How Big is Your Brave?

Just another day in paradise.

I'm not brave.

Or, am I? I did make at least one bold move recently.

I left behind the world I knew and walked off into the sunset to follow my heart. I did it without a plan, and without a safety net. It was totally out of my comfort zone. Heck, it was out of everyone's comfort zone. It might have even been a little irresponsible.

Many thought so. A few told me I couldn't do only what I wanted.... some warned me that this new venture would be really hard, others wished me luck to my face (yet I sensed they secretly hoped I'd fail).

And yet, I didn't really care. I'd faced rock bottom and it was a place I never wanted to be again. Depressed and negative, I'd slowly turned into someone I barely recognized, someone I definitely did not like. I had lost my confidence, my solid footing. I questioned everything, had trouble making decisions, and certainly allowed the actions and words of others to derail me.

If brave means doing what you have to do to get your life back, then I guess I was. I took the risk of uncertainty over more of the same. I suppose you could say I took my personal power back.

And despite a rocky forecast, this new gig is working out. I'm happier, freer, better. I don't make the money I once did --which never really mattered to be anyway -- but I also don't spend money like I used to.

Life is simpler. It got so complicated for a while there and I got further and further away from my true self. For a time I couldn't figure out what to do about it. A book saved me. It helped me take a step forward -- since then so many other books have shown me the way. The book that made me look at things differently was Happy For No Reason by Marci Shimoff. I actually didn't read it, I listened to it in my car.

And that is how I feel now, most days. Happy. Blessed. At peace. Freer. Whole. Everything has more meaning than it once did, and so much more is appreciated.

My brave might not have felt that brave to begin with, but I am positive without it, I would not be where I am today.

I met up with a friend the other day and she told me I seemed Calm. Happy. At peace.

She said it with one eyebrow raised. I inquired about that. She wondered how I had done it.

I told her I had "turtled" inward and focused on doing things that were easy, things that served me.  She asked what "easy" meant. I told her I had started saying no to the things that others wanted me to do, things I knew I could do, but didn't really want to. I stopped trying to fix things for others, and started concentrating on what I needed to do to move forward.

It made all the difference in the world.

You cannot heal those around you until you heal yourself. I took that advice to heart. I healed the mean voice inside...and once I did, my life started changing. And those around me noticed and also started changing.

My advice to those who want to move forward: stop listening to the mean voice and start hearing your higher self--the essence of YOU -- I am positive your life will change, too.

And who knows, maybe YOU will find YOUR own version of brave.