Prompt 13 comes from Marianne Elliott.
Step one: set the timer for 5 minutes and write down as many answers as you can think of to the question: ‘When and how was I brave in 2014?’ Note: remember the private, intimate and small ways in which you were brave as well as the big public ways.
Step two: Choose one of more of those moments of bravery and write a letter yourself back at the beginning of 2014, letting you know how brave you are going to be that year.
Step three: Write yourself a short reminder to tuck into your wallet or post above your desk of just how brave you can and will be in 2015.
As Marianne indicates, bravery is complicated. We think of courage as something that appears in big moments, but the bravery that gets us through the day that can be just as powerful. This year, there were certainly days where just getting dressed felt as courageous as a high-stakes speaking engagement.
I looked back at my journal this year and know that in no uncertain terms that I was brave often. I’m choosing to focus on a trip that my husband and I took at the end of July to Tennessee and North Carolina. We drove 7.5 hours to Gatlinsburg through the Smoky Mountains and then back through the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville, NC in our trusty Nissan Versa, Vivian. You have to remember that I am the NYC single girl who avoided driving for the first 38 years of her life due to fear. I never imagined myself driving a car I owned expertly through one of nature’s greatest glories with the love of my life less than 2 years later.
At one point in our journey there, we were on a very windy part of the road going downhill with only big trucks on the road and the only radio station we could get played Led Zeppelin. Describing how I felt seems impossible- words like “powerful” and “brave” even feel limiting. I cranked the radio up, giggled to myself, and leaned into the present. I couldn’t imagine a life without having experienced those emotions that day.
My experience that day reminds me not to overthink the future, to stay present, and when I have a choice, consider the courageous option in 2015.
How will you be brave in 2015?