Many, many years ago, while I was going through a crisis, I had a dream which showed me how to find a way out. I called it “My Lion Heart Message”. This dream has never been forgotten as I used it to guide and mentor other women to remember who they are. That we are strong and resilient and are able to overcome any obstacle. The moment I woke up the message was clear: the choice I had to make was the one I was most afraid of. It was really not surprising. I’ve been studying at that time the teachings of Joseph Campbell who is known for his quote that the cave you are afraid to enter holds the treasure you seek. But my dream was not about this one situation, my dream was teaching me about how to live with courage.

This is an extended version of the valuable lessons I was learning over and over in my life as well as what other women shared with me as their experiences.

I was born under a sign of Leo, known for its bravery and the organ of the body that rules this sign is a heart. I have never put the two things together. The Lion’s heart is often used as a symbol for courage but I have not fully appreciated it until I learned that the origin of the word comes from old French word “cuer” which means heart, and the Latin “cor “ and from that was coined the word courage, the quality that comes from a heart, the organ that pumps the blood and keeps us alive.

Blood and courage are intimately interwoven. We need both love and passion to course through our veins in order to give all we must see our ideals become reality. We simply could not do otherwise when we care deeply about something or someone. There is no other option. And we often think of courage as something that other people have, not us. Until the situation arises and we discover with great astonishment and delight that we have it to, when we are faced with a loss od someone, with a disease with facing a bully and stand up to him or her…

On the contrary, our heads, our minds, our society is asking of us to be reasonable and balanced. Even the fire that burns in our hearts has to be explained. With words. Even when there are no words for our strong beliefs, for our inner knowing. Women know with their intuition if something is right and acceptable for them or not and have difficulties defending their position with facts and proofs. I’ve been there.

We could ask Joana D’Arc about it. She couldn’t find words and payed with her life for that. She was burned at stake by the fire that has previously consumed her whole heart. But of course, there is no common language between heart and mind. The heart feels while the mind thinks. How could you reason with fire in the heart?

Or feelings? Or passion? Or infatuation? Or enchantment? Lots of stuff that the fairy tales are made of.

There is a Sioux Indian saying that the longest journey we’ll make in our lives is from our heads to our hearts. I am convinced that it is a journey each one of us has to make eventually to live fully. To become whole. In this big, little life we all come to a fork in the road and have to chose which road to take. That choice will affect the rest of our lives. The heart will whisper “ take the road not taken, and walk it with the complete joy and abandon, no matter what the cost”. Do not believe that the reasonable choice will come free of charge. There is a price to pay for both choices so only you know what will bring less pain or regret. even though it is not easy to foretell.

Ask those who have changed our history because they chose the road not taken: ask gandhis in different places and time who thought in a similar fashion or m.l.kings who fought for justice and higher visions. Ask anyone who followed the saying that it is better to love and loose than to not love at all.

Think about it this way: a journey of any decent Hero (ine) has to involve crisis, risks and dangers. It is a kind of life that if we get out of it alive it would be worth telling about it. And I do not mean that it has to be one huge act of courage that define us. It may be choosing to become a single parent, leaving a secure job to travel the world, saying no to everything else to care for a sick friend. Think back to a one courageous act in your life that you feel good when you think about it. That makes you smile on a cold, rainy day. The heart caries its own wisdom: that it is in our being, not doing where our worth is shown, and that is what deserves respect. Not status symbols, not trophies or the titles that stand before or after our names.

That is the meaning of Namaste.

The heart knows what is really valuable to invest in. The things that cannot be bought, like love, kindness, compassion, generosity and yes, courage.

And all that is already within. Like a seed that need to be watered lovingly.

Lessons that make us practice our courage are everywhere. Life is a patient Master. They will be sent to us until it becomes our second nature.

Like when we hear an inappropriate joke being told and will choose not to laugh because it is not funny for us.

I promise you we will love and appreciate ourselves so much more. And sleep better. You might even hear a soft whisper that comes from within: “well done, I am so proud of you” and you’ll know it is a voice of your Lion Heart.

It feels so much better to be true to ourselves than seek the approval of others. And slowly, our hearts, our joy and excitement, our enthusiasm grow bigger.

This might be a lesson that a Higher Self of a Leo could teach us.

And our Lion heart becomes a second nature, without us even noticing when it had happened. We just naturally have grown a Lion Heart, through practice and through defending what we love and value.

I would love to hear your thoughts on courage.



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