Value of Courage

What does courage mean to me?
How would I describe my emerging brand of courage?
What lessons does courage have to offer me this lifetime?
What does courage look like for me, right now, in this moment?

These inquiries emerged for me as I listened to one of my favourite podcasts this morning. Tara Brach.

The essence of courage is to willingly feel our vulnerability; this is what allows us to respond to life with an undefended, wise heart.
— Tara Brach

In her podcast, Tara explores a concept called: Courageous Presence.

She offers us three ways to cultivate this way of relating to ourselves, in the moment.

As I listened, something stirred for me. An awakening, a resonance for my relationship with courage. I am in this moment, aware of how deeply I value it AND often struggle with it. This is less about the bigger transitions I’ve moved through in life, rather, those moment to moment invitations to drop my defended heart. To open the kimono & choose in a compassionate and loving manner.

How to meet these moments?

Tara has a elegant approach to being with ourselves, called RAIN. She references this in the talk. Recognize – Allow – Investigate – Nurture.

RAIN is a four-step process Tara offers in her work that is designed to help us remember to practice mindfulness and compassion using the following four steps:

Recognize what is happening (roots of understanding)
Allow life to be just as it is (grounds of love)
Investigate with gentle attention (deepens understanding)
Nurture (awakens love)
— Tara Brach

I have a natural default to offer compassion in my ME & WE dance to others. In “R”eality this is an illusion of relating. An approach that is not sustainable and not deeply genuine.

The unfamiliar and often uncomfortable moment is in offering this to myself. Practically this has shown up lately for me in saying no, when I really mean it and facing directly what emerges inside of the risk in disappointing another. And, saying yes, when I really mean it and risk disappointing another. This is a form of what I would call, conditional courage.

What conditions are alive in your relationship with courage?

How do you direct (or distract) your present moment attention when you feel vulnerable?

Leading with a genuine heart

In our choice point to lead with a genuine heart we come face to face with what Tara calls our inner demons. She offers us to consider the demon as our habituated instinct to resist, close & defend. How do we meet vulnerable moments? How do we respond when we feel judged?

The battlefront emerges and simultaneously we’re offered the opportunity to heal and transform in a moment. The moment called, the Now.

A deeply courageous act is to meet this moment, this person, this circumstance with a consciousness of invite & allow.


Venus in Capricorn

Astrologically, Aphrodite, our Venus nature animates in the earthy, solid & wise zodiac sign of Capricorn. She transits here from Feb 3-March 1st.

Venus symbolizes many things for us in our nature. How we relate to our environment, each other, our finances & our values. She offers us clues of our heart nature. What we love, what we value.

As she transits here for the next few weeks, there is a slow & enduring quality to gain heart awareness of what values genuinely live for us.

Two final invitations to contemplate:

What values form the foundation of your life?

What role does courage play as you choose to live in alignment with your foundational values?

Ready to walk with another?