Bravery Through Vulnerability

spring-967866__180Facebook Memories reminded me of a prime example of stepping outside my comfort zone yesterday! I’d committed to doing a Facebook challenge last year called #HowBigIsYourBrave and #LoveYourSelfie where I posted a selfie of myself every day for 20 days using those hashtags. That started May 22, 2015, and I managed to recruit three other good friends to do it with me. I was genuinely touched and surprised by all of the love and encouragement I received in just the four days we’d been posting selfies. I had also been following the fabulous Jen Pastiloff‘s Facebook page for about a month. Part of how Jen Pastiloff spreads her magic is through honest, courageous videos about being enough, being yourself and a host of other empowering messages. She had just posted a video in her sports bra and showed her belly, which was a very vulnerable thing for her at the time. She then issued a video challenge on May 25, 2015, asking her followers to make a 3-minute video talking about what we loved about our bodies and to upload it to her page. She said she might post our videos publicly for others to see.

I was feeling pretty brave and a little confident after 4 days of the love your selfie challenge. I decided to do the video despite never having done anything like that before. I shut myself in my bedroom before I could lose my nerve and I did it! It was less than 3 minutes, I was very emotional and I said “uh” a million times while I recording, but I did it. Then I quickly figured out how to upload it to Jen’s page before I changed my mind. The link to the video and what I wrote when I posted it is below: Ok this was waaaay harder than I thought, it’s not three minutes, and I’m not as articulate about loving my body, but I’m apparently busting out of my comfort zone today… who knew? Jennifer Pastiloff, what are you doing to me??? <3

At the time, Jen had over 73K followers and I honestly didn’t think my video would make the cut, much less get posted publicly. But that is exactly what Jen did! Mine was the first one she posted. She also sent me a friend request for her personal Facebook page, which I accepted immediately. My video got 3300 views and many comments. What blew me away the most was that every single comment was one of encouragement, love and support. Every single one. A lot of my personal friends saw the video and commented too!

The second blog posted on this site is called “How Does Your Brave Show Up”. In it, I wrote how my brave shows up three ways: baby steps, the cha-cha slide or bold leaps. Making and posting that video a year ago was a bold leap of the highest order. But it was preceded by lots and lots of baby steps with a couple of cha-cha slides (back and forth). Watching myself in that video made me wonder how bravery and vulnerability often go hand in hand. How much is vulnerability a part of building your brave? In the year since I made the video, I went on to move out of a place I’d lived in for 14 years, to start a blog, to begin practicing yoga, to writing and submitting an essay for scholarship consideration. An extremely personal essay. I’ve attended a yoga manifestation retreat and a few writers workshops too. Finally understanding that building my brave is as much about expressing my vulnerability as it is about walking through my fear. animal-341140__180


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