I lived a life based on fear for so long that this emergent life of building my brave continues to catch me off guard. It’s usually after I’ve done something that I know would be totally out of character for the old me and my old life. Something I may have initiated, facilitated and followed through on, like attending a book launch in Los Angeles, Hollywood to be specific, all by myself. A part of me, the human/ego part perhaps, is still trying to wrap my brain and spirit around that. I keep trying to look back and pinpoint how my brave got so strong and so big. It feels like it’s happening so fast, but it definitely didn’t happen overnight. I can look back now to admit how afraid and unhappy I was with my life. I can admit to how helpless and insecure I felt about my ability to truly change and create a life I dreamed or fantasized about. I’ve come so far in the past two years and it feels incredible. A lot of why it feels so great is that it doesn’t feel like I had to do any grand sweeping changes to myself or my life. It’s been more a process of uncovering and discovering what has been inside me all along. God also placed people in the form of teachers or guides, and situations in the form of opportunities or lessons in my life to encourage and move me along.
Last night I got a chance to pack my brave and take it to the Harmony Gold Theater. I got to experience This Is My Brave and The Depressed Cake Shop in their presentation of 11 of 34 writers of essays in Shades of Blue, lovely musicians, and poets. It was such an epically magical night filled with true emotions of joy, sadness, triumph, tribute and most of all communion of souls. A true connection with others that helps you connect better with yourself. Amy Ferris, the editor of Shades of Blue, came up with the divinely brilliant idea to read the first sentence of every writer’s essay in the book as a way of introducing the night! It was a stroke of genius and very powerful. The 11 writers who read parts of their own stories were funny, sad, thought-provoking, uplifting, and truthful. The music elevated everything and the two lovely young women poets spoke rhythmically from the heart and the darkness of the mind!
I got to meet two of the women writers that I will have the privilege to spend more time with in a few months. Jen Pastiloff was there and I finally got to hug her and tell her how much she has encouraged me on my path. She is just as beautiful, authentic and generous in person as she is on Facebook. I can’t wait for her Ojai New Years Manifestation Retreat!
I also met Beth Bornstein Dunnington, who previously invited me on Facebook to attend her Big Island Writer’s Workshop. She is a lovely soft, caring soul. I now feel totally safe and reassured about attending her workshop in January!
One of the musicians at the show was Shannon Curtis. She sang a song she wrote called ‘Constellation’. She explained the inspiration for the song was thinking of a string of Christmas lights or the string of bulbs you see on the patio of a restaurant. The bulbs all need their connection to the other to shine. She said people all have a light inside that we are meant to shine and when we put those all together we form a constellation and each one has an important part. Everyone has an important role. As she sang about people’s light a video played on stage showing different people with “I AM” written on their hands. What they put after those words is their light. Some had “I AM BRAVE” “I AM ALIVE” “I AM HERE FOR YOU” “I AM A POET” “I AM LOVE” “I AM A GUIDE” “I AM A HEALER” It was so moving and it made me wonder what my light was. What does my journey of building my brave, my mission to communicate, facilitate and inspire healthy meaningful connection translate to? As I watched through my tears, all of those beautiful people show what their light was, it came to me! “I AM EMPATHY”!
I have literally had less than 4 hours of sleep in the past 2 days so I hope that this is making sense. I just want you to know that it’s all worth it. This journey where I’ve lost a friend or two, the familiarity of dysfunctional comfort and the cover of fear. Whatever I need to shed, discard or experience to continue answering God’s call, my newly built brave, and my recently discovered light will continue to carry me forward.