The COURAGE Meditation (20 min.)
Courage can be defined as taking conscious action despite feeling afraid or vulnerable. The call to courage can also mean standing up for what you believe in, even though you may feel anxious and uncertain about the consequences.
But sometimes, being courageous doesn’t always come naturally. It can require cultivation, and in this meditation, you will learn how to manage fear and anxiety that arises and to help you show up in your most empowered, strong, courageous way.
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of “The BE ULTIMATE Podcast.” Please note that this is direct from Travis speaking unscripted and unedited.]
Welcome to the COURAGE meditation.
Go ahead and find a seated position.
Close the eyes.
Find a comfortable place to relax your hands as you began to settle into these opening moments as we explore the theme of courage.
Courage can be defined as taking conscious action despite feeling afraid or vulnerable. The call to courage can also mean standing up for what you believe in, even though you may feel anxious and uncertain about the consequences. But sometimes, being courageous doesn’t always come naturally. It can require cultivation, and in this meditation, you will learn how to manage fear and anxiety that arises and to help you show up in your most empowered, strong, courageous way. And it will support you to move strong from a place of deep integrity.
So let’s go ahead and begin by taking some deep breaths. Inhale deep through the nose and out the mouth, exhale. Let it all go.
A couple more like that.
Take another deep inhale, draw the oxygen low, and out the mouth. Exhale. Just let it all go.
One more time. Big inhale. Draw that air in. And exhale. Just let it all go.
Notice if there are any places within your body right now where you feel tension or you feel fear, which often is encoded within tension.
As you scan your awareness through your body, you might notice the butterflies in the stomach or perhaps a contracting sensation inside of the throat or maybe even a tight feeling in your chest, your shoulders, your neck, your jaw, or maybe even behind the eyes. A lot of times, this tension is unconscious and it can be undetected until we become really present and aware.
Notice, right now, where do you feel the tension? Wherever you feel this tension, focus your mind into that specific area and take a few deep breaths, breathing right to where you feel the sensation.
And then notice, if there’s any changes, any shifts?
Did the quality of the tension transform in any way or did it change locations? Just simply be aware, be mindful, and notice how this tension is impermanent. These sensations that appear and then inevitably disappear.
Now, the root word of courage is cor, which is the Latin word for the heart. Traditionally speaking, when one is being courageous, they are acting strongly from this place of the heart.
So now, bring your awareness to your heart. Hold your attention right there at the middle of your chest. And maintaining that connection, begin to repeat the following phrase silently internally.
“May I be filled with courage. May I be filled with courage. May I be filled with courage.”
Then on your own, just keep repeating.
And if your mind, at any point, starts to drift away from the repetition, just easily, gently, patiently bring your attention back to that repetition, may I be filled with courage, feeling that deep, deep connection to your heart.
Good. Now, just gently let the repetition go.
Take a few moments to rest in that pause.
And then from here, think about an upcoming event that scares you. Perhaps you have some stress or worry around this upcoming event. Maybe this is an event that you’ve been avoiding, but you know deep inside of you, it’s something that you need to do. There’s some action that you need to take, but you’ve had resistance, the resistance of fear. And as you contemplate this event, notice where you feel any tension right now on your body beginning to arise.
Where is that fear manifesting?
Where’s that stress showing up right now? It’s tension within your body.
And then now, begin to take several deep breaths, inhaling deep through the nose and big exhales out the mouth. And as you breathe in and as you breathe out, just feel the tension diminishing.
Feel the stress, the fear, the worry also diminishing, and know that your breath is always available when you feel tension or the fear feels too big.
You meet the bigness of the fear with the magnitude of your breath.
Your breath is so powerful, and just a few breaths can begin to shift your state. Continue to take a few more deep breaths.
As adults, the older we get, the more that we become attached to the end result of things, which can bring fear and often take us out of the present moment. If you find yourself focusing on the end result, simply focus on just doing the best that you can in that moment, focusing solely on your effort. Trust that whatever happens is part of your process.
Continue to see yourself in the midst of this upcoming event. See yourself as clearly and vividly, as specifically as possible, and visualize yourself navigating through this event with courage, with strength, with power.
You have these qualities within you.
And as you visualize yourself moving through this environment with these people, whatever this is, begin to repeat the following phrase.
“May I move through this event with strength and courage. May I move through this event with strength and courage. May I move through this event with strength and courage.”
Continue to repeat over and over and over again.
Think the thought, but also feel that energy of strength. Feel that energy of courage emanating from your chest, from your heart.
As you repeat the phrase, if you have any thoughts of doubt arise, know that you do not have to buy into these. Often, what limits our courage are these recurring thoughts that just keep recycling over and over through the mind. And just because they’re there doesn’t mean that they’re true.
On your own, keep repeating, “May I continue to move through this event with strength and courage.” Think it. Feel it. Think it. Feel it. Repeat.
Now, gently let the repetitions subside, and again, just rest in the aftereffects of what you just did, just resting in that open, spacious awareness.
Take a deep inhale through the nose, and out the mouth, exhale. Just empty out the lungs and allow your breath to just return to its own natural, effortless flow.
So the intention of this meditation is not to eradicate fear or anxiety, but to just listen to them, to take note of them, and to have the ability to respond, the responsibility to meet challenging situations in a way that is in alignment with our values and our sense of right action.
So as you move into the rest of your day, inevitably when those moments of fear, stress, anxiety, or worry show up, just note it. See it. Observe where the tension manifests within the body. And then come back to your phrase. “May I be courageous.”
Thank you for listening. Thank you for tuning in, and wishing you a courageous day.