Greetings all and gratitude as well. Today’s theme is COURage. As you will no doubt remember from the last post, I mentioned that one of the parts of the fuel of Perseverance (in addition to motivation and commitment) is COURage. I separated this concept out of that discussion because COURage is a broad spectrum, multipurpose fuel additive for manifesting our dreams. It doesn’t just apply in terms of keeping us going when the proverbial chips are down. Perseverance is actually COURage’s secondary allegiance. It’s necessary when we feel we can’t go on, or when we feel like we’re struggling, or when things seem their darkest. But COURage is also, and simply as a matter of function, a necessary part of beginning the process of DreamCatching.
So many people have come up to me in the last few weeks just brimming with admiration for what they keep calling my bravery for undergoing this project, for putting myself out there, and for making my dream important enough to manifest it. And I couldn’t remember the part when I’d been so brave. Standing in front of them receiving accolades didn’t feel like a very vulnerable position, it didn’t seem that the bravery I was being praised for possessing was actually present when I was being patted on the back. I started to think, “No it doesn’t take any bravery, it just takes realizing that the world really needs us to be who we are, then it’s almost more difficult not to do that”.
But I wasn’t looking deep enough. It wasn’t until Natalie arrived and she reminded me just how “nervous” (as she put it) that I’d seemed leading up to and embarking on this journey. And I remembered in the flush of blood through my face — I had had to be brave. I did have to muster the COURage to launch into this unknown with nothing but my faith that it would all work out at least all right. I even ordered new business cards at the time that said on the back: “be brave. be who you dream.”; and while I consciously thought I was coming up with that to encourage other people, I now realize that it was a classic Freudian (not-slip-but) Affirmation.
I was telling myself to be brave. Even though I was putting it on a card I would be handing to others, it was a message for all of us.
And it does take COURage to begin. It does take COURage to leap from the edge of what you know and are used to experiencing, toward something in which all that you are capable of having is faith. It takes COURage to Sh¡ne, to be our own Most-Me’s. It takes COURage to trUst ourselves, and to trust the world to accept us as we really are. It takes COURage to go after what we want in a world that says you only get what you need, and maybe not even that…
But here’s the secret about COURage: it’s not a pure element. COURage is not just something you have or you don’t. COURage is cultivated (or not), it is nourished (or not), and it is mixed from other elements within us (or not). The other secret about COURage is that you only have to apply it in moments, or at turns. There’s almost no situation (other than the most atrocious) in which we need to stay existing in a state of constant bravery. Even in humanity’s wild history, even fighting daily for survival, COURage is/has been only episodically necessary.
So you don’t have to think of it as something you either always have or never will.
What got me to leap off the edge was just a little bit of COURage — based on wanting to lead a fulfilling life, and on thinking I might always regret it if I didn’t, and assuming it couldn’t be all that bad but maybe really great. And then I was leapt! I couldn’t take it back. I couldn’t say, “No, I don’t want to be brave anymore…”. I was committed because I’d had just enough COURage to jump.
After that, it was all navigation. I just dealt with everything that showed up because of my initial bravery(s). It wasn’t until near the end that I again needed my COURage to stay in it, to see it through, and to do what still needed doing. And I mustered it then from a sincere desire not to give up (commitment), and the delicious pull to see it all through (motivation). Necessity may be the Mother of Invention, but Necessity’s lover is COURage.
And so I want to reiterate the call to your bravery. Do be brave. Do be who you dream of being. And do use your COURage to get you through — and only as often as you need it. You won’t have to rest in a state of COURage all the time — it just takes enough to get you to leap, and then a little more when you begin to think of giving up. All the rest of the time you can be thrillingly unnerved by how brave you’re capable of being.
The word COURage comes from the same Latin root for “Heart”, and it’s also where we get the word “Core”. It takes heart to make COURage, and whenever we need to look for more COURage within ourselves, that’s always the place to start. All COURage is born of heart, of caring, of passion, of Love. When we need it (and remember that’s just every now and then, in most cases), we can look to the core of ourselves, to our own hearts, to our own self-ness and extend our bravery out from there. And using whatever amalgam makes the most (emotional) sense for where we are at the time, we can generate our COURage from that core place, from what matters most there then. For me in the example above, it was commitment and motivation that helped me make COURage. In some other given situation it might come from indignation and concern for the rights of others; or it might be made from the love of your child and the responsibility you feel for keeping her safe; or it could come from a desire to not regret missing an opportunity, and belief in your abilities to evolve and or excel in it. You already have everything you need to make all the COURage you can use.
I moved back out into the real world today. It took as much COURage then as it did to step into the project at the Brink. I’m not the same person I was being before. I’m more me than I’ve ever been able to be previously. And I’m moving from a controlled environment where that was set up to be acceptable, into the uncontrolled environment(s) of real life, with my Me costume still on. I feel braver out here than I did moving in. But I’ve got conviction now, and a mission, and the strong feeling that I’d regret not being this me more now than I would’ve regretted not doing the DreamCatching project in the first place.
And so I’m saying to us all, and may we all remember to: be brave when we need to, but to be who we dream all the time! The world needs that from us as much or more than we each do. And we owe it to ourselves and the world to live it.
And now for the last of the currently known pictures from the show:
Last night I made a ritual of gratitude for this opportunity I’ve been able to enjoy, and a sending of light out to all others who have dreams they want to make come true. Then I took several pictures of spots I really like in the visual piece. The box of embroidery thread… As well as the subdivided box of individual colors of the embroidery thread… And the tiny window of sky-and-cloud embroidery thread, too!The compartment tile…
The Chanukah Candle Stub Star… The Lead Locking Plate Vortex with analog digital readout! Plastic Homogenized Heart versus Block Heart in the Sea of Dryer Lint… The Left End… Lighter Guts Assemblage… Plastic Heart’s Reflector Transcendence… The Last Supper — which ended up being mostly catered by the wonderful people at El Cazador (my neighbors for the month). The whole shebang from outside!The whole photo capture of the progression.And the whole shebang from INside.
I miss it all so much already. But I carry it all with me so much as well. I hope I can move forward from it as bravely as I moved into it.
And I can’t help but feel so immensely grateful — to myself, to all the people involved, and to the universe which heard my heart calling and responded in kind. I feel so blessed and so thankful that I can’t get a grip on it. I just have to let it overflow and appreciate it.
So be it!
Be well, my fellow DreamCatchers. Be who you dream!