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This Months Birthstone

October Birthstone Opal
Seven Things- Shimmerlings Creative Courage Challenge

Christine Kane is an inspiration to me. She has an unbelievably striking personality that shines through a voice that simply soothes the soul. She inspires me daily. Today her inspiration drove me to write, even though my creativity lies in jewelry, because that’s just what she can do. I worked out of my comfort zone, and was inspired to write this week’s blog about one of her thought provoking ideas, with my own twist…and I am hoping you’ll make the journey with me!

As an artist, and creative person, I have had many moments of courage “testing”, what follows was in the very beginnings of my creative jewelry venture….

  • When I sent my first gift of jewelry to a friend, and hoped it didn’t look like it was made in my basement-she loved it! Built my courage.
  • When I sent my first “Pick Box” to a shop owner for her perusal-she bought the whole box! Built my courage.
  • The first real art show I participated in-I sold more than half my inventory! Built my courage.
  • Not completely falling apart after the 2nd show I did – and sold nothing. Built my courage.
  • Now thank goodness those situations built my courage up…a little bit at a time, because I definitely needed it!
  • Used my courage when signing up for the 3rd show – I sold nothing again.
  • Used my courage Signing up for the 4th show – I sold nothing again.
  • Used my courage Signing up for the 5th show – I sold enough to keep me going

Shimmerlings Creative Courage Challenge - 7 Things to do in 2014 To Build Your CourageA funny thing happened, after I built my courage in the beginning, because it was a two step process. It took courage to take those few steps, I didn’t feel like I possessed it at all, I just did it and waited to see what would happen. It would appear that the posit ve outcome is what built my courage, but in fact that simply reinforced it. The act of doing the uncomfortable, the unknown, feeling the fear and doing it anyway…THAT is what built the courage. The reinforcement kept me building it; which is good because I defiantly needed it with the next few steps!! It was difficult to sign up for those shows after not telling anything at all, I was beginning to think that the first steps were just flukes. But my courage was still flexed, so I was able to go on! By the time I signed up for my next show….

  • Signing up for the 6th show – sold enough to keep me happy!

But I no longer needed the courage to sign up for the show, because it had become a “habit” it had become easier because I realized that I could succeed or I could fail, but either way, it was EASY to sign up!! I learned from doing, I lost fear from facing it, I grew strong from allowing my weakness not to get a hold of me.

These are all tiny steps in courage, and each had its own reward; although it may not seem so obvious. Yes it was frightening to send a gift to a friend, and it was very rewarding to have her love it…she still wears it, 18 years later! Signing up for the shows after I sold nothing, was extremely difficult, having not sold anything…but my courage kept me going…and it eventually paid off. That was over 8 years ago, and yet I still have moments that require a great deal of courage.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  –Winston Churchill

We all experience different moments in which we will need our courage to carry us through. A great deal of the time, what we feel is a lack of courage (or fear) hindering us from moving forward. We do not have the courage to talk to a potential customer because they might say no, we do not have the courage to invest in the materials and tools we want, because we might ‘do it wrong’, we do not have the courage to pay the money for the class, because the class or workshop may not be a good investment in our skills. We do not have the courage to put our work out there, because someone else might be better, or god forbid, someone won’t like our work! Because for creatives, if people don’t like our work, then they don’t like US…and everyone wants to be liked. But we DO have the courage, our courage muscle is simply weak, it needs to be strengthened…and I have a plan to get us there!

Shimmerlings Creative Courage Challenge - 7 Things to do in 2014 To Build Your Courage

“Excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.” – Aristotle

So, the thought is that “we need to learn to be more courageous”, easy to say, and just as easy to do! As we practice using our courage and facing uncomfortable fears, we will become more courageous each day! So once we become comfortable using our courage, the more courageous we will become; because as Christine Kane says:

“Courage is a muscle. Just as you wouldn’t go into the gym for the first time and lift a 100-pound dumbbell – you don’t have to begin building courage by running for President.”

Often people believe that courage is a leap, that the only way to show your courage is by doing something BIG that you are afraid of…doing something dangerous like sky-diving, something we deeply fear such as speaking in public, or something that may cause us physical pain. And in denying ourselves from accomplishing those things, we forgive ourselves by saying we are just not courageous. But that simply isn’t true. Courage can be built in baby steps, instead of leaps and bounds. Our courage muscle can be built with a few reps a day, or working on one continuous set one thing once one week at a time.

So this is what I propose! We will work through some of our courage building together! We will tackle one thing at a time…sometimes they will be fun, and fairly easy steps, and sometimes they might take a few days; which is why we are going to do them one week at a time! You will have an entire week to meet the challenge, and work your courage muscle!

Shimmerlings Creative Courage Challenge - 7 Things to do in 2014 To Build Your CourageChristine Kane is an incredible motivator and inspirational coach, and her list of 52 Things To Build Your Courage includes some things we may want to just do to get our juices flowing before the end of the year. A few things we can do from now until the New Year to get us ready for January, when no one really wants to do anything!!!

What Ms. Kane says about courage and why it’s important to build it up is: “Because there’s a deeper level of courage. It makes you strong. It makes you fall in love with yourself. It makes you fall in love with your life. At its core, courage is about strengthening your relationship with yourself.”

Now here are some of the items from her list – “to build your courage. Some of them seem completely foolish. But they’re not. They’re just uncomfortable. And that’s the whole point! Success in life is directly related to how uncomfortable you’re willing get. Now, get uncomfortable and go be courageous!” Look them over, and just try them out…work a couple of them during the next few months…do them over and over until you are so comfortable doing them all, it doesn’t even feel like a challenge anymore!!

  1. Paint your nails green (guys get extra points)
  2. Do something tourist-y in your own town
  3. Give money away (charity, homeless, a friend in need)
  4. Admit when you are wrong
  5. Put on a goofy smile and look at other drivers when you stop at lights
  6. If you never host parties or dinners – invite friends over for dinner 
  7. Ask someone out on a date (even if it’s your current partner)

That is 7 things, and seven is not just a lucky number but in numerology it is “spirituality, a vertical connection between the material world and the spiritual world, higher reasons behind every action, spiritual transformation that leads to material transformation.” So how about THAT!! Let’s begin by doing the seven things above at any time between now and the end of the year, then in the beginning of the year we are going to start to step out of our comfort zones and build up our courage muscle!
And in true Braveheart fashion…I ask ye now….Who of you is with me?!! AAAAaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

JeaneMargherite Meria McMahon Schintgen (yep, that’s my name, don’t wear it out!)

Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at

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