Bon courage!

What courage truly is.

Anna Cley
4 min readJan 27, 2022

Many times since I moved to the USA, I felt lost for words when trying to wish “Bon courage” to someone. “Bon courage” is a sweet way to say “stay strong, you’ll be fine” when a challenge or unpleasant moment is coming up. I used to say it a lot to people when living in my native country, and always put my heart into it. Here’s a French expression that can’t be translated into English. I’ve always wondered why that is. The closest form is “Good luck” (Bonne chance) but really, that doesn’t mean the same at all.

Courage is an interesting word to me. I never really questioned what it meant until a few years ago. I asked my friends, family and colleagues how they would describe me in three words. To my surprise, the word that kept coming back was “courage”. I was not sure what they meant then. “Curious”, “creative” or “determined”, here are some words I would have chosen to describe myself. “Courageous” was not one of them.

The thing about me is that I always felt that if I denied the calling in my heart, then I would die inside. When I say “calling”, I mean it in a broad perspective: the inner voice or inner knowledge, sometimes also called intuition. To me, it’s not about courage, it’s about survival. We all have dreams and passions we’d like to pursue, new things we want to try. We know deep down what’s the next step we need to take. But somehow, many of us hold back from living their lives because they’re afraid. I am afraid, too. It’s just that ultimately, my heart’s desire has always been stronger than my fear.

On another note, I believe that to make the world a happier and better place, it starts with every one of us working toward our own happiness. Joy is contagious: when we’re happy, we bring joy to others. When we feel good, we care more for others, too. It turns out the word “courage” originates its meaning in the Latin word “Cor” (heart). Now it all makes sense, doesn’t it? That’s why the journey of the heart (some would call it courage) matters so much to me.

Trust your heart. That’s what courage truly means.

I felt so challenged by circumstances this past year that I progressively lost my ability to connect with my inner wisdom. Physical injuries and personal life changes on top of the global pandemic were just a bit much for my human shoulders. Do I overshare when I say I started to lose faith? Maybe. Maybe not. We have only this body in this lifetime. We have only this life for now. If things go wrong, it’s just hard to keep our spirits up.

I looked into my past to find what made me strong back then. I found that I needed to realign and reconnect with my higher self before anything else. I did the work I had to do and now, I breathe better through the days. I can dream again and receive the blessings of life with big open arms. It required more dedication than expected to get there: more awareness and acceptation moment to moment, daily self-hypnosis or meditation, and a gratitude journal. And do I dare to say it, I asked for help. Sometimes, it just has to happen, and it’s perfectly fine to ask for help. After all, being there for one another is the beauty of humanity.

So here’s to vulnerability, joy, peace, wellbeing, and togetherness!

Gift 1

I want to gift an autographed copy of my book The Journey of the Heart to 3 readers. All you have to do is tell me why you want it, whether it’s for you or someone else. Just write me WHY before February 4, 2021 here. Winners to be announced on Valentine’s day. (US only)

Gift 2

I’ve started a series of short meditations (5 min) called “The Power of your Presence”. Just click on any one of them to relax and reset at anytime: The Sound of your Silence, The Space you Hold, The Truth of You, You and the Flow of Life.

Gift 3

I selected my favorite books about courage. If you’re looking into brightening your days, have a look at The best books about courage — Shepherd. It may inspire you to read or reread one of the books.

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