Sometimes all that is left is to bravely accept

Dear Courageous Girl,

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we wanted them to turn out…no matter how much we have prayed, no matter how much we have planned, no matter how good we have behaved, no matter how much we have done all of the right things.

What do we do when things are different than we want them to be, beautiful friend?

The thing to remember is that so much suffering comes when we resist the way things are. Such deep pain comes when we go to war with how things have turned out. Sometimes we think that accepting something we don’t want means that we are giving up….so we fight it….even if it can never be changed, we fight it.

What if we cooperated with the way things are instead of fought the way things are? What if we took a good hard look and got really honest about every detail of how things are and then decided to hold hands with it and cooperate with it?

Life is FULL of disappointments and blows to the stomach. After we have done all that we can…sometimes all that is left is to bravely accept what is true about right now. Until we accept the way things are, we are kind of trapped trying to change things that can never be changed…and this can keep us going round and round and round but really going nowhere.

You are brave enough…you are strong enough…..

You are so very loved.
xoxo

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

Dear Ever-Seeking Girl,

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.

Keep seeking out goodness, beauty and truth. It is worth the effort.

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

Sometimes you just have to jump

Dear Terrific Girl,

Sometimes you just have to jump.

You just have to take that leap and JUMP even if you feel like you aren’t ready yet.

We can make a million excuses for all of the reasons why we aren’t ready, why it isn’t the right time yet, why we aren’t up to the challenge, why we don’t have time or we don’t have what it takes.

But really, all we need to do is take the first step. It won’t be much different if we wait; it will still be the first scary step, the first scary leap. But if we wait, we might never do it.

YOU KNOW it’s time. You know where you want to be, and even where you are meant to be. But YOU are the only one holding you back.

Brave Girls Club - YES YOU CAN

Don’t hold yourself back anymore. Take the leap. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to keep going. But chances are you will wonder why you waited so long.

Bliss will fill you up and you will feel so on track!

DO IT, BRAVE GIRL!

You are so loved.
xoxo

Meet the Brave Girl Team…time for an update!

A Brave Girl by the name of Dot Trimble asked this question on our Facebook Page : I was wondering if you have a photo of the brave girls staff, or a list as to how you are all connected. Having not attended a brave girls camp yet….. It would be fun to know who all are sisters,daughters, son-in-laws etc.  SO we have spent the morning updating our WHO ARE WE page so that you can learn a little about us and our team, and how we are all connected as family and friends…….  Dot, thanks for the nudge and the question!

 

Well, my name is Melody Ross. My sister Kathy Wilkins and I founded Brave Girls Club in 2009 because it was what we wanted to do more than anything else in the world, and because even though it seemed like impossible timing, we knew we could do it if we just buckled down and did it……so we did.

If you are wondering what Brave Girls Club IS….it’s a community for women everywhere who want to do big things with their lives, who want to overcome difficult things, and who believe in doing all of this with love and kindness and as joyfully as possible. We have a worldwide tribe through the internet, and any woman anywhere is welcome and invited…and we also have fabulous retreats in Idaho called BRAVE GIRL CAMP….and any woman anywhere is welcome and invited to join us there, too.

This is me….Melody Ross. I am married to Marq whom I am madly in love with and we are parents to 5 phenomenally funky and creative kids (plus I’m a mother-in-law twice over…and I’m Mimi to the most perfect grandson ever to be born). I am a full-time artist and a writer and a forever seeker of all things beautiful and true. I am a horrible housekeeper although an unkempt house makes me crazy, and I have a weakness for creme brulee. I think SPANX are the most incredible invention ever. I love artsy cowboy boots when I am not in my bare feet and I know for sure that I belong in the mountains. It is my element. I am a 4th generation Idahoan.

Ok….I really like that picture I put up there…but I am not really that serious and contemplative……..and since I am writing this post, and I can…I am going to tell you that I am really more like this…………..

Now….on to the good stuff…..

This is my sister Kathy, my partner in Brave Girls Club and a woman who I can only dream of growing up to emulate….I would go on and on about her, but she would probably come on here and delete it…….so, I will just tell you that if you get the opportunity to ever meet her, talk to her, or spend any time with her…it will be an experience that you will never forget and you will be better for it. She shares her talents on this blog….so you are all in for a treat.

Kathy is happily 54….and no, this photo is not photo-shopped, she really is this beautiful. Kathy is married to Kurt and together they have 8 children and 13 grandchildren (and counting!) Kathy is a phenomenal musician and has a brilliant analytical mind. Her artfully crafted food will blow your mind and her skill of unconditional love and acceptance is a gift to the world. I feel so fortunate to have her in my life, let-alone having her as my big sister. She has been a critical part of my world since the day I was born.

***********

Now, here’s a cool fact……when we started 5 years ago, we thought it was just going to be us…and to tell the truth, we are a pretty dynamic duo. But our goal was to do our best to change the world in little ways with kindness and good news and ideas and life-changing fun. Soon…our family members and friends joined in, wanting to be a part of what we are doing. And now, there are many many of us involved in the behind-the-scenes adventures of Brave Girls Club. We want to tell you about a few of them…..and you’ll be hearing from and about more and more of them as our community grows….

This is Jeff:

Jeff is Kathy’s phenomenal son-in-law…he is married to Kallie (we’ll introduce you to her in a minute). He is a great husband and is father of 4 of the cutest kids around. Jeff works for us full time managing the business and IT side of Brave Girls Club and keeping things running smoothly. He is the one responsible for figuring out all the behind-the-scenes processes and platforms for our online classes and everything else we do at BGC. He is brilliant at figuring things out and making things happen, and he always does it with a great can-do attitude and sense of humor. He is also the top-dog who answers everyone’s toughest questions around here. We would never make it without him – he is amazing! He even drives the Brave Bus during camp.

This is Brock and Sabrina (with Leo):

Brock is my son with his beautiful and amazing bride, Sabrina. Brock is super smart and creative and works for Brave Girls Club full time as our Video Producer. Now that they are new parents, Sabrina is a full-time mother to my adorable grandson, Leo. It’s so fun to be around their fresh and blossoming love as they begin their family. He and I work together all day every day during our online classes – filming and getting everything just right. Brock is a joy to have around and I feel so lucky that he chose to work with Brave Girls Club!

This is Malary:

malary&danny

Malary is my daughter. She is an old soul – thoughtful, insightful, peaceful, funny and sooo much fun to be around. Malary is a newlywed…in 2013 she married the love of her life, Danny (we are all crazy about him, too) which made us all sooooooo happy! She works full time for us and does such a beautiful job. She takes the most beautiful photos (you’ve seen them all over our blog!). She loves to cook and works with Nancy in the kitchen at Brave Girl Camp to make every meal beautifully delicious. (Update: Malary is expecting her first baby this spring!)

This is Madi:

madi-believeinyourselfie

Madi is my second daughter and a bundle of sunshine and energy! Madi takes care of lots of things for Brave Girls Club, like shipping out orders and helping manage assembling and shipping out our monthly Brave Boxes. Madi also comes to Brave Girl Camp and loves to make friends with all of the Campers…she always has a hug or an encouraging word or a funny comment to share. Outside of Brave Girls Club, she is happily involved in the youth leadership side of BSA. One of Madi’s biggest gifts is helping others believe in their own beauty and individuality!

This is Kallie (married to Jeff):

Kallie is Kathy’s oldest daughter. She has already led a big and amazing life and traveled many parts of the world, spent a few years doing humanitarian service and missionary work in South America….and is now married to the fabulous Jeff Maughan, whom we all love and adore. She is mother to 4….one boy and three girls…all born within 4 years of each other. Kallie is a true blue Brave Girl.

Kallie does all sorts of things for Brave Girls Club that you will surely see as you return to our blog. She is the visionary behind The Brave Girl Post and worked tirelessly with Jeff to put that amazing site together. She is a gifted writer and constantly amazes us with her creativity and her wisdom. She is a VERY important part of Brave Girls Club in every way.

This is Chelsea (and her family):

merrills

Chelsea is also Kathy’s daughter. She is super funny and super fun and an absolutely gifted organizer and event planner. You can always count on her to throw the best parties and make the most delicious desserts. Chelsea has martha-esque skills and keeps the most immaculate home that I’ve ever seen a young mother keep……she is extraordinary. She’s madly in love with her husband Luke….and they are parents to 4 little ones. Chelsea is a truly gifted photographer and has her own photography business, CM Photography, which comes highly recommended and can be found on Facebook HERE . Chelsea is currently concentrating her time and efforts on her children, her hunky husband, and her home. But she still occasionally joins us on Brave Girl projects, and she will always and forever be a very important part of our team.

Recent NEW additions to our team:

This is Lynette (with Kathy):

lynette

Lynette is from Canada and made her home in Idaho when she married her husband, Randy. They are the parents of 4 great kids and 2 grandkids. Their once-filled-to-the-brim home is now kinda quiet with just one son left at home, but she manages to keep VERY busy. Lynette is the kind of girl EVERYONE wants on their team because she is fun and smart and she can do/plan/organize/make wonderful just about anything. She is also a bee-keeper! Lynette manages fulfillment of our monthly Brave Boxes and will be managing our Brave Girl Camp Guest Relations going forward. If you come to camp, you will get to know her before you ever get here! She is wonderful in every way and a huge blessing to our team.

This is Carl:

carl-cropped

Carl is married to our dear friend Hilarie who has been at every camp for 5 years (see her below). Carl is a wildly-creative artist, a great dad to his 5 kids (if you’ve come to Camp, you’ve met not only Hilarie but their daughters, Scarlett and Eden), and a man who knows how to get things done. Over the years he has been a huge presence at Brave Girls Club and has always just shown up when he knew we needed his helping hands. He is now a full-time employee and is just getting his feet wet at at the Clubhouse. He will be managing our Shoppe and Customer Service as well as something we are calling “Special Projects”…and oh my goodness, we have a lot of those coming up. We are so thankful to have Carl on our team!

 

Then there is our Brave Girl Camp Staff…

These girls caught our vision and RUN with us to make it happen! They are amazing and we couldn’t do what we do without them. They are the truest of friends and we are so thankful for all they do to make Brave Girls Club what it is.

This is Terry:

Terry came into our lives when she came to Brave Girl Camp in October of 2010. Terry lives in Texas with her husband John, and they have 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Terry means more to us than we could ever express. She is the kind of girl who is awake, dressed and ready to go at 5am (with her bed made). She loves to laugh and have fun and has taught us and encouraged us through so many things. She comes all the way from Texas to nearly every one of our camps, and we get absolutely giddy when we know she’s on her way. She is wise and wonderful and helps us every day with our vision and making important decisions. She carries so much strength and wisdom…all earned by the experiences she has had in her life. She is a gift!

This is Hilarie:

We always joke that Hilarie came to us through the Boy Scouts of America. Her husband and my husband are HUGE scouters….they live, breathe, eat and sleep Boy Scouts, and since we both live in the same area, we were destined to cross paths. Hilarie is married to Carl (who still makes her swoon) who has always been an enormous help to Brave Girls Club and now works at the Clubhouse full time. Together they have 3 sons and 2 daughters. Hilarie is at all of our Brave Girl Camps and is soulful and fun and hard-w0rking and sooo loving.

This is Camille:

Camille came to our very first Brave Girl Camp in 2009….(our practice camp). There were 5 of us there and we bonded in a way we couldn’t have anywhere else. She has been to almost every single Brave Girl Camp since then! Cam is mother to 3 amazing children. When you ask what Cam does, the answer is…almost EVERYTHING. She is so talented and if there’s something she doesn’t know how to do, she figures it out. She is phenomenal and Brave Girl Camp wouldn’t be the same without her. Her specialty is making the most gorgeous, heart-felt leather bracelets and such that you have ever seen! She even teaches her leather-whispering techniques in the ChipArt room at the Ranch during camp.

This is Maria:

If you’ve been around Brave Girls Club for a while, then you’ve probably heard of Maria’s beautiful jewelry and seen the bracelets she made for Brave Girls Club (find them here). Maria is a big part of everything we do and has been with us since the very beginning. She is married to Jed and they have 1 brave boy and 4 soulful little girls, and they love the outdoors and having awesome adventures together. Maria is true in every way. She LOVES to have fun and works hard at everything. She is a certified CrossFit trainer in high-demand in our area. She is awesome, and you’ll love every minute you spend with her at camp……we sure do!!

This is Nancy:

10484700_10204393692178673_798109840837740236_n

Nancy joined our team this year as Executive Chef for Brave Girl Camp. She is a phenomenal cook with a great sense of humor and we can’t imagine WHAT we ever did without her! Nancy lives in Boise and raises a huge garden and chickens and goats and such, and she is an amazing quilter and creator of all things beautiful and love-filled. She does more than 3 women could ever accomplish in a day. Seriously. She does.

These are the people who are actually an every day part of Brave Girls Club, but there are SO MANY OTHERS who volunteer their time, who spread the word, who help in more ways than can be counted……


This is our sister, Lynda, and our niece, Stephanie…who have been known to travel all the way up the mountain with their full-size harp and guitars to give our retreat attendees a world-class live music concert (did I tell you that most of my siblings are professional musicians…and that has been passed down to their children and even mine…and our parents are musicians too….but we can talk more about that later). Now they often come to Brave Girl Camp at the River Ranch to sing for our campers there.

 

And this is our little sister, Jennifer….who helps whenever and however she can, as she juggles her life with her 4 little brave girls and one brave little dude…..we love having her!

 

We could never do what we do without all of the help that we have….without all of the thousands of women all over the world who have already joined us in this Revolution of Goodness……good life, good times, good memories, good news, good food, good friends, good fun…the Brave Girls Club family is a phenomenal tribe of phenomenal women….all ages, all backgrounds, all sorts of dreams and hopes and struggles and experiences.

Soooo…that’s who we are….We hope you will join us!!!! Brave Girls of EVERY age, shape, color, country and walk of life are welcome here!!

How do you join us? First, find us on Facebook. Then watch our videos on YouTube. Then come back to our Blog often and see what’s going on! You might also be interested in Brave Girl Camp or one of our life-changing online classes. And check out our Home Page for current ways to team up with us in compassionate projects (like our ongoing Truth Card Exchange) to spread love and light all around the world.

We’re so glad you’re here!! We need you!

love,

melody

Brave enough to let go of the good things that are holding you back from the best things

Dear Fabulous Girl,

To get to the very BEST things that are meant for our life, we often have to give up very GOOD things that we enjoy very much. This is the meaning of sacrifice.

If we want our bodies to be healthy, we have to really control the eating of lots of delicious but unhealthy foods. If we want to become good at a hobby or skill, we have to give up time in our day to practice and study. If we want to have peaceful and meaningful relationships, we often have to give up our ego and do things for the sake of others.

Almost everything that is beautiful and true requires some kind of sacrifice on our part. We cannot look at this as a loss, because truly, we are trading something good for something even better.

It is a wonderful thing, and a path to happiness.

Be brave enough to let go of the good things that are holding you back from the best things.

You are so very loved.

xoxo

It is really STAYING on the journey that takes the most bravery of all

Dear Amazing Girl,

We often think the beginning is the brave part of the journey….but it is really STAYING on the journey that takes the most bravery of all.

When we let ourselves get stuck in yucky places because we are too tired to move forward, we are just that….stuck in yucky places. When we head backward we end up feeling the way we felt before….only it is often worse because we have the soul-deep knowledge that we turned back on something we knew we wanted all along.

Remember, remember, remember dear girl…..that just about everything that is worth anything has a little bit (or a lot) of struggle attached to it…and that the struggle builds the goodness and makes for the sweetness….and will never ever let us forget how much we sacrificed for all that is good.

Don’t stop now. Don’t you dare give up. Keep going……it is gonna be sooo worth it.

You are so very very very loved.
xoxo

2 Years of Middle Age Nightmares PART ONE…my journey of chronic hives, adrenal exhaustion and weight gain

I have been sick for a long time. But I am getting better. I can feel it. Everything has shifted. I haven’t told very many people how bad things have been…I always want to wait until things are better before I tell how bad they were.

THEN NOW 1 melody ross

If you have been dealing with any of these same symptoms….I hope I can offer some information to help you. I have been researching for years trying to get this all figured out….and trying one thing after another. I haven’t wanted to write about it until I felt “stabilized” for at least a few months…..and that’s where I’m at, a steady incline for a few months now. Things have only gotten better and better, right after they got really really really bad. I didn’t know some days if I would make it through the summer.

There is a lot I want to tell you. It’s just going to take a long time….because there is just so much. I have been on SUCH a long journey with all of this, and it has not been fun….but I learned so much and also learned that so many other women are going through a lot of the same health problems and I really just want to help. It was so hard to find a way out of this…..and if this can help just ONE of you…it will be worth it to write it all out.

So….I am going to write it out over the next few weeks in a few different posts…this first one I am just going to tell you the timeline of my health decline.

Here are the basic facts.

-I was in the best “shape” of my life when I turned 40. I was wearing a size 6 and I had worked really hard for that. That was 3 years ago. I was also addicted to caffeine, did lots of crazy diets and I worked my fingers to the bone. But I generally felt pretty good…as good as you can feel when you live on caffeine and adrenaline and deadlines. I also felt SO WONDERFUL because I felt confident that my husband was finally on the other side of his brain injury, and so close to a full recovery and our life was starting to be put back together. It had been a long 7 years of taking care of him and watching our life fall apart and trying to hold everything together by myself in our family and business.

-I started getting chronic hives right before I turned 41, no doctors or healers could figure out why, or how to make them go away….they lasted for 2 years…and now I pretty much have them under control. I just turned 43 and I feel like I’ve been in a 2 year battle…a warzone with my own body.

-My adrenal system was completely drained. I was so exhausted, and that got worse and worse. I could not tolerate exercise. I was more tired than there are words to explain but I could not sleep. When I would finally START to go to sleep, I would have a huge panic attack and a surge of massive adrenaline that would make my heart beat for hours, if I did finally go to sleep, the same kind of feeling would wake me up in the middle of the night. Night time was hell.

-I had incredible anxiety…so bad that most days I couldn’t tolerate being with or talking to people outside of my own family…or dealing with life in general. Everything felt overwhelming, and even scary. I cried a lot.

-My hormones were wacked out….mostly depleted. This left me feeling crazy…grouchy and irrational. This is not so fantastic when dealing with relationships. I cried a lot.

-No matter what I did, I kept gaining weight. Currently I think I am about 40 pounds over my weight on my 40th birthday….the weight that I feel comfortable and most like me. I don’t know for sure the exact amount because right now I refuse to weigh myself…but I can feel my body balancing and starting to shed extra weight and I’m going to start exercising again and then I will maybe weigh mysef. I have a fairly public career and it has been a real exercise in self love to allow myself to show up to my job of facilitating women’s retreats and doing online videos with my body ballooning up and hives that were sometimes frightenly disfiguring. Seeing my body change from this illness has made me cry…a lot. But one thing I will tell you before I write a whole post about this subject in general is that learning to sit with myself, to love myself and to accept myself exactly as I am has been absolutely critical in my healing. Even though I am 30-40 pounds heavier than I have ever been, I have learned to love myself, protect myself and take care of myself. This has been the most incredible miracle and one that made it all worth it. I don’t know how I ever would have become who I am meant to be otherwise.

THEN NOW 2 melody ross

…so, those are the facts…I will get started on the whole story….

A little more than two years ago, it started with a big uneasiness….anxiety, but deeper than that. I felt a sort of soul deep urgency and a feeling that felt like an out of tune guitar. Like my whole self was sharp, or flat…..just not in tune. I just felt uneasy…..

Then the hives started one August night. I woke up with them. My eyes were swollen shut.  These were no ordinary hives….big welts all over my scalp….that moved to my ears, my neck, my throat……then all over my face. I also had them all over my wrists and arms….and then they moved down my body. Big, itchy swollen welts that felt like bruises when they were touched.

I went to the emergency room when it felt like my throat was swelling. They put me on an IV of Benedryl. The doctor then told me that about 90% of hives cases are never solved. I figured it was something that I ate and I felt certain that they would go away and never come back. The Benedryl didn’t even touch my hives. They wanted to give me steroids and I refused. I just decided they would go away on their own….and I went home. The next morning I had to go on a very important trip…I almost didn’t go. THAT TRIP, however, sent me into the exact relationships that would sustain me through this illness. You can read about that HERE. When I wrote this post, I had no idea that I would still be sick long after it. I was sure the hives were very temporary.

Well…they stayed for a very long time….on and off for more than 2 years. (I still get them if I am not very careful about what I put in my body)  I will write a whole blog post just about the hives. The hives have been one of my greatest teachers, one of my most painful teachers….the hives taught me things I don’t think I could have learned without having lived a few years being disfigured and unrecognizable and even scary some days….having to see myself like that and dig deep for who I am on the inside. Having to show up to the public like that and hope they would see me on the inside too. I still cry when I think about the hives.

Around the same time 2 years ago, I started to get tired….and I acquired anxiety, especially in social situations. This is not a wonderful symptom for a retreat facilitator, but somehow I was able to rally enough to do Brave Girl Camps, mostly because it was in my own home, and I felt safe. Over the last few years, both the exhaustion and the anxiety about talking to others got worse and worse….until I have mostly been staying at home and not really going anywhere except when I have to travel. I have become a hermit.

I guess I just thought that my personality had changed. I know that I am an introvert, but I have always been a very outgoing and social introvert. During this time….the thought of having to talk to anyone except my very closest family and friends brought on so much fear and anxiety that it made me even sicker. I went deeper into the hole.

Then the weight….it just started creeping up. I guess staying in bed didn’t help matters much. No matter what cleanse I tried, what diet I did….even working with a trainer for a while, my weight just kept creeping up and up and up. None of my clothing fits. It’s all stretchy stuff for me. Stretchy and comfy. Lots of old self-loathing during that time. I couldn’t bear seeing myself. SO MUCH of my healing work has been around this. I finally stopped trying to fight the weight and it is just now starting to release…..but I am going to be gentle and easy and kind about it this time around…and who knows if I will ever have my old body back? I have finally let go of that requirement…the requirement I used to have to acheive before I would allow myself to love and accept myself. I have EVERY intention of getting more healthy than I have EVER been, but I have no requirement for what that weight will be, or what that size will be. It will be whatever ends up being very best for my body. No more forcing.

THEN NOW melody ross 3

Ok…THE HORMONES. Ugh. I got a lot of blood tests and saliva tests last Spring…about 6 months ago. I had gotten a lot of blood tests over those few years, but had never done a full panel of hormones and everything else. When I got my tests back…everything was SUPER LOW. Even my cholesterol was severely low! My body was completely drained. One of the things that was making me feel so terrible was how low my progesterone was, especially in comparison to my estrogen. Sticking with a regimen of progesterone cream made a HUGE difference for me on every level….and that’s when my hives started getting under control. That’s when I started to calm down, too. But that was only a small part of the battle.

I also found out from those blood and saliva tests that I was almost in complete adrenal failure. Your adrenals are the tiny little things that give you your energy and do all sorts of other things. I was stage 3 adrenal fatigue…..which means I have depleted just about every last drop of anything that my body has to give. This makes sense as it was just about the 10 year anniversary of my husband’s accident….and I had been running on adrenaline, fear, desperation and big dreams and deadlines for all of those 10 years. When I ran out of my own energy, I just drank more caffeine. I was in energy debt…I’d used up all of mine and more…….and the only way to recover from severe adrenal fatigue is to build it back up. My doctor told me it would take at least a year before I was back at a good level. A year of diligent sleeping, clean nutrition, supplements…..and ugh……emotional healing.

So…then there’s that…emotional healing…and at least one whole post is needed to write about that. I had not been to therapy, or counseling or any kind of consistent support for those 10 years. I was waiting for my husband to get better so we could heal together. In the greatest knock-the-wind-out-of-me moment of all of my life, I found out in what was supposed to be our first healing conversation together, that my husband has no memory of the most horrific things that occured while he was in full-throttle frontal lobe brain injury mode. I had saved all of it, grieved or dealt with none of it, never talked about ANY of it, and kept it all in a cooler…fresh and ready for he and I to heal over it together. Finding out that I was the only one holding those very heavy, horrific memories pretty much sent me into the darkest time of my life.

melody youre not alone sick

So…I spent the Spring and Summer in deep therapy. I have never done that. It sucked. I  felt like I was bleeding to death. My weight kept creeping up. I felt angry, resentful……FURIOUS. I have never ever let myself feel angry in all of my life. I just thought I didn’t know how to do that, or my anger organ was broken or missing. Fact is…I just got really good at repressing it. 42 years of stored up anger came out over a few months.

…AND THEN…I started to heal.

So….you see how it wasn’t just one thing? It has been nutrition, sleep, supplements…..it as been the right doctors and healers. BUT MOST OF ALL….it has been ME finally being COMPLETELY honest with myself about how I feel and what I have been through. It is me OWNING MY PART IN IT. Because I certainly am the one who made all of the decisions I made to get me to where I am now. And just like all of life, the consequences of other’s decisions are thrown in there along with things that are completely out of EVERYONE’s control……things that are just hard about life….

But I did not start to heal until I dug deep and claimed my anger…claimed my mistakes and claimed my awesomeness too. I did not start to heal until I got really really really honest.

Everything has changed for me since then. EVERYTHING. I feel like a new person. Now that I love and accept myself…all of me….even when I look like a monster from hives, or when my bum is extra wide and chubby….I love and accept myself. And when you love and accept yourself….you stop tolerating abuse. You stop tolerating abuse from yourself in the form of overworking and crappy eating and not sleeping………and you stop tolerating abuse from others.  EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.

Ok….that’s it for now.

melody ross today

I will write in detail what I have done to get healthy again….the green juicing…the supplements, the doctors. The 100% refrain from caffeine. (I NEVER thought I could EVER live without caffeine!) The therapies, the doctors…the books…the stuff that has helped.

BECAUSE I WANT YOU TO FEEL AS GOOD AS I DO. And I really really really truly thought I would never feel good again, I was certain that I was ruined. But I stayed with me. I stayed with me no matter what…….and that made all the difference.

more soon!

xoxo

melody

Just keep moving forward…you will get there

Dear Determined Girl,

What’s the best way to get closer to where you want to be? to the life you want to live? to the things your soul-heart longs for?

MOVE FORWARD, my friend, one step at a time…one day at a time. Look forward so you know where you are going, so you can keep an eye on your goal, so you can stay focused.

Do not look forward in fear. Do not look forward to compare yourself to the girls who are in front of you or to imagine the things that you might be afraid of. LOOK FORWARD with excitement, with gratitude.

Brave Girls Club - Keep Moving

Look to the left and look to the right as you are moving forward, but only to see the flowers and the smiling people and the beauty and truth and creativity and inspiration all around you. Do not look left to see that your neighbor is doing something more interesting or better or easier. Do not look to the right to see that she has firmer thighs and a bigger house and better behaved children or whatever things you imagine that might take you off course. Keep your focus forward on YOUR PATH. See the sunrise on the right and the birds flying on the left, but KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

Look back to be thankful, look back to see how far you have come, but do not look back to see what was left behind, what you regret, what you wish had not happened. Look back to see everything that brought you to now and KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

You are just right. You are on track. You are so very very very loved.

xoxo

You make your own rules for your own beautiful life

Dear Beloved Girl,

You don’t have to have special permission to take a break, you know.

You have done enough. When you are tired and weary and feeling worn out, it’s okay to be kind to yourself, to shift gears and take gentle care of your body and your spirit.

Brave Girls Club - You make the rules for your own beautiful life

Please be good to yourself, beautiful friend. The world is not the same without the best of you. The people that you love the most have better lives because of you, and there are people you have not even met yet who will have enriched lives because of you. But not if you are depleted and wrung out or numb from overwork.

Your life will be better, happier, more effective, more efficient and more meaningful if you stop to take care of yourself. No more putting guilt trips on yourself or letting anyone else do it. No more working yourself so hard that you can’t even feel anymore. It’s time to REALLY nurture and take care of yourself. You are a gift to the world, so please take care of YOU.

Today’s a great day to start.

You can do it. You are beloved.
xoxo

Take a Peek into October 2014 Brave Girl Camp

One week ago was the last day of another ABSOLUTELY magical Brave Girl Camp. We already miss our new sisters so much!! 25 beautiful souls gathered together with us at Brave River Ranch to experience a truly incredible week. There was immense healing… there were countless miracles… there were lifelong friendships and sisterhoods made… lots of tears and lots of laughter… amazing food… gorgeous, soulful, healing art… and so much more. Enjoy this little look into the wonderful and sacred October 2014 Brave Girl Camp! (Thank you to some of the Oct. 2014 Brave Girls for providing these pictures!)

oct1

oct3

oct2

oct21

oct20

oct19

oct18

oct17

oct16

oct15

oct14

oct13

oct12

oct11

oct10

oct9

oct8

oct7

oct6

oct5

oct4

oct24

oct25

oct26

oct22

oct23