COURAGE PRACTITIONERS' SPOTLIGHT
Even at the age of 47, I am still practicing slowing down in the midst of career, marriage, motherhood and care-giving a parent, to practice self-love. With so many responsibilities, and the often un-examined habit of of pushing through my own discomfort or stress to meet the needs of others, I am now practicing what I have preached to others for so long.
I am beginning to listen to my body's cues and my emotional state, and am channeling the compassion I so easily share with others toward myself. After a session with Tonyalynne, I now have a self-love mantra on my desk and tucked into my bra! Ridiculous-yes! Life-preserving-absolutely! For me, it's about the courage to set boundaries and love myself fully...still getting there!
When I think of myself being courageous I laugh. There has not been many instances in my life where I have had to muster all the courage I had to accomplish something. Whether it be big or small. I have had many experiences like so many others. I am a mother, a small business owner, a healer, a wife, sister, daughter, aunt...my list can go on and on like most. Recently, I have had to do exactly what I have never had to do. Step forward into the unknown with nothing but the hope and support of the universe that has never let me down. Things may not end up like you thought they would, but they ALWAYS end up the way it is suppose to. Even the bad things bring good things.
Like all cycles in life, I am up for a new one. My daughter has decided it is time to live with her father, on the east coast. She has never been without me, and I never without her. I was only a child myself when I had her, so to watch her leave, by her own choice, is the hardest thing I have EVER had to do. It is definitely not something that I want, but what I do want is bigger than me. I want my daughter to have a REAL relationship with the other side of her family. I know there are life lessons that they will be able to teach her that I cannot. If I were to keep her here, with me, it would be for purely selfish reasons, and I would be depriving her of a fuller life. I want her to have the best education available to her. If that means for her to get that, I have to let go. Then I let go. I have to be courageous in knowing that I have taught her the foundation of what it means to be a loving, compassionate, caring, yet strong and humorous human being. Not ever to be better than someone else. Just the best her. For that to happen, I have to move forward in my own path, separate from hers. I have to learn what it is like to be without her. For me that is scary.
The silver lining is that everything changes all the time. So the hurt and agony of watching someone you promised to care for walk away of their own volition to improve their life also opens up the way for me to find out who I am, not as a mom, but as a person. Which I have not had the opportunity to do yet. So with the bad comes good. It all depends on how you choose to look at life. I choose good.
Learn more about Hannah and her healing work here.
In trying to decide what to write about courage, I began by looking up what it meant. 'The ability to do something that frightens one.'
Upon reading this, I realize courage is one of the most important traits in life and one essential to success. Then I thought back to one of the earliest, salient memories I personally had of courage. The first that came to mind involves two kinds…
Like nearly every kid I knew growing up, I played baseball every spring and summer. And like almost no kids I knew growing up, I was awful at it. We used to get stats at the end of every season which objectively verified my subjective experience – I was the worst player on the team. Yet in the last few games of my 5th grade season my coach did something that made no sense…he moved me to the leadoff spot, usually reserved for one of the best hitters. I remember being shocked and angry, as was the rest of the team. Why would he put me in that position when it clearly made no sense? I could hear my team snickering and second-guessing the decision, and I proved them right and my coach wrong by finishing the season as poorly as I started it.
After that I decided that I was not going to play the next year. Why put myself through the futility? Of course, my mom convinced me that I should play one more season since it would be my last year before going to middle school and switching leagues. She said if I tried one more season and still felt the same way I could quit. So I reluctantly agreed.
When the next season started I couldn’t believe that my coach, despite my efforts to prove him wrong with my ineptitude the previous year, put me in the leadoff position to start the season. When I angrily asked him why, he told me he knew I could be a great leadoff hitter. Maybe it was because it was a new season and I felt like I had a clean slate, but I decided to see what I could do. Besides my mentality, I really only made two changes to what I did: I swallowed my ego and choked-up on the bat, admitting that I wasn’t the biggest and strongest hitter, and I listened to my coach’s very simple advice: “throw your wrists at the ball.”
I used to nervously look at the lineup when we were losing and count how many hitters were left before I was up, hoping I wouldn’t have a chance to lose the game for us. Well now I was leading off and the chance to blow the game was much larger. But I took a better attitude, a practical technique and some simple advice into the batter’s box with me. Those three things led me to have the best batting average on the team that season…and it wasn’t even close.
To this day, I still think back to how I was able to accomplish something I never thought I could by simplifying the process and by sticking with something. But more than that, I realized there were two kinds of courage at play: the courage to believe in yourself, and as often is necessary for that to happen, the courage of someone to believe in you. I find both are typically at the root of our greatest achievements.