While thinking about bravery lately, I realized how my courage journey feels like a reverse bell curve.
As a young person, I was braver. Then as the years passed by > my bravery diminished, only to make an upswing as I kept going.
I've heard others say the same thing. There was a spunky, sassy, “willing to try” young girl who somehow lost her voice and self-determination and faded ~ like a wilted flower. If this has been you >> (or whatever journey you’ve had) know you can find your strong-willed, opinionated, fierce, independent and brave self!
Lest you think I was totally with it as a youngster, I'll remind you that I was so shy in kindergarten I peed in my leotards instead of asking to use the bathroom. It's not like I had it all together. But there was also something pure and willing to speak up for myself ~ like when I asked my Brownie leader for a new mom (I didn't like the sweater my mom made me wear that day)!
No matter what your life pattern has been related to being brave and being you, YOU CAN BE BRAVE NOW!
Recently, my astrologer guru and friend Meredith reminded me to cultivate the “weaker” parts of myself and strengthen them. Well, heck I knew this. And I also forget it. The value of good friends is they do their work AND remind you to do yours too!
Of course, she knows I'm a sensitive Pisces so Meredith prefaces many things she says to me with: "You know I love you right?"
She knows that even though there is a spunk in me, I have the tendency and pattern I mentioned earlier > "Wilting Flower." This is what happens when I'm faced with a problem, challenge, put down, perceived put down, etc. Some people, under these circumstances, say "I'll show you!"
I am more likely to wilt.
However, I do bounce back (usually) and find my courage and bravery to do whatever I need to or want to. I have learned to cultivate bravery. Like so many things, being brave is something you can practice. I decided to share what helps me be brave in case you are needing some support too :)
B- Belief in something you care about is important. Sometimes we even have to believe in something or someone else before we can care about ourself. But hopefully you will be brave because you believe in YOU.
R- Resilience is your coping skills and your willingness to bounce back. For some of us this is harder, but it's something you can strengthen and being resilient is a great quality of the brave.
A-Allowing opportunity is a must. Look for opportunity to be yourself and you will be brave. Once opportunity arrives, take it! Even doing this in small ways will help.
V- Values are key to bravery. What matters to you? Get in touch and stay in touch with what and who you care about... not in a dogmatic, oppressive way. Share your values from a heartfelt, passionate, open and loving place.
E-End Game is the way to play. Sometimes it's hard to find courage, but when you know what it is you are wanting in the end > it can be easier to find strength in each moment. Look for your long-term vision and you can find short-term bravery!
I can still be pretty shy, and I also have visions for myself beyond that. I’ve wanted to play an instrument for a very long time. Just like I've wanted to learn a foreign language, I eventually shelved both ideas as most likely unattainable in this lifetime.
Then >> I met my friend Krystle Baller, who created Lady Rockstars - an empowerment program that teaches women to be musicians and play in a band in one month. Tonight - after we have met four weeks (one night a week) I will be playing with four other women in public. We are playing two songs. I will be playing guitar and kazoo. This has definitely been a call to bravery for me. As I was stressing about whether I knew the chords, Krystle encouraged me “You are so badass!” And she reminded me that I could stress about it OR NOT! There so many lessons in being brave, because we can practice letting go of perfectionism and self criticism and even performance expectation. We can just be who we are ~ and that’s really brave!
In her book "Big Magic," Elizabeth Gilbert talks about a woman who had lost her zest for life and was feeling adrift. She decided to return to her childhood love of ice skating. Remember, bravery can also be a quiet thing we do alone and on our own behalf!
My bravery is on an upswing. Where are you in your bravery journey? Wherever you are > remember there is a brave soul inside you always at the ready to help you be who you really are ~ Y-O-U! And I am always glad to encourage you too! Together, we are braver!!
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” ~ Brené Brown
So I’m not that thrilled with being seen and that’s part of my bravery journey. Tiaras can help with bravery by just saying “Go for it!”
Me in kindergarten as the princess for the fall festival. I was definitely being brave ~ as I wanted to be home playing with my Barbies!
Me at the ready to play in our Lady Rockstar band > Celestia and the Bionic Unicorns