Let’s let others own their actions…

Dear Beautiful Souls….

The Holidays can be a rough time because they trigger so many emotions and memories….so many expectations that turn to disappointments.

If you find yourself being on the other side of behavior that feels mean or vindictive or harsh or defensive or argumentative…..try to remember to let others own their actions and their words. Sometimes things we do or say are triggers to other’s unhealed wounds….wounds that have nothing to do with us…but are simply unhealed….and often people will try to punish us for those wounds that were there long before we were…just because we may have innocently and unknowingly triggered those old wounds.

owntheirwords

So don’t get sucked into all of that, and instead just lovingly let others own their own stuff……and make sure you own yours too…..the key to soul freedom is to own your behavior, your reactions and your thoughts….and to let others own theirs.

LOVE AND JOY TO ALL OF YOU! Keep being brave!

xoxo
melody

 

 

So….we just lost our dad…and we want you to know him…….

Kathy and I are sisters….but we are only 2 siblings of 9. We have an incredible family and we all love each other very much.

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Almost a month ago, we lost our dad. We are heartbroken and it has been very hard to keep going while also grieving this enormous loss. We really want you to know him, though. He was fighting a tough battle that we thought he was going to win. We were able to sit with him for over 2 weeks in the hospital, where many beautiful, meaningful and sacred conversations took place….where we got to see even more of exactly who he is……..it has been a heartbreaking, devastating and also an absolutely amazing experience. He was too young to go….we weren’t  ready…and we will miss him so much….we will grieve his loss for the rest of our lives……but we would like to share with all of you who our father was….

big smile

devoted to you

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I had the honor of writing his life sketch and speaking at his funeral. I will just copy and paste it here.  This is a real life hero…….

hugging

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Harold Johnson, born May 10, 1938 in Nampa Idaho

We have the great honor of giving you a few beautiful details about our dad’s life…who he was and what he did.

Our dad was so much more about who he was as a human being than what he did or what he collected or what he owned or what he acquired. We hope we can shed even a tiny spark of the huge light that he is.

Although he had many great successes throughout life, his heart was always in his relationships, his goal was always to show more love and acceptance to every human being he encountered and his actions always led toward optimism, happiness and gratitude, no matter what stage of life he was in.

We could tell you that when he was a boy his life was not easy, that he had to work for anything and everything because money was scarce and stability was not to be found….but what we would really want you to know is that he was a spectacularly brilliant, fun, optimistic, adventurous and hard working youngster with big dreams and that he didn’t let anything hold him back, bring him down or make him a cynic. 

It is true that when he was still a teenager, he wanted to enlist in the military but soon found out that he had a heart defect, which kept him from being able to live out that dream….and that he had one of the first open heart surgeries in the United States at only 19 years old as a young husband and father….

But what he would really want you to know about that is that when he met his beloved wife, Myrna Jean, and they were BOTH still teenagers….nothing mattered except for being with her….and that they sailed through that heart surgery together just like they did every other difficulty and trial in their life…and that as he was recovering from such a dramatic surgery at such a young age….he was actually focusing on his brand new son, Michael…and the life he wanted to build for his bride and his son….and soon his whole house full of children.

It is a fact that our dad worked very hard in trade school to become a journeyman electrician, and that he was a favorite to all of his teachers and employers…and that he would ride his motorcycle for miles and miles every day to make sure his employment would provide for his growing family…..

We know that he bought out his partner and owned his own business, a very successful business for a very long time. He was an exceptional employer and a well respected businessman in the community….

But the important thing about all of this that he would want you to know is that it doesn’t really matter what it takes to provide…that you just do whatever you can and you make the most of it…you show up to work with a smile on your face and you go the extra mile, do a throrough and quality job and don’t cut corners….you treat the people you meet along the way with fairness and respect and dignity, even love….that you should always go the extra mile for all of your customers.

…..then you come home and kiss your wife and play with your kids and that makes all of it worth it.

Our dad was a hard worker…he taught us to work hard through multitudes of home projects including an enormous floor to ceiling wall to wall rock fireplace in Mountain Home….a renovated camper project….Mike’s property 

Dad always had something going on and was always helping Mom to make something better or more beautiful….he taught us all to do that. He valued hard work….and he was always very busy….

But something else he taught us by example is that……no matter how busy you get…always make time for fun, and for music and make time to take your wife on a date every Friday night….make time to sit down and talk to your children and to somehow let each of them know that they are loved and that they are special and that they are seen. 

It is true that dad struggled with very difficult health problems all of his life. But, there’s not much he would want you to know about that…..

but what WE want you to know that there was never a day when we would hear him complain about it, or even mention it, no matter how much pain he was in, no matter how tired he was…and that he consistently showed up to his life with a smile, a joke, a song, a memory…..and a youthful heart that was always ready to make more memories, sing more songs and tell more jokes…..and that to the very end, he didn’t let his body keep him from living out his heart’s wishes….and that those wishes were always filled with love and fun.

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towing grandkids 2

towing grandkids

barbershop

guitar

He could fix anything, he could figure anything out, he knew facts about just about everything….he is the smartest person we know. He loved history and he loved making his property as beautiful as possible. He had an award winning voice and he loved to play the guitar. He loved cars and loved his cars…he loved tinkering on them and making them even better than they were.

He LOVED singing in the barbershop quartets that he was a part of through all most all of his life….the quartets he was a part of were award winning and he loved to stand on stage with the men he loved to sing with in the competitions…….he loved singing with his sons and he loved singing with his wife. He loved to sing. 

You see, he was so good at so many things….

But the thing that he was very best at was loving….giving….and opening his strong arms to whoever needed that love. He gave the best hugs and the best advice. Though he was good at so very many things, the things he was legendary at were being the most devoted and in love husband to his wife, being the kind of father who believes in you, delights in you and roots you on every step of the way…..

the thing he was good at….was just being good….good to the core, MADE of goodness.

We asked his loved ones to give us some words to describe him, along with a few short sentences about him….here are a few of those…

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I will always remember his great harmony and wonderful tenor voice.

He was always cheerful and I loved to hear him laugh and tell stories.

I will be eternally greatful for his kindness and willingness to serve others and share his blessings.

He is genuine, loving, warm, selfless. My favorite memory has always been his warm greetings, how excited he was to see people and how welcoming he was. I always loved how he’d call out my name and give me a big huge hug, everytime we visited without fail. He gave the best hugs, the kind where he just held you so tight that you had to hold your breath for a while… I’m gonna miss those!

He is loving, Musical, Giving…..Uncle Harold taught me how to milk a goat, how to tie a neck tie and how to sing barbershop music….I’ll always remember how he trasnported me from Nampa to New Plymouth on his Honda, for those long weekends and vacations from school…..How I loved to spend time with him and his family…I always felt so loved and such a part of the family…Whenever I’m feeling down..I try to focus on those times…It makes me happy….

“What-e’er thou art, act well thy part.” He sang every “part” perfectly and was an example of acting “well” even when he was sick or in pain. I was very touched to see him always show up to support family, no matter how far away, with all the problems he was facing.

Wise, Warm, Wonderful – the best example of a father, husband, son and uncle that I’ve ever known.

I remember how he and MynaJean took my mother and brothers and me into their family when we lived in New Plymouth. It was a difficult period but one of the most joy filled times of my early life. Motorcycle rides down the canal bank, his electricians truck parked in the driveway, singing mule skinner blues, and always, always so kind and gentle.

Harold is gracious, kind, and totally selfless. So Christ like. A wonderful brother in law. So loving. Such a good example. So musical. The list could go on and on.

He was pure, sincere and delightful beyond measure.

Harold was courageous, endured pain, loved his family a good father and husband. Harold had a passionate love for his family, friends,music, home, and especially for his beautiful Myrna Jean,… one Valentine’s Day they, unknowingly, bought the same beautiful card for each other. Harold moved me and my four little boys numerous times. Always there for us in our time of need He made our life fun,… filled it with guitar playing, foot-stomping, hilarious joke-telling times. I loved listening to the ‘Four Dad’s’ perform their beautiful harmonies…Harold, Chad, Scott and Bruce…they were so very special We followed their performances all over the valley. So thankful we had him in our family.

Dad was smart. He seemed to know how everything worked and what was wrong with anything that was broken. He could fix anything. He was also an inventor. How many cool things did he build with parts from broken machines? Remember that riding mower he souped up that would through the grass about 30 yards? Or the 3-wheeler he build out of 10-speeds and a rototiller engine? Awesome …

Gentle, light-hearted, genuine, a softie. Seems obvious, but I have really fond memories of singing with him or singing for him. Seemed like those singing times where the times when he would bust up laughing because someone got the words wrong or something and it just cracked him up. Oh and his jokes! So funny and usually took about 5 minutes to tell. What was the one about the dead horse in the bathtub? Anyone?

He believed in us. Each of us and our unique gifts and journeys. He would do whatever it took to help us out…. I totalled my first car and didn’t have insurance to cover its repairs, so he towed it back to Mtn Home and he and mom banged all the dents out of it and he fixed the mechanical issues and I had a car to drive again. He loved our mother. He sacrificed and worked so hard to support us…he did whatever it took to bring home a paycheck. He liked being with us. He loved to jam the whole family in the station wagon and take us for rides…generally the highlight of the ‘ride’ was a stop for DP. He was a friend magnet. Our back yard was frequently filled with friends with guitars on the weekends. He served on the school board at New Plymouth for a period of time. The president of the school board once commented that Harold didn’t speak often during their meetings, but when he did, everyone listened because what he said was so well thought out and wise. He was handsome as anything.

When I was about 6, Dad took me to DQ in Nampa on the tank of his Honda 750 and bought me my very own milkshake. Strawberry. I vividly remember that.

I remember riding on the tank and steve would ride behind your dad….Fun times! Especially when he would let me crank the throttle…

Dad was so intelligent. He was the one you went to when you wanted to know how something worked. I remember him reading to us at night – there was a period of time when he read to us every night, and that meant a lot to me. And of course the music – ingrained in my soul, I remember every note of the songs he sang with his buddies, and with Mom. Now I also know how strong he was, courageous, how much he loved life and Mom and his family. Laughter, motorcycles, jokes…loyalty, impeccable character, unfathomable love for so many – how was it that so many felt such deep love from him? He was a miracle, the face of Love – he showed us with his life what real love is. We are so lucky that he is our Dad.

He loved to tell a good joke – usually had a smile on his face, a true gentlemen, the brother my dad never had

loved him like my own dad – He was without guile, meek, humble and there was never a time I didn’t feel loved like a daughter by him. So filled with gratitude to be a part of his eternal family.

I remember his steady Christlike example and unfailing kindness to anyone and everyone he met. His capacity to love and serve was unmatched, always by the side of grandma. I attribute one of my greatest joys in life to his influence, that of music! How the choirs of heaven have been craving his presence!! His laugh and hugs will forever be impressed upon me. I love them and miss them so much. Grandpa I love you!

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We could go on for days and days with memories of our father, and each would point back to the quiet legendary hero that he was and is.

We had the great gift of being able to spend his last few weeks with him, sitting by his bedside both day and night. While in the beginning, we were all hopeful that he would regain his health and return home to continue on living this incredible life he has lived…..we were able to be with him when he found out that his earthly life was going to be over soon….

it was then that we were able to see more clearly than ever who he is and who he always has been…..

as he spent his last days speaking gratitude, kindness and love to his doctors, nurses and every person who came to visit….as he spoke the words “I love your mother so much” more times than we can count. As he told us that he would forever be our guardian angel…..as he courageously showed us how to wrap up a life well lived.

He is a legend.

He is an icon.

He is our hero.

We can’t wait to be with you again someday, Dad.

 

pitchfork

young with grandma

Listen listen listen….you are never powerless

Dear Trying Girl,

Sometimes when we feel crummy, we make it our number one goal to stuff that feeling away and just stop feeling crummy instead of trying to figure out why we feel crummy in the first place.

The thing is, beautiful friend, that our bodies and our hearts are SO SMART and so totally on our side. They feel crummy in order to give us some kind of message…and when we stop for a moment to ask our bodies or our hearts why they are feeling what they are feeling, there is usually an amazing answer involving something important that needs to be addressed. When we can address the root of the feeling, we can make huge and massive changes in our lives.

So…if you are feeling grouchy today, ask yourself what that might be about instead of stuffing yourself with ice cream or putting another pair of boots on your credit card or lashing out at someone you love. Ask yourself what part of you is feeling threatened, or exhausted or feeling powerless. Then….do something about THAT, beautiful soul. Those crummy feelings will return again and again if we don’t do something about what is causing them. Our feelings of powerlessness just want to be told the truth…that we are never powerless.

Also…do something that will make things better instead of make things worse. Sometimes we choose default behaviors like eating or drinking or spending or hiding out when we feel sad or mad or grouchy or tired or fed up. We do things that might feel good in the moment but that we regret later. When feeling crummy….get to the root of it and love yourself where the root is.

Ask your body and your soul what it’s all about….and then listen listen listen. You will see that the answer is there…..your soul is just needing some one on one time and TLC….and your soul deserves that. You are brave enough…just ask.

And please don’t forget that you are so very very loved.

xoxo

 

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All about December’s Soul School class (Go Where the Peace Is)

go where the peace is“It has been said over and over again throughout history that the most important thing we can ever attain is peace of mind. Peace is really what our whole soul craves and strives for… it is the place where we can find clarity, where our wisdom resides and a place of inner peace is really what is intended for all of us. Finding Peace is really another one of those daily and hourly disciplines that we have to constantly be aware of and intentional about. Peace is not one of those things that is easy to find in this loud and crazy world. We get to choose so much about our lives, and especially about ourselves… we are not powerless. We can choose to go where the peace is. ” — Melody Ross

This month, we will be focusing on learning creative new tools to help us find and protect our peace each and every day.  As always, stunningly beautiful projects and fun ideas await!

How to participate? Find out all the details and JOIN HERE.

Let’s take a look at what’s included in November’s Brave Box for Premium Subscribers!!

(If you’re a Deluxe or Basic subscriber, we’ll note below exactly what you’ll be able to print from your wonderful digital kit.)

You’ll get LOTS AND LOTS of video lessons by Melody, project tutorials by Kathy, plus fun visits by some of our BGC team. Deluxe and Premium Subscribers get the full “Go Where the Peace Is” lesson. Basic Subscribers will receive the Journaling portion of the class. It’s fun, it’s engaging, it’s full of great ideas and ways to help you find and protect peace in your life…without even having to change your circumstances. Besides the videos (which are worth the subscription on their own!) you’ll receive digital, printable materials for the class and projects. And Premium subscribers receive a mailed Brave Box with even more goodies! We’ve taken photos of everything so you can see exactly what you’ll get….

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Premium Subscribers receive a Brave Box. We’ll show you exactly what’s in this box of fabulousness….

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Gorgeous collectible “Go Where the Peace Is” embroidered patch

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A beautiful collectible “Protect Your Peace” pin ______________

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A collectible Affirmation Card with a read-out-loud message to remind us to go where the peace is.

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A sheet of 8 lovely designer gift tags. (Digital for Deluxe subscribers.)

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An 8×10 Premium-Quality Melody Ross Art Print (Digital for Deluxe subscribers.)

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Journaling fill-ins & prompts (Digital for Deluxe and Basic).

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Lesson notes/assignments. (Digital for Basic and Deluxe)

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A brand new Truth Card Kit

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DIY Peace Card Book

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A luscious Candy Cane Sugar Scrub project and a yummy recipe from Brave Girl Camp

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A 15% Off Coupon to the Brave Girls Shoppe for Premium Subscribers

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Melody Ross Designer Patterned Paper and Collage Sheets (Digital for Deluxe & Basic)

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Melody Ross Designer Patterned Paper and Collage Sheets (Digital for Deluxe & Basic)

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Thick & textured meaningful stickers

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A beautiful rose stitchery pattern

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Two pretty “You Matter to Me” greeting cards with plenty of space for you to write

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A special She Did it Anyway® patch as a gift to you. Merry Christmas! (Basic, Deluxe, & Premium)

Subscribe or upgrade any time in December to receive your own Brave Box. Upgrade by emailing us at support@bravegirlsclub.com

Your subscription options in a nutshell… (there’s something for everyone)

PREMIUM: All the videos and printable PDFs, PLUS the Brave Box…high-quality printouts of all the class materials along with a collectible patch, button, 2 greeting cards, gorgeous stickers, affirmation card, 15% off Brave Girls Shoppe coupon, and an 8×10 frame-able print… everything you need to get the absolute MOST out of this powerful class. $44.95/mo

DELUXE: All of the videos and printable PDFs…This is a GREAT option for those who want to print their own curriculum. $24.95/mo

BASIC: Includes the journaling portion of the class plus more. If you have limited time and want just the basic foundation of this lesson, this is for you! $9.95/mo

Here’s the deal, friends…if all you had time or energy for was to watch the videos, you would get SO MUCH out of this class. We have spent WEEKS creating this class, and we are SO proud of how it has turned out. The assignments and writing and DIY projects are of course amazing, and we know you will love doing them. But no matter what, we hope that you just watch the videos and see what happens. Come join us!

xoxo
melody & kathy

SIGN UP HERE
DETAILS HERE

Sign up or upgrade today and your Brave Box can be on its way tomorrow!

PS. ALL subscription levels give you non-expiring access to any online class you have ever purchased from Brave Girls! Upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time. No long term contracts…we work hard to earn your trust and participation. And your access to this December 2014 class will NEVER go away…even if you should downgrade to a Free member. :)

We are ALL learning…

Dear Earnest Girl,

Backsliding is a funny thing, isn’t it, friend? When we work so hard to get somewhere we’ve always wanted to be…we think that there is NO WAY we will ever go backward, back to where we were ever again. When are working so hard to get there, we are SURE that we could never let that happen.

We are human beings, however. Sometimes we forget how frail and imperfect we all are by default….how much we have to keep learning every single day.

What we forget most of all though, is how much grace we all need. We need to give ourselves grace when we mess up, when we forget, when we slip. We need to give that grace to each other, too.

When we don’t give grace….we hide our frailties. We keep them in the dark. When we don’t bring our backsliding into the light…the darkness makes it bigger. The best thing we can do is to bring it out in the light when we take a misstep…the next best thing we can do is be a safe place for others to admit that they may have backslid too.

Then we can help ourselves….then we can help each other. Let’s let go of the shame and move forward…..forgive ourselves and forgive each other. We are all learning.

You are so very loved.

xoxo

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Be willing to walk away from things that feel wrong

Dear Light-Filled Girl,

You will come across things in your life that just feel wrong, things that make you feel heavy or confused or wobbly or sideways. Something deep inside you will feel unsettled and you will know that you want to move away from that thing or that situation or even that person.

Those heart-feelings are there for a reason…they are a gift from your Creator. They are there to protect you and to help you make choices that will keep you safe and make you feel your happiest.

Be willing to walk away from things that feel wrong. Know that you have the ability to be a light in the darkness, and don’t allow the darkness to dim YOU in any way.

Life can be good and joyful and light-filled and wonderful. You get to choose EVERY DAY where you put your energy….every single day.

Choose wisely, beautiful girl, and life will unfold in beautiful ways.

You are so very beloved.

xoxo

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Bandage your wounds, beautiful soul….

Dear Courageous Girl,

If only we could push a delete button, or backspace…….if only we could go back and make things happen differently than they did….especially when things are painful, or there is a huge loss, or we have made a big mistake, or someone else has made a big mistake that affects us.

We ache and bleed and suffer when we wish things were different than they are…and we don’t even realize that the thing that is really keeping us from healing is that we are simply not accepting things as they are, but we are still wishing things had happened differently, or not happened at all. Sometimes all we can do is just wish that it didn’t happen the way that it did, and instead of moving forward, we keep suffering in the resistance of what is our new reality instead of accepting it.

The good news, beautiful friend, is that we can move forward. We don’t need to suffer for so long. We DO need to grieve but then we get to choose to move on. We get to choose to focus on what is good and true, and on what we can create for our future.

Let yourself cry. Let yourself throw a fit. Let yourself grieve. When we lose things that we love, even if it was just a dream we had hoped for……we must grieve that loss. But then we must move on in joy and gratitude and remember that we are never powerless. We get to create a new day every single day.

Bandage your wounds, beautiful soul….let them heal. You were meant for happiness and it will return.

You are so very loved.
xoxo

An invitation to join….THE BGC DECEMBER DARE….come play with us!

We are doing something really fun and wonderful and we want you to join us! There are even prizes involved!

You just need THIS LIST and your phone or ipad or camera….

December Dare Kit

The December Dare is all about taking a moment to STOP and look around you, wherever you are, and capture it and share it….what we are asking you to do is to look at the daily word prompt and either write it out or print out our list and cut it out…then take a photo with something that is right where you are…..and share it with the rest of us.

UPDATE! See each day’s posts and winners on THIS PAGE

The word prompt is for the date in December that corresponds with the prompt next to it…These are all prompts from December 1 (see list above)

I love this baby photos

 today I took a picture of the baby toys that are in my house

now that I have a grandson….makes me happy every time I see them

I love this Pandora

 I love Pandora so much….it’s always right beside me every day

You can share it on the Brave Girls Club Facebook Page, in the comments of the daily December Dare post or you can share it on Instagram with the hashtag #bgcdecemberdare

I love this fire

 

every year when the warm weather turns cold…the one good thing about it is that

it’s time to build a fire in the fireplace…which I LOVE!

 

AND every day….we want to give a prize….so everyone who participates will be put into a daily drawing for a fun prize that we will mail out to you!

Please join us!!!! It is going to be so wonderful to see what you all find around you!!!

So much love,

melody, kathy and the BGC team

p.s…

We have been working on something really wonderful called THE DARE…..and the DECEMBER DARE is just a little mini version of the bigger picture…the idea is to get us all to really look around RIGHT WHERE WE ARE and notice things that we have stopped noticing. The other benefits of this little project is that it is going to connect us all to each other and really show us all that we are more alike than different. So…stay tuned for more on THE DARE

THE DARE involves changing your life, changing your perspective and changing the world from RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE….not waiting to go out to somewhere else to make a difference……

Keep looking…beauty is there

Dear Ever-Seeking Girl,

Keep looking for goodness, beauty and truth. It is worth the effort.

While life is sometimes dull and gray and even downright miserable in patches, there is always even more beauty and truth than darkness and ugliness.

May you find other beautiful souls who are seeking just like you are.

If you cannot find what you are seeking today, may you go out and create it.

You are more than capable and you will effect more lives that you could ever know . . . especially your own.

Keep looking. It is there, and you will find it.

You are so very loved.

xoxo

Be BRAVE, especially when you are scared out of your mind

Dear Listening Girl,

Sometimes the craziest things can pop into our heads. Sometimes little urges just keep poking us, prodding us, elbowing us and won’t give up. Sometimes we KNOW we should say something, or do something, or write something, or show up somewhere, or give something away, or call someone, or make the first move with an idea, BUT IT IS JUST TOO SCARY.

“They will think I am weird,” we think.
“They will not like me after this,” we think
“They will think this is a crazy idea,” we think
“If I do this, then they will see my whole heart, and that is just TOO SCARY,” we think

SOUL DEEP urges are little sparkles of magic that are seeds to VERY BIG THINGS. Sometimes we are THE ONLY ONE who has the seed, and if it doesn’t get planted, the big, amazing, magic thing will never grow. Sometimes we have JUST THE RIGHT MEDICINE to someone else’s soul sickness. Sometimes we have the very idea that will change EVERYTHING. Sometimes we are the answer to someone’s desperate prayers.

Brave Girls Club - Be Brave, especially when you are scared out of your mind

So, dear girl, even if it is scary, scarier than you could ever even explain,
DO IT ANYWAY. Very important things depend on it. It is no coincidence. It is the real deal.

You are so very loved, so very needed. And that voice in your heart is WISER THAN WISE. Trust it.

xoxo