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Celebrate Fear — Expand Your Courage

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Ah, Halloween.  That time of year when we actually celebrate being scared.  What better time could there be to look at our courage and maybe even bump it up a notch?

Most of us hold a false belief that gets in the way of us stepping fully into our courage.  We erroneously think courage is the absence of fear.  In other words, we believe if we are feeling fear, then we’re not being courageous.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

In fact, the opposite is true —  in order to be courageous,  we must feel fear.  If we don’t feel fear, than we have nothing to be courageous about.

Think about it.  If you’re not afraid of something, then you don’t need any courage to overcome it.  I don’t need courage to butter my toast, change my socks or floss my teeth, because I have no fear of those things.  It’s only when I need to summon up my inner strength that courage comes into play, so…

Courage requires fear.

This concept goes so deeply against the commonly-held idea of bravery that I’m going to repeat it again.

Courage requires fear.

It can only kick in when we are feeling fear and choose to step fully into the thing that scares us (rather than run the other way).  And because we each fear different things, courage looks different for each and every one of us.

I actually need a dose of courage every time I approach a computer.  I’m a true technophobe – the old school kind – and something as simple as managing this blog has forced me to step fully into my “discomfort zone.”

The cool thing about walking through your fear is that, as long as you do it with awareness (make sure you’re breathing through it!), then it always transforms you and expands your world.

Your third chakra is your “courage center.”  It is ruled by the element of fire, and fire transforms.

Nowadays, for instance, I am totally comfortable doing a handstand in the middle of the room.  But not too long ago, just the idea of doing one sent my heart racing. By gradually walking through my fear and continually summoning up my courage – I transformed my practice, and my very being.

This is the reward of courage.  It transforms fear – especially when we consistently re-visit our scared places.

Sometimes, though, the shift can be instantaneous. When a fear is mostly mental (as most are) and bears very little relation to reality, just walking through it once can completely dismantle our misconception.

Think of the proverbial “monster under the bed.”  If you can turn the light on, and be brave enough to actually look under the bed, you see there are only dirty socks and dust bunnies under there.

So, do that.  Rather than let the fear overcome you, see it as an invitation to get courageous.  Turn on the light, and look under your  bed.  Dispel your “Boogie Man.  Halloween provides ample opportunity for you to celebrate your fear — and step fully into your courage.

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