Living the Brave Life

There’s a new girl at the gym. I’ve known her for years really, but she’s new to that space in my life. She’s what I’d call a loose acquaintance. The other day, I noticed she stopped talking to me – saying hello and the like – the times I’ve approached her, she seems distant, like I’m bothering her. We’ve all been there. Is it me? Is it her? What is going on here?

I am on a journey to live a brave life. One that is messy and sometimes complicated, but real and dare I say, bold. It is my belief that living this way is the only way to experience true and certain joy. I don’t always have it together or know what I’m doing exactly. And I’m cool with that.

As I began this journey – which can be more accurately described as the waking, the piece I couldn’t quite figure out was ‘what does this look like at the PTA?’ Meaning, being real and authentic sounds good enough while I’m reading about it in this book here, but what does this look like in application? How in the world would you use this in everyday life?

I’ve spent the last several years trying to figure that out – learning mostly from trial and error – where the trials and the errors continue to this day and I hope will continue well into the future. It is only by error that we can really learn and grow and growth is what I’m after.  What better way to create a greater life for my children, myself, and those around me?

Living a brave life means asking my gym friend (in love, not in accusation), if I have done something to offend her. Listening carefully to her response, fixing what I can, letting go of the rest. Knowing it is not her opinion that shapes my character, but my action of restoring relationship.

It means sitting with those I love in their problems and seeing them, hearing them – without judgement. For I no longer need for them to believe and behave a certain way in order for me to be ok with me.

It means listening to my friends who are politically charged right now – and not fighting, not arguing but respecting them because they are people whose opinions and beliefs have value and worth even if they don’t align with mine. Knowing I can speak if I want to and the only stand I take that really matters is the one behind the curtain on November 8.

It means holding myself and others accountable for their words and actions and letting the natural consequences flow.

As many of you know, I have been writing this blog for about a year now. So far, it has been read in all 50 states (plus DC and Puerto Rico) and 167 countries by close to 20k people with over 71k page views, which tells me you’re coming back for more. I hope this is because you’re finding your own truth while experiencing mine.

Unchained is meant to be the mechanism of my journey that seeks to answer the question of what this looks like at the PTA. This week, I spent some time working on the Unchained Manifesto, which starts out like this:

We are not afraid.
              To get real.
              To tell our stories so we can learn from each other.
              To walk in love but still hold on to who we are.
              To live a fearless life with all the hope, joy, pain and passion it brings.
My hope is that this platform will continue to change and grow so we can all learn together, making our hearts and our worlds better. My hope is that you will continue to read and follow and find your own voice as you grow. My hope is that you’ll join me in this journey and that we will become unchained from the things that hold us back.

You can read the entire Manifesto here.

Thanks for reading and here’s to making it great.