April 2, 2015

Celebrate Your Courage
Over the past three years, I've come very close to understanding what courage means to me and how to celebrate courage in my day-to-day life. I see courage as the strength that shows up in the midst of grief, fear, sadness, pain and sorrow. Just like the Lion character from "The Wizard of Oz", courage is within us all, sometimes buried under layers of fear and doubt, and it takes confidence and strength to live a life with courage. I've seen courage in myself and others by means of our actions, a look, a feeling, a gesture, or even a way of being, which brings me to this story.

My late husband, Randy, displayed a courageous way of being ever since I met him, but especially after he was diagnosed with cancer in January 2012. I felt and saw his courage as he lived each day with a positive attitude, with purpose, with joy, with love and sometimes with barely enough physical strength to get out of bed. Despite his fears, and the physical and emotional pain he experienced, he persevered until he made his transition on September 26, 2013. His courage and the courage I've come to recognize in myself is what I want to celebrate with you today.

We all possess the ability to be courageous, and you don't need to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City to experience courage. The Lion, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man, all were on a journey to find the Wizard to help them, yet when they encountered the Wizard, they discovered that they possessed all the courage, a home, brains, and a heart already. My story, and the Wizard of Oz story is to spark in you a different viewpoint of courage – a viewpoint of being courageous in the midst of fear, doubt, anger, disappointment, grief and even great loss, just as I have come to realize.

On my journey, I've ridden many waves of emotions – fear, sadness, loneliness, despair, grief and feeling lost that initiated lots of crying, journaling, taking deep breaths, yoga, meditating, creating, being in nature and reaching out to others for help. In the past few months, the emotional waves have subsided, and in the process, I feel as though I've uncovered more courage. I am beginning to welcome life from a new perspective – from a place of openness, forgiveness and love. Much of my success is partly due to the deep love that Randy and I shared, his courageous way of being, and also by my innate ability to be more courageous.

Let's take a look at some possible courageous ways of being for you to celebrate.

Courageous Ways of Being –
  • Arise each day with a purpose
  • Ask for help when frustrated, stuck or overwhelmed
  • Set healthy boundaries with yourself and with others – say "No" gracefully
  • Be grateful for what shows up in your life
  • Perform acts of kindness and assist others in need
  • Share your feelings appropriately – with a friend or a professional
  • Be compassionate with yourself and with others
  • Appreciate the beauty in life
  • Smile more
  • Take deep breaths
  • See the positive in life
  • Surround yourself with loving, caring people that resonate with your values
  • Experience joy every day and rave about it
  • Honor and love yourself – your body, your mind, your gifts, your Spirit
  • Step into your fear and take action with confidence and courage
Let's go back to the Wizard of Oz story. When the Lion asked the Wizard for courage, the Wizard replied, "You have plenty of courage, I am sure. All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have plenty." I realize that I too, have plenty of courage to face my fears, begin again, start fresh, and continue on with my life after the loss of my husband.

Spring is a time of renewal, growth and new beginnings – a perfect time to step out of your comfort zone, and begin to peel away the layers of fear and doubt. Just as the grass turns green, the flowers bud, and the entire world becomes more awake to the longer days of sunshine; let nature be your guide to uncovering your confidence and your courage. This Spring, I challenge you to face your fears, be open to new beginnings, explore your courageous ways of being, and celebrate the Lion in you.

Interested in exploring your courageous ways of being with an intuitive life coach?
Contact me for a free phone-based sample session.

With courage and love,
Belen Carmichael, NLC
Intuitive Life Coach
Certified Personal Trainer

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Wellness Within is published monthly by Belen Carmichael of INNERGY Coaching, providing intuitive life coaching, nutrition and lifestyle coaching and personal training.
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