Imagine this, over a 6 year period, I lost my 21 year old son, my unborn baby girl in my 8th month of pregnancy, 2 brothers to AIDS, and my father. I could have given up, felt sorry for myself, made it about me, instead I asked myself what each one of them would have wanted for me, and that was to live a life of courage, to encourage others, to have a wonderful life. Today I live in Laguna Beach, California with Cody, my awesome husband of 25 years, who walked this journey with me, lending me strength and courage every step of the way. Cody and I live such a blessed and incredible life together. I know that I have come through all of this more courageous, stronger, able to cope with life in a much more powerful way because of the lessons learned along the way.
Since the beginning of time, there have been stories of courage. We have all read many books, seen movies that inspire or encourage us to the depths of our soul, been around people who we look at with wonder because of the courageous things they have done. Sometimes it is something very simple, yet so profound that changes our day, sometimes it is more than we can wrap our minds around. Whatever it is that shakes us up and out of old negative patterns we wish to break, should be welcomed with open arms.
Hello, my name is Debra Oakland. I am all about Living in Courage. This subject fascinates me because of all the possibilities it presents. Courage means different things to different people all over the world. To navigate through this world we live in requires a certain amount of courage from each of us. I hope you will join me in this exploration by sharing your stories and experiences that have required courage in your life. Many people are looking for answers to some of life's biggest questions. Your stories can make a big difference in another persons life. I hope to see you here often.
The words Encourage, In Courage and Living In Courage have come up every morning for month’s now. These words come up in my dreams, my thoughts and follow me around like a small child tugging on my pant leg wanting immediate attention. I am intrigued, interested, and very eager to explore this subject, not knowing where it will lead, but knowing in my heart it will be an incredible journey down a path of love and light.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
Wisdom Keys I have found helpful over the years!
Keep an open mind.
Become a vibratory match to what you want to experience in your life. Making choices that support your life will magnetize to you just what you need, at the appropriate time and place.
Imagine this world pristine, healed, peace-full, loving and joy-full.
The “Bridge to Freedom” is inside of you.
Still the mind to learn the “Art of Listening.” Communication is a two way street, and for effective results listen with your eyes, ears and heart before you speak.
Knowing versus Believing.
When you are able to let go of ego (edging God out), your outer self will be shown the gift your inner self wants to deliver.
Prepare the soil, plant seeds of positivity and nurture one desire at a time. By nurturing just one single desire at a time, you will attract boundless abundance in every aspect of your life.
You cannot teach effectively what you are not. A wise mentor or spiritual teacher will guide you to the understanding that you hold the keys to all the answers you seek, and that those keys are inside of you.
Co-Create through Co-Operation.
Feed your hopes, not your fears.
Never give up. Look to the wisdom of Nature as an example.
Awen ~ The Spirit of Nature’s Wisdom – By Steve Tallamy (Ultimate Nature Lover, Writer, Brit & All Around Good Guy!)
I’ll explain all about Awen and what it means to me later, but in the meantime ….
When you interact with Nature and give your thoughts the freedom to go wherever they desire you are connecting to the knowledge of those ancestors who travelled this way before you. Their love is there too, but you must show respect and give thanks for it by opening your heart and allowing it to touch your soul before it is revealed. Natures’ knowledge and love combine to give you wisdom which is a precious gift not always recognized or used for its true and pure purpose. That purpose is for it to be shared unconditionally without expecting praise or reward and must at all costs be kept separate from ego. It is the lifeblood of every living being. Wisdom is the act of using knowledge for the best interest of all and used with love and compassion it will nurture and heal all it touches and how we use it dictates who and what we are and what we will become.
How many of you have felt that shiver of connection when in an ancient place; woodland, heath, secluded beach, sacred space or even an old building? Don’t be afraid of it, that shiver is the spirit of ancestors known and unknown touching your soul and willing you to open up to all that they learnt before you, that shiver is their call for you to connect in openness of heart and mind. When in this state you will be amazed at the clarity that flows through your thoughts, a clarity that permits you into the realm of love. Many people I come into contact with have that love and it oozes from them like a breath of fresh air, it flows in and around them, they use it with wisdom and purity. Unfortunately there are still far too many of us who use it as a tool for self-service and self-gratification but once you yourself are connected to the spirit these people are easy to see and where necessary avoid.
To receive wisdom and to use it as it is meant to be used brings a calmness and inner peace, creativity and intuition, love and harmony. In Druidry and ancient Celtic beliefs this wisdom was (and still is) known as Awen. It is a Welsh word for ‘sacred inspiration’ which in spiritual terms means ‘flowing spirit – the essence of life.’ Awen is the energy that flows through babbling brooks, the tides, the breath of the wind and rain, the seasons and human passion. It is the energy in every living thing, it surrounds us in all that we see, touch, smell , hear and taste but we must appreciate it, respect it and share our love with it before we are allowed to connect fully to it’s wisdom. This connection can happen instantly or be something we strive for all of our lives, it is up to each individual to open up to it in their own way(s) and that way is what is termed today as ritual, a way of honoring the wisdom awaiting us. My ritual is to go into Nature and give thanks for all I have, ask permission to seek answers, show respect and often read (share/offer) some creativity that Awen has given to me (this article for example, or a poem that has inspired me) and in return I am given more of the knowledge which I hope I share with you in wisdom.
I find a magical combination in the three P’s – Persistence, Perseverance and Patience. Persistence provides possibilities that may have never seen the light of day. To succeed at anything in life requires persistence with a good dash of perseverance and patience thrown in!
Living in the busy world of ever growing new technologies, social media and distractions of the outer world, how do we keep up? What can we do to get back to center, to the core a balanced life? How do we use these three important P’s in our favor?
Persistence - To continue a course of action despite difficulty, opinions or opposition. Refusing to give up by persevering. This quote says it all, “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
Perseverance – Steadfast determination, remaining constant to a purpose. “Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” -Ovid
Patience – This requires control over your thoughts, words, and actions. Persevere in the face of delay without acting in a negative manner. Many a reward has made it’s way to you by your ability to be patient. “Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.” -Saadi
Never give up, stay true to your desired course, put a smile on your face taking action where needed with a knowing that what you desire is on it’s way to you. Be gentle with yourself. We will never get it all done in this busy world we live in. Do what you love, utilize the three P’s in areas that are most important to you, and make sure to enjoy all you have set into motion.
Persistence, persistence, persistence, it’s what creates as well as destroys habits, good and bad. Nature persists in renewing Herself and as the children of Nature we are no different. Whether we want to stop smoking, loose weight, change our lifestyle in any way shape or form we need to be constant and persistent in reaching our goals. The more we positively focus on our dreams the more we bring them to life and into the realm of reality. Love is the key to positive persistence for if we don’t truly love ourselves or our goals then we will only get the things that we fear appear in our lives.
Change may seem to be the opposite to persistence but if we, as nature does, change when we realize that who and what we are isn’t working for us then we move forward into a higher vibrational state and bring forth new possibilities, like the new shoots that appear in Springtime. Of course we sometimes misread the signs of change and make mistakes, but that is simply a part of the growing process telling us that a new change needs to take place. Persistently noting how we feel, getting in touch with our emotions in any given moment and taking positive actions to change them when needed is how we survive life’s struggles and enhance life’s beauty and love.
The thought that if Nature were static and never changed is a frightening one, the world as we know it wouldn’t exist and neither would we. So it’s a comfort to know that Nature is persistent in everything that She does, changing when needed in one moment and standing still and growing stronger in another whilst being as constant as the cycles of the seasons. By persistently allowing change to happen we open ourselves up to receiving the love we seek and deserve whilst like Mother Nature herself we develop a resistance to the pests and diseases we call fear, doubt and stress. So by persistently and positively acting and thinking from a state of lovingness we can bring the changes and grow the love we desire for ourselves and future generations; and if that doesn’t sound worth persisting for then I don’t know what is!
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” ― Paulo Coelho
“We fear our highest possibilities. We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments, under conditions of great courage. We enjoy and even thrill to the godlike possibilities we see in ourselves in such peak moments. And yet we simultaneously shiver with weakness, awe, and fear before these very same possibilities. Obviously the most beautiful fate, the most wonderful good fortune that can happen to any human being, is to be paid for doing that which he passionately loves to do.” -Abraham Maslow
I want to share the amazing line of cosmetics I am using by Krissy and Kami of Ferro Cosmetics. I love the way their products look and feel on my skin and the best part is, they are toxic free! Just an FYI that the website will be shut down for one week in March 2013 for a facelift.
Ferro Cosmetics say it’s all about getting real, and their mission for 2013 is the REAL WOMAN. Ferro Cosmetics makes toxic free real mineral makeup that gives women not just the comfort knowing the products are made from only pure & gentle ingredients (in the USA), but high performance color cosmetics that lasts double time. That means leave your makeup bag at home because once applied, the minerals form an invisible layer of soothing protection from the sun, water, wind, rain, and the non-stop day of women today.
What makes Ferro Cosmetics rise above the rest?
- Environmental Working Group & Skin Deep Data Base “CHAMPION” Brand- recognized as one of the top brands for safe ingredients.
- Cruelty Free & ZERO animal testing …. just human animals, who end up looking even better after we pass THEIR test.
- Zero dyes or artificial colorants
- Zero Parabens, fragrance, phlalates, bismuth, or fillers
- Zero chemicals, toxins, or other irritating ingredients
- INorganic- “Organic” does NOT mean natural, and refers to ingredients stemming from only living or plant based. Our products are made from crushed rocks, all ingredients are non-living, so they are not classified in the “organic” category
- Vegan and Gluten Free
- Women and family owned company
Look Good and Feel Good Because:
- Our products magnify and restore confidence back to women, ESP those who can no longer wear makeup.
- Our company is wildly passionate about giving back and saving lives, working with non-profits like Tembo Trading (recently our donation directly affected and saved the lives of 22 children in Africa, giving 6 young girls and 3 boys surgery that was desperately needed in order to live, and 13 additional children medical attention, medicine, and doctors care that prevented severe illness or death), and FASHION HOPE, whose mission is to stop human trafficking across the globe.
- Sourced, manufactured, and distributed all in the USA
- Eco-friendly choices and operations
Ferro Cosmetics make women look good and feel good several layers deeper than just vanity.
Toxic Free Makeup made with all real minerals, for real women & in their real lives, founded by real makeup artists that know real issues women face every day, all created to match the real skin tones of women across every age, style, and makeup look.
Debra Oakland and soon-to-be author, became a courage advocate lending support to those experiencing loss in their life. Whether that loss is physical, spiritual or emotional in nature, people need an advocate who understands the pain they are going through. Losing someone or something you love is a raw experience, taking you through depths of emotions you may not be familiar with.
In this interview, Debra shares her journey of deep loss, and how she came through it, being able to access joy, love and the ability to survive and live life fully again.
She’ll share the core principles that embody this journey, and how you can emerge from that despondent, dark place, back into a loving, engaged and joyful life again. You get to be the catalyst of your own journey, as you start to incorporate Debra’s teachings.
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
You have to admit that sometimes we get caught up in outer beauty. After all, we live in a world filled with distractions, contrast and all manner of shiny objects to oooh and ahhh over. Sometimes we forget to see the inner beauty in ourselves and other people. Like my friend and make-up artist extraordinaire Stephen Dimmick of Daily Dimmick says, “If you ain’t a nice person makeup won’t help.” Everyone embodies beauty in their own unique way. My husband Cody, the comic in the house describes beauty this way, “Outer beauty is a pair of deuces, inner beauty is a royal flush.” Outer beauty is captivating to be sure, but when you see ugly qualities in an outwardly beautiful person, you see the true person before you. Never pass up an opportunity to spend time with people who reflect inner beauty out into the world, regardless of appearances, because we are so much more than these bodies we wear.
Outer beauty attracts our attention, inner beauty captivates us in ways that permeates our being with joy. Inner beauty goes much deeper because it carries the essence of who and what we are, embodying our true character on a soul level. We can camouflage the exterior, that’s easy, but true ageless beauty comes from within.
Share your inner and outer beauty with the world in positivity, that way you shine in both areas! I like to think of inner beauty as a spiritual facelift. Get out there and share your shine, confidence and joy to the world because you are beautiful inside and out!
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“Debra Oakland has clearly written Living in Courage from the heart. This is a book that guides people to summon the courage to face life's biggest challenges. You will find wonderful nuggets that you can apply to your life now.”
~ David Riklan, Founder of SelfGrowth.com,
the #1 Self Improvement Website on the Internet