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Courage, Inc.
23 June 2009 @ 03:50 pm
Hi all,

Because we'd like to make getting to, following, and subscribing to our blog, we have decided to move Courage, Inc. and HerStory to Blogger.  Here's the address:


We'll be waiting for you!

courageous journeying,
Courage, Inc.
23 June 2009 @ 11:56 am
A bit about my journey:

Telling the story of myself used to be a process filled with crying, sadness, and regret. Today….not so much. Bill Wilson, in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, said something to the affect of our dark past having the ability to become our greatest asset; he also said that we “will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it” (page 62). I’ve found these two ideas to be true.
I grew up with a single, crack addicted mother, who knew nothing of what it meant to be a selfless parent. I saw little of her sober, and was exposed to things that no person should ever see. These memories were hidden away in the dark corners of my mind, and I learned early on how to stuff my emotions and lie. As a child I didn’t talk much, for fear it would get me in trouble. I worked hard at trying to save my mother, who was falling deeper and deeper into the black abyss of addiction everyday. I had few friends, was extremely shy, and had a deep fear and mistrust in people. I lived in constant fear, would bite holes in the bottom of my sweatshirt sleeves, and remember watching my hands shake. Right at the brink of homelessness, or jail again, my mother decided to go to treatment. I went to live with my Grandparents, and experienced family life for the first time. My Grandmother actually tucked me into bed, read to me, and made dinner. As great as all this was, I missed my mother, and a year later reunited with her. She got married, and had a child, and for a couple years life was pleasant. I remained shy and fearful through middle school, making it very hard for people to get to know me. Athletics were my passion, and my escape from myself through these times. My mother started drinking, and eventually went back to cocaine. We lost our family business, our house, and our sanity. The few friends I had made, I left. And, at this point, I had found alcohol. By 14 years old, I was a full blown alcoholic, drinking 3-4 times a week, and cared little about much else besides my one form of relief. I began acting out sexually, and found that I could also find comfort this way. I had absolutely no idea who I was, and carried around massive amounts of fear and rage. I moved to Los Angeles to live with my Grandparents at 15. I stopped drinking for almost 9 months, just to prove to myself I wasn’t like my mother. I found that I didn’t think or care when I was drinking, and my alcohol intake began again, and increased to much higher doses. I began surfing and found a job at a local surf shop, which I loved very much. But, drinking, and then eventual drug use, led me to darker places. I found cocaine, then methamphetamine, and lost myself completely. I moved out of my Grandparents house at 17, and moved in with my friends to continue to use and kill the pain inside. My mother, who had been homeless for the last couple years, was invited by me to move into my apartment in L.A. Within three months we were high and homeless together. I was using my body to get drugs, lost all my friends, and was experiencing methamphetamine induced psychosis. I was miserable, scared, and barely standing. Circumstances led to me going to treatment. This is where I woke up. I knew that if I didn’t find the courage to face myself, and my past, that I would continue using, and if I continued using I would die. So, with no spiritual background, and NO belief in anything sacred or spiritual, I found myself seeking anyway. I found this Power was deep within me, and had not died. I tended this flame, which brought me back to life. I went to a halfway house for women for a year, where I learned to live, and let people love me. I learned to care for myself, and make responsible life choices. I paid my first bill. I ended up becoming the house manager of the halfway house that I had lived in, which led me to my career in counseling. I went to school to become a chemical dependency counselor, and began my journey as a wounded healer. I threw myself into my own healing process, and learned that the only way to overcome fear was to face it head on. I know Fear’s dark eyes well. I’ve stared in them many times. I learned to be uncomfortable in my skin, and how to transcend my own suffering. I found womyn who support my growth and change process, and learned that I had wings of my own. I’m still learning to use those wings. But, my path is a beautiful, humble, and sometimes painful one. I feel grateful for the life I’ve had, and the dark places I’ve walked through. I hope to support other womyn on their journey to re-connecting with themselves.

"I am not afraid…I was born to do this." –Joan of Arc

"Our work is to show we have been breathed upon – to show it, give it out, sing it out, to live out in the topside world what we have received through our sudden knowings from story, from body, from dreams and journeys of all sorts." -Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves, 1992.

Current Mood: awakeawake
Courage, Inc.
22 June 2009 @ 11:21 am
The systerhood here at Courage, Inc. has started a syster-company called Herstory!  To begin, HerStory (and I'll get you the website info in a bit) will focus on raising awareness of feminist values, eco and Gaian Conciousness, and womyn authors, artists and poets through book trades and love donations.  As we grow this side of our work, we'll keep you posted!  You can look here for book reviews, essays, poetry and our thoughts on art and other such creative ventures.  AND we're looking forward to having some cool womyn submit their creations and words, so you'll be able to read and peer at those too!  Keep checking back for updates on this lively enterprise!

courageous journeying!
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Courage, Inc.
11 June 2009 @ 06:34 pm
Hello all.  Here's an excellent opportunity for rewilding, transforming, and coming alive.

Please Forward to Friends & Post to Any Forums– Announcing:

The Shaman Path Intensive
(for both men and women)

July 2nd - 5th, 2009


A 3 day intensive held not in a classroom but an ancient Place Of Power. Taught by Jesse Wolf Hardin and Medicine Woman Traditon cofounder Kiva Rose … with the focus on realizing a deep and experiential understanding of empowered self… and on redefining the role of the contemporary shaman in terms of envisioning possibilities: maximizing awareness, discovering purpose, bridging the worlds, and personal, community and ecological healing.


“The change of direction can be accomplished only through what Carl Jung has referred to as ‘an obedience to awareness’.”
-Joan Halifax  The Wounded Healer

Specific topics will depend on the needs and desires of the participants, but may include:
• Developing conscious hyperpresence, hyperawareness, hypersentience, precognition and intuition, tapping primal instinct
• Sensing, connecting with, drawing energy and discerning lessons from the various manifestations of the earthen spirit.
• Recognizing and learning from our kindred spirits, including our animal totems
• Reshaping perception
• Plant medicines and teachers
• Moving energy, and the Animá principals of healing
• The Animá Medicine Wheel
• Reincorporating the scattered or denied parts of our whole selves. Reintegrating mind, body, heart, spirit and earth.

“Kiva is a wise medicine woman, teacher and healer whose gentle integrity is truly an inspiration. I honor her strength, her consciousness, her wisdom…”
-Ivy, on Tribe

Kiva will do the opening teaching session with the help of Loba, orienting, defining, grounding and evoking…. as well as discuss plant medicines and teachers, cofaciliate a Medicine Wheel discussion and possibly lead a plant walk if there are enough requests.   Wolf will join Kiva teaching any other topics the group chooses to focus on, and will provide shamanic drumming at a special location on Saturday night.

    “A surprising experience; archaic, fresh, future, wild, refined, all at once… my respects to Jesse Wolf Hardin.”
-Gary Snyder, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Together participants walk through the portal of the feeling heart, to enter into deeper connection with the daily miraculous… taking responsibility as potentially powerful, artful co-creators of our world and our reality. Those wishing, have the option of spending a night or more out on a mini-quest, or otherwise customize the weekend experience to best meet their needs.

“I find Kiva Rose to be wise, inspiring, inquisitive and kind…and surefooted, as she walks the land and learns from the green growing things.”
-Kimberly Arana, Herbalist, Propriatress of The Blessed Thistle

“Jesse’s voice inspires our passion to take us further — seeing the world whole — even holy.”
-Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge


To Participate, Click Here For Your Shaman Path Registration Form:



 Download this Announcement without photos, to kindly forward and post:


If you’d be willing to printout Shaman Intensive Flyers and post them in appropirate places, please dowload the file here:

 Shaman Path Intensive Flyer

And click here to read Jesse’s essay: “The Shaman: Awakening the Powers Within”:




Logistics & Particulars will be mailed to anyone sending in a Registration Form.


    “Jesse Wolf Hardin has a true understanding of embodied spirituality – the sacred spirit in nature and in human beings… not as an abstraction but in ways sensual, practical, and transformative.” 
-Starhawk, author of  Spiral Dance

  “Wolf sings us Full Circle to the raw, sweet wildness within, and calls us forward to the future primeval.”

-Joanna Macy, author of World As Self, World As Lover

“Kiva Rose inspires me. Her passion, fascination and perpetual curiosity of plants, people, nature, and the relationship that binds them in wholeness stirs those touched by it; encourages our own listening, our own insights and musings.  Kiva, in a word, rocks.”
-Jim McDonald, Practicing Herbalist, Teacher & Author




Thank you very much for forwarding this announcement, and posting it on any forums or sites you may be involved with.

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Current Mood: chipperchipper
Courage, Inc.
Last night just around sunset, at the point where Turtle Creek feeds the Guadalupe River, 6 women gathered with drums and stories.  Goddess sang to us waterywet songs as we took our first breath together in Circle.  We found a beat together, told stories together, and sang to and with eachother.  It was lovely and inspiring.  It was exactly what it was supposed to be and more than expected.  There were fewer womyn gathered than originally planned for, but donations to the crisis council flowed like the river we sat next to.  Perhaps more will join next time, and perhaps not.  Either way, Courage, Inc. will sound the gathering drum again in this place very soon.

peace and courageous journeying,
Current Mood: contentcontent
Courage, Inc.
22 May 2009 @ 05:01 pm
It's tomorrow!  We've got the location, we've got some womyn who are interested.  Yippee!!! 

Here's to the energy we will raise, the stories we will tell, and the community that we will enjoy for an evening.

Here's to the in-powering empowerment of Womyn Everywhere!
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Courage, Inc.
20 May 2009 @ 12:45 am
I won't claim this as my own.  I'm reposting and passing along - feel free to do the same if it moves you.  We have the author's permission:

Outlaw’s Counsel:
Thoughts Around Graduation Day - For Folks of All Ages!

by Jess Hardin


If there is one thing that High School and College Graduations remind me of, it’s how many harmful illusions students often carry with them as they enter the so-called adult world.  I’m talking about culturally embedded lies that we hear from the time we are kids, lies such as young women and men thinking they’re “not good enough” when they have gifts and abilities that make them not only worthy but special.  Or believing that their worth hinges on what will be their income level, or that money equates with happiness.  It would seem that a majority of modern graduates imagine that they are personally powerless and the government all-powerful, that fitting-in is more important than distinguishing oneself, that technology can fix everything, and that love is an assuaging comfort instead of an opportunity, celebration, commitment and service.  Commencement speakers all across America and the civilized world give speeches that reinforce the stock illusions as well as ever more debased values of the dominant world-order.  It makes me wish I could be invited to stand before a graduating class or two myself, a token patriot outlaw from the outback advising and extolling an entirely different way of perceiving and doing.  I can picture letting loose with an uncensored speech that provoked as well as affirmed, resulting in the departing students tearing off their bleak gowns and dancing like Boston Tea Party rebels atop their folding seats.

A small sampling of this sort of outlaw counsel follows, including novel (and sometimes archaic!) concepts that you might find enlightening or helpful no matter what your age or stage of life:

Every moment is a decisive moment, and your future is a blank canvas.  The only things standing in your way are the fears and habits you are attached to.  No one is in charge of your life but you!

You are an American citizen, not subject.  Freedom isn’t something guaranteed, it’s what you personally claim and then defend.

Don’t depend on other people’s rules to determine your actions.  Develop a personal code of honor, and then live up to it!  Promise your allegiance to your friends, your family, your community, your cause, and the land you love.  And always keep your promises.

Responsibility isn’t obligation – it’s the willingness and ability to respond.

Beware of any solutions that are sold, bottled or regulated.

Be suspicious of anything that requires fossil fuels, brags about being “disposable,” admits to having been artificially colored or flavored, or pretends to be something it’s not.

Bravely explore anything and everything that increases your degree of sensation and depth of experience, that stretches, inspires, informs or invigorates you.  Taste the many diverse flavors of life, being sure to spit out the bad.

Travel and explore as much of the world as possible.  This will not only make you familiar with other regions and other kinds of lifestyles, but it will also help you appreciate any place that you ever call home.

Neither our problems nor the problems of the world are caused by feeling too much.  Rather, they’re caused by us feeling too little!  By opening up to the pain of conscious existence, we also open ourselves up to the fullest experience of joy.

Try to remember that “making a living” isn’t the same as really living.  Find work that reflects not only your skills, but also your beliefs.

Watching adventure stories on the television is a poor substitute for having adventures yourself.

There are just so many hours between birth and death… spend them carefully, on what matters most.  Ideally you will discover, and then fulfill your most meaningful purpose.

The point isn’t to gather riches, but for us to have a richer life.

Having toys is not the same as having fun.  Focus on sports where you actually get to play.  Swim in chemical-free water, and in places where you’re “not supposed to be.”  Walk barefoot through clover.  Cry, laugh and sing.  Hug and howl!

Never take anything for granted — not your health, your home or your family.  Never answer a question by saying “whatever,” because it means that you don’t care and you know very well that you do!

It would be wise to avoid any drugs, careers, relationships or lifestyles that deaden your awareness, impair your growth or distract you from your goals or calling.

And pay attention, for goodness sake!  Focus solely on your sweetheart when you’re with him or her, and on no other food than that food which you’re eating.

Remember that nothing is worth anything, unless it’s authentic!

All events, both good and bad, are valuable lessons that we can be grateful for.  Avoid stubbing your toe on the same rock twice.  And don’t fritter away too much precious time explaining your mistakes – just learn from them, then go on!

All the world is a great gifting cycle.  Learn to give all you can. And just as importantly, learn how to graciously accept every gift that comes your way.

Take time to “be little” even if you think you’re at an age when you need to be “wise” or “cool.”   Crawl around on the ground after interesting bugs, look for animal shapes in the clouds, and don’t worry if you get grass stains on your clothes!

Find divine Creation and your place in it, in every blade of grass, in every home’s backyard, but don’t forget to make pilgrimages to truly wild places.

Expose every harmful illusion or lie.  And whatever is real and good, protect and nourish with all your might.

There is no one that will do the vital work for you, and thus there’s nobody else to blame!  Both the responsibilities and the rewards are yours.  Take credit!  Then give thanks…

You have dreams, hopes, maybe even a special calling that you’ve seldom told anybody about.  Now it’s time to live those dreams!

Remember that it’s hardly ever “too late” for anything, so long as you start right now.

Expect a miracle.  That miracle is you.

Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Courage, Inc.
13 May 2009 @ 10:59 pm
The work.

Courage, Inc. will begin it's real-world, real-time work by hosting a drumming in the Texas Hill Country.  This will be an all-women's event that will include the power of rhythm, storytelling (powerful womyn stories) and community.  Donations will be sent to the Hill Country Crisi Council....



Current Mood: recumbentrecumbent
Courage, Inc.
I suppose it depends on who you ask.  I say it's the journey.  If I get oh-so-caught up in the destination, I put on blinders.  What I see in front of me or around me are only those things that are directly related to the destination I have decided upon.  How sad.  If I put those blinders on I can become closed off from great lessons, amazing beauty, gut-wrenching tragedy, and everything else.  If my vision is so honed, so focused, I miss the panoramic view that is right there in front and around me. 

An example:  I decide to take a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is, if you don't know, one of the most beautiful places in our United States.  I decide to take a trip there to see where Han Solo lives, um, I mean Harrison Ford.  That's what I'm going for.  He was my hero and first crush at the age of 7, and I want to see his house.  So, I get a map, I google him and his home, and I decide how long it will take me to get there from here, how long it will take me to take a photo of his house, and how long it will take me to get back again.  Good planning skills, right?  Sure.  And a clear goal.  Great.  So, I set out driving as fast as the speed limit allows, stop only at major interstate towns to grab a Coke from some always-the-same chain place, pee, and get right back on the interstate going as fast as the speed limit allows.  I finally arrive, get my photo of Han's house, and get back in my car to drive whatever distance home so that I can get back to work on time.  Ok, so I got to my destination.  Great.  And I got a good picture.  Fantastic.  And in the process of speeding up the interstate, only stopping at plastic-coated hamburger chains, and zipping straight to Han's house, I miss the Antelope, the gigantic blue sky, the funny little back-asswards towns off the beaten track, the local flavors whatever they may be, and the panoramic view of the Grand Tetons (if I'm lucky, I do manage to see one peak in the back of Han's house).... 

I missed the journey.  Now I have one clear moment of wonder - Han Solo's House.  I could have had millions of moments of wonder, but I made a choice.  And it seems to be a choice supported by our society.  Get there, see it, do it, Get Back.  Bummer.

Am I saying there's anything wrong with goal-setting?  No.  Absolutely not.  Goal setting, especially when spiritually influenced, can provide me with a rough direction to move in.  Goal setting can help me feel a sense of achievement, better define my gifts and talents, help me to see the next step.  All of that.  But if my goal setting is rigid, if my goal setting is only destination focused, if my goal setting has me speeding along I25 as fast as the speed limit allows....well, I'm going to miss out.  I'm going to miss the signs.  Signs that I'm going in the right direction, signs that maybe I'm not, and also all the beautiful signs that point out "panoramic view" or "historical marker" or "Famous Blueberry Pie."

Go ahead and set goals.  But remember, if you walk along your path with you head down, eyes only focused on the road right at your feet, you might miss the patch of bright orange daisies on the side of the road.  You might also miss the giant Saber Tooth Tiger drooling all over his-soon-to-be-yummy-girl- meal.  And if you get narrow minded enough, you may completely miss out on your real mission. 

Just some thoughts.

Courageous Journeying,
Current Location: in front of an open window
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: birds
Courage, Inc.
02 May 2009 @ 10:32 pm
Here's a link to a lovely essay on waking up by Jesse Wolf Hardin.  We cannot be fully in-powered if we are not truly awake.... or at least working hard at recognizing how often we try to stay asleep.


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Current Mood: awakeawake