by Maria Sirois

The path of transformation is rarely smooth. As we shift, relationships shift, structures become undone, opportunities arise and feelings cascade in the context of novel ways of thinking and attempts at new behavior. All change therefore requires courage. This courage can be like the fierce fire of the bold, the quiet doggedness of the tenacious, the resolve of the clear-minded and the desperate, sudden move of the heart that longs for something healthier, better, and happier. All forms of bravery help and each has its own time and place.

To strengthen the muscles of courage, no matter the circumstances, no matter the shape of bravery required, a few questions help:

*Who will support me on this path?
As soon as we know we are not alone, fear dissipates and courage rises.

*What future am I moving toward?
When we remember the why of our journey, it becomes easier to begin and easier to sustain our efforts over the long hours of shifting our lives.

*How have I been brave before?
Knowing what bravery looks like for us and remembering moments of past courage amplifies strength and resolve and confidence.

It is a brave thing to change. Even braver still to be mindful of the need for courage and the scaffolding that supports that courage. Anyone can throw a part of an old life away and jump into something new. The wisest among us however, consider why we seek change, who will support us and how to keep our courage alive.

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Dr. Maria Sirois, PsyD, is the Vice President of Curriculum at Wholebeing Institute and an inspirational speaker, seminar leader, and author who has worked at the intersections of wellness, psychology, and spirituality for nearly 20 years. As a wellness guide, Maria has been invited to keynote throughout the country at conferences for wellness centers, hospitals, hospices, philanthropy, business, academic and corporate institutions, as well as for the general public. She has been called both a “true teacher” and “an orator of great power and beauty.” Her book, “Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith, and Resilience from Children Facing Illness, was published in 2006.”