Cultivating Courage

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So often, when we're contemplating a big change in life, fear surfaces.

Imagining a new way of life, whatever its details, can arouse fear, which can also be characterized by a sudden affection by the aspect of life you want to change.

This fear isn't necessarily a bad thing. Its intention is to protect us. As much as we may find ourselves bored by our all-too-familiar lives, we feel safety and security in occupying a well-known physical or psychic space. It lacks uncertainty or surprises.

For example:

At this point, many people get stuck, vacillating between variants of "Go/Stay." with strong emotional elements coming into play. Some may feel it's too reckless to make drastic change (but may secretly feel like cowards or prisoners). Others become so disgusted by their fear and hesitation, so determined to escape that only a jail break will do.

"Right" and "Wrong" Don't Help

While fear is the primary issue here, it can easily be blanketed by our blaming ourselves for feeling fearful. Beating ourselves up doesn't usually lead to decisions in our best interest, because if we think we've messed up our lives, we figure the little voice within has led us astray. As a result, we lose our connection to the inner guidance that provides the cues and clues about what are the best choices to make.

Releasing self-judgment can be a challenge, but it allows us to look openly at fear itself. Whether you like what it's saying or not, fear is trying to tell you something. I find that it's best to listen.

In practical terms this can mean to imagine that fear is asking you to take another look at the unsatisfying situation. With this perspective, you can consider the possibility of making change within that situation without leaving it.

If you make the decision to stay in whatever situation has troubled you, fear will probably leave. However, if you choose to make a change, fear may continue to surface, as the "Go/Stay" seesaw bounces up and down.

Force Gets Us Nowhere

We may be tempted to believe that if we push on through, we will leave fear behind. Fear, however, stows away in your awareness and whispers predictions of doom in your ear.

We may achieve the new career, new relationship, change of location, but we end up not feeling any happier in the new situation than we did in the old, because we've brought our fears and conflicts with us.

Rabbit Medicine

One way to understand fear is through study of Rabbit. This animal is known as the Fear Caller. It shouts out its terror of the predators who rank it high on their dining list so loudly that it attracts them, and thus its fear is realize. Those who express rabbit energy in this form live in a future that's not anyone's idea of a good time, populated as it is with the stuff of nightmares.

Bitter though Rabbit's message seems, if we look at it with deeper understanding, we see how well this animal teaches us that we create our lives with our thoughts and feelings. Rabbit experiences fear, projects it outward as a kind of psychic calling, and creates in the external world conditions which mirror its inner terrors.

Often, we unknowingly feed fear. Our fearful vibrations may attract others who have reinforcing horror stories to tell us. "Yes, he moved there, and he found out that the area had terrible ice storms (or floods, or tornadoes.) "You want to be a what? Have you heard about the suicide rate for that profession?"

Instead of feeding fear, we need to learn to slowly starve it. This may not be an overnight process, because it's a matter of changing our vibrations.

We might start this way: "Even though I'm afraid to leave, I want to move." At this point, fear and desire are relatively balanced.

Next, make a list of the reasons you want to move. Each reason should be stated in a positive way—not "because if I see one more snowflake, I'm going to scream," but "Because I look forward to the idea of living in a mild climate, swimming outdoors until October, welcoming spring in March, getting to see flowers most of the year."

Give regular, preferably daily, attention to these positive images. If it's possible to collect visible images of your new situation, gather them and look at them often. Imagine yourself in the new situation, feel it. Do this until you feel the first stirrings of excitement and inspiration.

Inspiration Gets Us Everywhere

When you feel positive and inspired about something you plan to bring into your life, you become reconnected to your creative source. That energy moves you smoothly through change and transition. Information will come easily into your possession; you will find help from unexpected sources. Many things will happen that have a "meant to be" quality—all because you are leaving fear behind, and connecting with good feelings about change.

When we learn to dissolve the most limiting fears we discover a new freedom in our lives. We become able to appreciate life, to explore new avenues of creativity, and to realize that ultimately we are spiritual beings who have no need to fear anything in the physical world.

Fear Chasers


Courage is not fearlessness; it means dealing with fear. Charoite can help to deal with both known fears ("I don't want to move," "Relationships are painful;" "What if I get a new job and lose it?") If you're going through a fearful period, charoite is a good crystal to put beneath your pillow, along with amethyst, for peaceful dreams. In meditation, he is best placed on the third eye (between the eyebrows).

Amazonite, a crystal for the throat chakra, can be used specifically for courage in communication. Do you need to share and discuss your fears? Do you need to tell someone to stop telling you how scary what you're doing is? Consider this stone.

Turquoise, also related to courage in communication, specifically helps one have the courage to ask others for help.

Program and hold your vision of courage into a quartz cluster. Keep it near you to remind yourself that, yes, you are brave, and yes, you can do it.

The Essence of Courage

All essences described are Bach Flower Remedies.

I tend to treat blame as a spectrum, with blaming others at one end of the scale and self blame at the other. In between are variations of "Maybe it's my fault, but it's his fault, too."

Beech addresses blame and judgment of others. Pine addresses self-blame, aka guilt. If you find yourself wavering between the two, take both.

Fear is the big one, and a range of essences are available to help with it.

All your plans look good, but you still feel troubled. This may be a useful warning that you've overlooked something, but when this kind of fear is in command, it's hard to find what's missing. Aspen can calm this kind of fear or any uneasy feeling. It's also helpful for nightmares that may occur in transitional times (or any other times).

Mimulus addresses known fears. You know what the problem is; you're afraid to make the change. Mimulus addresses any known fear.

If you've reached the panic phase, reach for Rock Rose.

Beyond the Rainbow
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