“You’re the poster child for courage. You live this every day,” Victoria said. She was interviewing me on Courageous Conversations about my life and my book: Open Me. I have done a lot of courageous things. I have faced fears of being alone and finding my way by going on a 12-month road trip across North America by myself. I faced fears of failing and of succeeding by starting up my business in 1993. I received strong intuitive messages to make big leaps: leave a secure lifestyle that I had carved out for myself; and to leave a country I loved to return to my roots. In both cases I chose to follow that inner nudge accessing all the courage I had in those moments.
But some days I just can’t find my courage.
The other day, I was sitting on the edge of my bed, my hands folded in my lap. I had already planned what to wear: my mid-calf dark blue dress with my brown lace-up boots and a dark purple dressy bolero jacket. It would be stunning. But I wasn’t getting ready. I was having second thoughts.
In a fundraising drive, I had donated money to my favourite independent radio station, Jazzfm. As part of the initiative I received an invite to their Christmas party. I was so excited. I imagined meeting wonderful new people during a festive dinner celebration. I didn’t mind going by myself.
When I received the ticket, however, things changed drastically in the imagination of my mind. The invite said the party was an evening of music only. There was no dinner. People wouldn’t be sitting down talking with each other over a meal. The lights would be low—making conversation and meeting new people not easily available. The music would be for dancing. I imagined people waltzing, fox trotting and all those other kinds of dances that I don’t do. I prefer to free-style dance. I imagined everyone in couples. Then I imagined walking in the venue, in my beautiful dress and everyone turning to look at me wondering, “Is she on her own? How strange she would come to this by herself.” I had already asked the two people I knew in Toronto if they could join me and they weren’t available.
I lifted my head to look at the closed closet door. My dress was in there. I knew these were my thoughts scaring me. I knew I didn’t really know what it was going to be like. But in that moment, I couldn’t find my courage. I shook my head and thought, this is crazy. Me who has done so many courageous things: stayed from sunset to sunrise awake in a desert canyon with no one and nothing other than a walking stick to protect myself; slept in forests and Walmart parking lots on my own; walked up to Michael Singer and asked him to swap Untethered Soul for one of my books; living my life now on the road following my intuition touring with my book, and there I was too scared to go to a party by myself.
And you know what? That’s okay.
I really believe that it takes so much courage just to live. Living fully in life is a daring and courageous act. It’s inspiring. And I had a day caught in my fears and living uncourageously. That’s not necessarily inspiring. But it is what happens.
I didn’t beat myself up. Well maybe just a little, but then I interrupted it and I took care of myself. I went to bed early. Had a good sleep. And the very next day I did my morning routine as I usual: hot lemon drink, morning prayers and went to the gym. Then I had a wonderful live interview on Courageous Conversations.
Some times what might be a small step one day, seems like a mountain on another day. And some days it’s okay to just stand still.
And today? Onward!