- Nancy Ogilvie
Tiny Acts of Courage, Part 1
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Principle: I only need the courage to take the next step, not to complete the process.
Practice/Prayer: Ask for guidance on what your next step is throughout the day. Practice courage!
Since the pandemic began, I’ve started virtually every weekday in morning prayer with members of my spiritual community. I look forward to seeing my friends and connecting with Spirit together – it reminds me that I’m never alone, even in the midst of lockdown by myself. Even on the days when I want to stay under the covers, I have gotten up because I know I’ll be uplifted and start my day in a better place.
But yesterday morning, I woke up so depressed that I very nearly did not get up. I actually turned the alarm off and rolled over with the intent of going back to sleep. But Spirit had other things in mind… I was “sound awake.” So I took that as Her nudge to get my butt up and joined morning prayer. That was tiny act of courage #1.
During our meditation time, my mind was all over the map, refusing to still. I was physically restless and uncomfortable. I had an attitude about why in the world I was even bothering. But I persisted. Tiny act of courage #2.
I persisted with the rest of my spiritual practice after group prayer as well. Each morning, I set my intent for the day to make explicit choices about who I want to be. In my journal, I write out the question, “How shall I experience and express the One Source of all Life today?” And I answer. Here’s what I wrote yesterday – tiny act of courage #3:
· Practicing open-hearted, embodied, grounded presence in each moment
· Practicing humility and surrender. You are the director, Spirit, I am the actor. All day, I take the next step I hear You prompting me to take.
· Forgiving myself for being human – loving my human self as she is, messy feelings, depression and all. Embracing/loving myself as I am.
· Asking for courage just to take the next step.
· Living in unceasing prayer, praise, and gratitude
· Dancing – literally and metaphorically – playing, joy, spontaneity, laughing at myself.
Especially when I felt so depressed, this process reminded me that I CAN choose how I respond to my mood. It’s my choice whether I collapse into it and let it run my day, or whether I choose to engage in a series of tiny acts of courage. This process of setting intent reminds me that I am not alone – I am always held in the loving arms of the Divine Mother, that I am lovable in Her sight even when I feel like a wart on a frog’s butt.
When I find the grace to forgive myself for being human and having messy human feelings like depression, I can find some acceptance instead of fighting with myself. Asking for courage to stay in action rather than collapse and let the depression take over is itself an act of courage that relieves my hopelessness. Using prayer to remind myself to be grateful for all I’ve been given and praising Spirit reminds me to appreciate the beauty and abundance all around me. Dancing gives me the opportunity to experience the joy of moving my body and helps shift and increase my energy.
See next post for part 2 of this one.