Brave /brāv/ ready to face and endure danger or pain.
The word brave originates from the 15th-century Italian word ‘bravo’ –courageous, untamed, savage; based on the Latin word ‘barbarous’ –wild, primitive, foreign. Bravery is the admirable quality of being able to confront frightening things.
When I think of someone brave, I conjure up images of a soldier going off to war to defend his homeland or Amelia Earhart, the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic, or Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her bus seat, or Mahatma Gandhi who employed nonviolent resistance to successfully liberate India from British rule. I don’t think I can come close to being as brave as they were. My attempts at bravery are a lot less remarkable.
For instance, several years ago, when I was trying to do a headstand, my heart raced whenever I went upside down. I was scared I might hurt myself if I didn’t do it right. So, I went to a few yoga conferences and watched experts doing the pose and took notes. I went to workshops, and still, my headstand was not up to par.
It’s embarrassing to admit how long it took me to perfect (or at least improve) my headstand. Get into proper form. Engage my back and core muscles. Lift both legs at the same time, like a drawbridge, and slowly lift my legs until they were in a straight line with the rest of my body. No wobbling. Breathe. Stay in the position for two minutes before lowering my legs exactly as I entered the posture. Bravo.
I do my headstand every morning, but I’m not afraid anymore.
Now, what scares me is you. The people I know and do not know who read my blogs, books, and poems. Those that appreciate what I write. Those that don’t. Those who criticize. Those who praise. It scares me sometimes, but I do it anyway because, in the same way, I wanted to do a headstand well, I want to write well, and the only way I know how to do that is to keep on writing. Life will either contract or expand depending on my courage.
“Do something that scares you every day. You have nothing to lose except fear itself.” Dalai Lama
How did you find solace this week?
© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved