I received the following Note from the Universe to my email a few days ago, and I’ve been pondering the word courage since.
The word courage derives itself from the Latin root ‘cor,’ which means heart. And while the word is strongly associated with acts of bravery or heroism, it’s literal definition is “an act from the heart.”
What my Note from the Universe so aptly recognizes, is that I often act from my heart, though common sense would advise me otherwise. And while common sense is typically a value that we prioritize in our lives, I have found that acts of courage– acts of the heart–are the ones that have served me the most.
In relation to my love of travel, courage has been a common thread throughout. Moving to San Francisco was an act of courage for me. Financially and logistically, it was beyond common sense. But I felt this feeling so deeply in my heart that it was right, and so I went for it. To follow suit, Burkina Faso, France and Morocco were of the same genre.
Walking El Camino de Santiago was also in protest of common sense. What human being would think that walking 500 (painful) miles across Spain was a good idea, unless they knew that it was for the benefit of their heart.
I’ve heard quite a few times on this most recent trip to Poland that I am so brave to travel alone. But I would say no, I’m not brave at all, I’m courageous. This solo trip across Poland has been a matter of the heart. I have friends who live all over Europe that I could have easily gone to visit on this vacation. That would have been common sense. But something in my heart was telling me to see this country while I had the opportunity, and I’m glad that I listened carefully, because it has been an incredible journey.
I have seen many things, but as usual, the internal journey is always the most meaningful. I have learned from traveling solo, what it means to spend some quality time with myself. The amount of time that I’ve had to ponder my relationships, my passions and my purpose has been invaluable. It is crucial for me to spend time asking myself questions, listening to my responses and then pulling them apart and separating them into categories–head and heart.
There is no better place to do this kind of digging than in another country. Why? Because you are outside of your comfort zone anyway. Once you’ve broken down that barrier of comfort, you can hear your heart more clearly. Couple this with the fact that your senses are on hyperdrive from experiencing the novelties of being in a foreign country, and you have a recipe for heart that is incredibly potent.
Today I am setting off into the mountains in Tatra National Park in Poland. For me, there is nothing quite like the mountains to get my heart pumping with excitement. I am looking forward to hearing all that it has to tell me today.