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Mindful : June 2019
Courage is the savior that marches alongside us when fear shows up. It can inspire bursts of boldness that help us speak our minds, follow our hear ts, and bare our souls to others. Without it, we can’t grow or thrive. Sometimes we get caught up in the mistaken notion that being courageous means overcom- ing fear. But courage isn’t looking past fear; it’s recognizing and even embracing it. Recently I’ve witnessed this seeming paradox in families affected by the unspeakable trauma of losing a child to a mass shooting. Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s being scared, worried, unsure, and ready to run, and yet still finding a way to do what you really want to do, what others need you to do, or what you believe is right—despite all that fear. Here are a few tips that help me cultivate courage: FIVE WAYS TO CULTIVATE COURAGE Make fear your friend Stop blaming fear for stopping you and recognize the strange paradox that exists: Your fears will never completely disap- pear, and you will never win the bat- tle against them. When you can finally accept fears and invite them in, it makes courage more accessible. Embrace courage as a mindful response to fear Fears are nec- essary—they can propel us to new heights if we choose to respond to them mindfully instead of react to them blindly. Doing this allows us to become big- ger than our fears and act thought- fully despite them. If you use your meditation prac- tice to help resist the default fight- or-flight response, you’ll likely feel your courage ris- ing up in the silent pauses. m Take the Mindful Self-Care Course Explore Shelly Tygielski’s 8-part course and discover why self-care is a radical act of love. mindful.org/ self-care PRACTICE By Shelly Tygielski