Be BRAVE

 

bravery-quoteMy daughter left a week and a half ago for a two-week, Hawaii adventure by her sixteen-year-old self. She got on an airplane by her self for the first time. She instantly sent us a selfie where she looked terrified. And then immediately another selfie where she was smiling. It was classic. My husband and I just laughed & knew she would be okay. It was part of her journey. She had to be brave, all on her own.

“You will never regret being brave.”

Over a year ago she approached me and my husband and expressed her interest in doing an adventure camp where she could go somewhere and help sea turtles. She had done some research and expressed she would like to go to Greece.

My first response, “Not Greece! That is too far & you are not even sixteen!” I loved her excitement and passion to pursue something she cares about, so we told her we could do some research and see if we could find something a little closer to home & not so foreign.

As her Mom there were parts of me that worried, but how do you dim any kind of spark that is ignited by a passion bigger than anything. As parents we are here to nurture, guide, and hopefully inspire the spark that lies within these children we have been gifted to grow and love. Who are we to take away dreams, to kill the passion and thrill of an adventure, to limit them in becoming who they are meant to become.

My daughter watched the movie, “Born to be Wild” when she was eight and fell in love with Orangutans in Borneo. She instantly pulled out her stuffed animals, made book marks & did an animal sale in our front yard to make money for the World Wildlife Fund. That was the beginning. She has had a love of animals ever since. When she was fourteen she began volunteering at our local aquarium & had a sweet eye to eye encounter with a sea turtle & since that moment wanted to learn and do more for them. She just got a job as an educator at the aquarium & has loved every minute.

There is nothing better than seeing someone you love and adore thrive! Especially as a parent. I know as my daughter grows and spreads her wings, she will need less and less of me, but as her mother, I invite her to fly. Even though she will be able to fly, our bond is strong. I hope she will grow strong wings that will take her wherever the world needs her. I cannot be selfish with such an incredible person who was meant to do amazing things for this world. Who are we as adults, as parents to limit their experiences because of our own fears.

I have had so many family members and friends who have commented on how scary the very thought of allowing their child to go on such a trip. I even had one of my sisters comment on how she could be brainwashed on some island somewhere. Everyone has their opinions, but hopefully, we can all remember this quote…

 

873ee57d7afdbcbf0519027b27da8fe7As we see our children grow we begin to see their strengths, their challenges, their needs, who they are striving to become. We need to remember that they came to this world with their own sets of life-given qualities that will serve the world in one way or another. As parents, we need to help ignite the sparks within them, help give them the opportunities to find their deeper light, their purpose, and to nurture what they need for their life. Our children are gifts to our life. They will inspire, challenge and help us grow. We are all here to help one another to be our best, to live fully, to seek dreams, to follow the guidance…the spark…the light we have within. That light will lead us to our purpose and that will allow us to be a greater gift to the world.

In the end, my daughter will be gone for fourteen days & during that time we have only been able to talk to her for ten minutes. That has been the toughest part for me. I want to hear and see everything. I want to experience it all through her eyes. I can’t wait to hear all about it. But, I will tell you this…those ten minutes that my husband and I talked to her, she was lit up by the whole experience. Her passion was felt from thousands of miles away. She was right where she needed and wanted to be and you could tell by the enthusiasm in her voice. Oh, the joy you feel when your children are happy.

 

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I love this. I would rather be a mother that helps instill “I can and I will” than the alternatives. smile. smile. Help them feel like they can and will.

“I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.”  -Whitney Houston

That is a beautiful idea.

May we all seek to live, to love, and to be brave.

Peace to you.  -H

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Be BRAVE

bebraveI 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.

IMG_7378I 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.

coelho-be-braveHere are some small steps to help you become a little braver each day:

  1. Practice being brave by saying YES! to experiences, to dreams, to invitations, to learning something new, to trying something you’ve never done before.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!!
  4. 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!!
  5. 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!

Have a great day! -H

 

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