Welcome to my weekly adventure to “Occupy the Blog-o-Sphere” each Thursday. I offer this hopefully uplifting picture and message to brighten your day and bring something buoyant into your life. As you move through your day with a renewed outlook, may you pass it along.

THE DIGNITY OF FEARLESSNESS

It’s not an understatement to say that fear runs rampant in our world. We feel it everywhere: globally, nationally, in our communities, and even in our homes. The news highlights all the dangers lurking around all the corners–real, impending, and imagined. And news is available when and where we are, on multiple channels and in every conceivable way (television, print, radio, Internet, email, cell phone and e-reader apps). Is it any wonder that commercials placed within news programs sell mainly pharmaceuticals to help us sleep, calm our digestive maladies, cure impotence, curtail incontinence, lower hypertension, and promise weight loss? We’re nervous wrecks because we have a need to “be informed”; but we’re only being informed of every possible disaster that has happened or could happen. And it’s relentless if we are conscious.

Fear breeds distrust, cynicism, prejudice, hatred, violence, and eventually apathy toward any life but our own. I can’t think of a worse way to spend our time on this planet.

The antidote for fear is love–not necessarily romantic love, but love of self, others, and life in all its glorious diversity. Love means being courageous enough to open your heart to the possibilities around the corner. Fearlessness frees us from hiding from life; instead we embrace life with all it’s ups and downs and rounds and rounds.  Make no mistake, letting go of fear the ultimate act of bravery. It is also the ultimate act of living fully for as long as you are graced with the gift of life.

Maybe this child is too young to know fear, but surely not too young to know the pain of her cancer. And yet the pure joy on her face from this simple daffodil expresses to me the heart of a truly brave soul.

Imagine the fearlessness it took for women to vote in the first "democratically" held elections in Iraq. Look in her eyes. I see more than courage; I see pride, determination, and dignity. She let go of her fear and claimed her personhood.

“There is more to fearlessness than merely having overcome fear. Beyond that, when we speak of fearlessness, we are describing a positive state of being full of delight and cheerfulness, with sparkling eyes and good posture. This state of being is not dependent on any external circumstances. It is individual dignity. This joy and unconditional healthiness is the joy, the basic virtue, that comes from being what we are, right now.”

Buddhist Teacher and Monk, Chögyam Trungpa, from his book Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery

Click on this link to find out more about joining this cyber-movement to lighten up and brighten up our world so you can decide if you want to be part of it.