COURAGE AND THE INNER CRITIC
On this full moon night, where we are honoring the journey of how to live courageously in our truths, I want to speak to how the inner critic interacts with courage and why it’s important to define courage not by the external moves you make, but by the (internal) way you show up with yourself.
The inner critic usually has one of two responses to the practice of courage. Courage is either a) threatening the zone of safety the inner critic has established that helps you stay below the radar so you’re not judged, noticed or rejected OR b) no matter what you do, you’re still not being courageous enough, stretching yourself far enough, or doing enough to get to where you want to grow/be/achieve.
If you’re experiencing “a”, the practice of courage for you has to come back to practicing what it means to feel safe within yourself- not just in your physical body, but in your spiritual body. How can you trust yourself more and find sanctuary within yourself, without sticking to the safety of old habits that have outworn their use in your life? If it’s “b”, then the practice of courage comes back to dropping into the body, and FEELING into how you already practice courage everyday, and allowing yourself to slow down, rest and get your body out of doing and into being with yourself. This is often a new courageous edge for you, because the being is much more scary for the inner critic than the doing.
The “doing” is more comfortable for the inner critic because it directs life from a rule book, rather than from heart or soul center. Because of that, the “doing” is happening from a place of confusion and misalignment (acting from the should’s), versus from a place of radical alignment to truth.
When you have a strong inner critic, the courage often lies in less doing and more being. The courage lies in dropping into the body, and releasing attachment from the mind. The courage lies in practicing playfulness, rather than following the rule book. The courage lies in being devoted to yourself, rather than external results or achievements.
What courageous act will take you closer into relationship with your being, rather than your doing?