Seven Souls One Musing : Volume 7

Seven Souls One Musing is a interview series where I ask 7 people to reflect on 1 theme. If you’d like to be involved in the future, send your full name, website address & twitter handle (if you have one) to : kindovermatterblog(at)gmail(dot)com : I will not be replying but I will file your email to ask you to contribute in the future! Thank you!

I love the way my friend Kate from Your Courageous Life defines Courage: feeling afraid, diving in anyway & transforming.

This week I asked 7 beautiful souls (including myself!) to muse on this:

Courage : Talk about a big or small risk that you were fearful to take but did anyway.

Amelia Maness-Gilliland
Mom’s Daily Retreat
In 2010 my guiding word was “fearless.” I felt especially pulled to make changes in my life that I knew would stretch me way beyond my comfort zone. I’d spent more than 15 years in higher education where my writing and teaching centered around cerebral topics that were always grounded in statistics and data. Yet I found myself feeling pulled in a different direction, one that was less defined. Since I struggled to articulate it, I knew I’d have difficulty explaining it to anyone else. Nonetheless, my soul had whispered that I needed to have faith and fearlessly open myself up to making changes. I gradually eased my way out of higher education and shifted my focus, experience and training to working with women. No longer immersed in academia, I began to write, creatively- wow- what an empowering experience it has been. I reflect on my childhood, having been raised by parents who were both artists and have wondered why it took me four decades to arrive here. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have an answer, I’m just grateful that I took the risk to be true to myself.

Fran Riley
The Inspiration Station
I want to share with you a story from my life, a real example of how courage can turn things around. It is a humble offering, and in no way compares to the many mighty displays of bravery we see in the world. It is, however a tangible touchstone, a reminder that we can contact our power and refuse to be a victim.

I was recovering from a messy relationship breakup, feeling fragile and fragmented. I decided I needed to get away and contacted some people working on an organic farm in France. The farm was in an obscure little village and getting there was quite a journey, involving an overnight stop in a major city.

So there I was, in my pokey hotel room, wondering why the hell I thought this might be good to restore my confidence. I was feeling weak and disorientated and hadn’t eaten all day, so I set off in search of food.

I must have had ‘victim and vulnerable’ written all over me, because almost every other male lurched and leered at me, muttering things I’m pretty sure were not ‘good evening, madame’. With every unwelcome advance I felt myself retreat a little more until I was close to a full blown panic.

I fled into a well known burger joint, somewhere I can’t stand, but I was desperate, I joined the queue and waited for something else I didn’t want. Half way down the line something in me spoke up, loud and strong.

‘Sod this for a game of soldiers’, she bellowed, ‘I haven’t come all this way to eat this crap, I have as much right to be here as anyone, I’m going to damn well get me some french food.’

…and so I marched out and into a lovely bistro, drank vin rouge and ate a lovely meal. I walked back to my room, same me, wearing the same clothes, down the same road, but the big difference?

Not one person bothered me.

Amanda Rosen
Charmingly Modern
Undoubtedly, if you could describe my life for the past four years in one word, you’d use the word ‘risk-taker.’ After getting married, I decided – with the help of my husband, of course! – to strike out on my own as an entrepreneur. It was scary; the timing wasn’t all that great (especially being newly married and not exactly financially stable) but I went for it anyway. And while that initial business venture didn’t succeed, it led to a series of risk-taking choices with my career that ultimately brought me to what I do today, which is co-own a handmade boutique with my mom and sister. Sometimes a “failure” is exactly the thing you need in order to learn how to truly be successful. I’ve worn many hats, and I’m thankful I had the courage to try each one on. Without that risk, I would have missed out on so many lessons, so much knowledge and, ultimately, I wouldn’t have found my passion or the courage to pursue that passion.

Marthe Hagen
The Freedom Experiment
One of the biggest risks I have taken lately is to open up to people. I have decided to be completely honest with all my friends and online about my depression and other mental health problems. I feared that people would look at me differently after they knew that I obviously wasn’t perfect. But risks shouldn’t be measured by the amount of fear we feel, but the amount of what we can gain. Looking at it this way, this was a huge risk. I have gained so much from sharing my insecurities and worries. People have opened up to me and I have only been met with love and support. This has helped me accept myself, and it has also helped me help others who struggle with the same issues. So the next time you are faced with a risk, look at what you can gain, not the size of your fear.

Elena Patrice
A big risk to me was launching my blog and now adding video to the mix (talk about intimidating!). I’m working my way to define my voice as being an advocate for small business and exploring social responsibility for small business as well; so there’s definitely a certain amount of fear and insecurity that comes with it. There are many wonderful bloggers and resources that one can compare themselves to; however it takes a lot of courage to just blaze your own trail and not try to measure up to those ahead. Following another’s journey and watching their progression is very educational and allots for even greater courage. Allowing passion and knowledge to work its way and speak through you is key. I don’t think you can really go wrong that way. What’s more terrifying to me than anything is not moving ahead and letting opportunities pass. The fears I experience now are nothing compared to what they’d be if I looked back and saw nothing.

Aleathia Drehmer
La Spectatrice
Recently my friend and I were talking and he told me “the only thing that is constant is change”. This stopped me in my tracks. I had heard this phrase so many times in my life and thought I understood what it meant, but until that moment, in those circumstances, did I really understand its meaning. We are never going to be settled into one thing. Our lives intersect daily with something new thus changing who we are and building upon the person we thought we were. I had to take a personal risk to look at this truthfully. Change is scary. Not knowing what is around the corner is frightening. It is so much easier to live in an imagined world where you control the comings and goings and things can remain as stable as you desire. But in this life, if we are honest with ourselves, things will always change whether we are ready or not. The only thing we can hope for is that someone will be there to hold our hands.

Amanda Oaks
Kind Over Matter
When I was 21 I decided to move to a city, into an apartment by myself, without a car. I barely knew a soul. I lived above a family that didn’t speak English in an old building close to the historic part of downtown. Fresh out of a relationship that ended in mutual friendship, I decided to go to school 4 hours away from my friends & family to study Human Services. I luckily found a cute attic apartment with hardwood floors & stained glass windows, I loved that place. On the surface, I was fearless, but deep down, I was sweatin’ it a little, wondering if I picked the right part of town to live in. Wondering if I could make it on my own going to school & working full-time. I had been out on my own since I was 17 but I had always lived with someone, sharing expenses & sharing my life. Living by myself, I was able to find myself. Not only did I explore the city on foot, I explored my soul. I stayed up late, I made new friends, I typed out poetry on a vintage typewriter, I cooked dinner in my skivvies. I made good decisions & I learned from bad decisions. I read, I meditated, I loved. I lived. While I did get homesick from time to time & would visit a once or twice a month, that stretch of independence, learning to be alone with & love myself, shaped who I am. I am proud of myself for taking that vital risk.

So now, we are turning the question on you:

Courage : Talk about a big or small risk that you were fearful to take but did anyway.

Leave your answers in the comments, we can’t wait to read them!

| Learn the craft of knowing how to open your heart & to turn on your creativity. There’s a light inside of you : Join us here : Be Gentle, Be Love : 30 Days of Cultivating Your Virtues with Creativity |

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