Courageous Love

The first most courageous thing you can do is love yourself; the second is to give someone the opportunity to love you.

            I took a kickboxing class recently. I almost backed out, convincing myself that I was too old. What makes me think I can do this? Everyone’s probably exceptionally fit. Do women kickbox? I’ll be the oldest person there! This is the tape that ran through my mind the night before.
I was astonished in class the next morning. There were both male and female students (more women), a middle-aged trainer, a variety of shapes and sizes, and the average age was about 25-55. The trainer also beamed that he trained a grandma during the week! What was I thinking? I was shown the folly of my assumptions – I was reminded of curiosity and open-mindedness.
Another class later and despite extreme soreness, I absolutely love kickboxing. It’s a wonderful outlet for everyday stress, a great way to meet new people, and it increases overall confidence. I never would’ve discovered this if I’d listened to my inner critic.
Mental health recovery is teaching me innovative and smart life skills: combating tension and frustration, meeting challenging emotions, improving relationship communication, developing self-esteem, and solidifying personal identity. It’s been a course in healing that’s gifted me with a different kind of intelligence. Not many of us know how to introspectively dive into the realm of being. Not many of us are daring enough to meet the person in the mirror.
Kickboxing is a tool I’ve discovered for physical and mental well-being, but I’ll share other mind hacks from my voyage to health. They cover the topics of strength, freedom, happiness, power, reality, and personal evolution. The most important one is the ability to love yourself.
Vulnerabilities don’t make you weak; not knowing them does.
Real freedom is about setting others free. We empower ourselves by permitting humanness in another; it liberates us from the illusion of control and the burden of worry. When fear melts, love enters. Compassion is a commitment. A choice. For ourselves, for others.
Happiness is a decision. The breath is always in the now; not in the past, not in the future. It’s our anchor to awareness, the gift that is the present. This knowledge calms. When we approach each day with curiosity and patience, flow ensues.
Challenge assumptions. Real power is within.
My journey to wellness teaches…
You define you ~ no one and nothing else does
Choose joy each moment ~ embrace heart-led living
Resilience is priceless ~ self-compassion is too!
Reality isn’t fixed or static; it’s dynamic, always changing! Each day is a unique opportunity to influence, engage in, and co-create our life experience ~ this empowers.
Validate, flow, let go. Life gifts us: Grit, to grease the wheels of life; Patience in the waiting; Character (real wealth); Humor as medicine; Grace in achievement; and Awakening as a bonus. There’s honor in evolution.
We mustn’t fear the power of individual transformation. My goal is to convey the message and merit of human potential. My journey requires courage, resilience, and self-forgiveness. It doesn’t take a diagnosis to value mental health, but experience shapes our awareness. Self-compassion is an everyday enterprise; not confined and reserved to a social stratum or segmented few. It’s for all of us who aspire to a healthier, richer life experience.
By Kim Bragado for The Authentic Thinker