With the US Independence day this weekend it makes me reflect how blessed I feel to be free. I think many Americans have no idea how free we are.
This past week I was drawn to a small red box film called, Desert Dancer, that was the true story about an Iranian dancer named Afshin Ghaffarian. This movie gave me a whole new perspective on how naive I am to the freedom I enjoy each and every day.
Afshin grew up unable to dance & was actually punished as a young child for dancing in his childhood school. His story was one of needing self-expression, desire, passion, and seeking to live from his heart. This movie opened my eyes further to understand those countries that live in such suppression. It made me try to imagine how it would be to have to hide a passion; to have to break rules to live a dream; to seek a better understanding of a world so torn and broken and to finally have a taste of freedom.
As we celebrate our freedom, I challenge all of you to share a prayer of thanks for the wondrous freedoms we live each day. Peace. Love and Freedom to all.
To all of you who are feeling less than free. May you find it in your heart today.
I think we are all learning lessons in bravery throughout our lives. We begin with first steps as children and then first days of school to first friendships and on and on. Life is a constant lesson in being brave.
I have a sweet dog we adopted in December and he is currently training “to be brave.” He came to us afraid of strangers, scared to death to go on a walk and face things he has no experience with (bikes speeding by, strangers too close, different environments, etc). He grew up in a home where the owner would go to work ten hours a day and he would just sleep in his crate, so now he is constantly being introduced to new things. I think there are things he loves like exploring our backyard and finding sticks and birds and learning to “be brave” when facing new things everywhere he goes. We cheer and give him happy hugs when he is brave enough to let a stranger get close. It is one little step at a time.
Life is like that, full of things we face each day that we may rather not have to handle or even run from, but its the little steps we take to find our bravery. We practice bravery in trying new things, experiencing different jobs, when we reach out to others with a smile, moments when we step out of our comfort zones and stretch a little farther.
Here are some small steps to help you become a little braver each day:
Practice being brave by saying YES! to experiences, to dreams, to invitations, to learning something new, to trying something you’ve never done before.
Speak your bravery. No one can read your mind or know what you need, so you need to self-evaluate what you may need at this moment in your life. You may need more communication, more support, a raise, etc. If you do not speak, the silence will take your power.
Face your fears. Everyone has things they are afraid of, but it is the little steps you can take to face the fears that will lead you into a situation of bravery. What are you afraid of? Let’s say you are a writer & your fear is of rejection. [no different than anyone else, right?] The writer that faces that fear & puts out the 99 articles is going to be published vs the writer that stays afraid. Face it and go for it!!
Be YOU. Don’t follow the crowd or say what others want to hear. You have had your own struggles and triumphs, your own experiences, learned life lessons that are all your own, etc. You have gifts to share, stories to tell, lessons others can learn from you. Be you and don’t be afraid to be yourself. There is no one else like you!!
GROW. Learn something new each day, whether you listen to inspiring podcasts, take a class, volunteer to help others, attend a group to improve yourself. Do something, anything that will help you grow. Become a little better each day.
And when you begin to have little successes and feel yourself growing, learning, doing and finding the freedom in this new found bravery—CHEER! Yell. Be proud of YOU. Bravery can be hard, but it pushes you to new limits and helps you become a better version of yourself. Go YOU!
This GoPro video has a message you have to listen to and be in awe of. Life is a dream. Life can be full of surprises. Life is what you live. You are made of Stars, so the possibilities are limitless.
When you look at the BIG world around us, the unmeasurable spaces of the universe, you can’t help but feel small. Yet, we are made of the very magic of the divine places, the light that makes up everything. We live by the very pulse of it all. We are part of all that is. There is a sacred space in all things. I think this video shares a glimpse of that connection, the magic, the greater divinity in everything we do. Beautiful.
Then with this video, you see the details, the magnificence of the world, the colors, the variety, the space, the beauty. You can’t look at the swirl of the stars and not feel small or see the clouds race by and know something larger is at work. Everything is so beautifully timed. We are part of this place. We are part of the beauty. We are part of what we make it.
I don’t think you can look at the details of this world and not be humbled and know the deep love that is hidden in everything.
Here is one last video of some amazing places around the world.