Friday, February 27, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Courage and Fear - part II

I knew there was a reason I was actually watching TV last night, surfing through the channels. I stopped for awhile on the movie The Princess Diaries, long enough to hear the character Mia (aka, the princess) reading a letter from her father. In it was this wonderful quote, quite similar to the one from Sally Kempton I posted several days ago.

"Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear.
The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all."
~Ambrose Redmoon

It is true that the work we are doing in finding our joy isn't about completely eliminating the negative in our lives. We can diminish our exposure as much as possible, which definitely helps. Things will happen that hurt us and that we don't like. It is in how we deal with them that we find that greater joy.
Fear is something that we all have at some point or another. It hurts us, and scares us, and holds us back. It keeps you where you are at and prevents you from finding more joy. It can be scary to face those fears or to act when you feel the grip of fear holding you. Just remember, everyone has fear, it is the courageous who do things anyway. And having courage doesn't mean we are without fear. It means we have found something more important than the fear and we have moved through it. More joy awaits you on the other side.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Courage and fearlessness are not the same

"...courage and fearlessness are not the same - in fact, if we didn't have fears, we wouldn't need courage. Courage implies moving through fear."
~ Sally Kempton

Reading this really did cause me to stop and think. Images of courage often bring to mind big strong people, drill sargeants and people who are fighting cancer. But I imagine that even they have fear. We may not always see the fear in others but that does not mean they are unafraid.

So what is courage? I love the statement above "Courage implies moving through fear." It means we have fear, we acknowledge it and we keep moving on. Maybe it means we unearth the root of the fear and make whatever we are fearful of less scary. If you are scared of speaking in public, you practice with a friend, then go to Toastmasters or take a class. You keep practicing and the more you learn and experience, the fear diminishes.

Maybe we don't know the depths of our own courage. We fear things because we've never had to face them. Then we are forced to face them and realize they aren't really that scary. Or we realize that we have the strength and power and fortitude to endure. That we are bigger and braver than we ever imagined.

For each of us it is different. For me, doing a marathon is scary. For others it is exhilarating. I find speaking in front of people exciting and fun. For you it may be terrifying. It's up to each of us to explore these fears, to find out what is really behind it and to move through it.

By the way, my marathon is September 19. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fear and Unmet Needs

We are on to another topic - Fear and Unmet Needs. I love the quote Laura used in this week's inspirational e-newsletter:

"We are all familiar with the Golden Rule: 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' But if you do not love yourself as much as your neighbor, you are not living the principle. If you were as kind to yourself as you are to others, you would find great peace and release."
~ Alan Cohen

I think it's no coincidence that we study Fear and Needs in the month we celebrate Valentine's Day, the day devoted to Love. Love is the opposite of Fear. And if we Love ourselves, we meet our own Needs. And we all want Love, right?

This most especially applies to ourselves. As the quote above says, "If you were as kind to yourself as you are to others, you would find great peace and release." Can you imagine what it's like to show love to yourself? Think about how you really would like people to treat you, then can you do it for yourself? If you are not taking care of yourself or meeting your own needs, why not? In honor of Valentine's Day, take time out to love yourself. Don't forget to share your ideas with us!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Never make a decision from fear...

...or anger. Both are paralyzing. And whether you can see it in the moment, they really are the same thing. In the Muselan Monday Morning Musing this week we discuss not making a decision when you are feeling fearful. But what about when you are angry?

Often times when things really tick us off, we run out and do something about it. We make a phone call, we write a letter, we get in our car and drive somewhere because, by gosh, we're going to do something about it. Or maybe we don't and we just take it out on the next person we come into contact with. Just as in making a decision from fear, making a decision from anger can cause us to act in ways we normally would not. And we often regret it later.

As I've grown more conscious I notice that when I'm angry I now have 2 paths I take in order to work it out without affecting others. #1 - I move. I go for a walk, I go do power yoga, I start cleaning like crazy. It's like the anger is a fuel and I just need to burn it off. The other way I work it out is to turn a little more introspective. The most basic way I do this is to write. I open up a new document or pull out a clean piece of paper and just write. I express all of my feelings and thoughts no matter what they are. Then I delete or throw it away. If I truly feel called to action or to make a decision, I will do it later. Sleep is always good for changing my perspective too.

What do you do to deal with your anger? How can you avoid acting or making decisions in anger?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Angry Whopper?

Today I passed a Burger King. Have you seen that they are now selling something called the "Angry Whopper"? As if our food needed to be any angrier. I've seen the commercial too. Farmers shout and yell and spit at the onion while it's growing to try to get it angry. Are we that out of new ideas?

This may deserve another discussion in the Eating module but for now I'd just like to know why our food needs to be called "Angry"? Is it a case of mistaken identity? Are the marketers trying to convey a sense of strength, or power, or spiciness or toughness? My guess is that someone thought it was funny or cute and would get attention in an attention starved world. True, it did. But not for long.

Can we please resist this new and different spin and stop this idea now before we start selling the "Angry Blackberry", the "Angry Legos", the "Angry Cola", or God forbid, the "Angry Airbus"? Let's give anger its due justice. It belongs in the heart with the other emotions. It belongs as a response to injustice. It belongs in people wanting something more and better. It belongs somewhere. Just not in a burger.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inspirational Quote

"Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness
forces you to grow beyond what you were."

~ Cherie Carter-Scott ~