I meant to take photographs of my garden in the snow last week. Of a magical wonderland with snow settled on the branches of the trees. But I missed the chance.
The next morning I got up to naked branches again. A thaw had set in overnight. In a few hours the garden transformed to ordinary. Bare grey and brown branches again. The sparkle was gone.
While I was sad I didn’t get the photos, I was glad I’d been able to take in the fleeting beauty of the white garden. While it was there.
It was a reminder that everything in my life has a departure date. I have a departure date. There’ll come a day when the trees may still be there, but I won’t.
That thought doesn’t depress or upset me at all. It’s a fact that I’m entirely comfortable with, surrendered to.
Every day has a richness to it now that I once would have found hard to believe. A peace of mind and serenity that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Each day becomes significant when you wake up to the fact that life is precious. Your life is precious. And it matters. What you do, who you are, what you think, and what you say, matters.
Whatever is holding you back from living the life you were born to live, you only get to challenge while you’re here. Life moves swiftly on.
Each day brings you closer to that final curtain. How do you want your story to end? The trajectory you’re on now will determine it. Unless you change that.
If you don’t like where that road is taking you, there’s something you need to call forth from within. And start steering the vehicle of you in another direction.
Do you remember the lion in the Wizard of Oz? He made the long trek to see the wizard because he wanted the wizard to give him courage. Yet the journey he took revealed the courage that was there all along. That which he couldn’t connect with in his belief that he had none!
His belief about himself wasn’t true. It wasn’t a lack of courage that caused him to suffer, but a thought he held in his mind.
Your mind will always play tricks with you. Its currency is illusion. Courage isn’t born of the mind but of the heart. It’s woven into you. You can no more shed your courage than you can shed your skin.
Yet like that lion, you can lose touch with it at times.
I hear often “I wish I had the courage to…” (leave this dead relationship…change my career…stop drinking…ask that girl out…come and see you), fill in the blanks.
It would be far more accurate to say “I’ve lost touch with the courage that would enable me to…”
There’s truth and power in that recognition. And that recognition is the first step to becoming intimate with your courage again. As you acknowledge you’ve lost touch with it, the ball’s in your court. The choice to reconnect with it is yours to make.
In everything, look for your point of choice. Where is it? What does it look like in this situation? Because a point of choice is a point of power.
Authentic power and courage flow through every beat of your heart. Through every rise and fall of your breath.
In wishing for courage, to be able to make changes in your life, you’re on that yellow brick road. In fantasy land. Off to see the wizard. Looking for something or someone on the outside to give you what’s been in your own heart the whole time.
As long as you believed the lie that you didn’t have it, you couldn’t see it. You made the lie more powerful than the truth. And then you became its prisoner. Not seeing that the keys to your dank cell have always been resting in your own hands.
Reconnecting with your courage is a matter of life or death. It is that important. I’ve actually known people who got sick and died because they’d lost touch with their courage. With that which would have enabled them to get out of a situation that was killing them.
I remember a time in my own life when I woke up one morning knowing “If I don’t get out of here I will die. This will kill me”. I got out. And never looked back.
When you look back into your own life you will see times when you took your courage into your hands and acted on it. When you did what needed to be done. Said what needed to be said.
To look for evidence of the truth will serve you better than nursing a lie.
If you’re out of touch with your courage now, see its appearance in your life in the past. Look for it, it’s there. You will find it when you look deep enough.
The road to deep intimacy with your courage is a concrete, straight one. You get on it by making a choice today to do or say one small thing that requires courage. And acknowledge yourself for making that choice.
Then do it again tomorrow.
Courage isn’t something that descends on you. A wizard can’t wave a magic wand and give it to you. It’s an inherent part of you, which like a muscle, you build daily.
Every small choice for courage builds on itself. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself thinking, speaking and acting with courage. The courage that’s been there all the time. Waiting for you to awake from your slumber.
You’ll look in the mirror and see what a truly courageous man looks like. See that what you’ve wished for has always been within you.
When the final curtain comes down on your life there’ll be no time left to make choices. No time left to pick up any courage you abandoned.
Now is the time to take that first step to living a courageous life.
What else is worthy of you? What else are you here for?
Like the snow, you may not have tomorrow. You have today.