Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Seeds for Meditation: On Courage ...

"Courage is the first of human virtues because it makes all others possible."  ~ Aristotle
How can we train our minds to act more courageously in everyday life?  It's not just about facing fear, but also about coping with risk and uncertainty (as Ernest Hemingway put it, courage is "grace under pressure.")  And, it seems, we can make ourselves more courageous with practice and effort.  Some ways to loosen your grip on your Fear of life ...

1 - Be Vulnerable.  Courage and vulnerability are closely aligned; to conquer our fear we must "dare greatly," or go out there in the arena and expose ourselves to failure and criticism.

2 - Acknowledge Your Fears.  Denial of fear does not support courageous action.  Live authentically requires acknowledging one’s fear and risks and moving forward anyway when the cause merits action.

3 - Expose Yourself To What You Fear.  The only way out is through.  One of the most effective ways to banish fear is to repeatedly force yourself to face what you're afraid of. 

4 - Think Positive.  Practicing visualizations in meditation and repeating positive self-affirmations daily assist you to better cope with the pressures of today's high stress levels.

5 - Manage Your Stress.  Feelings of stress are generally rooted in a fear of an imagined physical or emotional threat.  Exercise and meditation effectively decrease stress in the body, and nurtures your courage to continue in a better emotional frame of mind.

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