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Being present with courage

This weekend the kids and I went to our annual Buddhist New Year meeting which always gets me thinking about so many different things - I often think of the past and I always make determinations for the future as we are encouraged to do.

One of the themes of our day was courage and how we often only experience our own courage when we are faced with difficult situations. This is what got me thinking of the past.

Where were you a year ago? How about three or five or ten?

Ten years ago is where things started going wrong for me - as I look back I question if this is where things started to change at least, I can't quite stretch to say they started going right. Two and a half months into being a new mum with my first born and only just about able to sit down after a horrendous delivery. That was a dark time in my life, parts of which I'm sure I have blanked from my memory. We'd get to the end of the day some days and I would amaze myself that we were all fed and still alive.

Baby Isabella

From that time I worked through each and every obstacle, bit by tiny bit, some days have been excruciating but I live to tell the tale and I'm certainly stronger for it!

Do you remember 20 years ago when we were gearing up for the millennium (yep that was nearly 20 years ago!) then a year later when all the hype of the new year had died down and nothing seemed to have actually happened?! Life can be like that sometimes, it looks so scary moving forwards but once we look back we seem to have got through it fine in the end.

Do you have any challenges in your life at the moment? Do they look too big to deal with? When faced with problems how do you react?

To have courage in any situation is not just acting bravely but is also in understanding the nature of how life itself works, in that way we can succeed in getting through testing times.

Where have you had courage recently? Where would you like more courage?

Sometimes it's hard to have courage even in simple everyday moments, find presence by using your senses, stop for a moment and feel. Take in all that you can see, smell, hear and taste.

Take the deepest breath you've taken all day and know that you have courage here in the present.

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