If only I could…

courage (4)

We all have one … that dream, that idea that we can’t seem to quite find a way to imagine into being, that trip that we want to take but never seem to find the money to do so. There is that city we’d like to move to- or business we want to start but can’t figure out how to make it a reality. What about those conversations we need to have but don’t quite get around to, or more importantly- the relationship we need to end OR take the risk of starting…

What gets in your way of taking those risks? Of realizing your goals or dreams? Of living a whole-hearted life based on your deepest values and beliefs.

What if you could learn the how to’s of quieting the critical voice that keeps you small? What if you could learn to dare greatly and rise strong in the face of the inevitable setbacks and roadblocks that get in the way of living the life you imagined? I can help you get closer to that dream.

I’ve spent the last two decades helping people step into their fears and create lives of authentic connections, based on their core values, and stepping with courage into meaningful and purpose-driven lives.  As an Emotion-focused therapist I have walked with hundreds of people through their stories of struggle and pain and eventual growth and healing and joy. As we walked together into those place of fear and hurt and disappointment, what we discovered is that it is exactly in those places of struggle that our courage is tested, our values are formed and our emerging authentic and truth-filled selves are born.

So, What do these people have in common?

What allows them to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome? What are the methods they use to achieve their goals with their integrity intact- leading lives full of love, belonging, creativity and joy.

  1. The first thing they have learned is to lean into their emotions to discover the message they have to deliver– they no longer move away from deep feelings but also don’t allow their feelings to overwhelm or hijack them. They have learned the critical skill of mindfulness- exploring with curiosity and non-judgment allows them to utilize emotions as the critical source of information they are designed to be. It’s the ability to integrate their emotions with their values and beliefs that allows them to use their emotions as guides- our feelings tell us what our deepest needs and longings are and give us the direction to follow our dreams. When we can see feelings as not right or wrong- good or bad- we can use our emotions to give us critical information about how to move forward toward our goals.
  2. People who live whole-heartedly also know what their core values are and they use them to make their decisions big and small as they move forward. The men and women who make choices based on their guiding principles keep fear as a secondary response not a primary one. They move forward with faith in their beliefs not their fears. So the next step is to Define Your Core Values: Are they honesty, integrity and faith; or discipline, hard work & determination? Maybe they are family, love and compassion or intelligence, education and striving for excellence.  Pick your top 3 values and write them in a place you will see them on a daily basis- think of them as your guiding principles when making each and every decision and then discover where that leads you. I promise in a year your life will look different- sometimes really different.
  3. The third thing these people have in common is they practice self-compassion. They have learned to see themselves not as perfect, but as worthy of love and belonging and living their dreams.  When they are afraid they don’t beat themselves up about it – they comfort themselves. They have developed mantras and practice positive self-talk. They engage in soothing rituals of self-care.  They have spiritual practices which keep them grounded- whether that’s meditation or prayer or walks in the woods- they know how to get connected to something bigger than themselves. They see fear as a natural human response that will accompany most unchartered territory. They normalize it and keep from catastrophizing with it.
  4. The final characteristic they have in common is that they develop close relationships and support networks. They have compassionate and caring friends, family member, therapists, coaches and support groups that help them through the rough periods that are bound to come. They aren’t afraid to show their vulnerability to a trusted circle and use these supporters to keep them grounded and on the path toward their goals.

I have learned as much from my clients as they have from me. Together we have walked the dark night of the soul and what we discovered is the tenacity of the human spirit. The strength that comes from walking alongside your fear with your values close at hand, guiding the way into a purpose-driven life. We have discovered what it means to fully show up in our lives- to be brave- to lean into vulnerability and rumble with the challenges that come with living an authentic and daring life.

When I focus on my values of integrity and authenticity, honesty and compassion, I can make decisions based on my courage, not my fear.

I know that those feelings of uncertainty and doubt will sit right alongside me as I move forward in the world- but when I make my choices based on my values and then make the courageous decision to act out of those values- my world comes together – there’s a sense of integration and a settling I feel deep in my core- and I know I’m on the right path.

Click HERE to learn more about Living Brave.

Meet Cynthia Benge

A therapist for over 20 years, I guide people from their own “stuck” places to a life full of adventure, meaning and satisfying relationships.

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