White Flower

Once a month I publish my favorite articles from around the web (mostly on personal development), books, and resources plus a mini-monthly review.

I share these links each month because I think it’s important to personally support each other as bloggers rather to rely exclusively on the big corporations that provide social media platforms for “free.”  I love writers who make me dig deep as well as those who inspire or provide useful practical information.

Outstanding Articles

Great Courses

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about myself as a writer and carousing with other wordsmiths in Tammy Strobel’s Writing in the Digital Age.  Tammy brings a large dose of creativity to her writing process, which pushed my boundaries in a positive way and gave me brand new ideas.  Registration will open for her next 4-week course on July 15th.

The Heart of May:  Exploring Fearlessness

Writing a brief monthly review helps me to celebrate my accomplishments and stay focused on what really counts.  Sharing my review may inspire you to be more intentional too.

Champagne Pond

Champagne Cove

We skirted the two private homes, walking down a narrow concrete and stone pathway to the inlet’s edge.  I slipped into layers of cool sea interspersed with lava-heated fresh water.

Being a holiday weekend, people lined the decks and docks alongside the inside of the cove.  As I paddled about puppy-style, one of the homeowners (or renters) started shouting and cursing.

“Don’t you have any respect for private property?  He’s trying to pull a rock out, don’t you see?”

“I didn’t touch anything,” came the retort, which accelerated the anger further.

The accusations heated up, the denials flew equally as strong.

I felt scared and vulnerable in the hands of a mild current, which held me, more or less, paddling in place. I wasn’t flooded with fear, but I began to worry about drifting too close to the “mad” man’s rock wall.

Another person might have thought, “What a jerk.”  Or, “He has every right to be angry.”  I zoomed in on the sense of unpredictability, which fed my mild apprehension.

I’m not inviting situations like this, but they do give me an opportunity to study my fear response. Leaning into fear, I’m learning, is the path to fearlessness according to the amazing teachings contained in the book Smile at Fear:  Awakening the True Heart of Bravery by Chögyam Trungpa.

I don’t think you will ever find another book quite like this when it comes to the topic of fear.  Trungpa says, fearlessness arises from recognizing basic goodness in yourself and others.  On the other hand, all fear stems from our terror of non-existence.

“We are constantly looking for padding so we don’t run into the sharp edges of the world.”  Chögyam Trungpa, Smile at Fear

Are you willing to live without the padding?  True bravery requires tenderness, gentleness, and sensitivity rather than aggression.  It’s the willingness to be raw, vulnerable, and open-hearted in any moment rather than seeking neurotic comforts to fill up any possibility of open space in which you might actually see yourself.  It requires the discipline to put your awareness into every situation without expectations.

This is my spiritual path, ratcheted up a few thousand notches in vivid technicolor.  These are profound lessons that need to steep, simmer, and be integrated with dedicated time and practice – magical, but not a quick fix.

In that moment of fear, all notion of basic goodness was lost.  But, I was aware of fear as it arose, and didn’t succumb to panic.  Awareness already begins to transform the pattern.  It is the essential first step.  In the days following the episode, I also thought of this “angry” man more than once, sending him love and good wishes.

Flavor of the Month:  Willingness

How was your May?  What’s waking you up?

I’m so glad you’re here!  If you liked this article, please consider subscribing for free updates by email. With love, Sandra