You can be brave now…That is something that my friend Jen likes to tell me and I believe her because she really knows about bravery. When I was a little girl I used to think brave people were people who didn’t feel fear. I know now that the brave ones are those who lean into their fear–feel it fully, let it wash over them and then get up and get moving. They feel the fear and then make the right choice, take the leap, run the risk, stumble through the forest in the dark.

I have been doing some major rearranging of soul furniture over here this fall–trying to imagine a different way of living–or to be more accurate, trying to manifest a path toward a life that I have dreamt for a long time. Truth is, I have no idea how I am getting there but I am tired of waiting for answers and saviors and everything to neatly come together. Not having my ducks lined up feels very scary but I am starting to just set out on path and make it as I go, step by step. I am ready to be walking, even if the path is twisty and not straight and clear, instead of sitting by the side of the road waiting for directions. I am trusting that everything that happens from here on out, the good, the bad and the downright ugly is just a necessary step on that journey.

Living faithfully means giving up a certain bit of control, something that is not always easy for me, trusting that the Universe knows what I need to learn and what is good for me and trusting that the experiences that show up on my doorstep are good ones, even if they are painful or challenging. It means reframing every difficult circumstance so that I see myself as a student. Its hard to imagine that leaning into the bad times is a good exercise but of course, deep in my heart I know that it is.

“Not knowing” does not mean “not moving”. But it does mean being brave in the dark.

9 Ways to Be Brave When the Night is Really Dark

1. Sing yourself a lullaby
2. Dig into the dirt and ask the earth to hold your dreams.
3. Pay attention to self care: sleep as long as you need to, nap, eat well, move your body.
4. Take walks with dear friends.
5. Get really still and listen to what your heart tells you to do. And then do it: Bake cookies. Play with art supplies. Play your guitar. Clean the kitchen. Dance in the kitchen. Read outloud in bed. These are the things that will carry you forward in the most unlikely ways without you even realizing it.
6. Ask for what you need. Ask and ask again. Be fierce about it if you need to be.
7. Reunite with old loves and old friends and remember all that has always been good about yourself.
8. Wear your favorite t-shirt, your favorite kick ass boots and your favorite jeans.
9. Cry when you need to. Get angry when you need to. Then sing yourself a lullaby and start over again.

3 Responses to “You Can Be Brave in the Dark”

  1. Christa Says:

    Just beautiful. Thank you.

    I am with you on this part of the path. I think of it as floating… Even though it requires less effort in some ways, it is a challenge not to break out and swim for shore. We are so used to looking at a map, choosing a destination with our minds and setting out to get there as quickly as possible. To let your heart find the way, to drift and meander and deal with what comes is very brave work.

    Blessings on your journey. And thanks for the list!

  2. denise Says:

    Splendid, soul-salve advice. Thank you.

  3. pixiemama Says:

    This is such a very, very beautiful piece. Thanks for being so open and brave.