I don’t know if in my 21 years of existence, whether I have ever been courageous enough to do anything. I asked people around what courage means to them. The answers varied, but what helped from further introspection was a deeper and a clearer understanding that I have been courageous, in the moments where I needed to be there for myself the most, in moments of love, and in moments of compassion.
I follow the Heartfulness technique of meditation, which is based on principles of Raja Yoga. Diving deeper into my meditation practice, I studied a bit about spiritual anatomy. There are thirteen points or chakras in this meditation system. Out of these 13, five of these are in the heart region. One of these chakras, deal with the extreme polarity of fear and courage. Courage is in our nature. Fear is a choice.
It was then in that moment I realized that it’s a long journey with small acts of courage. There doesn’t have to be one big defining moment or incident, but there could be plenty of small ones, that give you the courage to live this life, fearlessly. My spiritual master says, ‘The only way to face your fear, is to face it. Just like when you sit down to eat. You just eat it. It is as simple as that.
Here is presenting a list of moments. Moments which mean courage to me.
To be the only eight-year-old to travel to school alone, interchanging public buses and metro, in Copenhagen.
To pull myself out of the freezing broken pond at the age of five and save myself from drowning. I laughed a lot later at that.
Attending a wedding with a bandage on my face, after hurting my forehead with a doornail that left a permanent mark on my face.
To learn how to cook food within three months, after overcoming my fear of handling a pressure cooker. I had burnt my face once, while learning how to boil potatoes.
To have the courage of not letting a person ruin my space of comfort and owning a voice to stand up for myself and not letting him go off the hook. Whenever he crosses my thoughts, I pray for him. That takes courage, plenty of it.
To have the courage to crack lame jokes in front of a hundred people.
To have the courage to crack lame jokes in an interview.
To have the courage to crack lame jokes in any inappropriate situation, for humor dissolves pain.
To be one of the first girls in my family to study in a prestigious university away from home.
To participate in 14 international competitions, and working hard for it, but never winning any one. To have the courage to face failure.
To have the courage of holding a badminton racket fiercely in my hand and facing a drunk stranger, at home. I had the courage, to protect myself, and above all, my little sister with me.
To say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ even though they were the toughest words to say, in that moment. I bawl my eyes out later, but I am glad for the courage my words give me.
To hold the hand of a lost two-year old girl at 10 pm in the streets of Delhi, and making sure she reaches back safely to her parents. My courage was her courage.
To have the courage of living a life of discipline, where almost any action of small or big development happening around the world, is going against the nature.
To have the courage, to be simple, natural, and loving. The world needs all the love it can receive.