Are you Brave?

You are brave.

How does that statement land with you? I was chatting with one of my yoga students after class when he told me this. My instinct was to laugh it off.

Me.. brave? No, not me. Not me, who struggles with arm balances for fear of falling on my face. Not me, who for years afraid to show my true self for fear that it wouldn’t align with expectations of what I should be. Not me, who hemmed and hawed in going after my dreams.

But, then… that statement… my reaction… got me to thinking. About what it means to be brave.

The dictionary says brave is: Ready to face and endure danger or pain, showing courage.

The dictionary says courage is: The ability to do something that frightens one.

Yes. I’ve done a lot of things that have frightened me. I’ve moved across the world to learn a new language, experience a new culture. I’ve summited mountains and hitchhiked across South America.  I’ve taken a surfboard out to the ocean. I’ve dove beneath is wavy surface to explore what lies beneath. I am betting my family’s life savings on this crazy dream of making a space for women as they go through the journey of pregnancy and motherhood. I’ve done all of these things. And yet… my instinct is that I am not brave.

Just maybe this is the wild thing about bravery. In order to be brave you need to feel fear and to do it anyway. When did it get in my head that a brave person doesn’t experience fear?

In my opinion the most brave thing any of us can do is to decide to try to become a mama. What on earth could be more scary? To try to grow another human inside of your body. And, if by some magic everything works how you hope, you are left with a brand new person. A person you are completely responsible for. AND you are completely transformed from the woman you were into a mama. Just WOW. Mama, you. Are. So. Brave.

In yoga, we talk a lot about breath. We talk about the breath having an amazing magical property to transform fear into excitement, exhilaration! I am reminded of this often. When something is scary. When I’m afraid. How can I use my breath to move through fear.  Because on the other side is something magical and amazing.

Take a deep breath. Feel the fear. Feel yourself BRAVE. Feel yourself alive!