Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween! Merry Samhain! And Happy "Be Brave"!

It is Halloween tonight and I can feel the energy in the air. Being what I thought would be the end of the Be Brave Project, this feels like a very important night for me. Samhain, in the Gaelic tradition, is the night that we celebrate the harvest. For me, it is the night that I celebrate all of the hard work that myself and all of you have accomplished through each and every act of bravery that's been committed in the past month. Tonight I celebrate the ability to move past fear. I celebrate courage. I celebrate Eleanor Roosevelt. I celebrate community. I celebrate darkness. And I celebrate moving past it.

I celebrate you.
I celebrate us.

I celebrate the belief that anything is possible
when we simply get out of our own way!

Tonight I celebrate the fact that
this is not the end of this project,
but only the very baby beginning.

On Thursday, September 27th I started the Be Brave Project and dared myself to do one thing every day that scares me. I don't know what I expected from it. All I know is that I was starting to feel a very deep need for change in my life. For thirty-five days I've been watching myself transform into someone that I can love. Does that sound cheesy? Well, yes, I'm cheesy then. This challenge has taken more time, energy, and concentration than anything I've ever done before. Yes, even more concentration and energy than hiking the Himalayas!! It has required me to be focused. It has required me to be confident. It has required me to stand up for myself and to push myself further than I would have otherwise.

It has taught me to listen to my heart. It has also taught me that I have a lot to let go of before I can truly move on. It has taught me that I have it in me to be anything and anyone that I want to be. It has taught me to believe in myself and in my dreams. I have come to the conclusion that, what I want more than anything, is to be myself--fully and completely me. And what I've come to understand is that is what the universe also wants most from me. The closer I move towards my heart's desires, the more everything else seems to start falling into place. It is truly, for lack of a better word, weird.

In the past 35 days I have (in no particular order):
  1. Applied for a portrait artist job. I never heard back from them--doesn't matter though, because it got the ball rolling.
  2. Applied for a retail manager position. I was offered a job, but turned it down because it didn't pay well enough to justify it. Upon reflection I was glad that it worked out the way it did because, if I were to be honest with myself, it is not the kind of work I want to do anyway.
  3. Worked on my thesis.
  4. Worked on my thesis.
  5. Worked on my thesis.
  6. Worked on my thesis.
  7. Worked on my thesis.
  8. Worked on my thesis.
  9. Worked on my thesis. (Yes, this is important to me! Can you tell?)
  10. Worked on my thesis. (I'm almost done!) :) :) :)
  11. Encountered wild animals up close, including two bears and an entire pack of wolves in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Now that was (wonderfully) scary!
  12. Went on a solo writing retreat (see #3-6, and #11).
  13. Got my bangs cut extra short.
  14. Went shopping for a nice outfit that made me feel good, wore high heels, and went out to a restaurant that sported more silverware than I knew what to do with!
  15. Walked out into the deep, black, night through mist and crashing waves. Such darkness. I was terrified!
  16. Started eating smaller portions for meals and traded crackers and chips for apples--and have, since then, lost a few pounds.
  17. Posted a video of myself on my blog. Yow! Did I really do that?!
  18. Built a website banner for someone inspired by a dream image. I was intimidated by it at first, but ended up having so much fun creating it!
  19. Learned how to use my new pen tablet that I had been avoiding for weeks.
  20. Made great strides in learning new Photoshop techniques. This has already been so incredibly helpful in terms of my web design projects and fun, too!
  21. Started pulling together the inklings of a new book.
  22. Looked into getting fine art prints of my paintings. I realized that my search for lower prices will need to continue. :)-
  23. Applied for a advising/counseling position. It is the kind of job that I would love!
  24. Shared my blog address with my mom.
  25. Had my tarot read by the ever fabulous Jamie. Serious stuff. Wonderful, amazing, life-changing.
  26. Learned how to solve computer challenges without asking for help.
  27. Went shopping for jeans even though I was afraid that they would all look horrible on me and that I would go home feeling bad about my body. However, I surprised myself by finding a pair that fit perfect and that I feel great in! Now that's amazing.
  28. Lined up an art show for spring.
  29. Cleaned, organized, and cleared out the negative energy in my office. It feels great and is so much more conducive to getting things done and feeling comforted.
  30. Made lasagna from scratch for the first time ever.
  31. Started really and truly believing in myself and my dreams.
  32. Inquired about 2 more web design projects--and got them both!
  33. Bought a new domain for our web design business that better reflects me. We're in the process of revamping the whole site in a way that better reflects both of us. This felt very important to me. I'm so excited about it!
  34. Started wearing jewelery and clothes that feel more like me and noticed how much brighter my energy shines when I am simply me.
  35. Was honest with myself and stuck to my guns when confronted with an "opportunity" that would undermine my personal goals.
  36. Made a list of priorities...then got real with myself. I have a tendency to stretch myself always too thin and always too far. So I shifted things around so that there are only two ranked under "#1 Priority." They are: finish thesis and find a new job. The rest will happen soon enough.
  37. As soon as I am done writing this post I have promised myself time to do a "letting go" ritual. I hope to tell you more about it tomorrow.
I was thinking that it would be really, really cool to compile a list of ALL our "Be Brave" actions. Even if the "Be Brave" project has inspired you to do just one thing, I would love to hear about it. I actually got this idea after reading Kristine's list (is she amazing, or what?!). Whether you did things that were tiny, small, big, or huge, just imagine how incredible our list would be TOGETHER! Whew! Now that would be a lot of bravery. There is powerful energy in our actions and so here's my idea...

Send me your list in an email OR leave your list in the comment section of my blog by Sunday, November 4th. On Monday, November 5th, I will create a new post with ALL of our "Be Brave" actions combined. For the sake of readability, please try to keep any explanations relatively short (at least for the purpose of the compiled list). You all have been doing some AMAZING stuff! And I would really like to take a moment to celebrate it.

As for the "Be Brave" project...this is only the beginning!


martha said...

Hi Jessie
Love your video! You are so brave:) I had a job interview-me and six people and It was very hard and I did not do a great job but I am owning that and there you have it:) and my bday is Nov 4th!

Leah said...

what a fantabulous list my dear! i'm proud of you and excited for you!

i just wrote about this sort of personal challenge today on my blog and then found so much of it reflected in this post.

brava, my dear. you definitely have inspired me.

Maddie said...

Jessie ~ you have really
climbed mountains this month ~
and it completely suits you ~
I come to visit you here to
recharge ~
and if it wasn't for YOU ~
I wouldn't have my work
in a gallery right now:)

and my entire yesterday which was
so beautiful ~ would never have
happened ~



i am going to make that list ~
but it isn't as long as yours:)


Olivia said...

Jessie, this list is so amazing---YOU are so amazing! Seeing everything all in one place is impacting. I didn't know you'd done some of those things because you didn't mention them in your blog posts (or else I missed them somehow). I'm sure we all have things like that, though. What a great "last post" for the project that truly is only a beginning. I know EXACTLY what you mean about the intensity, as I get ready to cross the finish line! Much love, Jessie dear, O

Kikipotamus said...

Holy Cow, woman, that is so much bravery in one month! No wonder you feel like a new ARE a new person. More YOU than ever.

bee said...

hi, sweetie.

i'd love to do it a month behind, but i don't know how to embed the button in a wordpress blog. couldja help?

i'm so happy & proud of you.

Melba said...

I am so proud of you and all you have accomplished!!!
I am with you on this journey of being brave and all it brings.

Jamie said...

Oh, I just want to reach out and hug you, you amazing woman, you!!! Look at all you've done! Look at all you are! You are a wonder, and it is a joy to know you! I am so proud of you!!!

kj said...

jessie, your list is fabulous!
1. sent a 30 poem manuscript to a small pubisher
2. responded to their kind rejection letter by calling the editor and asking for feedback
3. followed his recommendation and applied to the colrain poetry manuscript conference
4. got accepted!
5. started a short story about a great love affair
6. brought my mom to my house to live for awhile
7. let go of an uneven friendship
8. made cards from my photos
9. let myself love
10. reviving my counseling business.

thanks to you, jessie!


Sharon said...

What a wonderful list! You are so brave...not only to try all those things, but to share them.
Keep growing!

Olivia said...

Amazing list, Jessie! All of this process has been fantastic, hasn't it. Super unbelievable...

I made up my list last night and posted it here:

Just the process of making the list was impacting, as I didn't realize all that had happened until I went through all of my posts and videos. Just 30 days for a life to be changed forever.

Thank you again, Jessie, for all you've done with this. Let's keep sharing how the process continues, how we keep moving forward in bravedom,

Love, O

laundrygirl said...

What a list!
I thought of you yesterday as I stepped out courageously...

Suz said...

I enjoy your courage and bold soul brushstrokes in your blog. Thanks! And I've been admiring your artwork on Etsy. How fun! Hang in there with the thesis. I recently finished my thesis (last year) and know the agony it can be. Peace.