How to Be Courageous

courageDid you know that the word courage is derived from the French word, ceour? I found out from Angeles Arrien’s book, The Four-Fold Way that courage, etymologically means “the ability to stand by one’s own heart or stand by one’s core.”

I’ve been understudying the role of Observer quite a bit lately. The regular gal being on a secret mission on an unnamed island in the South Pacific (but that’s another story).

What I’ve observed is that it’s quite common (almost pedestrian) for us humans to be lacking in courage. And yes, I do mean that we as a species seem to be quite unwilling and unskilled at this “standing by one’s own heart” thing. I mean, it took me 37 years to begin to nibble at what my core even was!

Now, I see myself in the eyes of people I encounter all along the journey… ones that are asleep, or ones that are struggling with the fact that the life that they have created has not much to do with “what has heart and meaning” for them, or ones who have planted their stakes in the ground and then are aghast at all the crap that comes flying out as a result! Is any of this ringing a bell for you Oprah Book Club fans?! 🙂

Ah well, wherever you are on your journey, I applaud you. Each step takes courage. As it’s origin implies, courage equals SHOWING UP in your life and that, as it turns out, requires great gobs of… the more commonly held definition of courage… “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”

How to be courageous? Show up. Yes, show up even if it’s scary. It’s how you will learn to be courageous and as a big fat bonus, you get to really LIVE!

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Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.


  1. Mrs. Cecil, thank you for your audio comment. It does not surprise me that you can relate to a post about courage… in both senses, you are a courageous woman. Stand by your heart, always!