A friend of mine has a word that they focus on each year. It is a word that encourages personal growth and hopefully a change in attitude or behaviour. I was reflecting on what my word for this year might be. Two years ago my word was 'integrity' and it was a year of learning to be true to myself and my own beliefs. A lot happened in that year that contributed to my growth in this area. Last year I adopted a short phrase, 'no living in fear'. My awareness was raised at the impact fear has on our lives. It paralyses us, motivates us to behave in ways we would prefer not and distracts us from acting out of love. I don't know that it is possible to master such huge things in your life in the space of a year, but it certainly was helpful to have a focus.
So what is the word for this year? Courage! In many ways it is related to my themes of the previous two years. Living with integrity and without fear takes great courage. Courage to speak up when you know that your opinion is not popular. Courage to take risks and give new things a go. Courage to show strength and find your true potential. Courage to confront. Courage to love. Courage to stand on the margins. The list could go on.
As many of you know, one of my favourite movies is 'The Wizard of Oz'. The cowardly lion joins the journey to see the Wizard in search of courage as if it is something that can be attained or achieved. On finally speaking with the Wizard about his request he discovers that he had courage all along inside. So, learning from this piece of wisdom I need to be careful not to start a quest for the nerve I need. Instead, this year needs to be a year of going deeper within, spending more time being still and quiet and discovering the courage that already lies within. And so the Year of Courage begins!!