In the last post, I mentioned making the conscious effort to soften your heart with patience and kindness (and therefore courage). Were you surprised to see “courage” in there?
Did it surprise you to think that softening your heart, consciously becoming more patient and kind through consistent effort, takes courage?
If it did surprise you, please consider that it is an act of courage to be kind. It’s a sign of courage when you resist fearful habitual thought patterns and move away from the kind of thinking that has been keeping you stuck, or anxiously running-in-place inside yourself, unable to move forward.
It is possible to make major shifts — to easily make true and lasting positive change in any area of your life — when you call on the courage to be kind.
When you call up this courage to be kind, you affirm a basic confidence in your own resourcefulness and in your connection to life itself (en-courage-ment).
Want to try a courageous experiment?
Think of the last time you had a really good idea that worked out well. Think of the moment of inspiration that sprang up and how you felt enlivened and *encouraged* when it arose in your mind. “That’s it!” And remember how, when you acted on it, you were pleased that you had contributed to the outcome in an essential, meaningful way. Maybe things turned out even better than you had envisioned. Close your eyes for a moment and let yourself enjoy that moment all over again, in full vivid detail.
Courage is beautiful, isn’t it?
Now . . . focus on a time when you stood up for yourself or someone else who needed your help and advocacy. Sit or stand up very straight while you recall this. Feel the strength of your heart, and affirm its strength.
Think, “I have the courage to be kind. And it feels great.”
Your courage is always ready to show itself to you. Call on these memories of inspiration, of the courage to think well of yourself and your own ideas, to be kind and patient with yourself and others.
To support yourself in this Easy Good Habit, try listening to Becoming Fearless and Compassionate every day for a week. The best time to do this is either just as you’re waking up in the morning, or just before you go to bed at night, but many of my friends listen to their mp3s at lunch, to freshen themselves for the rest of their day. See what works for you.