(recognize) Courage: riding waves of expansion

(recognize) Courage: riding waves of expansion

by Isabella Vickers, Managing Editor

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~ Anaïs Nin

These days I’m learning new ways of riding the waves of expansion. And wow! It’s hard and takes courage, constant courage, more than I ever imagined. I’ve also been reading lots of quotes and reflections about courage. Fortunately, there are many great ones. My favorites alternately inspire and comfort me. Inspiration, like the one above: who wants to live a shrunken life? Comfort, however, comes in the ability to receive, really take in, the reminders that it’s worthwhile to practice courage even though it’s hard, really hard. After all, courage is not something we’re born with, or learn and then know forever like riding a bike. It’s something we must choose again and again, and then again. Practice. Choose. In each and every moment of life there is choice.

River Walk, Photo by Isabella Vickers

River Walk, Photo by Isabella Vickers

Courage is not a virtue or value among other personal values like love or fidelity. It is the foundation that underlies and gives reality to all other virtues and personal values. Without courage our love pales into mere dependency. Without courage our fidelity becomes conformism.   ~ Rollo May

Courage is what bolsters us to ask the hard questions: What is my life really about? How will I move through my day? Within the safety and comfort of the familiar? Or will I step out beyond that zone today and speak up or show up in a way that reveals something bolder, truer, something visionary? How will I have this conversation, paint this painting, see this client, make this soup, hug this child, write this sentence? Will I courageously practice opening my heart wider, loving deeper, stretching my mind farther, developing bigger ideas, dreaming greater, or sitting quietly and listening more closely. Can I allow my spirit to be moved, my soul to be touched; or will I choose to protect and defend my frightened, vulnerable parts?

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. ~ Ambrose Redmoon

Or in Cowgirl style: Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway. ~ John Wayne

In each moment and then again in the next, we can choose and then choose differently. And yes, it takes courage. We live in the most amazing and most difficult heart-gripping times. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the tragedy all around our world, to sink into grief and despair at the endless loss and need. And yet, look again and we see people reaching out across the miles, across the world, across the street to help one another. We see people trying again, loving again, hoping again. 

Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

River Walk II, Photo by Isabella Vickers

River Walk II, Photo by Isabella Vickers

  • How will you recognize your own kind of Courage today?
  • What is more important to you, in this moment, than the fear that has held you back from the Life you want?
  • Where could your Life expand?
  • How will you show up today, tomorrow, this week with Courage?

it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~ e.e. cummings


Isabella Vickers is an artist, a writer and a dreamer. She is passionate, curious, and actively living a creative life. She practices as a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist and creativity coach in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley where she utilizes intuition, creativity, and expressive arts to facilitate growth and healing. Isabella is proud to be the Managing Editor of Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine where she writes the column “Dare to Bloom.” You can see her art at: www.IsabellaVickers.com and Isabella Vickers Art, learn more about her therapy work at: www.TendingSoulTherapy.com, and follow her column right here on www.CosmicCowgirlsMagazine.com.

Author: Isabella Vickers

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