The world is waiting for your bravery.
Someone recently dubbed me "Bravery Doula for life, business, and creativity.”
We both snort-laughed and then I grabbed a pen to write it down, because she’s right and brilliant.
For those of you who didn’t live in an urban PacNW hippie commune like I did, a doula is essentially a pregnancy sidekick. She guides women to go through hell and back to bring their greatest work into human form.
While I do love babies, I try not to spend a ton of time around placentas. That said…
Bravery is a lot like giving birth.
It is definitely not the easiest thing you’ll ever go through. There’s often a lot of groaning, cramps, hand-crushing grips, and it might make you feel (extremely?) nauseous.
I believe the bravery is worth it.
Because, in some form or fashion, every good thing in life is a result of a feat of bravery.
But the agony of courage is so overrated.
Pushing the struggle bus up the metaphorical hill of life is such a waste. Life is hard enough as it is! We don't have to punish ourselves!
What an ordeal.
Bravery can be easier.
5 years ago, I did not know this. I only wish I did.
Fortunately, you don’t have to learn this the hard way, like I did:
About a decade into a really lovely and successful career as a cellist and cello teacher, I was diagnosed with a degenerative, neurological tremor in my hand. This wouldn’t be a big deal for most folks, but my livelihood depended on the stability of hands.
The rug was yanked and the pieces of my life crumbled around my ankles.
I was left with a persistent question…
If I’m supposed to "be brave" right now, then what is bravery?
No, really. What the HELL is it?!
We make idols of it. We bow down to those who display it. They get medals and awards and a bunch of other BS that means pretty much nothing when all is said and done. I gave a TEDxTalk on all that.
And yet when the miracle of life bitch-slaps us, we are left with the stinging loss of words and a halo of chirping cartoon birds.
So partly in an effort to distract myself post-diagnosis, I picked up songwriting more seriously than I ever had before. After all, my new biological clock was ticking.
I also picked up a pretty hefty project:
Discover what bravery really is.
Then recreate a LOT of it.
So after hundreds of research conversations and much wrestling with big topics like “belonging” and “rejection,” it turns out:
- True bravery doesn’t look like we think it does.
- There are 12 ingredients of bravery.
- There are 3 reasons why people do brave things
- There are 3 forms of bravery
- And I have 4 favorite ways to build my bravery
You can read all about ^that^ in my book Bare Naked Bravery: How to Be Creatively Courageous.
You’ll find me teaching my community all about it too. Because it's not just about recreating bravery. It's better than that.
We can turn our unique constraints into a life filled with creative courage.
Chronic illnesses, impending life-changes, or bizarre industry limitations -- these things can actually become GOOD things, things which create GREAT things.
When we are empowered with choice, knowledge, organization, better tools, and preparation, we can remove the excess friction in life, business, and creativity. When we have those things...
Bravery *CAN* be easier.
I want that for you. and well, the whole rest of the world.
Not to get all sappy on ya here, but this mysterious spinning ball we live on would be a much kinder place if we all had a bit more bravery under our belts. Don't you agree?
~ Emily Ann Peterson
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