Curating Your Best Self – Being Brave

I had a Mother moment yesterday where I truly felt like I rocked at womanhood.  Miss Bee called me in frantic tears. She had a job interview and her dad had taken the car to run an errand without thinking she was going to need it. “My interview is in 30 minutes,” she said. I told her it will be fine. Call the manager at your interview, tell them you might be late, I’m on my way.  Before we hung up she sobbed, “Oh, and I can’t find Wilson anywhere (the cat).”

No problem, I ran to my car, dialed Mr. Bee who was in route to the house.  He got her to her interview. I arrived home and searched high and low for Mr. Wilson – in the bushes “Please, Lord, I don’t want find a dead cat today,” I stood on our front porch and called him. I looked under every sofa, chair, desk, you name it, I turned it over. Finally, I found him locked in a closet in the guest room. Crisis adverted.  I even managed to change three litter boxes while I was at, and I was back at my desk within the hour. I got a call from a calmer Miss Bee, “I got the job.” My work here is done.

But, there are also days when I feel out of control, that I’m not my best self and it makes me feel uncomfortable, unsettled, unworthy.  How quickly we can turn away from the empowered self to the destructive inner critic.

I adore the teachings of Brené Brown.  She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She’s the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of ImperfectionDaring GreatlyRising StrongBraving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead.  She also has a powerful Netflix show you can view here.

Here she offers “5 Ways to be Brave” in a Forbes magazine article. I love this part…

Come Off The Blocks

Dr. Brown tells a story about her daughter joining a year-round swim team, and how the coach assigned her to the 100 breast stroke, which is a tough race, and not her daughter’s strongest stroke. She was upset and said her friend told her she could scratch her heat, which means she could pretend not to hear her heat get called and miss her race. She asked Dr. Brown if she would get grounded if she scratched her heat, Dr. Brown said no. Her daughter said, “I’m never going to win this race,” Brown responded, “You will never win this race, but maybe winning for you is getting off the block and getting wet.”

The day of the race comes, her daughter shows for the heat, and it was ugly. She was so behind that everyone was out of the pool and waiting for the next heat to start by the time she finished. She was devastated and crying, when she reached Dr. Brown. She looked down and said, “But I was brave and I won.” Brown summarizes the meaning of the story, “Vulnerability is hard and it’s scary and it feels dangerous. But it’s not as hard, or scary or dangerous as getting to the end of our lives and having to ask ourselves: What if I would’ve shown up? What if I would’ve said ‘I love you?’ What if I would’ve come off the blocks? Show up, be seen, answer the call to courage and come off the blocks. Because you’re worth it—you’re worth being brave.”

She’s also very vocal about her sobriety saying this, “I celebrated 23 years sober this month – May 12 to be exact. About a year ago, I was talking to a dear friend who was newly sober, and our conversation shifted something in me. For the first time in my life, I realized that my sobriety isn’t a limitation. Sobriety isn’t even a “have to” – it’s a superpower.”

For those of you hurting or struggling with how to do life, reach out and ask for help. Find a meeting. Get a therapist. Call a friend. We don’t have to do this alone. We were never meant to.

Be sure to check out her website and sign up for her weekly inspirational emails.  She shares a wealth of wisdom, beautiful downloads and helpful videos.  Here is Brené’s Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted

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