Courage Camp: And Then What?

Agnes lollipops.jpg

by Agnes Hardy-Boyer

It’s been almost 3 weeks since I came back from courage camp and I have that irresistible desire to write about what happened to me since I came back. Inspired for sure by my co-campers and facilitators awesome posts (https://couragecamp.net/camp-stories/) but there is something more to it, before the camp I would never have written a post like this because I would have auto-censured myself for not being good enough or interesting enough, building my own walls and barriers.

Was it the magic of the place? Was it the outstanding skills of our facilitators (Lois Kelly, Jullian Reilly and Daniel Doucette), was it the beautiful people that I shared those 2 days with? Was it my extreme desire to dig deep into my soul to find my true self and unchain myself from too long lasting inhibitions? The answer is probably a combination of all, an algorythm that got me transformed into a new me, a me that I enjoy spending time with, a me that I recognize when looking in the mirror, a me that I like!

For this to happen, a deep introspective had me understand that I was an hostage of my own DIY cage, roadblocking myself with negative believes and lack of confidence. Not easy to admit, not easy to let go and it will take many more weeks to break or jump over all the walls, some being higher than others, but at courage camp I woke up a beast in me that has a huge appetite for what I’ve started to feed her with during those 3 weeks: lollipops! let me explain …

During camp I dug up my need for fun, my need to let go, my need to admit that I cannot control everything, that everything does not have to be perfect, my need to simply enjoy the positive excitement of my actions, my need to smile, my need to show how much I love spending time with others.

At the end of the camp Lois gave us a simple advise for situation when we feel anxious: repeat to yourself (out loud if necessary): I’m so excited! I’ve used that technique several time and it’s amazing how well it works!

Last example wasn’t a small one … At work I’m part of a big and exciting change movement and last week with a couple other colleagues we organized a big 3-day meeting (60 people) at our site. During the week, our leadership was invited to presentations and discussions about our achievements … I was one of the presenters … as I said, not a small one. in the last couple minutes before my talks my inner voice was like ‘I’m so so excited!’ and guess what, it totally worked I enjoyed every second of it, I wasn’t overwhelmed with stress. The positive excitement took over and it was such a good feeling and experience.

Before the camp I would have missed out a lot during those 3 days because of the fear of not being perfect, the stress that something could not work out well, instead I had fun, I enjoyed the moment, I had confidence in the effort we put into preparing the meeting and I accepted the glitches. All those moments were my colorful lollipops, feeding my beast’s appetite.

After this week I know how much impact Courage Camp had on me, I know from now on that I’ll cherish the memories of the intense and beautiful moments I shared with all the people I met there, I know that my lolipop collection will grow bigger and bigger, I know that walls exist but they can be jumped over or even broke down, I know that those 2 days were a new beginning, I’m alive and fired up for positive, joyful and fun experiences.

~ Agnès