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Practicing Courage

It has been ten months since I've been to a yoga studio and I desperately miss it. I miss the synchronicity of breath, shared experience. music and mantra. I have my favorite studios that I would hit up on my business travels across California. Zuda Yoga is one of my favorite studios in Folsom, CA. It is a hot yoga studio that, when I've practiced there, has always allowed my worries to melt along with the rest of my body.

Today, I received an email from the studio with the subject line, "Practice Courage" and I got to thinking about what that means for me. With a few quick keystrokes on Google, the definition pops up. Essentially, practicing courage is doing something that is in alignment with who you are and your values, but is outside of your comfort zone. So, a few concrete examples came to mind! Parasailing in Oahu. Oh my gosh, I went up hundreds of feet in the air with my son. He yelled and laughed the entire time and I closed my eyes and muttered not one single vocalization as I was too terrified to even breathe. Terrified the air was not going to flow through the sails as intended and I would plunge to my death and become shark food. But I did it. Another example, was rappelling down a ten story building. That first step off the roof was terrifying, but I did it. Snorkeling in Maui. Again, my thoughts focused on the idea of me being shark food. Flying in a military helicopter with the freaking doors OPEN! I did it.

Another area where I have practiced courage is public speaking. I was the shy girl in school all the way through college. My mom is still always shocked that I am comfortable getting up in front of hundreds of people and talking about my expertise in my field. But, one specific area that I have been really working on, compliments of our leadership team's focus on the Dare to Lead book, is being vulnerable. I have practiced being vulnerable on the pages of this blog, but it doesn't really count since I'm a moniker on these pages. Some know my real identity, but most do not.

I was speaking to my mindfulness mentor, Mel, this evening and we talked about what I would like to accomplish between now and my next challenge. We talked a bit about the challenge of being vulnerable. For me, it feels like weakness. My brain knows it is not, but my heart say it is so. It has been reiterated to me that vulnerability is not weakness, but I still struggle with it. Practicing courage is definitely an adventure especially when the road signs demand vulnerability. Find the adventure that demands that you practice courage. Embrace the challenge as you become a better version of yourself.

I'm not going to lie, some days I miss the tide And the scent of a salt water breeze comin' over me But I have no doubt, where I am right now Is right where I'm supposed to be

This is the journey of the soul, it's the adventure of me No matter what I'm told, I know that I am free To roam my own way, to flow in my own sea To chase my own dreams on this adventure of me

I've traded hurricanes for monsoonal rains And I love that I have no idea what's next It could be northern lights or Rocky Mountain highs I've learned to be open to anything

-Rob Riccardo

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