Courage : Curiosity Breadcrumbs 1

Curiosity Breadcrumbs 1: Courage

Here’s issue 1 of my monthly curated email, Curiosity Breadcrumbs around the theme of Courage. This month I explore the courage to be vulnerable through really putting your hear on your sleeve, talk to Grassy Hopper founder Yasmin De Giorgio about her relationship with courage and link to an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert where she talks about choosing curiosity over fear.

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A trail of curiously courageous breadcrumbs.

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Curiosity breadcrumbs

by Greta Muscat Azzopardi. Writer, collector, curator of words that weave meaning –

Dear you, welcome. This is my monthly practice of collecting some of the breadcrumbs that I’ve followed along the past month and making a collage out of them. Each month will follow a particular theme. For this first newsletter I will be exploring COURAGE.


The courage to be vulnerable

Writing this newsletter is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Something I’ve procrastinated my way out of for quite some time. Usually by working.

It takes courage to go for something you love. Something you might be disappointed about. Something that shows some of what’s hiding inside you. What if it’s rejected?

Courage is an elastic term. One we stretch to cover various brands of boldness, of defiance, of unapologetic vulnerability. In “The Gifts of Imperfection” Brene Brown talks about the original description of courage, one I wholeheartedly identify with,

“The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart’.”

My favourite acts of courage are exactly these little instances of vulnerability. Like the email I received this morning from a dear friend speaking about his expertise at hiding feelings, written in the most beautiful, heartfelt manner. Or speaking out about a need when you know someone will most likely be annoyed or hurt. That little moment of hesitation when two introverts are saying goodbye, until one goes for the hug that both long for. First kisses. Moments when compelling feelings win over fear. Declarations of love (not necessarily romantic) where your intense fear of ridicule starts the second the words leave your mouth. Or in my case, my pen or keyboard. I’m an expert at those.

Around a year and a half ago I wrote a bucket list. To my surprise, the thing I felt most strongly about was my first entry – Writing 1000 love letters. My first was to a friend, many years ago. She was passing though a rough patch and I felt an intense need to tell her how very special she is, how much I appreciated her. The response was so heart-warming that it still affects me today. The idea that I had somehow helped spread love, that I had assisted another human being to feel seen, appreciated, was truly precious. One that has remained with me ever since.

I’ve probably written about 60 love letters so far, I try to keep a copy and a tally but I frequently forget to. I’m often a little too excited about actually giving them out. The space between sending a letter and receiving some kind of response is nerve wrecking. Have they read it? Do they hate it? Do they now think I’m weird? Sometimes there is no acknowledgement, I’m learning to deal with that; it’s an important part of the process. Many times though, the response is nothing short of incredible. The act of noticing the little things, of witnessing the softer parts, of seeing people, of sharing gratitude for how others have affected us; there is something immensely powerful in these simple acts. Why do we not do this more often? Why do we have such fear of sharing what goes on in our hearts? Why do we judge so severely? What would happen if we dared display actual snapshots of our hearts?

This email series is somewhat of a snapshot of mine. Of sorts. A place where I get to share enthusiasm for my favourite humans. A place where I can gather thoughts and collect artefacts around a theme. A place to play with words and meaning. I hope you find this worthwhile.

Thoughts, additional resources, feedback, hellos are greatly appreciated. Contact me here.

With pots and lots of love,
Greta xxx

Brene Brown – The Gifts of Imperfection

The key word is practice. Mary Daly, a theologian, writes, “Courage is like – it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”


Yasmin De Giorgio : Putting fear in the back seat

One of my favourite very courageous humans, Yasmin De Giorgio, founder and CEO of The Grassy Hopper and Theobroma Cacao Collective, talks to me about what makes her bold and how she wriggles out of the clutches of fear.

Read the interview here.


In this episode of Krista Tippett’s On Being (one of my favourite podcast series of all the interwebs), Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how following the breadcrumbs of our curiosity takes us beyond the realm of fear and is one of the simplest acts of courage available to us.

Listen to the podcast here.

Tim O’Brien – On the Rainy River (from The Things They Carried)

Courage, I seemed to think, comes to us in finite quantities, like an inheritance, and by being frugal and stashing it away and letting it earn interest, we steadily increase our moral capital in preparation for that day when the account must be drawn down. It was a comforting theory. It dispensed with all those bothersome little acts of daily courage; it offered hope and grace to the repetitive coward; it justified the past while amortizing the future.


One day, all of the voices silenced by fear began to sing. Elle Luna

This illustration by Elle Luna reminds me of Mary Oliver’s poem The Journey describing the experience of having the courage to follow your own course. 

MAKK - hand illustrated ceramics

“It takes courage to live with your heart” as my friend John Hutton exclaimed a few weeks ago. Pretty mug from sweet arty duo Kirsty and Sarah as MAKK.

Seth Godin – Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

“Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”

The name Curiosity Breadcrumbs comes from the interview with Elizabeth Gilbert linked above. She speaks about how choosing to follow curiosity makes our lives (and selves) infinitely more interesting.

Thoughts you want to share? Ideas we can collaborate on? Get in touch here.

Copyright © 2016 Greta Muscat Azzopardi All rights reserved.
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