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Courage is Heart-Centered

Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

~~ Brené Brown

Greetings to all my precious people!!

What an extraordinary cycle of sunny days and moderate temperatures this past week in the Sound Shore area!  We are counting the days until the Summer solstice, which occurs on Thursday, June 20 at 4:50 pm EDT, marking the astronomical first day of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere.  

The word solstice is derived from the Latin word solstitium which translates to “sun stands still.”  Once the sun reaches its zenith at the Summer solstice, it begins the journey toward the horizon, culminating in the Winter solstice at its lowest point. The sun appears to move very little in the weeks before these solstice turning points, earning it the name “sun stands still.”

The weather truly does have an impact on our physical and mental well-being, and the Sun contributes a multitude of gifts to our health.  The sun’s UV rays help the body produce Vitamin D, essential for bone health, blood cells, and the immune system, while also helping the body absorb and use minerals like calcium and phosphorus. 

Sunlight can help regulate sleep patterns!!  Sunlight in the morning helps reset your body’s circadian rhythm by releasing cortisol, the “wake up” hormone. Sunlight also starts your body’s timer for melatonin, the “go to sleep” hormone, later that night.  Walking outside in the pre-dawn and the pre-dusk hours allows your body to naturally adjust its sleep rhythms.

Sunlight can help relieve stress and may even help treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Sunlight releases serotonin, also known as the “happiness hormone,” in the brain.  Some research suggests that sun exposure can lower blood pressure by triggering the skin to release nitrogen oxides, which cause the arteries to dilate.  Lower blood pressure may reduce the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic issues.  So make sure to get outside and enjoy the natural healing effects of the Sun!

This week’s focus is on the theme of COURAGE and the way it shows up in our lives.

Courage is a word often reserved for soldiers, police officers or firefighters. Yet nearly every day, in both our personal and professional lives, we have the opportunity to face our fears and do something courageous. Whether it be standing up as the lone voice of dissent in a meeting or talking with your neighbor about his barking dog, the opportunity for courage is often there.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle considered courage the first virtue because it makes all other virtues possible. The root of the word courage is “cor” which is the Latin word for heart. In its original form, the word meant to “speak one’s mind while telling all one’s heart.”  We can put up all kinds of signs and symbols in our offices or homes that remind us to be more courageous. But ultimately, it comes down to our core, our heart, and our willingness to face our fears and take inspired action.

Researcher Brené Brown says of resilient leaders in her book Rising Strong, “They have the ability and willingness to lean into discomfort and vulnerability.”  And with that willingness, they demonstrate the ability to transcend fear into action, which translates to courage.  If you think about it, so much of our fear is a result of disorganized thinking.  We replay negative tapes from our history that keep us in a cowardly state, like the Lion from The Wizard of Oz. These old messages keep us from making the big sale, applying for that new job, starting our own business, or simply standing up for ourselves.

We won’t know how strong and courageous we can be or already are, without learning it through experience for ourselves. Courage and believing in ourselves require us to rearrange our disorganized thinking. We need to examine our core, look into our heart and not expect something or someone from the outside to change us. Courage requires us to take action..  Others can encourage and support us but no one can help us move from fear to courage. We must do that ourselves. That is a heart-centered decision.

Courage is a crucial trait that plays a significant role in personal growth, decision-making, and overall success. It involves not only facing fears and taking risks, but persevering through challenges. Courage enables individuals to:

  1. Make Difficult Decisions: Courage helps people make tough choices, especially when these decisions are unpopular or involve significant risks.
  2. Overcome Adversity: It provides the strength to confront and overcome obstacles, whether personal, professional, or societal.
  3. Stand Up for Beliefs: Courage allows individuals to defend their values and beliefs, even in the face of opposition.
  4. Embrace Change: It is essential for adapting to change and stepping out of comfort zones to pursue growth and improvement.
  5. Inspire Others: Demonstrating courage can motivate and inspire others to act bravely in their own lives.

How to Cultivate Courage

  1. Self-Awareness: Understand your fears and acknowledge them. Reflect on what holds you back and why.
  2. Set Small Goals: Start with small, manageable challenges that push you out of your comfort zone. Gradually increase the difficulty as you build confidence.
  3. Positive Mindset: Cultivate a positive attitude towards failure. See setbacks as learning opportunities rather than definitive losses.
  4. Role Models: Study and learn from individuals who exhibit courage. Their stories and strategies can provide valuable insights and inspiration.
  5. Practice Resilience: Develop resilience by coping with stress and adversity. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and physical exercise can help.
  6. Seek Support: Surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people. Their backing can boost your confidence and provide a safety net.
  7. Take Action: Courage is built through action. Confront your fears directly and consistently take steps toward your goals.
  8. Reflect and Learn: After facing a challenge, reflect on the experience. Consider what you learned and how you can apply it in the future.

How to Demonstrate Courage

  1. Speak Up: Voice your opinions and concerns, especially in situations where remaining silent would be easier.
  2. Take Responsibility: Own your mistakes and learn from them. Demonstrating accountability shows maturity and strength.
  3. Face Fears: Actively confront situations that scare you. Whether it’s public speaking, asking for a promotion, or addressing conflict, taking these steps shows courage.
  4. Advocate for Others: Stand up for those who cannot defend themselves. Championing the rights of others requires bravery and compassion.
  5. Pursue Dreams: Follow your passions and dreams, even when the path is uncertain. This often means taking risks and defying conventional expectations.
  6. Admit Vulnerability: Show vulnerability by being honest about your feelings and experiences. Authenticity can be a powerful demonstration of courage.
  7. Lead by Example: Demonstrate courage through your actions. Leading by example can inspire and influence those around you to act bravely as well.
  8. Embrace Change: Be open to change and willing to take the necessary steps to adapt and grow. This often involves moving beyond familiar and comfortable situations.

All of this is meant to spark your curiosity and imagine a new way of looking at the world, your own Self, and how you want to choose to show up and contribute during your Earth journey.  Promoting health and wellness by implementing changes that are self-directed offers you the opportunity to participate in your own healing.  I will remind you that YOU are the miracle in the equation and if you can choose to engage CURIOSITY – OPTIMISM – AWARENESS – COURAGE as the catalysts for shift – it will be like a compass guiding you through a vast landscape of knowledge and experience.  

I believe we have the power to heal on many levels, and we are all capable of tapping into our innate healing abilities.  The body is a miraculous interconnected system that can heal itself when given the appropriate support and nourishment – and this goes beyond food and supplements.  It is the mind-body-spirit nourishment that offers the practical magic for change, so that all levels are supported.  

The answers to health and wellness reside in your heart.  I help people learn how to listen to their body’s wisdom and reconnect the unconscious mind to nurture the mind-body connection. Doing this work allows people to realize their full capacity and choose to live a life aligned with their values, nourished by their dreams and desires. Together, we co-create opportunities for healing as the process unfolds.

I offer compassionate, attentive care.  I see you.  I hear you.  I celebrate your journey.  As an experienced clinician, I support patients as they come home to themselves, reconnecting the mind, body and spirit.  This is my greatest passion:  to serve as a facilitator, navigator and coach as you transcend old patterns and come into alignment with your best self.  Are you ready to choose your Self and celebrate your gifts?  Are you ready to manifest your Authentic Self that is abundant with health and vitality?  Commit to being present and living your life with intention. Schedule an appointment today and begin to step into your power of self-directed practical magic.  

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can’t, We will fall!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

And so they came.

And he pushed them.

And they flew.

― Guillaume Apollinaire


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