to be…courageous

i have this thing coming up this weekend. a yoga competition. i’ll get up on stage in front of a room full of people and do a three minute demonstration of yoga postures. in a leotard. by myself. few things are more unflattering on the average person than a leotard. let alone standing on stage with glaring lights and all eyes on you. this scares the bejesus out of me. no joke. but it’s a personal challenge and one i’ve been working for months towards completing.

people say it’s courageous to do this. people say i’m brave for doing it. people say that if i can do this, i can do anything.

i don’t know. i mean…i want to be courageous…but is this really it? while i agree that facing your fears is certainly an accomplishment that should not be diminished….i’m on the fence about the courage thing. the word just seems to carry a lot of weight that i’m not certain applies to me (in this particular situation at least).

bold? gutsy? a little brave perhaps?

but courageous?

to me…courage is our first responders…who run into a burning building when the rest of us are running out.

courage is my friend who continues to battle the pain and aftermath of breast cancer and the ongoing treatments she has had to endure…even though technically she is on the mend.

so i turned to the googs…

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
~ Winston Churchill

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

and this one…perhaps my favorite…not from google but from an email sent by one of my fellow yogis:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

wow those Roosevelts were some smart cookies 😉

i shouldn’t feel badly that what might be ‘courageous’ for me in my life at this moment in time is not as serious or heavy as what might be going on in someone else’s life. everyone’s journey is different. i need to be better about embracing mine for the unique path that it is rather than comparing it to others. i need to stop spending time feeling guilty that my burden might be less to bear…stop being upset about the past or fearing the future…i need to free up that energy so it can be used for all the good things to come….and so i can be there for those in my life who might need a little extra help on their journey.

bottom line…courage isn’t ever going to be a one shot deal where you go through some big bad thing and then you’re all set. it’s each and every time, being present with what scares you, facing it honestly and not looking away.

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