Courage, Telling One’s Heart

Over the last several days I have been reminded of what ordinary courage looks like and the profound effect it has on the person standing in it as well as those around them. Our current use of the word often relates to heroism of some sort. And yes, when someone does a heroic act, courage is generally part of the process. But I’m talking here from the view of everyday actions that begin with courage.

The root of the word “courage” is from the Latin “cor” meaning “heart”.In its original use it means “to speak one’s mind, by telling one’s heart”.  This isn’t easy in the doing of it and when I am privileged to witness it, I feel deeply grateful for the offering that is given as someone tells the truth of what feels most vulnerable to them in the moment. It might be sharing a hurt heart, a fearful heart, or a heart’s deep desire. It might be giving voice to a long held experience that has been hidden away in embarrassment or shame. It might be the expression of an unexpected experience that touches the hole in our lives that we had given up ever filling. It might be admitting that we don’t know how to do something. Or it might be taking the step of putting something important to us out in the world (See below*).

Telling the truth about any of these takes courage. When given and received free of judgment or criticism, compassion blossoms. This opening forges the path of connection first to ourselves and then to others. (Brene Brown’s wonderful book “The Gift of Imperfection” describes this beautifully and I highly recommend it.)

So I hope that as you move through your life, you support speaking your mind to tell what’s in your heart with everyday courage and acknowledge all the ways you support the courageous steps of others.

I’m excited to let you know that I have completed my first meditation CD – HEARTSPACE MEDITATIONS FOR WELL BEING.  I recorded these meditations to support the creation and/or restoring of your bodymind’s natural state of ease and flow. It’s in this state that you will open up to the love in yourself and the love all around you. As you practice them, you will develop greater friendliness with yourself and awareness of your life experience as it arises in each moment.  All of the meditations are appropriate for beginning as well as experienced meditators. Go here to my products page for all the information. And Thank You very much!

About the author

Suzanne Kilkus

Suzanne Kilkus is a Soto Zen meditation practitioner and teacher and has practiced as a therapist and counselor for over three decades. She is dedicated to assisting people in expanding their capacity for giving and receiving love, and for recognizing and expressing their basic goodness in everyday life. Her path to live with wholehearted compassion and care is an invitation to everyone. She is a teacher with Open Door Zen Community in Madison, WI.