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!)

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What happens when a group of Brave Girls comes together to make a miracle??

This summer Melody and I were surprised and oh-so-happy to hear from a group of unforgettable Brave Girls that we had the privilege and blessing of having come to Brave Girl Camp. They had a beautiful idea….they wanted to do something extraordinary and life-changing. They told us that they had had such an amazing time at Brave Girl Camp that they wanted to come together and provide a scholarship for another woman so that she could experience what they had experienced. They asked us if that would be okay (are you kidding me?!? Of course!) and if we would help them arrange things.

Well, it didn’t take much time at all for these darling women to make this happen! They named their scholarship the “Heartwood Scholarship”…a particularly meaningful name because of something unusual (and tragic) that happened during their camp:

fallen grandmother tree

“When we were at camp that beautiful tree fell down. Melody was so sad about losing her tree but we were all surprised to look inside that tree and see the heart shape….

Brave Girls Club - heart tree flower

It was such a life lesson for all us. Autumne thought that it would be great to name the scholarship something that related to this wonderful experience we had at camp that touched all of us.
When I researched the names of the different parts of the tree I discovered that the center of the tree is actually called the “Heartwood”
so we all decided that our scholarship should be called the “Heartwood Scholarship”… — Glenda Propst

The lucky, VERY suprised girl who gets to come to Camp in 2015 as a result of this scholarship is someone who is truly deserving. We are keeping her name and situation confidential to protect her privacy…but she wants to tell the angels who made this possible for her that she is SO thankful and honored…that when she received my email letting her know about the scholarship, she cried tears of happiness! Her situation has been difficult and she is still traveling a long and rocky road, so she is very much looking forward to the experience she will have at Camp…something that has been her dream for years.

We see acts of kindness and generosity and loving-ness happen wherever there are Brave Girls gathered together. It warms our hearts and reminds us that there are truly so many good people, good women, all over this world. There is so much in the world that is scary right now, but I think the world is going to be okay…I really do. I mean take a look at these amazing women!….

Brave Girls Club -- Brave Girl Camp June 2014

I think if we just look hard, if we start noticing, we can see goodness all around us. Sometimes we have to create it….sometimes we have to dig for it or search for it…sometimes we just have to open our eyes to it…but it is there.

It’s our greatest joy to see wonderful women come together through their association with Brave Girls Club to do extraordinary things.  This is one beautiful, generous, lovely example. Melody and I are sending hugs and kisses all around. THANK YOU times a million to the Heartwood Scholarship Brave Girls!!

love,

kathy

A question and a little challenge for this beautiful autumn day…

We often think we have to wait to do something extraordinary… we wait for all the lights to be green before we leave the house (so to speak). Do you ever do that? Am I the only weird one?

What if we stopped waiting and started being our most extraordinary selves today? What if we decided that we really did have everything we needed right now?

Brave Girls Club - you have everything you need right now

What can I do, right now, today, with just what I have? What good can I do with these hands? What kindness can I speak with this voice? What understanding can I offer with these eyes? What comfort can I offer with these ears? Who can I lift today with these arms?

Enjoy this beautiful day, friends!

xoxo

kathy

Getting ready for a fall Brave Girl Camp!

Brave Girl Camp starts in a few days! Malary arrived yesterday…she lives a state away now, so we are over-joyed when we get to spend camp week with her. Our guests are already making their way to Idaho…and we have been happily busy getting everything ready for them. Fall is definitely here…with cold nights and sunny bright days. Our flowers are looking a little sad, so….we are spending the day painting pumpkins.

Brave Girl Camp - fall decor

Did you know you can paint them with regular house paint? Just choose your favorite colors and get after it!  Layer two or three (or more) colors for even more fun. They’ll last longer than carved pumpkins, and they look beautiful mixed with the fall leaves around the Ranch.

Wishing you a happy, peaceful, color-filled weekend!

love,

kathy & melody

When letting go is the hardest and best thing to do

Sometimes we have to let go of things that we love very much…things we may have thought we needed to be able to become the person we were meant to become. Then when that thing is gone…we are left wondering how we will ever become what we were meant to become without it.

Letting go of something that you love always hurts. That is ok. It doesn’t have to hurt forever, though.

everything changes

I once had a dream about the pink blossoms that were covering a tree right outside my window as I slept…blossoms I had been waiting all winter for. I had gotten used to those blossoms and after many long and cold months…they were like a reward for enduring that season in my life. Things were very very difficult and there was tremendous uncertainty, pain and confusion in just about every direction. Everything in my life felt like Winter…cold and lifeless, leafless.  I fell deeply in love with those thousands of pink petals…so it was no surprise that they showed up in a dream.

The dream started out beautiful and serene…then quickly became traumatic. In the dream, as I was sitting and enjoying the blossoms (which remember, were my reward for making it through) a breeze came up and started blowing the blossoms right off of the tree, sprinkling the grass with pink petals.

I was horrified and angered. So……I did what I often do….and I ran inside to find something to fix it. I got a bottle of super glue…and I frantically ran around the yard picking up every single blossom I could find and climbed a ladder and raced to glue them back on to the tree. Of course…as I was gluing…..the wind was blowing off more blossoms. And….the buds underneath were pushing off the petals I glued on. So…I just sat in a heap in the lawn and sobbed……because it all felt so devastating and unfair…I mean, those blossoms were only there for a few days and now they are gone already????

control glue

I held on tight to the control glue.

Then I woke up. And I was still crying because everything in my life felt that way. I was trying desperately to hold on to everything in my life and fix everything that was falling apart, and it all felt so personal and futile. All I wanted was for the blossoms to stay forever….was that so much to ask?

let it go

It is too much to ask…. because life is constantly asking us to let go so that we can all become exactly what and who we are meant to become next.

Sometimes it hurts beyond belief. Very rarely does it feel fair, or easy or right. We resist letting go, we make deals…..we cry and beg. We build fantasies around things being the way we want them to be and sometimes we just keep pretending that things are alive that died long ago. We glue dead things back on instead of letting them go on to be what they are meant to be next.

Those blossoms that fall off of that tree every year disintegrate into the ground to feed the tree for it’s next stage. They have a purpose all the way along……they are becoming what they are meant to become next.

When we have to let go of stages of our life…or relationships….or dreams that have run past their due date or are just outdated in general…..we have to let go of things that are meant to become something else, which means they are not in our life the way they always have been….it hurts.

And why does it hurt? It hurts because we want it to be what WE want it to be. We want it to be different than it is. It hurts because we make plans and we want everything to live up to the potential that WE had in mind. It hurts because it feels like we must have done something wrong to have things not turn out the way we wanted them to….when the only thing we did wrong was have an expectation that was so rigid that it is impossible to see things any other way and still be happy. Sometimes when we just let go of an expectation, our eyes are open to see that things are actually already better than the way we planned….and it was right in front of our eyes all along.

Everything good and natural is always on it’s way to somewhere else. Everything is always becoming what it is meant to become next. When we resist this…we suffer so much. When we accept it…we find peace. We may not have happiness when we have to let go of something we love very much, but we can always find peace in it when we let things be what they are instead of what we want them to be…when we let things become what they are meant to become instead of what we want them to become.

And sometimes for things to become what they are supposed to become next, we have to accept that we will not be a part of that in the way we want to be a part of that. Sometimes for OURSELVES to become what WE are supposed to become next….we have to let go of things that we thought would be part of that becoming, but are not meant to be. We have to let go of things we love very much.

It hurts to let go of things that we love…things that were part of our big plan. It just does.

let life be

It hurts to say goodbye to relationships, marriages, children, jobs, dreams….it hurts to let go of crazy beliefs even….because they have been a part of us for so long. It hurts to let go of ANYTHING that seems like it is part of our identity…or part of our joy….or part of our place in the world. It is scary, confusing and difficult.

….but it has to happen, dear friends. It just does. Everything is always becoming something else….all the time. Sometimes we get to do that together, and sometimes we have to do that apart. Sometimes we get to take all of the stuff we love with it, and sometimes we have to let all of it go. Sometimes it turns out the way we planned…and sometimes it doesn’t. We have to let it go.

Over the last 6 months, as my health declined…I had many more lessons from trees. My favorite grandmother trees sit in a row of 3, and one night early this summer…one of them split in half and fell to the ground…right on top of the chicken coop. It is a majestic huge tree and it is a big part of our life…..so much happens in our family under the shade of those trees. She was just done holding up so much weight one day….and she let it go. I sobbed for the better part of a day, and shed lots of tears after.

fallen grandmother tree

I decided to plant a bunch of daisies that day to honor her life and also to comfort my own self with adding more life in place of such a big death.

It was such a message about things going when it’s time to go. She became firewood…..my next favorite thing is a campfire. I wish she was still a tree….but now she’s a campfire. Her ashes will go out into the garden where the daisies are planted…and soon that majestic tree will nourish a daisy plant. Isn’t that a miracle?

planting daisies 1 planting daisies 2

After that majestic tree fell, believe it or not….4 more trees on our ranch did the same thing. This has never happened before. 2 of them were covered with fruit and I was so sad that they didn’t even get the chance for their fruit to ripen. Another big tree in the field split and fell over…and then a brand newly planted tree snapped right in half in a windstorm.

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Every one of those 5 trees this year still kept the half that didn’t fall off. AND….that is where I am at now too. I have had to let go of SO MANY THINGS THAT WERE PART OF ME just so that the rest of me could stay alive. Now, I have a big scar where all of that fell off…..but also, I am getting stronger because all of my energy and nourishment is now going to what is left of me….and soon you won’t even be able to tell that anything snapped off. Just like the trees

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So….sometimes the things we have to let go of are things that we thought were so much a part of us that if they snapped off, we would surely die. But sometimes those things just get too heavy, and we can’t survive unless we let them go.

So…..this is a whole lot of letting go.

And….of course I turned the whole thing into an online course…so if this is where you are in your life, I hope you will check it out….it’s not a long course, but it’s an important course and I would sure love to have you…..either way, I hope that you will let yourself let go when it is time to let go. CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT or just go here.. http://my.bravegirlsclub.com/soul-school-registration/

cover sheet big wide oak tree collaged

Because you matter….and carrying around dead things is no way to live.
You are beloved. SO am I…we all are. That is why I know it is going to be okay…no matter what we have to let go of.

xoxox

melody

The thing about fooling yourself…..

The thing about fooling yourself…..

In a culture that worships youth….I don’t care what anyone says, it’s difficult when you start to age….when you start to get older and find yourself no longer young or young-looking and to find yourself having less and less days of young feeling. (Actually, it’s only difficult if you resist it and wish it was different than it is…from what I’m told, it rocks once you start embracing it)

After the summer’s yuck-fest of healing, WAKING UP and getting real with myself…grieving, working hard in therapy and with my doctors and finally finding some beautiful peace and clarity….I wanted to share with you a few more things I have learned. I am getting healthier by the minute….from the inside out…but this 2 year sickness left me about 30 pounds over the weight that I feel comfortable at….and only recently have I been able to start tackling that. It’s hard to have a job where you have to be visible while working through something that you wish you could hide until you are done doing it. I have often felt like my body is betraying me…and wished I could hide it under a blanket until it is the shape I want it to be. And I’m learning that things don’t bounce back as fast at 43 as they did at 25. It’s going to be a long journey for my body…….and I’m only just recently coming to terms with that…..and I’ve asked my body for forgiveness and decided to cooperate with it instead of fight with it and curse it….

be really kind to your reflection

AND……..I ‘ve made it a HUUUUUUUUUUUGE goal to stop fooling myself…to stop fooling myself about ANYTHING. (fooling yourself is absolutely exhausting, by the way) I have very little excess energy these days so I’ve decided to use that energy to just be brave enough to see what is real, to believe what is real, and to live in what is real….whatever imperfect broken beautiful thing that ends up being from day to day.

Because…….

In my mind I’ve been 25. And in my mind I am a nicely toned size 6 and it doesn’t bother me at all to wear very stylish high heeled boots. So…some days when I am deep in my fantasy…it is perplexing that my husband is not also 25 or 32….but heading on up to 50 years old. And then I feel uneasy about both of us…and it comes out in all sorts of twisted up ways. When you fool yourself everything feels so weird. (and please understand that this is not about physical looks….it’s an analogy to the whole dang thing with aging and years going by and losing years and things not turning out the way you planned)

let go of what was

I have been 25 in my mind for over 15 years. Well….maybe I have let myself get all the way up to 32 or 33. (I was 32, 10 years ago when my husband had his accident and I STOPPED everything at that age……..and held on for dear life really believing on some deep level that I could stop the clock until things were back to “normal”) While this worked well as a survival mechanism for the last 10 years…..and while I know that is exactly the craziness that it was…..I still hold on tight to SOME hope some days that things can be like they used to be in some magic trick because that seems like it would only be fair after all of the difficulty of those years. I am a Libra and I am always fighting for what is fair :)

Then I look in the mirror. And I used to be able to stand a certain way in a certain light in certain outfits and it made it easy to fool myself that I could hold on to my youth. Those days seem to be gone. The angles, the lighting and the spanx aren’t even cooperating in my fantasy. My mirror is ever coaxing me into the wise woman years…..trying to convince me that it is good to be in your mid forties. (or at least that it is inevitable) My photos look like a different woman all together…………..

melody aging copy

Oh, the mirror. That is where reality hits. In reality I am not 25. In fact, in reality, my oldest child will be 25 any day now. He and his incredible bride (who I love so dearly) have already given us a precious grandson.

brock n sabrina n leo

I am old enough to be a grandmother. I AM a grandmother…I am Mimi!  But in my mind………I am young and fit and energetic and smooth.

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….and some days I actually weep over the loss of my youth when I could be spending my heart time thinking of this precious boy. (is that lame or what?)

don't miss the important stuff

The truth is, I could not be the wild and wacky woman I am TODAY without all of the years it took to get here. I have been in a beautiful, difficult, complex, never ending love story with my beloved for almost 25 years. He is a grandfather…..a Pompie…

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I am the mother to 5 incredible children, 3 of whom are fantastic, contributing to the world adults. I could not be here without having lived to the age I am now.  I have started 2 successful businesses that have gone global…..the first one taught me all of the necessary lessons needed when it crashed and burned and took me along with it. I have written 15+ books and I’m working on my newest book with a major publisher that will be out this Spring. I teach classes to thousands of women every year and I can sit as a peer with the wisest of all humans……..because I have lived all of these years….I’ve won, I’ve failed, I’ve fallen, I’ve gotten back up…I’ve risked…I’ve shown up….I’ve gotten older, and older….and older……and even a little wiser.

……but yet I still try to fool myself sometimes into thinking it would be better if only I was 30 again…..

new adventures are ahead

I wish I was one of those people I have read about who ease into aging with grace and excitement and enough wisdom to know that this is a very good thing. But I have been mourning and aching and fighting it…….and, the worst part of all is that I have indulged in fooling myself into thinking that I would find the “cure” to it if I looked hard enough. I missed a whole decade, really….my 30’s, while being a caretaker to my husband and a CEO to my business and a survivor of so much dang fallout from all of that. I thought some miracle would happen that would even things out and I would get that time back when I was ready….that whole “fair” thing.

This isn’t even about looks….it’s about everything. I want those years back. It’s about hanging on so tight to what is gone and having your body turned so tight in the opposite direction at the road that’s already been traveled that there is no way you could ever see or think about what is ahead….or even what is NOW.

just show up

THAT is the thing about fooling yourself. You think you are going to get that time back, but what is really happening is that you are losing even more time by not living in TODAY. You are losing the precious TODAY. Today my grandson Leo is 5 months old and just started eating baby food. Today I just completed another amazing brave girl camp with my incredible sister as my partner. Today my daughter told me that she will give us another grandchild in 6 months. I could not have any of TODAY’s stuff if I was still 30 years old. If I keep chasing the past, I lose TODAY. And every day there is a new TODAY until 10 more years go by and if you were not going along that ride….you have lost yet another decade wishing you were still in the last decade.

The thing about fooling yourself that you can still be 25 is that you miss being 26, 27, 30, 35, 40………….42…..then 50, 60, 70………YOU MISS YOUR TURN at all of those beautiful ages.

P.S…..the coolest people I know are the older and wiser ones….seriously.

The thing about fooling yourself about ANYTHING at all is that you miss what is real……and the real stuff, with all of it’s ups and downs….the real stuff is where it’s at. It’s the ONLY place it’s at. (I’m pretty sure that’s science…….)

more beautiful days

Dear Melody,

If you want to wear yourself out, suffer a lot and waste a whole lot of time…..keep on fooling yourself and clinging tight to what was. If you want to be happy….to CHOOSE HAPPY…..get real. CLING TO TODAY….let go of the past. You are 43. You are wonderful. You are just right. PLEASE STOP MISSING OUT ON BEING 43.  (p.s. someday you will understand how young 43 really is)

xoxo,

Your 80 year old self

So whether you are 25 now and you are afraid to head into 30…and you wish you were still 18……OR….you are 50 and you wish you were 30. Or you are 18 and you wish you were 25……..or you are 70 and wish you were 50…..whatever it is….PLEASE stop missing out on your turn at being exactly the age that you are right now…because really and truly, you only get to have that turn for one year…..just one year…….

BUT THEN….you get a brand new turn to do a brand new thing…..and you get another chance to make the most of your turn at being that brand new age.

So……….I’m taking this year of being 43 as my BEST TURN EVER at being this age. I’m not gonna wish it forward and I’m not gonna wish it back.

it is your turn

I like it. I like me.

I hope you will join me in taking your turn at your beautiful perfect age. Sure feels lots better this way………..

Here’s to the wise woman years….bring it on.

xoxoxoxo

melody

p.s.

“The only good in pretending is the fun we get out of fooling ourselves that we fool somebody.” – Booth Tarkington

 

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If you have enjoyed this post, you will LOVE Melody’s new Soul School class titled, LET IT GO…LET IT BE! Learn more and register HERE.

 

For all of the caged birds – let’s break outta there…..

Hello beautiful friends…. I promised to give a continuation of this crazy journey I’ve been on healing from adrenal exhaustion…chronic hives,etc….and before I begin I want to tell you that I’ve had a giant progression on all levels. I feel so grateful every day these days to have finally found some answers to the health problems I’ve been having. Parts of it have been less than a good time, however…so part of this post is kinda sad and down in the dumps…because that is exactly where I was…..and as someone who values fun and joy and ease……it has been quite a stretch for me to take the healing path I took over the summer. But I am a brave girl…and after this summer, I claim that title for myself without question. Been doing lots of reconnecting with my beloved too…. 10382654_10204110893268877_7320987823718838074_n Again I want to tell you that I am doing great….better every day….and the purpose of this post is simply to sort of beg you, dear friend…..to really examine what might be keeping YOU from flying free……I’m so thankful to be feeling the way I am feeling lately….living the life I really want to live…because I’ve felt caged up, trapped and stuck for a long time now……. And having a chronic condition can really mess with you. I’m kinda tired of talking about this because it makes me feel like a huge whiner…but ya know what….it’s stuff we gotta talk about. So…here goes….. Above all things, I need freedom. I am a free spirit and a wild flower. This is not big news…I have been a weird and wild human from the moment I knew I could be. I’ve always danced to my own drumbeat…a drum that’s collaged and painted and covered in funky artsiness….a dance that resembles the wind. Yes, I need freedom. I know that you need freedom too…we all do.

the cage was in her headartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn about Soul School

Another thing I am…is someone who is compulsive about needing to make sense of everything. When I can not make sense of things easily……I create economies, ecosystems and governments in my own head to make sure things make sense for me. I then live by those made up, very rigid and stringent rules for myself….just so things can make sense for me. I create systems to “pay” for things, and I make sure I pay dearly. I make hefty contracts with myself. And I kill myself to live up to them. Somehow, from a young age….I learned that I could make things make sense if I did this. You can probably understand now how tormented my mind and heart gets when I’m feeling weak….or sick…..or less than who I wish I could be…..when I need to be free….yet I create constructs that are rigid, demanding and dictatorial….and I do this to myself. Thing is…I bet you do this too. We are so mean to ourselves.

be freeartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn more

Are you ready to be free too? I sure hope so……cages suck.

I have learned through some pretty painful lessons on this healing journey. I’ve learned that I have constructed my own cages, my own locks and my own misery……all of it in my head. Sure….lots of it has come from traumatic and difficult experiences…but those experiences are over and what’s left is just my own thoughts. This has been new knowledge that is so powerful and empowerING….but also incredible painful. Know why it’s painful? Because I never would have imagined that it was ME doing this to myself. I have already done SO MUCH soul work. I have worked very very hard. I have worked so very very hard to get out of the cage I was in. But then I felt like I got thrown back in when I lost my health…..and it is easier to believe that the wild and wacky personal system I constructed in my head is REAL (and by the way, in my head, it only applied to me…not to anyone else)…and that the rigid rules requiring perfection are to blame for my anxiety, my sickness, my sadness…my problems. The thing is though…..I MADE THOSE RULES. Then, I believed those rules. I believed that not keeping them meant I could not keep anything good or true or wonderful or beautiful. Yes, I know you might be saying “WHAT THE?” because I teach this stuff every day…I have witnessed miracles in thousands of women who have learned this stuff FROM ME. And I believe everything I teach…it’s just that I created an economy in my head from a very young age that I have to pay and pay and pay for things….and when I got sick 2 years ago…I couldn’t pay in Superhero proportions anymore…..which put me into a tailspin of massive panic that added to my sickness…..(a sickness that came from too many years of exhaustion from trying to live up to my made up personal economy) Well, I couldn’t pay anymore…so I threw myself back in my own cage. Sister….if this is resonating with you please just hold hands with me for a minute ok? We are not meant for cages. This is a miraculous, huge, amazing and life-changing realization for me. It really is….but like I said, it was also wildly painful one that I have been working through for months…making giant breakthroughs over the last months especially that have finally led to a steady incline in my health, my energy, my outlook and my joy. …because I have not been able to be set free until I have taken total and complete responsibility for my own thoughts….my own internal rules…and the way I see things, judge things, punish myself and reward things. Things=me….my actions, my aging, my goals, my energy, my limitations, my creativity, my moods…… AND how I judge everything else in my life….what I do to myself when things don’t turn out the way I wanted them to…the way I planned for them to…the way I worked for them to…the way I think they should have…….things like relationships and projects and healing…. My biggest question always comes around to some form of….”why aren’t things different than they are?” (and even worse…they often go to….”is this my fault?”) It’s no secret I’ve been struggling with these chronic health conditions for a few years now. Some of them are very visible and some of them aren’t. I will admit that I have been through a heck of a lot of trauma. (Just like so many of us have) When my physical health failed, I sought out healing on every level. I needed some help with PTSD and I needed help with some deep grieving. I needed help with some anger. I needed help with the hives that covered my body and with the exhaustion that kept me from everything that I wanted to do. I needed help with a 30 pound weight gain that nothing seemed to be able to stop or slow down. I needed help most of all making sense of it.

everything changed fly freeartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn more

Here’s what I know now. Some things will just never make sense. Some things that happen in life send us swirling and and whirling and whipping in the wind until we are ragged and full of holes. When we make up reasons for what caused those things….reasons like “I must have deserved this” or “I could have prevented this if….” or “I must be cursed” or…… “I guess misery is the life that’s meant for me” ….or….”I guess I didn’t pay enough for this good thing, so it was taken away…” ….when we make that stuff up…..we build big old cages right around ourselves. My constant pursuit of making sense of things that will never make sense has led to so much suffering on so many levels that it makes me want to just want to bundle up my body in a giant swaddling blanket and rock myself to sleep, singing lullabies and telling myself the truth. Now I have worked very hard to expose this crazy system I had created for myself (and also give my little-girl self an A+ in creativity for making something so complex to help herself survive) …..and I spent the summer examining all of it. I cried a lot over the lost years…and I kept trying over and over and over to make it all make sense. Some of it still doesn’t and that is ok.

she finally set herself freeartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn more

I am done “working hard” to make things make sense. I am all about easing into things now. I am all about cooperating with myself and all of my broken thinking instead of battling it. I am all about going with the sweet flow instead of standing against it, crying about why it’s not going a different direction. I am all about choosing the happy that is all around me. Making sense now consists of cooperating with however things have turned out today….and finding all of the goodness and treasures in whatever that is. I have exhausted myself battling the way things are, instead of surrendering to how things are and easing myself into the flow of how things are. How things are happens to be exactly perfect for me to become who I am meant to become……just like how things are for you is exactly perfect for you. Even when it sucks big time and you want to fight it and make sense of it…….

you have your own wingsartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn more

My personal made up economy has collapsed. The tyrants have all been fired. I am building a commune up in there now full of love and cooperation and ease. I’m gonna dance and sing and work with how things are instead of cry over how they are not. once I surrendered….I finally started to heal…….surrender kinda means to stop trying so hard to bend things to go your way….and I never thought that sounded very brave…..what is learned is that it’s one of the bravest things of all…..fly free…..go with the flow…. 10649797_10204110896028946_4573309657237418887_n I want to tell you everything I’ve learned……. FLY FREE COVER SHEET FOR PRINT (1) For now…I really hope you will check out SOUL SCHOOL….where I teach all of my life lessons mixed with beautiful healing projects that anyone can do. Did you know we create a brand new SOUL SCHOOL lesson every single month? This month just so happens to be called FLYING FREE…and it’s all about everything I just talked about…full of journaling prompts, lesson videos and art journaling and projects to go with it…along with tons of collage sheets and resources to give you a whole toolkit.  (See EVERYTHING included in the September “Flying Free” class and toolkit here.) I hope you will check it out….we work really hard on it and we are all super proud of it…and the thousands of you who are participating have given such beautiful feedback about loving it that I just don’t want anyone to be left out. You can get a monthly subscription for as little as $10 a month!! Your beautiful soul is worth whatever it takes to be fed and reminded and grown and healed. I love you all. Thanks for letting me be real. I am ready to fly again. No more caged birds. Let’s examine our thoughts and let go of all of the thoughts that don’t serve the highest part of our spirits. That’s a lot of trash to take out, a lot of cleaning up to do…….but it is making room for all of the good stuff. sending you love and freedom and keys to the cage…. xoxo melody

What have you learned about yourself since becoming a Brave Girl? (a sweet Brave Boots video…)

Hi, Braves!

Melody and I (and the rest of the BG team) are working night and day here at the Clubhouse on a BIG NEW project that we hope you will each LOVE (more about that soon)….and our poor blog has been a bit neglected. We promise that will change, but for today I went in search of the coolest thing I could find on our YouTube channel to share with you…something that you might not have ever seen but that is just hanging out there, hoping that someone will notice it.

I found something you will LOVE watching…because it is from YOU…from Brave Girls all over the world. It’s called ‘Brave Boots’ and here’s how it came about…a couple of years ago we asked all of you to send in photos of your Brave Boots (or shoes or whatever…) along with your answers to this question: What have you learned about yourself since becoming a Brave Girl?

Brave Girls Club - Brave Boots Video

Brock put the photos and answers together into one of the BEST videos we have ever made. I just watched it again and I was reminded of how much I LOVE IT…I love seeing your names and your photos and the things that you so beautifully shared. So whether you’re new here or you’ve been with us forever, this is a fun and moving video. Hope you enjoy it!!

love, kathy

 

 

 

One of my favorite summertime recipes…Pavlova (you can make this…I promise!)

One of my favorite Brave Girl Camp desserts is this….”Pavlova”…..yummmmmmmm…..a fancy word for a DELICIOUS meringue shell filled with sweetened whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit.

I know this looks fancy and complicated, but it is NOT. If I can do it, you can do it, and I’ll show you in this video that it really is pretty simple.  And there is something really magical that happens when you combine the crispy meringue, whipped cream, and some fresh fruit…it is absolutely scrumptious!!! I’ve used peaches, but you can use any kind of fruit you have around….berries are amazing in this dessert.

SO…be brave!! Try making this for someone you love….

And if you’re a words and pictures kind of Brave Girl, here is the photo tutorial version.

Start by gathering your ingredients.  You’ll need:

1/2 cup egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Before you begin, trace 4-inch circles onto a piece of parchment paper that is cut to the size of your baking sheet.  6 circles fit on each of our baking sheets.  You’ll want to space them out – leave about 1 inch between the circles so your meringue has enough room to grow a little in the oven.

Next, separate the eggs.  It will take about 4 egg whites to get 1/2 a cup, but measure.  When we did this, the eggs we used were small, so it took 5.  Definitely measure.

The easiest way we’ve found to separate eggs is to crack the egg, then drop it into your fingers.  Let the white fall through into a bowl and the yolk will stay intact in your hand.  Set the yolks aside to use for something else. (Make sure that not even a teeny trace of yolks gets in with the whites or the whites will not whip…everything has to be free of any kind of oil or fat….trust me on this.)

Next, whip the eggs for just a few seconds, until they’re frothy…like this:

Once the eggs are a little frothy, add all the other ingredients…the vanilla, vinegar, cream of tartar and sugar.  Then let the mixer go on high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture is glossy and stiff.  You want to be sure that the sugar is entirely dissolved.  When you think it’s done, put a little of the meringue on your fingers and rub it between your finger and thumb.  If it feels grainy at all, it’s not done.  If it feels smooth, it’s done!  It should look like this:

The best way to form the shells…the way it turns out prettiest is to pipe them BUT you don’t have to pipe them (we’ll show you how in a minute).  If you’re piping though, you can use a piping bag with a large star tip or a ziplock bag with the end cut off.  To fill the bag with the least amount of frustration and mess, put your piping bag into a pitcher and fold it over the edge.  Then fill the bag.

Twist the piping bag until the meringue just starts to come out the tip.

You’ll find that the parchment paper might try to slide all over your cooking sheet.  The trick we use is to put a dab of meringue as glue on each of the corners.  The circles you drew on the parchment paper will be your guides as you pipe.  Be sure they are on the bottom side of the parchment paper when you ‘glue’ it down.

Then pipe little nests.  Start by making a circle that fits inside of the circles you drew…(it will grow and spread a bit in the oven).  Once you have a circle, go around the outside of the circle one more time to form a bowl…like a second story wall on the outside of the circle.

If you don’t have a piping bag or a ziplock, you can form your meringues with a spoon…like this:

If you have leftover meringue in your piping bag, don’t throw it out!  Use it to make little meringue kisses…mmmmm…

The meringues will go into a 350 degree (F) oven for 10 minutes.  Then lower the temperature to 300 degrees (F) and let them bake for 20 minutes.

When they are baked, they will look like this.  DON’T take them out of the oven yet.  Crack the oven door and let them dry out in the warm oven for 1 -2 hours before you get them out. (You want them to be completely dry and crispy…and that reminds me to tell you that you shouldn’t make these on a humid day…unless you want chewy meringues…hmmmm….come to think of it, that might be good….but I digress…)

While they’re drying out, you can get your toppings together.  This time, we used sweetened whipped cream and peaches…we’ve used all kind of fruit.  One of our favorites is berries.  Oh yum.

Add a dollop of whipped cream and fruit to the meringue…and Voila!  Pavlova!

Serve it on a pretty plate to someone you love….this is my little grandson, Jackson. He has a way of making a cook feel pretty good….

 

Try it and let me know how it turns out!

love, kathy

PS. True confessions: Say the shells are a total flop and they come out all wonky looking…(not that that I would ever admit that it has happened to me….) You can still turn it into a gorgeous dessert. Just crunch up the crispy meringues into big chunks and stir them into the whipped cream. Layer this in a goblet with the fruit…it will be gorgeous and delicious and everyone will think that’s how you planned it all along. (*wink*)

 

Thank You!! – We made you a video to celebrate!!!!! (it’s really short and really awesome! please please please watch!)

Last week we hit a huge milestone, thanks to ALL of you…..not only are we celebrating 5 years together as Brave Girls Club…but we now have 100,000 of you with us as Facebook fans!

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We put together lots of ways to thank you and we hope you will watch this little video…..we love you all SO MUCH and want you to know that there are many wonderful things ahead! Next month we will be launching the most exciting thing in Brave Girl history and we are working really hard to make it FANTASTIC! So…..stay tuned, and for now, please watch this video that we made JUST FOR YOU!

 

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Here’s to 100,000 more Brave Girls and many many many more lifetimes of Brave Girl goodness for all of us and for all of the generations to come. We love and appreciate you and we could never do this without all of us!

xoxo

melody and kathy

melodyandkathy