Courage is Magic
Growing up the youngest in the family, meant that I sometimes had trouble getting my voice heard. We’d be gathered around the dinner table, telling stories, slingin’ jokes, and I’d want a piece of the action. I had a good (HILARIOUS!) joke or a profound point to make that my four-year old throat chakra was dying to let out. I’d speak up and not be heard and as time past, I’d become more and more frustrated, until finally I’d explode:
“I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY!!!”
And just like that, the spoons dropped, the plates rattled and silence ripped through the air, all eyes on me, now of course too frozen with intimidation to say a thing! Life has taught me many great lessons and one of them is that we all have something to say.
Within each of us resides a river flowing with extraordinary life experiences, tales of overcoming obstacles and inner growth, unique creative gifts, endless beauty in self expression, intuition and wisdom all worthy of — and needing to be heard. Every day, you are living your legacy and writing the story of YOU that will be passed down for generations. You are living a life worthy of being told. One that will inspire others to follow their passions too. But will you be courageous enough to share it? Because as Mel Robbins, the most booked female speaker on the planet with a 7 figure speaking business, said on Lewis Howes School of Greatness podcast:
“There is only one you. That’s it. You matter because there’s only one you and there’s only ever gonna be one you. And YOUR instincts and YOUR experiences and your inner wisdom is a gift to the world. Every time that you tune it out because of the habit of hesitating, or the habit of self doubt or the habit of worrying or the habit of overthinking, you are robbing the world of that gift that you have to give everybody.”
Fear Steals Your Voice
We are all wounded in a very practical, neurophysiological way. Trauma is embedded in our DNA, passed down from generation to generation — wounds of war, wounds of abuse, wounds of neglect — manifesting itself in our body as memories in a myriad of ways. Memories of fear trigger very physical responses in the brain that can be seen in real time, as if the terror that may have occurred decades ago, was happening to us RIGHT NOW. We can see these areas light up or go dim in the brain in victims of trauma when flashbacks are triggered.
I have trauma, you have trauma and a large part of our personal evolution is tied to the healing of our trauma. Each little bit that we heal allows more and more of our most authentic self — our light — to shine through. But often times, when we set out to take a risk or follow our dreams, or speak from our heart, fear quite literally steals our voice, keeping us stuck in a negative cycle.
In looking at how the brain responds to fear, an area responsible for speech called Broca’s area with functions linked to speech production and language processing — is literally sent offline when flashbacks are triggered in victims of trauma. It’s why sometimes we have difficulty articulating our emotions in stressful situations or why you become “speechless.” Trauma cuts us off from language. Without a functioning Broca’s area, you literally can’t put your thoughts and feelings into words. (1)
Courage is Magic
When standing at the proverbial door labeled Fear, the precipice between decision and action, what makes you turn the knob and step forward into the unknown? Courage.
Paulo Coelho said in his transformative book, The Alchemist, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” This, he suggests, is the phenomenon of Beginner’s Luck — the Universe nodding in approval of courageous action taken. A harmonic resonance. A gentle nudge along the path giving us the confidence to keep going. I’ve learned this to be fundamentally true. When you fully commit and set forth in a direction with courage, the Universe rewards you with immediate positive feedback.
I’ve learned that nature seeks an active participant — and courage is a way we actively participate in nature’s dance. It’s how we actively engage in the unfolding of God’s plan and the pursuit of our own purpose. In this way, courage is true magic — A current of energy that flows from one person to another — a wildfire of inspiration and wisdom that gives permission to others to follow their dreams and tell their story, uninhibited, uncensored.
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
We All Have Something to Say
At no other time in human history have we been as connected as we are today. Our collective voices, shared experiences and wisdom have never held more power to transform and accelerate global consciousness. It’s time to take courageous action because life is short and we only live it once. It’s time for you to speak your truth without fear. Share your experiences. It’s time for us all to speak with courage and vulnerability, without hesitating, without asking permission and with no apologies. Forget about what people will think. Forget about if it comes out just right. Don’t worry — just do it! Because self expression is the truest, rawest, most inspiring form of beauty. People want to be like people that express their inner beauty. Because, as Coelho says “when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”
We all have a story to tell. We all have life experiences worthy of being shared — and listened to — and learned from. Your story is beautiful, valuable and inspiring.
If you find yourself stuck or hesitating on your journey — not sure what action to take next, here are some practical steps from Paulo Coelho — to cast your hesitations aside and propel you towards your destiny. (And by the way, if you haven’t read The Alchemist, it is a must read.)
Make the Decision
“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he has never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”
Keep Getting Back Up
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
Because the eighth time could be your breakthrough. Some of the greatest novels in history were published after receiving hundreds of rejections. Thankfully, those authors never gave up.
Always Take Action
“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action.”
You can study, read, and listen until you turn blue in the face, but the full experience is when you take action, and let the rubber meet the road. Once you’re done aiming, pull the trigger.
If you don’t fear the unknown, the unknown will be kind to you.
It’s time to speak your truth. Start now, start today. Don’t wait — do it NOW!
Read more: 10 Powerful Life Lessons from the Alchemist
- Bessel van der Kolk, MD (1. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Bessel van der Kolk, MD).