Why Bother Living Courageously?

Why Bother Living Courageously?

As I tear off the cellophane of a brand-new calendar and place it on my desk, I am reminded of the freshness which comes with a new year. For the next three-hundred sixty-five days, I get to choose how to live my life. Though every day is a new day with precisely twenty-four hours, not every day is exactly alike. And though I can design a blueprint for my day, as I should, I cannot predict the unexpected. We are all aware of how unknown circumstances can redraft any of our best conceived ideas, or how they can redirect a well-established routine. When the small or large unpredictable variables present themselves, as they will, what keeps us on course?  

    Courage to Live our Convictions

Our society is ever changing. Just looking through old photo albums depicts how fashion fads have come and gone. On a more serious note, observing the social behavioral statistics of our day show that crime, suicide and divorce, are on the incline. 

If I were to set my standard for living according to our present societal climate, I would be tossed by the wind and sunk in no time. And if I do not want to be squeezed into a mold which forms me in a way contrary to my convictions, then I need courage to live contrary to the one of the general populaces.  

I am a collector of quotes and recently I read one which inspired me to live more fearlessly, and boldly. In essence it said that without courage, life gets smaller, but with courage, life grows more expansive. These words resonate with me. I know from personal experience that when I am afraid, fear holds me as its prisoner in solitary confinement. But, when I step away from real or imagined fear, restrictive living and thinking no longer bind me.

Courage is the capacity to meet danger without giving way to anxiety. To have courage is to wean ourselves from the habit of always overcompensating on behalf of another person’s uncouth behavior. We know when we are stout hearted when we can put our convictions into practice and speak our mind while staying aligned to our heart. 

Having valor does not mean we are vain. Brave people know when they are wrong, learn from their mistakes and ask to be forgiven when they know they need to. Tenacious people are less likely to live with regrets, and instead, live without them.

Why bother living courageously? It is worth it to practice valor since we have three hundred and sixty-five days ahead to try it on for size.

Why Bother Noticing Your Foundation?

 

Why Bother Noticing Your Foundation?

Over the course of  the years that my husband has been in the business of building houses, I have visited his various job sites in their different stages of progress. I think the messiest stage of building a house is its foundation, but it is the most necessary part of any building. If the foundation is not level, the rest of the building will not be square. If the foundation is not strong, the walls will not stand. Without a good foundation, the building is doomed.  

Your Feet Your Foundation

What holds true with a building, holds true with a body. When I first began practicing yoga, it made me aware of my feet; the foundation which holds our bodies erect.

In yoga classes that I’ve taught, I always start out by having my students stand up and look down at their feet. Then I instruct them to lift all their toes and press the big toe mound down into the mat. Then I’ll ask them to set their toes down, but to distribute their body weight evenly to the inner and outer part of their feet as well as the heels. 

As my students direct their attention to their feet, then I also ask them to notice their ankles, knees, legs, hips, back, shoulders, neck and head. Like a tree, we find our stance from the ground up. As our feet set themselves firmly into the ground, then our bodies rise up, erect and strong. It is from this strong stance that we can then begin to move into various poses. When our feet are firm and strong then our movements will be too. 

Convictions Hold Up What We Believe

Like a foundation that holds up a house and feet that hold up a body, convictions hold up what we believe. We don’t all believe the same things, but it is important to notice what we do believe. 

Are my beliefs true? Are my beliefs strong? Is my position level? Do my principles help me move in the right direction? Do they keep me balanced?  If my convictions do not have a strong foundation, if they are not grounded on something solid, then I won’t be able to stand erect. I’ll falter, waver, and eventually fall down. Without a good foundation, I am doomed.  

Why bother noticing your foundation? If it is not level, you will be off kilter. If you are not grounded, you will falter. If you are not firmly planted, then you won’t be able to stand erect. It is worth noticing your stance so if need be, you can find a firm footing.