My word for the year, as many of you know if you’ve been following me, is BRAVE. You can read more here about why I chose it – but the short version is simply that I need more bravery in my life. Less staying safe, less shrinking back, and more embracing the adventure, trying new foods and experiences, making new friends, visiting new places.
I’ve been compiling a list of objects, books, characters, memories, songs, etc. that make me feel brave, and thought I’d share them with you:
1. My gorgeous word of the year necklace, which just arrived this week from Mili. (You can customize it to say any word you want, and mine says “brave.”)
2. The Bayern books by Shannon Hale. I’ve mentioned these books before…each of them is about a main character who discovers a mysterious gift and then must learn to use it well. There’s so much in these books about knowing yourself and living up to your true potential. Just having these books around makes me feel a little braver.
3. The song “Brave” by Nichole Nordeman. Of course. (How lucky that my word has a theme song. “The way it always was is no longer good enough…”)
4. The scene near the end of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie, where Carmen has locked herself in the bathroom because she’s scared to go to her dad’s wedding. Bridget pounds on the door holding the Traveling Pants, and insists, “Wear them. They’ll make you brave.” Love it. (My own pair of traveling pants, ripped and worn and nearly 10 years old, also make me feel brave. As do all four of the Sisterhood books.)
5. The support of my dear husband and good friends.
6. A henna tattoo from Amanda. I swear she mixes a little magic in there.
7. Yoga classes with McKay Moore. I feel so strong and so relaxed afterward.
8. Reading good, true, beautiful words by great writers – books, blogs or even Twitter messages.
9. Planning and navigating a trip to a new place.
10. The video of J.K. Rowling’s 2008 commencement address at Harvard University. (Just discovered this the other day. Totally brilliant.)
These are just a few – I’m sure there are more. What makes you feel brave?