Crisis levels us, doesn’t it?
I’ve come to learn that anything not already standing on solid ground will crack during a crisis. False structures, systems, inequities, relationships, and beliefs will falter and crumble.
Yet at the very same time what we choose to build within ourselves in the darkest of hours is forged of a strength beyond description. True resilience is etched in the torrents of life’s weather rather than its peaceful waters. The storm itself is the midwife to our strength.
RESILIENCE BEGINS WITH RISK
Contrary to popular belief, resilience is actually made of deep risk. The heartbeat of resilience extends far beyond the mere ‘ability to navigate anything.’ Resilience embodies the very act of betting on oneself and one’s deepest knowing even when the way is blurred by…well, absolutely everything.
Resilience is equal parts courage, faith, and risk. It invites us to choose our own truth when the collective world around us may present convincing opposition. Society is notorious for pervasively embedding our daily lives with blaring messages of doubt, ambivalence, and division aimed to puncture or second-guess our own inner convictions. Therefore, when crisis hits, our resilience and fidelity to our own inner compass of truth is profoundly tested.
With every crisis, we are invited to choose how we will respond. We can close in, hunkering down, waiting for the storm to subside before emerging once again. We can also open up. We can move forward, straight into the eye of the storm, trusting the strength meant for us will emerge as we need it.
Please don’t get me wrong here. Taking a time out and closing in has its importance. Quieting our lives can bring clarity, rest, and stoke our spiritual curiosity. Opening up can offer the same. Both avenues offer growth, perspective, and immense risk. There is time for both — we must trust our inner compass to know which path is ours.
Truthfully, when life’s weather is ravaging our spirits, everything can feel risky. The risks we choose in this present-day storm is why I write.
What risks are worth taking right now?
Each one of us will have a different response to this question. I simply encourage you to ask it. Making decisions when everything is uncertain is bloody hard. Postponing decisions becomes commonplace. Yet if we choose not to decide, we have still made a choice.
Taking risks on our brilliance within crisis rarely seems wise. Yet crisis also illuminates to us exactly what truly is worth fighting for. Asking our resilient selves what risks are truly worth it matters so much in this season — in our lives, careers, health, relationships, and businesses.
What are you saying yes to right now?
What are you saying no to right now?
Taking a risk on ourselves in the darkest of times may not always feel wise yet every dreamer who created their dream began in just such a place. They looked at the weather outside. They started anyway. These dreamers deliberately chose the fire within rather than the fire outside.
What inner fire has emerged in you during this global crisis and collective pause? What does taking a risk on yourself look like to you right now? How is your courage calling to you?
Something I hear frequently from clients here at The Courage Practice is “Why did I wait so long to choose my courage? I wish I would have taken a risk on myself sooner. There really isn’t a perfect time. There is only the time we have — and living in fear and scarcity is no way to live.”
I get this deeply. It took me awhile to take a risk too. I was (read: am) a stubborn one. I’ve kept the jobs, the apartments, the habits, the hairstyles, the crappy patterns of behavior, and even relationships longer than necessary. I was always just waiting for an external nudge to confirm my internal one. However, I’m finally—finally—learning how to follow the inner nudge first and it is making a real difference in my life.
The last time I experienced major crisis, I started The Courage Practice with $800 to my name, much to everyone’s surprise, including my own. I had zero safety net. No bank account. No financial support. No investors or retirement fund to cash in. No home. Yep, you read that right. I was homeless with literally $800 left, a battered laptop, a little dog, and a dream. A dream I’m still fighting for now as we all continue to lean into the eye of this COVID-19 storm. One could actually argue that resilience and risk were all I really had left.
Maybe you can relate. maybe the dreams are real & the heartbreak is too.
Maybe COVID-19’s heartbreak is also bringing your true priorities front & center.
Maybe wrapped in this global pause & sheer tragedy lies the external nudge you’ve been quietly waiting for to make some serious changes in your life.
What feels like it’s on solid ground for you? And what feels worthy of a restoration in your life?
Fear is real. Yet it doesn’t actually serve us and our dreams. It weighs us down & keeps us stuck in neutral. No matter how challenging things are, please remember that your dream is actually your blueprint, friend. Take a risk on its behalf. Don’t allow fear to drive, even now.
Trust yourself. You will know what you must do. It may be hard. Scratch that. It WILL be hard. We don’t get to realize any dream without working for it. There will be shifts, pivots, and changes along the way. It may take longer than you’d like too. Allow it to be messy. Shift gears if you must. Change course too. Just start. And please don’t waste another minute allowing fear to drive.
The risks we take now will strengthen our resilience tenfold. Saying no to ourselves and our dreams in favor of what feels more secure may feel like the safe route but is it really?
Say yes however you can. Close in where you must yet open up where you can. Adjust the plans without throwing out the dreams. Tomorrow’s not promised, friend, and we need you and your courage now more than ever. Trust your deepest knowing and allow your resilience to drive.
Always with you in this practice,