49. Courage

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela (7/18/1918-12/5/2013)

In this life we are constantly confronted with circumstances and situations which fear seems to lead us away from where our hearts were carrying us.  I know in my own experience it was fear that stopped me from taking a chance or investing my time in something I felt drawn to do.  I do not believe that fear will ever leave me completely but I know that my reaction to fear will dictate what I leave the universe in my wake.

I think that courage and bravery can come in so many ways, luckily there have been some incredible examples that have walked the path of courage before us to show how truly strong we can be.  I know the feeling I get on the other side of a challenge or an obstacle is such a great uplifting experience yet it still takes faith to conquer the next opportunity in my path.

Today I intend to face one of my biggest fears by leaning on the experiences of my fellows and my faith that I am making the right choice in my life.  By making a conscious decision in this moment I believe I am setting forth the motion needed to follow through on my commitment.  When it is time I will choose bravery over weakness and faith over fear, knowing the results will be exactly the way they are supposed to be.  It takes lots of risks to learn the truth about fear, today I will grow in understanding and effectiveness.

Affirmation: In this moment I choose courage over fear!!!

Call To Action:  I s there something in your life that you know inside yourself that you need to conquer?  Why not make today the day that you choose courage over fear?  The more courageous choices we make the better suited we will be to face the certain challenges ahead, today is the day to put in some practice and tell us how it goes so that we can all grow through each others experiences.

33. Willingness

“The amount of good luck coming your way depends on your willingness to act.” – Barbara Sher

Over the last week I have been in constant thought about the idea of willingness.  I had heard a story about how Socrates tested Plato’s willingness to seek knowledge by drowning him.  To only explain that it would not be until he was as willing to fight for knowledge in the way that he was fighting for breath could he continue to learn.  This example at first glance seems a harsh way to get a message across but it carries so much weight for me right now.

I believe today that I can effectively create just about anything I want out of life.  This belief comes from all of the changes that I have seen manifest over the last several years of putting change at the forefront of my life experience.  Without a doubt every avenue which I have taken the time to identify, the willingness to change it and the effort required I have gotten results and my life has gotten better,  As I write this now I can see several other areas where I feel change could be good.

If I honestly ask myself why I am in the same place I was when I recognized that a change would be desirable in certain areas the answer becomes very clear.  I simply have not become willing enough to work on them.  I may talk about them and start to believe the lie that I am doing all that is necessary to change them, but I am not.  If I really want a change in any area of my life I need to consider the lesson that Plato learned that day.  If I truely want my current situation to change I should focus on it with the willingness of a drowning man.  Only at that point can I say that I gave it everything I had.

Affirmation: In this moment I am willing to do the next right action.  (immediately followed by action)

Call To Action:  Years ago I would talk about wanting to get back in shape and I never did yet I would complain about my physical status and make excuses.  At some point the excuses got old and something needed to be changed.  I worked on one thing, being willing.  Willingness brought on a commitment that has not left me since.  What are you still waivering on?  Are you being honest about your effort?  Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get the result you want?  Please share your experiences with us.

23. Health

“Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it.” -Unknown

As I was browsing the internet the other day I saw the quote above and was completely struck by how simple yet profound it was.  I immediately brought into mind all of the little bumps and bruises I have had over the course of my life time and how consuming they become, so much so that they outweigh anything else that the present moment offers.  Next I started to think about the people in my life who I have seen come under much greater physical challenges than I have ever had to face and how their whole reality was transformed and focused on this lack of health.

My experiences as I stated are small but it seems even the little things create such a mental circus in my head.  I recently chomped on my tongue so hard that it hurt for a week.  I would tell myself every time that I felt the pain while eating to never eat so unconsciously again that something like this could happen.  That process held up for that week being reminded over and over again how great it is to not experience pain when eating or swallowing.  Just as every other example that I could site, once the pain went away I completely forgot about the resolutions that I had made to live more consciously and take better care of myself, I was really just back to business as usual.

There are several experiences that I have seen in others on a much more severe scale that have been shown to be much more transformative.  The first one that comes to mind is the great change in attitude and outlook that I have seen enter some cancer survivors that I know.  Through the process of losing all conception of what health was and being forced to see the value in it, once recovery would take place, it seems an inner shift occurs as well and their whole attitude and outlook on life transforms too.  They had experienced drastic changes physically that offered a gateway to gratitude for something as simple as a pain free day.

With this knowledge I get to ask myself a few questions; Am I healthy?  Am I showing gratitude for the health that I have?  What am I doing to stay and grow in healthy ways today?  If I honestly look at these questions I can quickly say that overall I am a very healthy person, I exercise, I eat consciously and I try my best to focus on the things that are good in me today.  So in some ways I believe I am grateful but I think that I have so much room to grow in this area.  When I bit my tongue I spent so much time and focus on how painful and problematic that issue was, I have never focused that much love into the little things that my body blesses me with everyday.  When I look at it this way it seems like a complete lack of balance. I know in this moment that I don’t want to have to wait to lose something to see the blessings I have right in front of me today.

Affirmation: I am blessed to recognize the value of the health that I have in this moment; today I will focus on all the parts of me that are perfect healthy and whole.

Call to Action: Time to do some work!  My back hurts, my leg is sore, I have a blister…  These stories become our complete reality but while they are obvious concerns the rest of the machine that makes up our bodies are working in perfect harmony.  Today my back may be hurt but that will not define me, My head is clear, My hands feel strong, I breathe with ease and comfort and I can enjoy even the spiciest meal with complete comfort.  Also this may be the time to look at some of those things which are consciously taking away this precious gift of health that you can still seize.  Time to get honest, eh? What health blessings do you have today?  I have ten fingers and toes and for that I am grateful.

happy healthy whole

21. Intuition

“Cease trying to work everything out with your minds.  It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be revelation.”  – Eileen Caddy

I just recently moved in to a new place. The idea behind this place is for people to come together, live in community, and develop a rhythm of life through prayer, mediation, and service. It is an interesting and new endeavor for me, and sometimes I am baffled that this is something that I would be interested in doing.

This past Sunday we had a house blessing, and many people were invited from throughout the community. The days leading up to the event I sent some e-mails, talked to people inviting them to the Sunday event, and so did other people that are involved with this project. When the hour arrived for people to start showing up I was amazed and overwhelmed by the number of people that showed. There have only been a handful of times where I felt as supported as I did on Sunday. It reminded me when I follow that intuition in my stomach amazing things happen.

About 14 months ago I made the decision to move back to my hometown, something I was “never” going to do. I came to help family and decide what my next move was to be. I am basically writing this on my anniversary of moving back. I am now locked in to a unique and fascinating thing for a year, and I have the most amazing anxiety, openness, and hope to what the next year might bring.

Today as you walk through your life and your intuition is telling you something, or you are headed down a path that logically seems a bit unheard of, try to remember that we have something deep within our being that is guiding us for the greater good. The people that truly love you will understand and respect this outlook to life. Follow your heart and take in others suggestions, but always remember that when your head hits the pillow at night you only have one person to answer to, and that is yourself.

Affirmation: In this moment I am guided and directed towards who and what I should be.

Call to Action:  Is there something that you feel is right in your life that you are too scared to follow?  I know when I stop trying to figure it out and follow the simple steps in front of me the results are always better than my mind can fathom.  Share your blocks and experiences with us, help us all grow.


20. Rewards

“Before the reward there must be labor.  You plant before you harvest.  You sow in tears before you reap joy.”  – Ralph Ransom

Last weekend I was able to take an amazing trip to one of the most beautiful places that I have seen in my lifetime. I went on this adventure with one of my lifelong friends and a large group of acquaintances. This place is special for so many reasons, it is off of the beaten path, far away from civilization, lightly traveled and you have to put in work to get to this far off location.

When I first heard of this opportunity I was struck with the fears that come with any new adventure, can I take the time away from my busy life, am I prepared for the struggles that are involved with the journey and will it be worth it.  As with most fears, I put in my end of the work, I did my best to clear the space in my schedule, I adjusted my mindset to allow for a successful trip and I trusted in the people who went before me to believe that the journey was worth it.

The reward that I received through the effort I put forth in preparation and effort once I began far exceeded anything I could have planned for.  The location was so incredibly beautiful, there was a true connection to nature and a bond built with the other people who I took the trip with. The work that I put in paid off.

As with most great achievements and gifts that I receive, I try to relate them back to my day-to-day life.  I often find that I am unwilling to prepare and put forth the effort but I always want the reward.  In truth, a lot of the time I can get away with that. This experience showed me something much deeper, there was no way to get the benefit without the work.  The greatest benefit was the feeling of accomplishment for doing something that was so foreign to me.  I think what this means for me is the more I put forth all the effort necessary the sweeter the rewards will be.

Affirmation: In this moment I am so grateful for the chance to see that I truly do reap what I sow.

Call to Action:  Are there any places in your life where you expect an outcome but are not willing to put in the work.  Does it sometimes feel like the rewards you are getting are unwarranted?  Is there a better way and more fulfillment around the corner if you put forth a more honest and concerted effort.  I know there are some places where this is very true for me…how about you?

Reward 1