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A COURAGE TOUCHSTONE FOR ENCOURAGING YOUR DREAMS



Courage Art by Krista“You’re nuts.”
Has anyone ever told you that?

 

That’s what a bookbinder said when I described my vision for producing The Twelve Gifts of Birth book. After listening to how I wanted to bring my manuscript into the world with full-color illustrations, high-quality paper, a hard cover, and a die-cut that would offer a “peak-through” from one page to the next, he first said nothing. He just fanned through the pages of my primitive, hand-made “mock-up” and shook his head.

 

“You’re nuts, lady,” he then said. “There is no way you can do this. Your book will have to retail for at least, oh $40. Maybe $45. And no one is going to pay that much for this little gift book!”

 

The business owner went on to advise me to cut back on the features I wanted and to scale back my vision, way back.

 

“You might want to… not produce this book at all,” he said. “It’s pretty simple, not much text here. I hate to discourage you, but I think this project might be a waste of money.”  

 

I could hardly leave the premises fast enough. And yet I could barely walk, due to the way my knees were shaking.  My hands were shaking too. My whole body was trembling, in fact, with shock, hurt, fear, disappointment, confusion.

 

Just as I got into my car and pulled the door shut, the light sprinkling of rain I had driven through on the way to that meeting burst into a heavy downpour. While rivulets of water streamed down the front window and around my car, tears flowed down my cheeks. Not trusting myself to drive with poor visibility due to the conditions both outside and inside my car, I sat in the parking lot and waited for the storm to pass.

 

Am I nuts? I thought. I questioned the feasibility of my dream and my visions for it. And, as I did, the “weather” within me matched the weather outside, dark and dreary.

 

And then, out of the blue, an image of a humble, yellow building appeared in my mind. I recognized it as one of the laboratories where Thomas Edison had conducted experiments. The historic structure was not far from my childhood home in New Jersey.  During my teen years, I had driven by it many times. It always seemed to call for my attention. Often, when I passed it, I wondered about the actual day-to-day work that had been done there. What discoveries had been made? What failed attempts had happened there? What disappointments and frustrations had been experienced?

 

And, with the image of that little lab in mind, I wondered how many people had said “Your nuts!” to Thomas Edison in some shape or form.

 

I reminded myself that my meeting with the bookbinder was simply an exploratory step on my publishing journey. I did not yet know the exact steps I needed to take to make my dream a reality. However, I felt certain that small steps would eventually bring me to my goal, even if some of those steps seemed to be missteps. Clearly, having my books bound at that business was not going to be part of my publishing plan. That was actually a good thing to know. That was a gain I had made that day.

 

The best gain, however, was being filled again with courage, even more courage than I had previously felt. I resolved that day, even if I heard again and again that I was “nuts” or “unrealistic,” I would continue to take steps toward my dream. With renewed and deepened courage, I felt certain I would reach my goal, just as Thomas Edison eventually found the right filament to create the electric light bulb.

 

Fifteen years after my exploratory visit with that bookbinder, The Twelve Gifts of Birth and subsequent series is approaching one million books beautifully made, reasonably priced, and sold successfully. It turns out: there was a way. The idea was do-able.

 

How are you feeling about your dream? Have you ever gotten to the point where it looks impossible?

 

Consider what Thomas Edison said: “Nearly every person who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it seems impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.”

 

He also said, “If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” And, “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”

 

Might Thomas Edison–his example and his words–be a courage touchstone for you too?

 

Blessings for all your dreams. May you be deeply en-couraged!

PRACTICING SELF COMPASSION: AN APPROACH TO CONSIDER

CompassionDo past regrets and feelings of embarrassment sometimes pop up in your thoughts and emotions? Do you ever look back and “kick yourself” for something you did that you judge as “stupid”?

 

Instead of being stuck in hurt and more judging, such moments can be seen as opportunities for healing.

 

Being human, we’ve probably all got some yet-to-be-resolved issues “stuck,” in our consciousness and in our bodies. When they bubble up from their storage places, it can be a good thing because, when they do, we can free ourselves of some negative energy. We can also grow in compassion and wisdom.

 

How? Here’s one approach that I’ve found to be helpful.

 

When any old judgments come up, Continue reading

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE

Daisies on a beach

“Nothing is impossible,” Audrey Hepburn said. “The word itself says, ‘I’m possible.” Watch for new growth and new life everywhere, with hope.

USE VISUALIZATION TO FEEL PEACEFUL AND SAFE: SURROUND YOURSELF WITH A TWELVE GIFTS’ BUBBLE

Glenda Bubble

By Charlene Costanzo

Can you recall the first time you saw THE WIZARD OF OZ? What in that film made the biggest impression on you? For me, it was the arrival of the Good Witch of the North, gliding in to Munchkin land in a lustrous bubble.

That image popped into my mind this morning, as I was wondering: How can protect myself from negativity? How do I do that without isolating myself? How can I be fully in the world, contributing in positive ways, and not be pulled down by the fear, the anger, and the hurt I often see and feel?

I wanted to maintain the peace I was feeling after prayer and meditation.

Suddenly, there it was, in my mind’s eye, that large, luminous bubble floating toward Dorothy in the film and toward me as the viewer.

And I “got it.”

As I child I wanted to be in that bubble. I realized that…  I COULD!

In my imagination, I created a sense of being in a bubble that is filled with all the highest energies of life. I am imagining that bubble around me now. Its shimmering film allows all the lovely energies within to pass outward. Like a sweet flower, the bubble I am in is frangrancing the world with love. Yet, that film is tight enough to prevent heavy energies from entering into the bubble.

 

Imagination is powerful. We all have this gift. And we use it every day.

Consider using yours to create such a bubble through visualization. It’s easy, fun, and feels great!

Sit in a comfortable place. I like to sit on my bed, propped up with my back against pillows and my legs stretched out in front of me.

Close you eyes, or keep them open, as you prefer.

Place your dominant hand over your heart and your other hand over your belly.

Breathe in deeply. Exhale slowly.

Next time, on the in-breath, imagine that you are drawing toward you, the powers of strength, beauty, courage, compassion, hope, joy, reverence, wisdom, love, and faith.

They are now surrounding you, sparkling with light and all the colors of the rainbow.

Imagine an iridescent film forming in a circle, a ball, all around you.

You are in the bubble.

Now, glide through your day, in a wondrous way.

“Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death, but to inspire yourself to life.” – Adele Brookman

FIVE MINUTES FOR PEACE

Ice Cube Melting

Here is a simple practice you can incorporate into your day with relative ease no matter how busy you are. It is a small yet real way to foster peace within yourself and bring a measure of peace into the world. Over time, it can become a sacred daily ritual with profound effects.

Upon waking or before you begin your work day, remove an ice cube from your freezer and place it in a cup, saucer, or bowl. Set the container in a room temperature place where it will remain undisturbed by pets or children.

See the ice cube as representing fear, your own fear in all the ways it shows up, as well as fear in the world.  Silently or out loud say, “This represents fear. I am willing to allow my feelings of fear to soften and melt away.”

Go about your day.

At a convenient time later in the day, bring your attention again to the container. Notice the water now in the liquid state. See it as representing fear transformed. Bless the water. Use this water to nourish a plant in your home. Or, go outdoors and pour it onto a place where, symbolizing your intention of contributing to healing on Earth, this modicum of water can nourish some tiny living thing.