Courage and the Pioneering Spirit

On a recent trip through British Columbia to Alberta, I was struck by the pure majesty of our country.  From verdant forests to rock bare deserts; flowing rivers and waterfalls to stiff stone mountain ranges;  every colour of the rainbow to blackness.  As I soaked up this splendour, I wondered how it came to be that someone from a distant land could ever find their way to these areas;  the mountains, forests and waters are so rugged, how could they find a way through?  Why would they come here?  How would they find it?  And what would it take for a pioneer to stay on this journey?  Perhaps they dared to dream – and had the courage to follow that dream.

So what is this quality we call “courage”?  Osho, in his book Courage:The Joy of Living Dangerously, describes it this way:

“Courage means going into the unknown in spite of all the fears.  Courage does not mean fearlessness.  Fearlessness happens if you go on being courageous and more courageous. …  But in the beginning there is not much difference between the coward and the courageous person.  The only difference is that the coward listens to his fears and follows them, and the courageous person puts them aside and goes ahead.  The courageous person goes into the unknown in spite of all the fears.  He knows the fears, the fears are there. …  Going into the unknown gives you a thrill. The heart starts pulsating again; you are alive, fully alive.  Every fiber in your being is alive because you have accepted the challenge of the unknown.  To accept the challenge of the unknown, in spite of all fears, is courage. …

Basically, courage is risking the known for the unknown, the familiar for the unfamiliar, the comfortable for the uncomfortable, an arduous pilgrimage to some unknown destination.”  pp.1-2

Seeing the rugged terrain that confronted the early settlers and knowing the severe weather they would have had to endure, one wonders how they ever made it through to create towns, farms, businesses, and transportation networks?  People dared to dream of a better life for themselves and their families and took the risk into the unknown. Some saw the chance to have wealth and success, while others sought a place of refuge, freedom from persecution and peace. Most survived and thrived, but some didn’t.  Was the risk worth it?

Courage is an attitude and feeling as well as an action. Courage comes from the Latin root, “cor”, which means “heart”. To be courageous then, means to live with the heart. To live through the heart is to discover meaning. Heart is the future; heart is always the hope and is always somewhere in the future. Heart dreams about the future.

Courage is experienced in the body, mind and spirit.  When this trinity is in courageous alignment, fearlessness can occur.  And when fearlessness is attained, freedom exists!  Freedom: because you now live your life from a place where fears have no power. You are free to leave the past and allow the future to be. You are free to live in love and trust and move into the unknown.

Where are your pioneering spirit and courage these days?  What does your heart know to be true for you?  What dreams of the future does it hold?  Know that you are always in the driver’s seat of your life’s Magic Bus. Where would you like to go ….



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