Wow, this is a word for today right? Courage, I sure feel like I could use some. For many of us it may feel like we could use some courage just to get out of bed in the morning. So much easier to pull up the covers and forget the world for a day, a week or for months.
When I formed my list of words to explore during this time of COVID – 19 courage wasn’t one I jotted down and I am not sure why. Just an oversight I suppose. Today the word courage puts images in our head of the firefighter running into the burning building or the first responders of 9/11. But this is not what the word originally meant.
Brené Brown talks about courage. The original definition was, ”To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” In Latin Courage meant “of the heart.”
Courage means you are going to have to get vulnerable and admitting and telling people you need help. Courage is the ability to admit you are afraid. I’ll tell you straight up, I am afraid and I worry about what is to come.
Tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
Note – If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing Brené Brown she is worth taking the time to get to know wether it is via YouTube, her books or podcasts. If you can’t find her shoot me a note and I will get you some links.
My friend! I am back in that part of the dusky day, leaving the light behind heading into the night. The days are quiet now. We sit alone in our thoughts. What would I say to you on the phone today? Happy Birthday doesn’t quite seem right with all the trouble around us. We would talk about our concern for our family and friends. We would speculate about life after the virus. You would tell me you vision for your church knowing what we know now.
You would have many calls today, wishing you well. Yes they would be calling you for your birthday and they would also be calling with the hope that the sound of your voice could give them some hope and a smile. That would be your gift to them.
Happy Birthday just doesn’t seem the most appropriate thing to say. If you were alive I would call today and say “I am grateful for you.” I would say “Thank you.”
Paul Thompson would have been 55 today on April 5, 2020. There are many people who could use his smile, his laugh, his love and his encouragement today. Be safe, be smart.
This is a utility word. To persist means to continue to do something, to continue to try. If you persist you have not given up. As the fatigue of the isolation, the uncertainty and the tension sets in really all we can do is to continue to persist.
Early in my career in the insurance business I was told, “Plan your work and work your plan.” There is always the temptation to just give up. Take it one day at a time and persist. In another post, in fact the first post, I focused on the word “help.” Sometimes what we need to enable us to persist is to ask for help. Help because we need some encouragement to go on.
Start by doing one thing that you can do everyday. Don’t try to do everything because that is overwhelming. Persist in doing one thing. Stay focused and persist. If you need the encouragement to persist in something you know you need to be doing you can call me.
Where are you going? In which direction are you headed? For times like these we better know the right direction to head because there is less room for mistakes to be made before resources run out. I’ve always felt that in order to know which way to go you need to know where you are at this moment. I don’t think we do this enough as people these days. We don’t take the time to really understand where we are and the truth of where we are.
One episode of The Hidden Brain that I have returned to often was first broadcast in January 2018. Lost In Translation: The Power Of Language To Shape How We View The World
The part that caught my attention was when Lera Boroditsky described her work in Australia. Below is an excerpt from what she said.
From the Hidden Brain – BORODITSKY: I had this wonderful opportunity to work with my colleague Alice Gaby in this community called Pormpuraaw in – on Cape York. And what’s cool about languages, like the languages spoken in Pormpuraaw, is that they don’t use words like left and right, and instead, everything is placed in cardinal directions like north, south, east and west. So the way you say hi in Kuuk Thaayorre, one of the languages spoken here, is to say, which way are you heading? And the answer should be, north, northeast in the far distance; how about you?
We all need to be headed in a direction. Knowing your point of origin will make your journey easier I suspect.
If you want to listen to the whole episode here you go!
Scrolling through social media yesterday I paused to take in a video compilation of Stephen Curry. The video focused on Curry’s movement on the court when he did not have the ball. He’s fun to watch when he’s dropping bombs outside of the 3 Point line, it is a thing of beauty. Even more beautiful is that movement when he does not have the ball. He never stops and after passIng the ball off he’s gliding to an open spot ready to receive the ball back.
Face it, we all want the ball and right now it feels like the ball is not in our hands with no chance of getting it passed to us. Crazy times. We can just decide to stand around and wait or we can create some movement. Movement can take many forms. It can be working on relationships, learning something new, encouraging others or just catching up on tasks long put off.
Movement might also keep us sane. Even if the ball isn’t in our hands right now it is the movement of this moment that will better our chances to emerge from this time ready to face the next challenges.
This is true for our personal and professional and professional lives. It is a great skill to have.
Most of the definitions for family were rather disappointing when I read them this morning. They were mostly matter of fact descriptions of people grouped by marriage and blood relations. There is the nuclear family, extended family, church family and work family. Leo Tolstoy made a statement in the first sentence of Anna Karenina – ”Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.“
What struck me as a little odd was how little there was about the interactions between family members. This is where my mind has always gone, to the interaction and to a certain extent the level of expectations and the support we get from family members.
Brené Brown has some great insights and this podcast has some that are timely given our current world situation. It is worth a listen if you have not heard this one already. Her language can get a bit earthy but not in this particular episode.
These are her notes for this episode – We have collectively hit weary. This is especially true for the brave folks on the front lines of this pandemic and for the people who love and support them. And, it’s also true for all of us. In this episode, I talk about strategies for falling apart, staying connected + kind, and giving ourselves permission to feel hard things.
Yesterday I picked up a couple bottles of beer from a local Craft Brewery I support (see yesterday’s post). That visit left me with a helpless feeling that grew into the evening and one that I woke up with. Helpless because there is no way that I can help that Brewery survive. I do not have the financial resources nor the capacity to consume enough beer to make a difference.
We like to think that one person can make a difference, one person can change things. This really is not true. One person can start things, that is true. But it takes people coming together to change things, to fix things.
Perhaps this is going to be one of the greatest awakenings of our conscious mind, the understanding that world wide recovery will require all of us to come together as friends, family, communities, nations and as humans.
It should be understood, together is hard and there is good together, bad together and meaningless together. We need to start thinking about how we can move forward together. This is the way 😎 !
I walked into a local craft brewery to buy a couple bottles of brew and to show my support. Only the owner was there.
For the record there was no contact, quite a bit of wiping down. I feel much safer there than in the grocery story.
I asked Craig how he was holding up. He said had to lay off all the staff, his business is down 90% and he spent four hours working on appealing unemployment claims that were denied when the employees filed. He was very grateful I came in. I can’t buy much from him. I am only one person.
It remains to be seen what kind of financial support his small business will receive. I know he has a family. He used to be a full time attorney and for several years has put his heart and soul into the brewery.
I miss the employees too. It is a great group of people all enthusiastic, each bringing a passion to the tap room.
This is a bad time to be shut, the spring is when business starts to pick up in normal times after the winter lull. It’s a great spot with great outdoor seating with a great view. It’s always busy. He said today was dead. He didn’t know why. We both hoped it wasn’t because people were starting to get fatigued.
He was very grateful I came in to support his place. You could see it in his eyes. I said I wanted him to know I care.