Innisfree Spirit Ministry

Innisfree Moment Archive

June 2024

It Takes Courage to be Courageous

It Takes Courage to be Courageous

Listen to the audio version by Dorothy

Welcome to June's Innisfree Moment with its theme of Courage. When we notice that an idea, a word or a thought penetrates our mind, it can be something wanting our attention and carrying an underlying message. During the past few days my unshakable word was courage. Could the reason be that I am stalling about committing to an overnight travel decision? The reason for the trip is valid, but getting there is pushing my comfort zone. Can you relate?

The Universe can be very cooperative at such times, and it was not by happenstance that the theme of courage consistently presented itself, starting with the message on a black coffee mug holding pens on my desk: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Neale Donald Walsch.

First, let me back up and set the scene for you: It was late afternoon and I was sitting with young students in the quiet room at my library. Ideas for June's newsletter had had many false starts and my May 31 completion intention was two days away, so moving to a different setting was a desperate ploy for inspiration. It was effective as, just as the library was about to close at 9 pm the first draft was completed. Now, it is May 31st and, after numerous edits, the following is how it evolved:

While reviewing Innisfree's website archive recently where titles were excluded from the newsletters of October 2013 to November 2016 (now updated), I re-read Who is on your Rope Team - June 1, 2016, about the life of Erik Weihenmayer who, despite insurmountable odds, became the first blind man to reach the summit of Mount Everest in May 2001. He did it with the support of his team, which was roped together during the most challenging stages. Erik is now a much sought-after speaker and the co-founder of No Barriers, founded on the premise that what is within us is stronger than what is in our way, and encourages people to break through their fears. Subsequently he has kayaked the Grand Canyon; has videos on YouTube; and inspiring books are available on Amazon, one of which I had just ordered.

This month's title first appeared some years ago as a chapter in my By the Fireside book of short stories, which included a quote by Mary Anne Radmacher: Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying: 'I will try again tomorrow.' The Universe may not have been roaring at me, but it was certainly consistent, also presenting itself in the following related ways:

  • Reviewing the take-away gift stones offered at our recent Hospice Memorial service, the one labeled Courage seemed to stand above the others, as if saying pick me, pick me, which of course I did!
  • Next day a friend's email included a quote by Anaïs Nin: Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
  • That same afternoon at my grocery store, a lady beside me using a white cane was checking cereal prices with a small device, and laughingly shared: I'll wait for the sales. I saw her again, laughing at some exchange with the check-out clerk. This lady, like Erik Weihenmayer, was not deterred by her eyesight challenges, and knew how to laugh at herself.

May 31st is a significant milestone for me as it represents a number of times when I began again with new beginnings, reminding me that over the years I've made choices that were downright uncomfortable ... but I survived! I suspect you have also. Yet, with hindsight, didn't the outcome of these times make us stronger?

As again this year I am taking a sabbatical during July and August to pursue other projects, may I close with two suggestions: First, that during the summer months you review your life and acknowledge yourself for those times when you did push through your comfort zone to complete a project; and second, if there is something niggling in your mind, hoping to get your attention and whispering pick me, pick me, like a buried dream, that you bring it to the surface, and take steps for its completion.

I also acknowledge and thank Larry Moss for again enhancing Innisfree's website by adding titles to newsletters for the missing years, and thank each of you for continuing to journey with me. I believe we are connected to one another in special ways, that life is not a solo act (even if living alone), and friendships are precious. So until we meet again in September may you have a safe and healthy summer, and may you be roped together with special ones who believe in, and support your vision, helping you reach beyond your comfort zone to draw upon the strengths within ... and then, do reward yourself!

On a last note: I'm happy to say that through sharing these events I have made a decision to go on the aforesaid overnight trip ... and my reward: Amazon just delivered Erik Weihenmayer's book: Touch the Top of the World! For sure, tonight's bedtime reading!

Blessèd be to you ... A Hundred Thousand Blessings to you. Until next time ... Namasté!

Dorothy B.
Dorothy B.

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Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada