We’re claiming 2018 as a year of courage. As our new book, The Courage Way, arrives in the world this week, may it expand your sense of courage and possibility.

We must assume our existence as broadly as we in any way can; everything, even the unheard-of, must be possible in it. That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular, and the most inexplicable that we may encounter.

~Ranier Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

A researcher named Monica Worline introduced me to this image of Kitty Tatch and her companion, dancing on a small outcropping of rock that juts over a crevasse in Yosemite National Park. In their long dresses and tall hats, circa 1895, they playfully pose, feet thrown high into the air, hands clasped together over their heads. Somewhere below, photographer George Fiske captures their vulnerability and daring. So tiny and energetic against a sea of rugged terrain, they exude vitality and freedom, as if dancing on the brink of social change itself.

Courage, is almost always discussed in relation to fear. Where, in our understanding of courage, do we make sense of such soaring joy?

What moments of love, play, and being your whole self have called forth a joyful kind of courage?

What cliff edge might you be dancing on these days? Who are your companions?

As February unfolds, this month of the heart, remember that courage comes from the French word coeur (heart) and also from the Latin fortitudo (fortitude). Courage comes from strength of heart. What will fortify your heart this month?

Shelly FrancisWith gratitude and courage,

Shelly L. Francis
Marketing & Communications Director
and author of The Courage Way

P.S. Courage & Renewal programs offer places and practices to fortify your courage, connecting you with other people in authentic ways.

Today’s blog is a mirror of our monthly Words of EnCOURAGEment e-newsletter. If you’re not a subscriber yet, sign up so you don’t miss anything!


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