Cowardly Lions

“Courage cannot exist in isolation. Just as a flower needs sun, air, soil, and water to bloom, your courage depends on your interdependence with people and things. You must contemplate deeply to understand that when you do what is possible, you are not in free fall, but are cradled by your interdependence with the world around you. For example, you may decide to marry or to have a child, quit a job, risk an investment, explore your emotional past, or sign up to go back to college after many years’ absence. Your work is to distinguish what is important enough to require your commitment and what is not worthy of your courage. You can rest assure that when you act from true courage, the people, the tools, and your own inner knowing needed for the heroine’s journey will be available to you.” Living Your Yoga, by Judith Lasater, page43-44

Courage. I cannot help but think of the Cowardly Lion when I hear the word courage. Courage is all the Lion wanted, but he was so “cowardly” that he wanted someone else to give it to him, to help him find it, almost gift it in a way. It wasn’t till he was protecting Dorothy from the Wicked Witch that he realized that he had courage all along. As Oz pointed out, all he had to do was look within. How many times do we think we lack courage? How many times do we feel so small or meek that we can’t see our own power or potential? How many times do we shy away from opportunities because we tell ourselves that “we cannot do this”, “it is too risky”, “I will fail”, “insert other self-deprecating comment”? Probably more than we would like to admit. I know I do…

Recently I made a HUGE leap of faith, stepped out on a risk, went out of my comfort zone…I opened a yoga studio. Having my own studio was a dream that I didn’t think was possible at this point in my life. Certain things begin to open up and the idea of having my own space was starting to become real. At first I kept backing out, being scared. I am not a risk taker in shape or fashion and I do not like failing (huge fear of failure complex here). You can say I was lacking the courage to step out on my own. Lacking the courage to take this risk, the courage to follow my dream with abandon.

I have an amazing husband who helps me to take risks and step out on courage. With his help and support I walked out on my bridge of courage. It may have been a little rickety, like those rickety old bridges in fairy tales that cross a swamp, but nonetheless I started my journey across that bridge. I signed a rental agreement. I choose colors for the walls. I wrote a mission statement. I even opened up multiple social media accounts and put my phone number out in the public (I like to think of myself as very Ron Swanson when it comes to public information). My husband was the Oz to my Cowardly Lion. Showing me that I have the courage and strength within me. He constantly illuminates my courage. Each day I have to walk that bridge of courage as I operate my studio. There are days I am shaky, I think I don’t have any courage left, but I just have to illuminate myself like my husband does. Lift my head up high, straightforward gaze on the other end of the bridge and walk. Walk to the other side…

Do you see yourself as a Cowardly Lion? Do you run away when opportunity presents it self? Do you believe you are not worthy and keep living in fear? Do you think you have no courage? You do! All you have to do is look deep within and you will find it. When you find your courage you will see that life changes. Your point of view changes. The obstacle in your way suddenly becomes less scary. It even seems feasible! And you didn’t even need a Glenda or a Toto, though dogs do make better…

So how can you be courageous today? What is the one thing that you need to be strong to face? Just remember you are strong. You are courageous. You are not a cowardly lion.

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