We need courage to do the right thing. We need courage to face our fears and stand up for ourselves and others. At times, we need ordinary courage just to tackle our everyday responsibilities.
This past year, I made a commitment to myself to seek out opportunities to be more courageous in my life. I committed to taking risks personally and professionally. As a result, I have felt vulnerable, insecure, agitated and anxious. And at the same time I felt myself becoming more authentic, more humble and more deeply imbedded in my community. Through these learning expeditions, I have connected with new people who are also leaning into fear. I discovered that courage is contagious!
In these adventures in courage, I have been reminded that taking risks requires energy. Stepping out of my comfort zone needs to be balanced with moments of self-compassion to pause and integrate what I am learning. Mindful self-compassion helps me to regroup, regain my composure and settle into the new version of myself. When I balance courage with compassion, I find a deep union arising. I feel myself becoming the person that I need to be.
Today you will read about a few different people who inspire me to find this balance between courage and compassion. I hope that you will read on about how they are bringing their gifts, passion and wisdom to the world. I am sure that you have people in your circle that are living examples for you. I would love to know more about who is inspiring you to take risks, live more courageously, and balance acts of courage with self-compassion. Write me back and share your stories and your connections!
What's Next Washington?
I met Susan Mason in a Mindful Self-Compassion course at The Center for Child and Family Well-being (CCFW)! I was immediately drawn to her. She is wicked smart, funny and doesn't hold back. Sue brings her full and honest self to every interaction. Sue is the co-founder of What's Next Washington a non-profit organization of formerly incarcerated individuals and their allies who seek to significantly reduce recidivism. Dedicated to having courageous conversations about the stigma's we carry and how to address bias and discrimination, WNW works tirelessly to create employment and housing opportunities. This Tuesday October 2nd, I will attend The Stigma We Carry an interactive fundraising event designed to educate about the stigmatized identities of incarceration, homelessness, poverty, mental health disorders and addiction.
I hope you can join me at this event! Doors open at 5:30 and the show is from 6-8 pm. Interested in coming, but short on cash? There are tickets available so please let me know you want to come and meet Sue in person! This work is important and it won't happen without funding so if you are able you can also donate even if you can't attend the fundraising event.
Mindfulness Meditation for Busy Working People
A few years ago, Andrea D'Asaro reached out to me through my website and we met at the Seattle Mindfulness Center. We connected immediately and have sense shared many conversations about mindfulness, resilience and how to support courageous action with self-compassion. Warm and open, Andrea always has a great story to share about what she is learning from her students and her life. She is committed to teaching others how to tap into mindfulness in simple ways by incorporating small moments of stillness into their everyday lives. She has a grounding presence and creates a supportive environment to discover new ways to bring joy into each day. If you are looking for a mindfulness coach, a mindfulness tutor or ready to take a course this October to explore mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) consider her course Mindfulness Meditation for busy working people at North Seattle College. Check out her website here.
These two women embody the powerful combination of fierce courage and deep compassion that I aspire toward! Together, they co-facilitate Listening Mother's groups - a joyful and compassionate place for moms and babies to pause and be together in a supportive community with others. This amazing series offers a mix of learning about information that helps nurture the mom and baby bond while engaging in mindfulness and self-compassion based practices that help enrich the present moment. They seek to nurture the ever-evolving relationship between child and parent. The LM groups are for moms with babies 0-6 months old. A deeply meaningful space for mothers that is built around a curriculum of self-compassion, attachment & bonding theory, mindfulness practices, this space allows for emergent wisdom to arise within the group. It is a rare space for mothers to share and listen to one another in a supportive and non-judgmental space that welcomes the unique and universal discoveries that each woman is going through. The group includes discussions, mindfulness practice, sharing of wisdom from the women in the group, ritual and poetry. While I have never had the opportunity to participate in a Listening Mother's group myself, I have seen the lasting impact that the group has on women and their babies. You can learn more about the class and how to register here or simply email Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website.