Stand Up For What's Right!!
In May I celebrated by 40th birthday in Berlin Germany. My close friends and I sat chatting in Soho House Berlin, sharing drinks with Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth, well kind of; they were sitting next to us at the bar!
As I looked back over my life I can remember thinking how old forty sounded and how at forty I dreamt I would be filming for Universal Pictures and living in Malibu. As I sat and wondered I scrolled through my emails and read:
“Hello Karen thank you for sharing who you are, as doing so is a great gift and a blessing to all. I enjoy visiting your website for you are one whose life serves as an inspiration to others. I have found everything positive and enriching. Know that giving of yourself in a way profoundly, you serve your highest purpose. You are a light in the window of creativity and spirit that shines brightly on all. Yours in a positive direction, the ancient one”.
Now I don’t know if this person sends this type of email out every day but it changed my mindset to how courageous I had been over my life. I would say my biggest achievement to this day is having the courage to be accountable for how I act every single day. Maya Angelou said courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practise any other virtue consistently. You can practise any virtue erratically but nothing consistently without courage. So what can we do to bring ourselves closer to courage every single day?
1. Remember the quote “children should be seen and not heard”? How wrong could we have been. Over the past two years we have seen the incarceration of some of our top celebrities, by brave men and women who have dared to speak up and have their voices heard. Always remember to speak up for what is right.
2. Two monks were on a pilgrimage. One day they came to a deep river. At the edge of the river sat a young woman weeping because she was afraid to cross the river without help. She begged the two monks to help her. The younger monk turned his back, because the members of their order were forbidden to touch women. The older monk picked up the woman without a word and carried her across the river. He put her down and carried on with his journey. The younger monk came after him scolding and berating him for breaking his vows. The older monk turned to the younger one and said “I only carried her across the river, you have been carrying her all day long”. Letting go of people, ideas and expectations can be difficult but remember we have to let go to let the good stuff in.
3. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.” Soren Kierkegaard.
Whilst I sipped a Virgin Mary in St Pancras Hotel in London I chatted to three American gentlemen back from making a documentary about forgiveness in Rwanda. They had all given up their corporate lives and pay cheques because they wanted to be examples for their children to go out in the world and explore. I told the group a story about a person who I once knew, who worked in the corporate world, and who had a dream of opening a cycle shop, this man never dared to live his passion as his wife didn’t want to lose his pay cheque. One of the men said when he told his wife what his passion and dream's were, he asked his wife how much they needed to live on. He asked her for a figure and he made sure he made that figure every month, and seven years later he said he has never looked back from living his life with passion, determination... All you need to know is what you need.
So today be brave, go and do something you haven’t done before and remember, a lack of courage comes because of fear and fear comes because of ignorance. So go on what are you afraid of?