I blog about courage, so that tells you the subject interests me a lot, even fascinates me. This trip gives me plenty of opportunity to see it and consider it even more deeply.
I often ask people what courage means to them. They describe big actions of heroism, often in life-threatening situations. What I don’t hear are the stories of the brave things we do every day.
Now that we’ve been on the trip for over four months, I am more convinced than ever that most people do not see themselves as courageous, even though they are. I am also convinced that it is helpful to learn to recognize it and let it take us further.
Everyday courage. The courage it takes to express ourselves artistically. The courage to go to the doctor to get the proper tests. The courage to walk into a room full of people you don’t know. The courage to help someone who needs it, to initiate a difficult conversation with a co-worker or loved one, or to step out and do something different. For some reason, this kind of courage gets overlooked and goes unrecognized.
Here’s an example of courage overlooked.
Dikla Oren is an osteopath and cranio-sacral healer who lives in Israel with her husband Isaac. Dikla is an avid learner and spends her time traveling, exploring and training in all areas of healing, music and art. In fact, she was preparing to leave for a four- day wilderness training course later in the week.
We met Isaac, her husband, while we were in Cambodia. He invited us to visit them in Israel, and although Israel was not on our original list of countries to visit, we agreed and were guests at his beautiful home less than a month later.
Dikla and Isaac run a retreat center from their home in the Galil mountains. It is an amazing home and we had the pleasure of relaxing there for several days during our stay in Israel. During our drive from the mountains into Tel Aviv, Dikla and I discussed the concept of courage. She believes that courage is developed over time and is the ability to get up and still live life even when things don’t go as planned. She also believes children are the most courageous people she has met and she credits their naivety with helping them through many things.
I asked her if she saw herself as courageous. Like everyone else I have asked, she said no. I pointed out that she has traveled to India by herself over ten different times. She has learned ancient healing arts to help people in her community and learned how to play the didgeridoo. She has created a life and a business that serves others.
I look at Dikla and see a very courageous woman. I told her this, and she posed a question to me that has prompted a lot of thought and discussion with others. I am interested in yours.
She asked “Is a person courageous if she does something that comes naturally or that she loves to do?” For example, if you love to skydive, are you courageous when you do it?
What do you think? I’d love to know.
Life takes courage. Live courageously.
Here is a video of us courageously playing some music while guests at Dikla and Isaac’s home.