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A Call to Courage
There are many expressions of courage; it covers a spectrum that ranges from throwing oneself in harm's way to save others, to simply standing fast in a bad situation, ignoring the urge to run away. The desire to stay deep within the boundaries of one's comfort zone can interfere with or even lessen one's courage.
And what if those boundaries shrink? We have entered challenging times on the planet; we are facing uncertain times politically, economically, and for many of us physically and emotionally as well. Now is the time to kindle, feed and strengthen the courage within ourselves and in others in preparation for whatever is coming our way, for there is comfort and an honorable dignity in a community that can depend on its members to step up to the plate during times of distress or crisis.
As the challenges intensify, each of us will see things from our own perspective and respond accordingly. The call for courage is a wake up call for the in-the-moment decisions we make. As we move further and further from our comfort zones, our choices will be weighed in the light of our relationship to courage, and what courage means to each of us. An influx of individual and community courage will have an impact on the quality of our lives and our confidence in the future.
As I continue to strive to recover from my recent back injuries I have had to reckon with my own relationship with courage, and the potential consequences of any lack of courage I might be tempted to embrace. My struggle with pain and the limitations imposed by pain, compounded by the lack of options available to “fix” the situation, has forced me to search for options beyond the mechanical approaches to what had been up to now considered a physical problem. It is easy to point to specific physical reasons for the sever stenosis that crimps my spine and last year’s ruptured disc: my rigorous schedule requiring me to pull luggage through airports, conferences and up and down walk-ups in various cities, and a couple of falls (also in airports while toting way too much luggage). Then, just a month after I was diagnosed and was finally healing, I was hit by a car last summer while walking in a crosswalk. As dramatic and obvious as these events seem, I am coming to recognize that much of the ensuing debilitating pain has its roots in habit patterns developed as a consequence of traumatic events long past. One of the team of healers of various persuasions that are helping me to get my life back is a wonderful chiropractor that practices Neuro Emotional Technique (NET). In two short sessions we identified and neutralized three past events that may have cut the grooves that have shaped my ongoing responses to life. These newly identified yet deeply held emotional patterns have plagued me as character flaws that had become rationalized to such a degree that I had long ago accepted them as vital aspects of my nature, even required for my survival.
As the magic would have it, these revelations have come to light in perfect synchronicity with the impetus to present the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet’s powerful work, In the Belly of the Goddess. I first presented this work in the late ‘90s. It was relevant then, and is only more so now. This new iteration of the alchemy of transformation is about feeding our courage. It is also about hunger—not in the sense of lack of food, but rather the cravings that are symptomatic of something gone wrong in our lives that leaves an unfulfilled feeling. Left unchecked, this craving often results in our straying off course. It is this sort of contentious habit pattern that we are looking to transform through our interaction with the powerful lioness goddess, Sekhmet, the feminine fire that consumes and transforms that which no longer serves us. The ramifications of hunger are palpable; they are easy to identify. (Consider that there is something universally disturbing about listening to a lioness’s stomach growl.) It’s the source of the hunger we are looking for, and to find it requires a deep inner search. Is it a piece of ones character? Perhaps a mean or needy streak? Is it a proclivity to addiction? To reach beyond the consequences and find the source is the first step in transforming it.
Each of us has our own individual hunger, that which we have repeated throughout our life, no matter how many times we have recognized it— and regretted it. It is usually in retrospect that we find our selves going back and doing it over and over again! That is Sekhmet’s growling stomach.
The workshop that I will be presenting in the upcoming teleclass, In the Belly of the Goddess, provides an opportunity to develop courage through a new empowerment she is offering. You will also be able to satisfy Sekhmet’s hunger with a meal that is healthy, nourishing, forthright, and sane. There will be no room for the craziness that is inherent in the contentious habit pattern that you choose to work with. Because of how deeply ingrained it is, there will be resistance to changing it. You can honor that resistance. This is about embracing all of who you are and witnessing the process by which it is transformed—in the belly of the goddess.
For more about Sekhmet, read Nicki's article: In the Belly of the Goddess: Transformation with the Goddess Sekhmet