“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar” – Raymond Linquist
I’ve always thought of courage in a grandiose way. Often the pictures I see matching the word are at the top of a summit, the completion of a marathon or you know kayaking down crazy river rapids.
Oh yes they are corageous feats but in real life courage is not just those things, somedays just getting out of bed is courageous.
It takes courage to listen to what you need or want and then bunches of courage every single day to take the actual steps towards that destination.
I took a trip on my own to Byron Bay last weekend. Magical, hiking to the sounds of the kookaburras, swimming in the ocean, delicious food with no little people tapping me, music vibes on the streets, basically, just the chance to get lost in my thoughts and the time and space to connect them into a story.
Taking that trip wasn’t actually the courageous step, just the destination. Like a marathon the courage is in the getting up everyday to train or learning a new skill like sourdough, the courage is in the starting, the seeking of help and the prioritising the practice over the days it takes to get an actual loaf.
It was a trip to acknowledge and celebrate the end of the my two year decluttering journey. In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined getting down to a suitcase with a family campervan travel adventure on the horizon. Time to let go, we are there, that trip is going to happen, time for new thoughts and focus.
It takes courage to stand alone, to be a little different from the crowd, to make choices based on values and live intentionally, to let go and trust it will all be ok and to find contentment without compromising yourself.
Every little courageous step adds up to quite a lot of courage really and eventually that courage manifests as confidence. And confidence, real confidence, well that just opens up a whole new world.
A couple of years ago before I decided I didn’t want what most people seemed to want I stepped into a new world. It took courage.
Courage to admit that I wasn’t happy, that the panic I felt was coming from somewhere that I needed to deal with, it took courage to face the overwhelm of how much I wanted/needed to change, courage to let go of all the clutter, courage to walk away from the conversations I didn’t want to be in, courage to learn and explore new things, courage to go inwards, courage to share a little more of myself in order to connect more, and mostly, courage to learn to say no so that I could say yes to what mattered most.
Somethings I’m better at, they’re more my thing, all of them have led to a simpler, calmer life, there is no more panic.
Reflecting over this past week I’ve made a load of courageous choices, some where I’ve let go of the familiar and they’re choices which have surprised me the most.
Saying ‘no’ to all the halloween parties the kids were invited to. I just don’t want the way it is celebrated in Australia to be part of their upbringing. Loads of plastic, a heap of money spend for one night, walking around asking people to fill their bags full of crap (just for them). I slept better saying no, it’s not for us and sometimes it’s hard to have a different opinion with confidence. Of course I get the argument that it’s fun, I’m not opposed to fun, I love fun, but missing a party….not the end of the world. Fun is not limited to attending everything.
‘No’ to being super organised at home and winging it a little more this week (I am a winger). Chopped up raw veggies for dinner most nights and washing yesterdays lunch boxes in the morning and back into school bags with lunches that don’t always get eaten…but that meant yes to exercising everyday, catching up with beautiful friends from Melbourne, making things to send in parcels to hopefully make someone’s day. Sometimes letting go of order is courageous, it all sorts itself out.
I said ‘yes’ to an invitation to lunch and an art exhibition preview. I was a little nervous and out of my comfort zone as I didn’t know this mum that well and she is an actual artist. It turned out to be a brilliant experience, the conversation was excellent and way out of the shallows. The exhibition gave me a lot of food for thought and the philosophy of the artist helped connect a few other experiences of the week for me.
I listened to some new music which I don’t often do. As adventurous as I am, I’m a creature of music habit. It’s so good, I’ve been lost in the new beats for the best part of the week, it has completely opened me up. Favourite lines, “…I’m a thousand souls in one man..” completely relatable, simple right. We are all so much more than just one thing and allowing yourself the opportunity to explore those well that takes courage.
Often I feel like I have to explain my presence on Instagram to people. It’s a new thing for me to be online, I never got into facebook and I’ve always been very private. Many times I have thought about stepping out and back into my private world but if I’m honest I was a little lonely there and often I felt trapped in the shallows. On Instagram I’ve found connection and inspiration with people I never would have met in my daily life. Some of those I have met offline and I am beyond grateful for those friendships. I am inspired daily by incredible people doing courageous things. Every time I hit post on Instagram I’m sharing a little more of myself and that is courageous.
Coming here to write, that’s courage. I always used to apologise on my old blog just to make sure you knew that I wasn’t a writer, probably to protect myself with a little buffer from judgement. These are words and I am writing them so yes, maybe I am a writer. A lot of practice and choosing to give myself time to get lost in my head and I think I’m getting a little better. Courageously letting go of feeling judged.
I knitted some beanies this week, two in fact. While everyone plants for Spring my hands were restless so finally I reached out to my friend Rachel at Drover and Classer to dye me some wool. Rachael is amazing, she custom dyed my colours, sorted me a pattern, picked me up some needles and shipped it all to me in a reused postpak, yes, so much love for that. All of that and she sent me pattern tips along the way, she is my yarn guru and gosh I’m grateful to have connected with her online.
Today was my son’s 12th birthday party, it’s a simple one. There will be a few friends, a soccer ball, some fruit and cake. He has requested presence not presents. It makes me happy, living this way, simply, with intention and always on a journey.
Yes, it takes courage to get up each day and step out into the world but that world has much to offer, and it’s really just one courageous step at a time to reach where you want to go, sometimes feeling discomfort but going there anyhow….and then you start again.
I read Daring Greatly by Brené Brown earlier this year, but like all good reads it stays with you and slowly, slowly, you take it on board, you absolutely need vulnerability to be courageous, that’s Brené’s jam but that’s a whole other blog post.
If you want a bite of Brene Brown, this TED talk is excellent.
Thank you so much for reading if your still with me, a long one… I had some writing inspiration this morning and just went with it ignoring all the the mess that built up around me, that can be dealt with tomorrow…or not.