As the year is drawing to a close, I’ve been going deeper and deeper navigating an “inward arc”, a journey of increasing intimacy with my soul — a process of ever-deepening trust of my life and what is emerging. In the last few weeks I have been touched by a generosity of Spirit that is beyond description. There are no words to convey my deep appreciation for what is happening around me and the blissitude I receive just allowing myself to just sit in that Grace. Moreover,  amidst that, two words stand out for me now: Courage and Trust.

The more I awaken the more my heart stands out. Our culture is great when it comes to left-brain thinking and solving problems. We are also are great on creating the same problems as well. However, the more I stay focused on the virtues associated with my heart— Happiness, Love, Gratitude, Compassion, Intention, Generosity, Joy, Presence and Power the more I can revel in the beauty of it all.  As Andrew Harvey writes, “To be drunk on love.”

The heart is the very core of our being. When we stay unselfishly in our heart center and give for the sake of giving (rather than to get something in return) we open a channel for Grace and so much more. The more loving we are the more the world mirrors back that loving kindness. No wonder the aim of all spiritual practices is love!

Courage means taking a risk — sometimes finding a strength we never knew we had until that moment.  Courage takes us to a higher place — a place of being in service to possibly something greater than our own interest.

But as the light fades these days at least in the Northern Hemisphere, what is eclipsing everything else is the need to notice is how badly we desire to cultivate more courage and trust.  Moreover, the world needs love.

From my perception never before have the all of us been confronted with news of  people’s unimaginable pain – a diagnosis, a separation, the loss of our best friend, brother, sister or son, a job or a long-term relationship coming to an end.  When confronted with all that is coming to us and to our loved ones we have only two choices: We can choose to respond from fear or we can choose courage.

When we can come from our heart with courage and love, this is heart leadership. Out of a sincere care for others (and to be more loving to ourselves), for the sake of goodness and connectedness we can independently and interdependently show up with genuine Courage.  What’s more to be in gratitude when we choose to disarm fear and choose love.

Our choices have consequences: we can be part of the problem or part of the solution. Brene Brown writes, “Fear and judgment deepen our collective wounds.  That rare mix of courage and compassion is the balm that brings global healing. Rather than deny our vulnerability, we lean into both the beauty and agony of our shared humanity. Choosing courage does not mean that we’re unafraid, it means that we are brave enough to love despite the fear and uncertainty.“

As you go deeper into your practice today and tune into yourself hold the vision to become stronger in your heart.  Choose to have more courage and trust and share these virtues to those around you not only for the sake of goodness itself but for a deepening of our connectedness.

With great love and respect to all of my dear friends who are being challenged beyond the beyond, the more you stay in the presence of love the greater influence you can bring to any situation. I hope you know how strong you are to choose to keep moving and loving no matter what is going on around you. To grow bigger and not bitter… Brene Brown sums it all up when she wrote, “You’ll wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the very same time. And only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”