with Andrea Scher?! Everything Andrea does is magic. I have taken three classes with her, and every one expands my sense of possibility and purpose. She is electric, pure love energy, vibrant and wise and playful. Just thinking about this latest offering, I feel braver already.

Andrea asked for courage stories from her readers to use in this class. I sent her one, and want to share it with you, kind and gentle reader. Maybe you need a little dose of courage too? Maybe I’ll see you in class?

Our first dog Obi, a Rottweiler/German Shepherd/Husky mix my husband and I rescued at eleven weeks old, was diagnosed with lymphoma, a treatable but incurable canine cancer, right after he turned seven years old. Just after his birthday but before the horrible phone call confirming his cancer, I told my friend, “I don’t know what it is about seven, but I feel like if something happens to him now, I don’t have the right to say it’s not fair. He’s had a really good life.” A few days later, when I told her about his cancer, she whispered, “Do you remember what you said? Do you think you knew?”

I didn’t, couldn’t have guessed it. Other than a tiny lump in his chest the size of a pea, he was completely healthy, vibrant and fully alive. We didn’t know the lump was a swollen lymph node, weren’t even worried enough to make a special appointment to have it checked, simply waited and asked during his next visit. Our vet insisted on doing a needle biopsy right away. The resulting diagnosis was a complete shock, the worst kind of surprise.

Courage can mean either doing something that frightens you, or having strength in the face of pain or grief. Caring for a terminally ill loved one requires the full measure of courage, the entire weight of its meaning. There is no place to hide when the quality of a being’s life is your responsibility, when they are sick and cannot help themselves, when you love them with your whole heart. Because Obi couldn’t tell me what he wanted, it was up to me to intuit what he needed, and to judge when his suffering got to be too much. I had to be present with his pain, and love him enough to let him go. When the time came to make that decision, I made the phone call, provided a loving and safe space, and stayed with Obi as he took his last breath, with my heart open, broken and raw, loving him and letting him go—courageous.

Loving any dog takes courage. In all likelihood, you will outlive them. It might even be your responsibility to make an end of life decision for them. No matter how it happens or when, you won’t be ready, it won’t be okay–and knowing that, you open your heart, invite them into your life anyway. To love a dog, to love anything mortal, knowing you will eventually be separated, that you will ultimately lose them, is the purest form of courage I know. The magic, the medicine is that every time my heart breaks, it expands, gets stronger, and my capacity to love grows with it. Because of my grief, my loss, I have the heart of a warrior, open to both the tenderness and the terror of life.

sweet obi

Wishcasting Wednesday

from Jamie’s post

How do you wish to grow?

I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record, but it seems like every Wednesday Jamie asks a different wishcasting question, but my answer is always some version of the same thing…

I wish to grow:

Equanimity. Mental calmness, emotional stability, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation or under stress; a calm, positive emotional balance in the face of both good fortune and bad. Having an equally open attitude to all sentient beings, free of attachment, anger, and apathy. I can be judgmental, critical, and unforgiving. For example, today there was an older, stinky, potentially homeless man working out at my gym, and my animal self was getting so irritated with him, with the situation. My higher self whispered that I shouldn’t judge, knew nothing about his circumstances, and that it really wasn’t that much of a hardship for me to accept his presence, that maybe I was irritating him. I wish to respond with my higher self, to practice equanimity, forgiveness, non-judgment, to grow my heart.

Health. I wish to manifest health through rest and exercise and good food in appropriate amounts, but also through sanity, self-love and self-care. I want people to feel the energy of wellness radiating from me, to feel healthier themselves just by being near me.

Creative arts practice. This wish includes a wide range of art: music, painting, photography, lettering, acting, collaging, quilting, sewing. I wish to learn to play the ukulele, take singing lessons, be in a play, create paintings, make art using collage and lettering, start a tshirt shop, create and perform.

Spiritual practice. I wish to deepen my meditation and yoga practices, with the intention of one day training to instruct and teach, to share those important practices with others who might benefit as I have. To continue to go further with my writing, showing up honest, open and raw, and communicating the truth, using right speech. And dog, to continue to learn how to be a better companion, a more effective caretaker.

Confidence and bravery. To grow my confidence, in part in the way that Susan Piver suggests: “Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.” And also, knowing my own power, being certain of my basic goodness, my “enoughness,” and thus being brave and willing to face reality, just as it is, and to work with it.

Financial stability. This is solid now, but from that base, I’d like to continue to grow, to streamline and clarify my practices, spending and saving, to have a clear sense of the full situation, of my debt, insurance, retirement, to simplify but also invite abundance and joy.

Web design skills. This is another practical area I’d like to grow, my skills as a designer and coder, my ability to design graphics and construct layouts and code structures. There’s a lot this would enable me to do, it would foster an independence, a freedom that I long for.

Home making. I wish to continue to refine and rehabilitate the space and structure where I live, declutter and clean it, repair it, landscape and beautify. Last week’s wishcasting was all about this process, this growth.

Love. There can never be enough, and it is the answer to every question, so I wish to grow this until it fills the whole universe.