award winning media midwife + artist + producer + professor
Brene Brown's work is a balm. Her brilliant TED talk about vulnerability and courage went viral in 2011 and from that she wrote the book, Daring Greatly. It is a call to bravery and how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead.
Brene begins her book with a tremendous speech by Theodore Roosevelt entitled, "Citizenship in a Republic". It was delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910. Here is an excerpt (in parenthesis I made it revelvant to men and women, if Roosevelt were alive today he would do the same):
"It is not the critic who counts; not the (person) who points out how the (other person) stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the (one) who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself (or herself) in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he (or she) fails, at least fails while daring greatly...,"
This leads me to my blog post which is that RAISING MONEY TO PURSUE MY PASSION AND CALLING IN THIS WORLD IS SO INCREDIBLY VULNERABLE. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking, "Am I insane to be starting an entirely new endeavor? Will enough people support me in this crazy leap of faith? What if I don't raise enough money to make this album?" Then, I think about my grandmother, Bernice, who, at 47 years old, gathered the courage to not only enroll in The University of Chicago and devour the classical texts of world civilization (she never went to college before that) but, also, earned her driver's license and became a top realtor in the North Shore of Chicago (after never driving or earning a penny). From that work, she earned a solid income, saved a nest egg and then rocked the world of investing (before that she and my grandfather hadn't invested).
She lived into this transformation when I was about 10 years old. She decided to overcome the barriers that kept her from being brave. She was a force of possibility and modeled a sense of queenly empowerment. She inspired my mom who at 37 years old went to law school, after a lifetime of being called to this work but terrified to pursue it, and now has a thriving practice in Chicago. I feel struck by the parallels. How scared they must have been to change their lives and live on purpose. How terrifying and thrilling to let go of who they thought they should be to become who they truly were.
Now, as a woman, a mother, and wife, I engage in the endeavor to live into what is calling my soul. When I wake up with night sweats or anxiety, when I feel contracted and triggered, I stop everything and just breathe. I breathe into knowing this can work. I breathe into trust. I breathe into having chances and opportunities that my ancestors could have only dreamed possible. I breathe into taking one step at a time, knowing there is guidance at every turn, with lessons along the way to be learned. This transition from intense, gripping, stifling fear into gentle, motherly self-love, through the breath, is the birthplace of creativity, joy, and connection.
That said, even if I fail, when I fail sometimes, at least I make my best efforts in this lifetime, daring greatly.