“I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say because of you, I didn’t give up.” -This is why I’m here today, but if I’m being honest, it all started in a much different way. Don’t worry, I won’t go back to the very beginning, but I feel it’s only appropriate for my first official blog post to let you in on why I started Braving From Within and where the name came from.
Lets talk about the name, “Braving From Within.” One of my proudest moments and most honored rolls in life has been during the two years that I was a birth worker as a doula. Many people are aware of the concept of “Birthing From Within,” but it was my dear friend Loren that helped me blend the process of birth with being brave. Birth is the rawest and purest form of vulnerability and bravery next to death, so it is only natural that the movement of birthing from within would inspire me. In addition to that, when you show up authentically, flawed, imperfect and truthfully it has to come from a place deep within. I believe that place is a light within all of us where we are infinitely connected to a higher power. I also believe that light grows in size and brightness when it is repetitively sought, therefore, becoming a habit. This place, this blog, this safe space will be a cathartic outlet for me to continue growing the habit, and I hope that in some way, it might inspire you.
How did I get here? Yes, yes, I’ve been through many life experiences that I’m sure I’ll share as time goes on, but where it all really took off is in the drive-through at Starbucks. What, don’t all life changing moments happen at Starbucks? Well actually, the Starbucks drive through moment never would’ve happened if I hadn’t first started a path of personal growth and development that would take off like a freight train. Almost two years ago I entered the world of audiobooks and poof, just like that, this non reader that hadn’t read a book since sophomore year of high school became a straight up audiobook junkie! It all began with Glennon Doyle’s book “Love Warrior” and then “The Shack” and then “You are a Bad Ass” and most recently the amazing Rachel Hollis’ “Girl Wash Your Face.” I’ve now read or listened to over 100 books that never let my brain go mushy. Okay, okay, maybe my smut romance novels have some fuzzy moments, but that’s not what I’m talking about.
While on this personal growth journey, I was introduced to Brene Brown and my life changed forever. You see, once you know about the power of being brave and vulnerable, it’s hard to show up as anything less. It’s kind of like keeping someone else’s secret or when you know you’ve done something your conscious is nagging at you for and you just want to shout it out and get it off your chest, or you feel like you might turn into a cloud of darkness. When you’re not owning your truth, it’s like you’re living a lie. So, if I hadn’t gone through like one million ah-ha moments while listening to those books, Ted Talks, courses, and seminars, I don’t think I would have had the Starbucks drive through moment. It was the moment a friend of mine that I admire and respect very much said to me, “Sometimes I think about running away from my family. Sometimes I think they would be better off without me and that I can’t take another moment of it all.” I sat stunned and unsure of what to say because in my head I was committing the ultimate woman to woman sin, I was judging her. I was questioning how a mother could feel that way and also, because I saw how truly spectacular this woman was, I couldn’t understand how she could think her family would be better off without her. Days later, as it often happens, while doing something brainless like washing dishes or going to the bathroom, the epiphany hit me……I realized I was judging my friend because I was judging myself. That soul shattering moment happened because I realized that I felt the same way she did way more often than I cared to realize or ever admit to myself and that only happened because she wasn’t afraid to say it out loud. She wasn’t afraid to own who she is or honor where she’s at in life. She wasn’t afraid to feel it and be in it, even when it made her feel like a shitty mom or wife, or put in the position of possibly being judged. I knew right then and there that from that day forward, I was going to do everything in my power to be my most authentic self. I knew that it would help me live a happier life, but I hoped it would inspire others to do the same. Since that day I’ve lived bravely and loudly and moderately fearless, because none of it is easy, especially the part where you put yourself out there and allow others to see you, I mean, REALLY see you. Actually, the easier path is to hide, to hide behind who you’re not, who you’re supposed to be, behind controlling every situation, behind your negative self talk, behind your limiting beliefs and behind self loathing. But…..when you are brave you are free and when you are free, the light shines out of you and on to someone else that has now been given permission to be their bravest, strongest, most authentic selves! So, my brave butterflies, I hope you’ll spread your beautiful wings with me, stay true and step in to your truest you with no apologies.