Embracing Your Courage

I live in a wonderful place, Sunrise Ranch. It’s in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains east of Loveland, Colorado.

Sunrise Ranch is so many things—a conference center; a spiritual community; a real working ranch with cows, sheep and chickens; and so much more.

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I moved here 16 years ago. That’s just about as long as I’ve lived anywhere. And I’ve worked diligently through the years to help make this place thrive. Most people would say that I have been committed and even say that I’ve gone to extraordinary efforts to ensure the success of Sunrise Ranch.

Nonetheless, in the past few days, I have been thinking about the way I show up in my leadership here. I have asked myself these questions:

How deeply have I accepted this place as my home? And if I don’t make this place a home, who will?

How deeply have I accepted the people I live and work with with as my friends? And if these people are not my friends, then who is?

How much of myself am I willing to share at Sunrise Ranch? And if not here, where? If not now, when?

I thought about what a shame it would be if I continued to work as hard as I have been working but held back from giving my full heart and soul. Yes, it is possible that tomorrow I could be somewhere else, doing something else. But today I am here, and I know I have more to give.

I believe that the results of my leadership would be limited if I didn’t give my all. I would lack credibility with people who live here and with the people who visit. They would have a sense that I was just going through the motions. As a leader, I would be modeling to others a half-fulfilled life. And there I would be at the end of it all, frazzled and unfulfilled.

I’m not a judgmental person. So I am not inclined to judge my own level of heart commitment. Is it 85%? 90%? 100%? But it was a good meditation nonetheless. It motivated me to ponder the depth of my resolve regarding my work. It made me check the level of my acceptance of others. And it inspired me to bring a higher love to the people I see every day.

For me, this is about courage. The word comes from the French word for heart, coeur. So real courage is a matter of the heart. It is about putting your full heart into your life. It is about fully showing up for the people in your life.

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Courage is about something more than doing the right thing, even though that’s important in anyone’s life. It is a positive expression of your enthusiasm for life itself.

Courage takes a person past being a witness to life, and past being a witness to the lives of other people. We are being courageous when we are not just with other people, watching what is happening to them. We are being courageous when we are for them—when we are for the emergence of the most creative outcome in their life; when we are cheering for their success.

The 6th chapter of my book, Becoming a Sun: Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence for a Happy and Fulfilling Life, is titled The Gravity of Courage. When a person embraces their courage, they gain gravity. Like the sun, they draw into their orbit what should be there. And the gravity of courage allows what is in a person’s orbit continue to revolve around its sun without wandering off into space.

It takes courage to live a human life. It takes courage to show up in every facet of a human life. This is important through the good times. But when it gets challenging is through the hard times. So where does a person find the courage to show up fully in their life when those hard times come, as they do for everyone?

The simple answer is that courage is easy when you know you are loved. And of course you are. All people are being loved from the inside all the time. The life within you is loving you. That is why it is keeping you alive. Call it Source, call it God, call it The Ground of Being. Or just call it Reality. When you are accessing that love, it is natural to show up with courage in the moments of your life.

How is that process going for you? Try my questions on for yourself and see where it takes you.

How deeply have I accepted this place as my home? And if I don’t make this place a home, who will?

How deeply have I accepted the people I live and work with with as my friends? And if these people are not my friends, then who is?

How much of myself am I willing to share with the people in my life where I am? And if not here, where? If not now, when?

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15 Responses to Embracing Your Courage

  1. Although I have lived in the same beautiful physical place in North Florida since 1977, I have lived in the most fulfilling place I call HOME since I have been me. Coming Home to my holy shared Commune with all my brothers and sisters is wonderful.

  2. If you are not fully participating in and enjoying your life ask yourself why. Are you waiting for a better job, better friends, a better lifestyle? Thank you for naming the power of being fully in, fully present in this life. It does take courage, and that courageous act changes everything.

  3. Thank you David…these are profound questions that have deeply touched me…sparking reflection…. Am I and how CAN I really engage!

  4. Thank you, David, I love the perspective of courage in this. I suppose you can’t have real courage unless you first have real fear, not that that’s a problem for most people. 😉 To experience your own courage in the face of your own fear, imagined or not, seems to me to lead a person straight into a more holistic and broader world view, and eliminates some of the duality with which we usually see things. I love to think that with courage comes connection, and through connection, love weaves us together so that our acceptance of people and place and our willingness and ability to be generous with ourselves creates home and friendship wherever we are.

  5. Whenever change happens it takes courage to flow into that new space and flow with it and embrace it fully. Is it selfish to be so brave as to create that change or wait for it to happen – either way the dynamics are difficult for me to put a percentage or a number to…I find trying to remain as flexible as possible to embrace the energy of courage to move through life and release any resistance. Patience with self acceptance of self and ones openness to being brave to each continuous experience is all I can offer – one step at a time with an open courageous heart does it for me … Thank you for this thought provoking expansion – my new mantra – be brave be fearless with an open loving heart ?

  6. How timely David. I was made redundant from my full time job today and your quote from Mary Angelou uppermost in my thoughts as I quickly let the recruitment firms know I am immediately available. Not the time for crying I seem to remember from your workshop and I have already found part time employment. I’ll probably enjoy some downtime too.

    • I am happy its all working out, Margaret. I’ve been so aware, in my own life, how the immediate circumstance offers an opportunity to express what is creative into the larger field. Sounds like you have discovered that too. All the best! ~ David

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