Healing Path with Alice McCall


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Each month a new inspirational, spiritual, or educational article by Alice McCall is posted.
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        March 2010

Courage - Your Key to Growth

Several years ago, I participated in an intense international leadership program.  We each were asked to let the group help us determine the characteristics we operated under when we were at our best, and our operating characteristics when things didn’t work out well. The exercise was similar to group therapy. We all felt a bit vulnerable and insecure opening up to a group of strangers, but the benefits have been long lasting.

The group labeled my authentic self as ‘courage to care’ when I was operating at my best. When I was ‘courage to care’ my leadership shined and my team was motivated. They also labeled the self that was in operation when things didn’t go well as ‘the lawyer’. Sharing that when I focused on the facts and figures to persuade others, like a lawyer, it didn’t work out as well.  I took the input, and focused on calling up my ‘courage to care’ self as often as possible.

Now as I look back on this experience, it carries new meaning. When we operate from our mind instead of our heart and soul, we are never at our best.  It takes courage to operate from the vantage point of your heart and soul. Why?  This vantage point often leads us to take the next step in our growth. It encourages us to try something different, to step out of the norm that we have established for ourselves, even possibly to be different from the mainstream expectations around us.

That’s why courage is an essential attribute for those on the Spiritual Path. It has been this way for generations, but today the nuances are different. Today it is about having the courage to face our fears and doubts, to behave differently than the friends we grew up with, and to follow our own inner voice.

This courage is incredibly important for each of us to muster up. Why?  We live in a world where fear predominates, motivates, and controls most everyone’s thoughts, behaviors, and choices. If this continues, the build up of negativity within all humans and our planet earth, can become acute, and our fear response could become more and more automatic.

It is critical for each of us to break from this overall direction, to help bring about change. How? Have the courage to care enough about yourself to think differently and to live your life differently - becoming leadership in action. When we demonstrate these leadership qualities it has a huge impact, inspiring others to have the courage to do the same.

Look to Gandhi for inspiration: He had the moral courage to do what was right. He carefully chose how to think and live his life. The way in which Gandhi chose to respond to injustices that were inflicted upon him showed the upmost courage. The basis of moral courage comes from the recognition of the intrinsic good within one’s self. The more you are in touch with your own good, the more courage you will have.

It is interesting that Gandhi often chose to respond to injustices inflicted upon him by simply not cooperating. This model is also exemplified by Jesus’ teaching of turning the other cheek.

When you persistently directly challenge and try to change another, their response is one of resistance. It is an energetic principle in the laws of physics: persistence=resistance. So, when you choose to make a difference through not fighting back, and not through persuading (a la me as ‘the lawyer’), an opening occurs for something different to happen!

The courage to give-up the familiar and take on new challenges is what we are continuously called to do as we move through our spiritual journey. It takes courage to surrender, courage to trust, courage to be unattached to outcomes, courage to rise above conflicts, courage to not engage in social conversations that are full of judgments, courage to move to a new area to follow a calling, and courage to end long-term friendships that are no longer healthy.

Each step on your path calls upon your courage to commit to absolute values and a universal code of conduct. This includes committing with the thoughts you think and the emotions you hold.

When you choose the courage to grow and evolve, you become a leader in our own life. The positive side effects of this choice will be felt with your interactions others and our planet. Your courage will serve as a source of inspiration, helping those around you as well. It was courage that Jesus and Gandhi demonstrated through how they chose to live their life, and it is still inspiring us today.

Although your actions may not have the wide reaching effects of Jesus or Gandhi, the positive effects of your choices are the same. Simply learning to focus on leading your own life differently can have a huge impact.

Likely, you never thought about being a leader through how you live your life, but it is an amazing experience. When you have the courage to make a difference in your own life, when you care enough about yourself to give up the familiar and strive for new summits in how you think and behave, and when you are committed to the journey - you will be leadership in action. Living a courageous life is a journey of decisions each day. Make the decision that you want to grow as a person, and welcome courage into your life.

Key Principles Related to Courage:
- commit to absolute values
- commit to the journey
- commit to training your conscience
- commit to reducing attachments
- commit to minimizing secrecy

Contact Alice to learn how she can help you master this topic - or transform other health, emotion, and spiritual issues.  Free consultations are offered to all new clients to learn how Alice's work is directly tailored to address your areas of concern. Don't wait - step onto your Healing Path today!

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