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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What colour is your roar?

This photo is the property of Ariana Salvo. May not be reproduced without permission.

"What better resolution can we make than to listen to our own desires which are messengers from our souls, and to have the courage to obey them?"  ~Edward Bach

"Almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."  ~Steve Jobs

"According to the laws of aerodynamics the bumblebee should be unable to fly. Because of the size, weight and shape of its body in relationship to the total wing span, flying is scientifically impossible. The bumblebee, being ignorant of scientific theory, goes ahead and flies anyway."  ~John Maxwell

I have been thinking about courage. The courage to be who I am, and empower others to be who they are. Let me explain. Over the past few days I have come across a number of people who both lived and are living examples of what it means to essentially, undeniably, gloriously and passionately embrace ones differences. Two of these individuals I came across on Chookooloonks. One is Steve Jobs, who I have written about before. Karen Walrond posted a link to this eulogy about Steve Jobs, given by his sister at his memorial service. Like you, I have read a lot about Steve Jobs in the last few weeks. But this gave me a totally different perspective on the man's life. It made me realize how courageous he was. Yes, he was brilliant and creative and so many other things as well. But none of his brilliance would have been made manifest had he not embraced what made him different from everyone else. And that takes courage. 

Karen Walrond also shared a link to a short documentary about Beyonce, and the making of her latest album "4." This documentary is inspiring because Beyonce is a tremendously driven and hard-working woman with a very clear vision and an undeniable amount of talent. The woman exudes rhythm. None of that talent would be manifested in the world without courage though. A tremendous amount of it. She has a vision, and she does not let anything prevent her from realizing it. Even if that means a whole lot of extra work for her and everyone around her. She is being her essential self, and she is not apologetic about it.

The last few days I was reading Say Her Name, by Francisco Goldman. Goldman's wife, Aura Estrada, is no longer alive, but the short time she was here she lived with such passion and presence that I closed the book and lay in bed silently for a long time, in awe. Her devotion to her writing and her academic career was so complete. Her commitment to incorporating everything that made her who she was into her work so absolute. I have been thinking about her ever since I closed the book. She had a courage was so fierce that I pity anyone who tried to stand in her way. The woman blazed courage.

And then today a friend sent a link to an interview that she just did for China Radio International, in Beijing, China. My friend, Shirin Sahba Moore is an exceptionally talented painter. She has lived all over the world, and her artwork incorporates all the cultures and landscapes she has experienced. Her paintings are very different from anything I have seen before, and, probably in part because of this (and because they are stunningly beautiful), they are in high demand. Shirin may not see it this way, but from my perspective, the way she embraces what makes her and her life different, and creates works of art from that place of difference, is courageous. More courage.

Tonight we had a women's devotional gathering in our living room. I chose the readings and music, and the theme I decided on was courage. The three quotes at the top of this page are from tonight's readings. The question on my mind is: What makes us take that step of personal courage that enables each of us to realize our fullest potential? For some the step seems to come, if not easily, then at least naturally. But what about the rest of us, I wonder? How do we move from realizing what our unique, and different gifts are to fully manifesting them in the world in a way that is both personally fulfilling and of service to humanity?

How about you, friends? How do you practice courage in embracing--fully--who you are? What colour is your roar?


  1. i am so inspired by you dear Ariana. How i love to read you on a sunny Sunday afternoon and feel so inspired by you! so much love, and courage to you for your journey xxx

    (ps, fancy emailing me your devotional quotes? i might want to share them this week with my group!) xxx

  2. So glad this post was inspiring to you, dearest Pascale! Hope my blog is always inspiring to you! And regarding the readings, I actually, for the first time in ages, hand-wrote them all out on beautiful cards and postcards. I do have many of them still, but not all (a few women took some home with them)...remind me on facebook though and I will type them out for you. They are mostly rather short, so should not take too long to type! xox