Courage…

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“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” William Faulkner

Whether you are feeling weak or courageous today, remember, that there is very little difference between the two states of being.  Both have fear.  It is said that the coward listens to his fears and becomes frozen by them and/or controlled by them.  The courageous person puts them aside and pushes through or meanders around the obstacles and refuses to be ruled by dread.

Courage is strength to face pain, grief and anxiety and to act with valour and unashamed assault.  It doesn’t mean fearlessness, because fearlessness can lead to reckless abandon and therefore real danger, but it means confronting the unknown in spite of fears.  Understand the difference between apprehension and the irrational triggers of fear.  Fear confines us, keeps us ‘stuck in the mud’, and limits our ability to grow and to experience a harmonious life-style.

When we feel threatened, vulnerable, and fragile or weakened, FEAR rises like a powerful, comic-book monster ready to disarm us and carry us off emotionally on a trail of negativity and hopelessness.  Doubt and false assumptions set in – weakening us more and more.  Sometimes we have to face immense fear in our lives especially if we leave the shore of our personal safety and shelter.

However, fear is not tangible nor is it visible, but it does exist in our minds.  We bring it to life and then act upon it and out of it – often to dire consequences for ourselves and those around us.

Fear is an emotion – a distressing one at that.  But it is just an emotion, caused by threat, real or imagined.  And it is felt in many, many forms. Fear of spaces, heights, social situations, commitment, spiders, the future…..and it is so potent at times that it can cause us to become confused, illogical, and anxious.  Acting out of fear can also become habitual and can cause us to spiral downwards whenever we are confronted by something that hurts us or that we don’t understand.

Ironically we can bring our fears to life.  Many times fear is simply a decision.  And courage is the warrior to annihilate it.  The question is how?

Shun your fears by believing in your strength and abilities.  Believe in yourself.  Make peace with your world and those around you, so that you do not create stories in your head and create angst based on false assumptions. Trust your senses, your intuition.  By doing this you will know naturally the path to follow.  Many fears are born of fatigue.  Be Mindful.  Rest.

And know this…..too busy a life can breed fear of failure, because it is simply impossible to achieve all that you want to do immediately.

And do remember, we all possess the trait of courage inherently.  It comes from deep within.  All we have to do is muster it and set it to the wind.

 

x Annemaree x

‘Courage’ features on the meditation App ‘Insight Timer’.  Insight Timer Courage…

Photo by Bryce Evans on ‘Unsplash’

 

 

 

 

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Let Go…

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This precious moment…

In the words of the late, renowned author Dr. Wayne Dyer:

“There’s an irony to this habit of letting your mind drift to other times and other places. You can only drift off in the now, because now is all you ever get. So drifting off is a way of using up your present moments. You do indeed have a past, but not now! And, yes, you have a future, but not now! You can consume your ‘now’ with thoughts of “then” and “maybe,” but that will keep you from the inner peace you could experience”.

As you reflect upon these words, become aware of your breath, in the now, and your mind will not wander off into the past and gather all the emotions that rise up with the past.

We need to let go of the past.  We need to understand that “Whatever happened back then was meant to happen”.  Nothing else could have happened.  We traumatize ourselves by questioning over and over ‘if only I had done that’ – ‘things would have been different’.  But you didn’t do that….and you cannot change the past.  So why did we make those decisions and why did those things happen?  Simply to teach us a lesson, yes, to teach us lessons, so that we may grow and heal.  We need to listen to the wisdom of our past.

We also try to live in the future.  How futile is that?  We simply create stories.  We don’t know what is going to happen in the future.  We may convince ourselves that we do but on what premise?  We worry; we fear; we dramatize; we create ‘to do’ list after ‘to do’ list; we want and want; we use so much energy ‘thinking’ about the future that we miss the ‘now’.  We miss this precious moment.

Some of us cannot escape the past and believe that the future is forever linked to it.  And so if we don’t escape our past, we carry it with us and often don’t realize that by doing so, we carry on with the same thoughts, behaviours and habits that are no longer useful.  The future doesn’t have anything to do with the past.  We just think it does. We need to let go of the future too.

Truly living is ‘living’ in this moment. The moment is fleeting.  We need to grasp it and cherish it.

I am often asked to connect this beautiful poem with the author….a poem I read to my students and one which I read to myself….often!

 

I was the type of person,

That held onto things too tight,

Unable to release my grip,

When it no longer felt right,

And although it gave me blisters,

And my fingers would all ache,

I always thought that holding on,

Was worth the pain it takes.

I used to think in losing things,

I’d lose part of me too,

That slowly I’d become someone,

My heart no longer knew.

Then one day something happened,

I dropped what I had once held dear,

But my soul became much lighter,

Instead of filled with fear.

And it taught my heart that some things,

Aren’t meant to last for long,

They arrive to teach you lessons,

And then continue on.

You don’t have to cling to people,

Who no longer make you smile,

Or do something you’ve come to hate,

If it isn’t worth your while.

That sometimes the thing you’re fighting for,

Isn’t worth the cost,

And not everything you ever lose,

Is bound to be a loss.

-e.h.

x Annemaree x

Thank you Erin Hanson for allowing me to use your beautiful poem.  Erin Hanson Poetry

‘Let Go’ features on the meditation App ‘Insight Timer’.  Insight Timer Let Go

 

Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

 

 

 

To laugh often and much….

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As I teach more and more yoga I see more and more behaviours on the mat related to stress, striving, winning, comparing, judging, hurrying, fear, impatience, lack of confidence, grief, and I could go on and on and on.

I know that my students reflect my attitudes and behaviours too and thanks to them I have learned more about myself than any personal development book/wise man/guru could teach me!

In doing so, it has taken me some years to understand how many of these behaviours stem from the need/desire to be “successful”‘.  What on earth is that?  If you ask Western children today, what do they want to be when they grow up…..often the response is to be ‘famous’!  As a small child I don’t recall ever wanting to be famous for the sake of it!  (Infamous maybe but not famous).  It’s true that success wears many cloaks but having thousands of Facebook friends doesn’t cut it for me.

What is success to you? I recently was in the home of a lovely friend who pointed out how successful her husband was because of what he had provided for she and her family, but didn’t see, in any way, her so-called success.   Apart from the fact that I was sitting in a stunningly, beautifully designed home, speaking to her charming son, and having just walked through a garden fit to be in Vogue Living (all produced, designed and nourished by her I might add),  she saw her husband as successful but not herself.  In fact she sees herself as not ambitious, nor driven and yet she ambles through life creating a magnificent haven/ambience for her family. Success? Surely!

Yes money can certainly be a sign of success if put to good use but so too can the creation of a garden. For what is more beautiful? A dollar note or a rose?

And how blessed can you be to not feel as though you have to strive every day?  Have you considered what it is like just to be, to potter, to be present?  Ask someone who has been given one year to live, what success is?  I did this week. And the answer was simply, to live in the present with those I love’.  End of subject.

And sometimes I play a beautiful piece of music in my classes which is interrupted for a split second with these words…”When our bones turn to dust the two most important things in life will have been how much we loved and how much we gave”.

Some years ago I visited mother Theresa’s (now St. Theresa’s) homes in Pashupatinath (Nepal) and Pondicherry (India) and experienced first-hand (whilst being humbled to my very core) what she created in her life and what these lively, little nuns (yes they all seem little) do for the disabled, poor, abandoned etc. Giving and loving – in a nutshell.

Surely these are the two greatest qualities of the human race?  Surely what stems from these is happiness. And isn’t being happy – success?

Oh if we all just loved and gave…..what an idealist I am!

So when you feel you are not ‘successful’, think again or plant a tree!  That will do it.

Such a small gift to the earth can give shade, safety and joy and all it takes is a thought, a seedling and a moment in time.

Annemaree x

 

“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded”.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Pic: By Jaime Murcia, children from The East West Overseas Foundation, TEWOAF, Tamil Nadu, India.