Why BRAVE?!

Dear BRAVE Humans,

Welcome back to Living BRAVE! It is me again, Meaghan. Today I want to chat BRAVE; why did I choose BRAVE as the name of the organization? What do I believe it means to be BRAVE? To live BRAVE? Let’s get into it.

Why BRAVE?

In the Spring of 2014 I had officially decided to leave high school teaching, return to graduate school and give this leadership program I had been developing a real chance to be something more. As I began the legal processes for developing a nonprofit, I was stumped for a name. I mean, it had to be epic, right? It would be the name of an organization! The name of my passion, really! In the car with friends I heard the song “Brave” come on over the speaker, a brand new song by Sara Bareilles. Immediately, I fell in love with it. The energy. The lyrics. Everything about it was perfect to me. I absolutely LOVE music, and once a song wins me over, it is usually for life. And it is usually because of what the song means, and how it makes me feel. This song has it all. I learned more about the song, memorized all the words, watched the music video a few hundred time, thought on it for a few weeks, and in the end my choice was made. We would be BRAVE. To this day I use this song and the music video to introduce BRAVE to others. I talk about the video and the lyrics with everyone who will listen (many veterans in the program have heard this song several thousand times at this point =]). It has become common for me to challenge humans through the words of Sara, and a lyric from the song; “show me how big your BRAVE is?!” It is my hope that thing song will continue to provide energy, inspiration, beauty and meaning to our BRAVE spaces. If you are reading, Sara, thank you! From the bottom of my heart.

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What does it mean to be BRAVE?  

I LOVE this question. Usually, I ask anyone I meet. In any interview I have ever facilitated, this is one of my questions. For me, whenever I consider this question, I think of Maya Angelou and one of her very many amazing quotes. She said, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” I think when we are brave, when we live brave, we slowly build a platform beneath our feet. This platform grows and grows, with every demonstration of bravery. As we step on this platform we propel ourselves higher and make it easier, and more accessible, to engage with the rest of our best selves, to do all the amazing, positive, awesome, beautiful things we are capable of. Our kindness, our patience, our compassion, our empathy, our authenticity, our vulnerability, our love, our self-empowerment and so much more. Bravery is the difference between a kind action and a kind person. Bravery is the key to everyone's individual superpowers, the key to the best version of ourselves.

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To live BRAVE?

Living BRAVE is exactly as it sounds; it is a lifestyle. It is about walking to walk, not just talking the talk. Being brave, or kind, or generous, etc. - it is easy to do those things in a single moment that we select we can - but can you do it over and over and over, throughout your life? In the toughest moments? Without credit? Without anyone watching? With everyone watching?

To live BRAVE is not a single choice, but a string of choices, everyday. It is to be ALL IN. Living BRAVE is produced and reproduced, day in and day out. It becomes part of our identity.

Please remember, our best self on some days is very different that it is from other days, that is life, that is being human. But it is also Living BRAVE.

Hopefully these insights added a bit more to my BRAVE story from earlier this week. I believe, wholeheartedly,  in the positive power of humans to inspire and challenge one another to be self-empowered contributors to a better world. Maya and Sara are two, of SO MANY, humans who have inspired and challenged me. Everyday, I continue to be inspired by the words, actions and stories of courageous people, like you, from around the world. Who inspires you?!

Until next time! Stay awesome, friends!

Peace and love,

Meaghan