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What is Courage?

“Courage is the willingness to step into the unknown without knowing the details of the situation and never leaving someone behind.” Ret. Army Staff Sgt. James Thomas Kelly

When I wrote the Heart of the Warrior in the wee hours of the morning last fall, I had no idea how relevant the words I was composing would be. I had no idea that just weeks before our first gathering the world would be opening up despite the fact that we are still in a pandemic.

For many this opening will require great bravery and courage.

For others it will elicit a sense of freedom and moving on.

I had no idea how relevant this program would be in a time that feels so uncertain with a raging war, gas and grocery prices rising, more uncertainty and the tendrils of doubt and fear creeping along our social media feeds, our minds, our souls.

Now more than ever we are being called to expand our heart and fall into a more compassionate place for ourselves and others.

Learning courage and compassion is not an isolated affair. This is a community effort that requires coming together to learn how we can connect in solidarity with one another. It requires a willingness to journey into the unknown and the humility to admit that we cannot move forward alone.

If we have learned anything these past years it is that communion with each other is critical to the survival of our souls.

Last fall, I asked my husband what it meant to be courageous. As a warrior and an Army veteran, I was curious what he would say. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “The willingness to step into the unknown without knowing the details of the situation and never leaving someone behind.” Courage requires that we take the first step. That we BE willing to engage our spirit, move forward with tenacity, and do something that we don’t know for certain will turn out ok.

Courage is the willingness to potentially grieve and doing it anyway.

Courage is open and vulnerable and exposed.

Courage is naked.

When I created the Heart of the Warrior on paper last fall, I had no idea how important the content of this program would be to my personal growth. How much strength I would need to venture out of my own comfort zone, how much mental strength I would be calling on to withstand my own fears and difficulties.

I had no idea that just moments before we opened our doors, war would be raging, bombs would be falling, and new risks would be just on the horizon. I had no idea how many people in my own world would be calling on the courage of their own warrior hearts.

For me this work is so much more than my job, this work is about the alchemy of change that takes place when we dig deep into our souls with temerity and faith, with the courage of a warrior, even when we feel afraid of the unknown.

Today, I am sending you a special message full of courage, humility, compassion, love, and the wisdom of the warrior.

From my heart to yours, let us expand in love as we move forward into uncharted waters.


Dr. Melissa Bird


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