The roiling ups and downs of life, which I like to call ‘hard knocks’, have shaped me, and at times slapped me, in ways I didn’t see coming.  I expect it did the same for you.

The abstract truism stating that if you have in fact survived life and all its attending difficulties this far, you’ve blossomed into a rockstar of sorts and the ongoing struggle to become more and transcend into greater effectiveness is simply due to a set of bad thinking habits you’re refusing to let slip away.

I see why it’s hard to let that type of chronic thinking go.

In the sanctuary of your thought-world, the troubles wresting you to the ground, appears to be special to no one but you.  It’s outside your realm of imagination to think your particular grinding hardship could belong to anyone but you.

It’s not true, and in your heart you know it, right? I won’t go into the math, however, the probability is quite high that someone in close vicinity to you is precariously duking it out with similar challenges.

If you must, blame ‘Murphy’s Law’. I’m paraphrasing by stating how its influence affects you, but just be aware that more things can go wrong than right. Some also refer to this phenomenon as entrophy, the randomization of life where nothing is certain and where the battle between light and dark continuously fight it out.

All this sounds downright pessimistic but not really. Just know the game you’ve signed on to play.

Situations will go sideways, people will betray you and misbehave, financial situations will catch you off guard, projects will crash, the car will die.  On and on it goes, but remember, this is your game and knowing what’s required and that change is always in the making is the hallmark of a well prepared player.

If you are still looking for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror. Create and don’t waste your time.

So, if things go wrong, what are you to do?  If life is constantly shifting and requires change on your part, what are you to do?

The answer is simple, but not always easy.  Ratchet up your courage.

That’s it really.  No deep abiding secret hiding from you at every turn as some may think.

Courage is not confidence.  Courage has the ability to move you into spaces confidence can’t go. Courage lights up and engages people, places and things when confidence stops its magnetic influence, it moves into position when fear and crippling self-doubt takes hold of you and your best intentions.

Much of my life was mired in fear.  Courage alluded me at key moments, usually when time to speak up for myself, or speak out against injustice.

Courage remained silent when time to ignite fire into my next level growth and create the connections to make it so.  For the life of me, I couldn’t stir this power when I needed it most.

So how did things change? What happened to shift me from wilting wallflower, to power-house mojomaker and maven?

The Essence Of Courage

Truckloads of articles, books and studies exist on the topic of courage; how to reach, tap in and turn on its succulent flow. To me, courage was something I witnessed others engaged in. I grew jealous watching them shift and mould their circumstances even when at their stickiest and most intense.  Understanding how to get to that point escaped me.

Then I figured it out, for me.

I’m a woman of a certain age, specifically in my mid-50’s.  To the best of my knowledge, I’ve lived more than half  my life. With this imminent fact staring me down, the big decision to make an audacious move knocked at the recesses of my mind.  The choice facing me was this; if I did nothing, a slow roll into regret would begin, picking up speed as the years mounted like a hurricane gathering destructive force before it hit land.

I panicked, perhaps not the best motivator, but it worked like gang-busters for me.

By-the-way, did you catch what shifted me? I’ll tell you again.  I made a decision.  My decision will be different than yours but at its foundation, the similarities are striking.  The decision to move forward despite the ‘dragons’ lurking in shadows every step of the way, was my only choice if I wanted my golden next level experience.

The essence of regret was more potent than the fear of being seen, looking foolish, or scaly, fire-breathing beasts chasing me down long corridors.

The Great Adventure

The question to ask is, ‘why are you here?’ Are you here to be entrenched in tedium, going through the motions; showing up at a job that barely challenges you, paying bills that never stop coming, responding to the occasional social obligation while looking forward to the blessed release of the weekend or your next scheduled day off? Or is your heart straining forward to long held desires that won’t be satisfied until you decide to unhook from things, and thoughts that bind you, thus castrating your efforts to go forward?

I say hell be damned and break out.

Drop the shackles right now and break free.

Shout. Yell. Scream. Cry. Do whatever it takes to unleash and go.  Go like your life depends on it, because it does.

Let people see you make this ‘holy’ departure from the muddy pond of life.  Allow others to witness your ‘great undoing’.  Allow them to revel in the glory of your great escape from the mundane.

Give them a peek of what’s possible.

Shine, glow, become, be.

As an intelligent being, you’ve sensed time ticking away. Your energy reserves are also dipping precariously low at each turn of the clock.

Now is the time. It’s all you have.

Courage demands attention.

It won’t be easy. The essence of courage requires a willingness to jump in and start moving in unfamiliar ways.  The path will open up so forget about looking for the ‘hows’ before you decide to make your move.

I was once stifled within the confines of a life that had stagnated long before my awareness it had done so.  All my previous decisions that created those circumstances were not a total waste of energy.  Those choices felt good and were necessary at the time, however, their effectiveness had slowly worn down and it was time to move on.

Life presented me with the opportunity to relocate across the country and begin life anew although I lacked many resources; money, contacts and friends.  Was it scary? Of course. Was it necessary? Perhaps. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Upon arrival on the West shores of the country, my next steps were unclear but with courage in abundance I knew things would turn out fine.  Was it scary? Of course and sometimes, still is.

When you finally make your thrilling move, write down all you see, hear and the stupendous personal encounters that will come your way.  It will be the adventure of your life. It’s the stuff novels and great memoirs are made of, so stop and take time to write it all down.

The essence of courage is sweet and sultry. Bittersweet yet exciting.

It will shake you to your very core but will blissfully enlighten you to the fact that life is worth living and your place in it needed. Yes, you’ll frightened yourself at times, but it’s par for the course. The trepidation will lessen and then and only then will you know you’re truly alive and finally living.




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