I love myself enough to do what it takes (to get well)- PART 1 of a series about adrenal fatigue, chronic hives, hormone imbalance, weight gain, emotional healing, etc. etc. etc.

Ok…first I want to tell you why I am doing this. I am doing this because this journey to regain my health has been very difficult, very confusing and many times very lonely. What helped me most is hearing the stories of how others have healed. So….I am doing my part and telling you what has helped me. There might be some things here that help you, things you might want to try or ask your naturopaths, doctors and healers about….PLEASE do your own research about your own body before you take any of the steps I have taken. I am not a medical professional. I’m just sharing what has worked for me. I am not feeling 100% yet…so I am still on this journey too…but I feel like I’ve hit a stride and things are just continuing to get better and better.

to go where I need to go to find peace

If you are new here…I’m Melody….I was born in 1971 so right now I am 43 years old….almost 44. I have 5 children and have been married for 25 years. I have 2 grandchildren, too. (the best part of my life!)  I have been a business owner for almost all of those years. Life has been wonderful and busy and also very hard sometimes.  I got really sick a few years ago after a decade of traumatic, stressful and difficult years where one horrible thing after another happened in my family, my business and my personal life. The hardest part was that my husband got a traumatic brain injury and took 6 years to get him well and get him back.  Once my life started calming down a bit, I started getting sick. It started with chronic welts that disfigured my face and body, then went to adrenal exhaustion (severe stage 3), I gained over 40 pounds and I lost my vitality, my energy and my passion for lots of things. Everything in my body was depleted….hormones, adrenals, blood pressure, cholesterol…all of it was dangerously low. I wore my body out and it’s been a very long journey. But I’m finally starting to feel like myself and I just want to share this information if you are in the same situation. This is me today….I will share some photos in future blog posts of when I had hives, etc……because doesn’t everyone like a good before/after photo? :)

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Ok….here’s what will NOT be in this blog series

  1. An easy way to fix all of this
  2. A program I want you to buy (although I will tell you about programs I have tried that have worked and give you info if you ever want to try them)
  3. Someone who knows exactly what they are doing…..I’m just telling you what I have learned and what I know so far…because I know how it feels to not know what to do or how to do it and also to have tried so many things that didn’t work

to choose what works best for my life

Now let me tell you what WILL be in this series…(and why this series will be long and so many parts   )

WHAT HAS WORKED FOR MY PHYSICALLY…

  1. The supplements I have taken
  2. The medications I have taken
  3. The foods I can and can not eat (and other things I’ve tried concerning food)
  4. The symptoms I have had and their patterns (the hives, the weight gain, the exhaustion, the brain fog, the emotional instability, the grief, the discouragement, the aging, the depression, the shame and blame, the ups and downs)
  5. The kinds of professionals and healers who have helped me
  6. The exercise my body can do (and can not do yet)
  7. The rest my body must do (and what I’ve had to do to make it possible)
  8. The relationships that my body reacts to both positively and negatively
  9. The stressors my body will not tolerate anymore
  10. What has worked to start and continue shedding the weight I’ve gained
  11. Building FUN into as many things as possible
  12. I will also share some before and after photos and some photos of where I’ve been in this journey along the way

to eat the best foods

WHAT HAS WORKED FOR ME MENTALLY

  1. The new mindset I’ve had to adopt and integrate about my unconditional worth and my personal responsibility for what comes in and out of my life and what I give to the world
  2. The thoughts I can allow and can not allow
  3. The things I have learned to focus on
  4. The things I’ve had to become an expert about
  5. Planning and scheduling my self care into my day like it is the most important thing I could ever be doing, (because it is)  and not letting anything interfere
  6. Understanding and even doing scientific research to find that what used to work for me when I was young will not work the same for me now….my body is different
  7. The books I’ve read, the talks I’ve listened to, the research I’ve found
  8. Building FUN into as many things as possible
  9. to create comfortable and beautiful spaces

WHAT HAS WORKED FOR ME EMOTIONALLY

  1. Going to therapy and healing my emotional wounds and issues
  2. Being 100% honest about my feelings and not willing or stuffing them away or being dishonest about how severe or even how minor they are….being honest about all of it
  3. Dealing with my anger (which I have denied all of my life because I really and truly thought that I was just not an angry person, but that actually I have much repressed anger that has turned into sickness)
  4. Dealing with my hurt and resentment
  5. Getting rid of clutter in all areas of my life
  6. Making very strong, clear and strict boundaries and keeping them (with myself and others)
  7. Owning ALL of my emotions, all of my decisions, all of my actions, all of the words that come out of my mouth, all of the thoughts I think, all of the ways I react to everything. Not allowing blame toward anyone in my life anymore because I have to take control of my life and what is happening inside of me is largely my choice…and what I do is my choice. I’m a grown woman and can not blame how I feel on anyone else.
  8. Walking away from or changing relationships that hurt me, stress me or are not resonating with me (this is a matter of life and death)
  9. Letting others walk away when I’m not a good match for them and not chasing after them
  10. Forgiving EVERYONE for EVERYTHING (this does not mean let toxic people in your life, just forgive them and wish them all the best and let it go)
  11. FORGIVE MYSELF FOR EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME FOREVER (no matter what)
  12. Understanding that I am going to have big setbacks….like, I was doing really great and then my dad got sick and then he died….it was very heartbreaking, traumatic and unexpected….it set me back a lot and I wondered if I was going to have to start over completely in my healing…but I bounced back and I knew what to do. I am certain that I will continue to have setbacks, and that it will be okay.
  13. Making a commitment to love, honor, cherish and stay with myself in sickness and in health, for better or for worse and taking that commitment very seriously
  14. Understanding that what worked for my body when I was young does not work the same for me now. My body is different than it used to be….and that is ok.
  15. Understanding and accepting and cooperating with the cycles of life of the human body and aging…growing older….looking older….behaving as a valuable wise woman
  16. Building FUN into as many things as possible

to burn my list of imperfections

WHAT HAS WORKED SPIRITUALLY

  1. Admitting that I need help from my creator
  2. Accepting the unconditional love and acceptance of my creator
  3. Building and maintaining a deep relationship with my creator
  4. Understanding and accepting and cooperating with the cycles of life of the human body and the everlasting soul
  5. Getting my view of who I am from myself and my creator only…not from anyone or anything else.
  6. Learning from my creator and believing my creator that my worth is absolute, is infinite and does not have to be earned, nor can it be taken away.
  7. Believing my creator when my creator tells me how incredible I am, how loved I am, how watched out for I am, how seen and heard I am, how protected I am, how equipped I am, how beloved I always will be
  8. Believing that my creator wants me to be happy, to have fun, to heal from my trauma, to learn from my struggles, to create, to have wonderful relationships, and to help others whenever possible, but first to help myself…and that my creator is there to help me with ALL OF IT, ALL OF THE TIME, no matter what.

to forgive everyone for everything

I have not blogged about this yet because it is so multifaceted…and truly, my friends…there is not an easy solution to this that I know of. (and believe me when I tell you that I have looked and tried and researched and tried again…just about everything) The truth is, it takes time, it takes dedication and it takes doing a lot of things that most people aren’t willing to do until they are on death’s door….the hardest thing of all is putting yourself ahead of everything else that takes every bit of your time and energy. It is very very very hard to do this if you are a caretaker…or if you are a human. :)

But if you are feeling as crummy as I have been feeling…..I know that you are ready to do whatever it takes to get your life back.

I’m called this “I love myself enough to do what it takes” BECAUSE that is the very first step. To do what has finally worked, I have had to make some very big changes that have required me to change my heart and my mind and myself. I have had to learn how to put myself on my list…and much of the time, I have had to put myself FIRST on my list and that is something I have never been able to do….not only that, but I had to heal a very broken belief that putting myself first was bad…selfish…arrogant….etc. Actually, putting myself on my list AT ALL was all of those things. I can now proudly say that I have learned to put myself on my list every single day…and that I feel very good about that and want everyone else to do it.

to see my own beauty

Ok so let’s start this blog series with where I was before I learned what I have learned about all of this…….and then we will get right down into the nitty gritty of what has worked for me in the next blog post that I do. ok?

Sooooo…what I want you to know is that I wanted a quick fix. I tried a lot of quick fixes. I also want you to know that the people who knew what they were talking about told me that this was going to be a long journey….but like so many other things in my life….I thought it would be different for me…because I am a hard worker and I have a lot of willpower and I knew I could do the fast track. The problem is….that fast track mentality was largely what got me in this position.

Something else that I want you to know is that EVERYONE who knew what they were talking about told me things I was going to have to do…things I didn’t want to do…and I tried doing EVERYTHING but those things because I didn’t want to do those things and didn’t think I could. Healing from all of this requires doing things that are difficult, uncomfortable and slow. I didn’t start to heal until I just surrendered and started to do those things.

to keep going no matter what

For example. EVERY healer and doctor and person who has healed told I was going to have to give up caffeine, wholly and completely. I didn’t. I didn’t think I could. I did lots of the other things, and I did cut down on caffeine….but I wasn’t getting any better…and lo and behold…I did not start to heal until I finally did. Same with sugar. (and stress, and toxic relationships and gluten and processed food) They all told me that I was going to have to get a lot of sleep. I didn’t think I had time for that…but I did not start to heal until I made time and made my life in such a way that I could get a lot of good quality sleep… A LOT of it. They told me that these were lifestyle changes that were not for a little short time….that if I was feeling better and stopped doing these things, went back to my old ways….that I would get sick again. I did that….lots of times. It has taken me a few years to figure out that this is my new way of living…not a short term thing.

I am telling you this because I just don’t want you to think there is an easy way. I thought there had to be an easy way. I tried lots of “easy ways” …..none of this started to work until I did what had to be done.

to begin again

I was exhausted, puffy, sad, mad, annoyed, and thinking that life was not very much fun. I was moody.  I was ready to give up lots of times and just be sick the rest of my life. It was too hard to keep going when I only saw a little bit of progress. Sometimes the only thing that has kept me going is that none of my clothes fit and I really want to be able to wear my clothes!! But those are just the days that I am being vain. What has really kept me sustained is that I want a good quality of life. I want to have energy. I want to be happy. I want my moods to be stabile. I want to feel confident and full of vitality. I want to thrive and accept myself as I move into the second half of my life.

So……if you think you are ready to love yourself enough….to do whatever it takes to feel better….read on. But here’s the bottom line, sister……lots of this might not seem important or that it could be related to your health…..but the stuff that ended up helping me the most was the stuff that I kept putting off because it didn’t seem that important. This is going to require a change of heart…and the biggest change your heart needs to make is that it needs to build a big beautiful, comfortable, happy room for YOU in it.

I will write the next blog post about some of the physical things I’ve done, and I will go on from there…but this one is long enough and lots to digest.

I hope you will stick with me. I want you to feel better too. Living the way I was….it was hell. None of us need to live that way. Let’s take good care of ourselves and of each other.

So much love,

melody




All about the March Soul School class: ‘Live a Brave Life’… and what’s in the Brave Box!

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This month we’re EXCITED to introduce a new format for Soul School that we know you will LOVE! ‘Live a Brave Life’ features four 7-minute lessons that you can do at your own pace, your own leisure, and at a time that is best for you. We know that with a big lesson, it’s hard to keep up, so beginning this month and going forward we are breaking each month’s course into small little classes that are independent of each other so you can complete one in an evening without the pressure of leaving things unfinished. We know you are going to love this new format and we hope it really takes the pressure off…plus you will get much more out of it if you can complete all four mini-classes.

This month we’re exploring what it takes to Live a Brave Life. As always, Melody’s insightful video lessons, 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 March’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. And remember you can upgrade to Premium any time during the month and we’ll get a Brave Box out to you, while they last.)

You’ll get LOTS AND LOTS of video lessons by Melody, project tutorials by Kathy, plus lots more. 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….

Brave Girls Club - March 2015 Brave Box

Your Brave Box is FULL of beauty and goodness….premium quality print outs of all the materials in the courses, plus much more. Here’s a closer look….

Brave Girls Club - March 2015 Brave Box

We are IN LOVE with the BIG ‘I am a Brave Girl’ button that is new for March!! We adore the 1″ collectible buttons, of course, but this super-sized  3 1/2″ beauty is gorgeous…perfect for a purse or tote.

You'll receive a lovely March calendar page....

You’ll receive a lovely March calendar page….

....a 'Live a Brave Life' patch...everyone who has seen it says it's the favorite EVER!

….a ‘Live a Brave Life’ patch…everyone who has seen it says it’s the favorite EVER!

..a framable premium-quality Melody Ross Art Print....

..a framable premium-quality Melody Ross Art Print….’Everything changed the day she decided to be a brave girl’.

Brave Girls Club - March 2015 SOUL SCHOOL - LIVE A BRAVE LIFE

…a collectible affirmation card…on the back it says: “I have one life to live and I can live it the way that is very best for me to live it. This means I have to choose what to hold on to and what to let go of and what to begin and what to end. Being brave does not mean that I am not afraid…it means that I do what is best to do, no matter how afraid I am. I am a brave girl. I choose to live a brave and good life.”

A collection of 'Today I Will Be' cards to cut out and use in an activity Melody will teach you. These are POWERFUL statements about choosing bravery!!

A collection of ‘Today I Will Be’ cards to cut out and use in an activity Melody will teach you. These are POWERFUL statements about choosing bravery!!  (Printable pdf provided in classroom as well.)

....several worksheets to go with the (4) mini classes to make it easy to get the most out of each class...

….several worksheets to go with the (4) mini classes to make it easy to get the most out of each class…

A new Truth Card Kit on the theme of living a brave life....

A new Truth Card Kit on the theme of living a brave life….

A kit for making a desktop clip stand for your Truth Cards or Today I Choose cards or Affirmation Card....plus pretty 2-sided paper and other ideas for artsy-ing it up!

A kit for making a desktop clip stand for your Truth Cards or Today I Choose cards or Affirmation Card….plus pretty 2-sided paper and other ideas for artsy-ing it up!   (PS. This stand will be available at shop.bravegirlsclub.com for a limited time as well.)

...a 'You Matter To Me' greeting card and kraft envelope to send to someone special....

…a ‘You Matter To Me’ greeting card and kraft envelope to send to someone special….

 

Brave Girls Club - March Soul School

….a delicious and VERY popular Brave Girl Camp recipe, a project sheet for the Desktop Card Holder, and two sweet stitchery patterns (including a Brave Girl boot by Melody!)….so much fun! (printable pdfs included as well)

...a fun new DIY project called Thrift Store Redux...(printable pdf in classroom)

…a fun new DIY project called Thrift Store Redux…(printable pdfs included as well)

PLUS many many incredible video lessons and easy to follow, step by step project instructions by Melody (and Kathy) … all in the great Brave Girl style that makes our classes fun and personal, powerful and life-changing.
You will LOVE this month’s class!!!

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

New Clubhouse Renovations: Part 2…The Living Area (featuring a DIY brick wall and a risky paint color)

Okay, here’s Part 2 of our series on our Clubhouse renovations. If you missed Part 1 and you’d like to catch up, jump over here for a minute. We are spending every spare minute turning our old craftsman house into a beautiful place for making Brave Girls Club tick.

Part 2 is all about the living area. This is where we meet as a team every morning. It’s also where we have lunch and where we spend at least part of the day just sitting and talking. No conference rooms, no conference tables…it’s all about being comfortable and surrounded by beautiful things…and most importantly comfy sofas.

Here’s what we started with…it looks so sad, doesn’t it?  *bleh*. I feel so sorry for the people who had to work here before.  You can see that we had to roll up our sleeves and get to work on this room right away. First we took out the oak reception bar thingy. Don’t worry…it found a nice new home.

before

Next came a problem to solve. We had big plans for the back wall…we planned to hang Melody’s gigantic ‘I Have An Idea’ painting there. The problem was that a 4′ x 8′ painting needs a great background, and that plain wall was so sad looking…so how about brick?! The guys on our team were happily enthusiastic (they may or may not have just been humoring us…but I suspect they liked the idea as much as we did). So, we jumped in the car and took a little road trip to the rock store. I know they don’t call it the rock store, but I can’t think of what they call it right now. It’s the place where they sell rock and brick and stuff. We saw lots of displays for brick that you put right on the wall…it’s called Thin Brick, and it’s real brick but it’s cut into thin slices so that it’s light enough to adhere right to the wall. The sample walls looked amazing! Here’s the brick we picked out in the showroom. We wanted it to look like brick that might be original to the house and we thought the colors in this style were just right. Isn’t it gorgeous? This is exactly how we wanted our wall to look.

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We placed our order and then loaded my car with super-heavy boxes of Thin Brick (by ‘we’ I mean the guys), and headed back to the Clubhouse…after a quick stop at Chik fil a …

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As soon as we got back, Carl got started on the wall. From this point on, it was Carl’s baby. Here he is adhering the first rows … he made these nifty cardboard spacers to make every row absolutely perfect. It looked so great already! He is a meticulous craftsman.

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Once the wall was covered completely, he piped concrete mortar between the bricks using a big canvas piping bag, exactly like the one I have in my kitchen, but much bigger. Then he smoothed and shaped it to look EXACTLY like real mortar. This photo was taken while the mortar was still wet and dark. This was either day 2 or 3 of the project.  Just keeping it real…it was a big BIG job…definitely more than Melody and I could have handled.

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And here is the finished wall! Seriously, it is completely authentic looking. Carl did an amazing job! Next we hung Melody’s ‘I Have An Idea’ painting. We have named her Tawanda, and 1000 points for anyone who knows why. :)

PS…did you know there is a smaller version of this project available in the Free area of Soul School? You can join as a Free Member and access it on your BG Dashboard at my.bravegirlsclub.com. And if you’re already a subscriber, just login and look for it in the Free column on the left hand side. Just thought you’d like to know…it is a GREAT project, and anyone can do it. Promise. Anyway, back to renovations….

with-twanda

Next…that ceiling fan just had to go. We found an absolutely gorgeous chandelier on Overstock.com that was just the right combination of elegant and sparkly, but not too feminine. After all, the fellas work here, too. It came in just TWO days! Here are the guys getting it installed…wait until you see how it looks!

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Rewind just a bit….while Carl was working on the brick wall, Lynette painted the walls an olive-y earthy green. This was the RISKY paint color that Melody and I chose. We pulled the color from the flowers on Tawanda’s head piece. Actually Tawanda’s flowers dictated the whole color scheme for this room as well as my office (in Part 1) …teal blue, an earthy olive green, chartreuse. As the green paint went up, everyone started making funny faces and saying things about baby diapers. But here’s a tip about decorating…never judge a paint color until the whole room is put together!!  There was definitely reason to question this color at first, though….

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Once the walls were done and the chandelier was hung, we added a big rug and a few other touches. It’s not 100% done yet, but HERE IT IS…and we have already broken it in by using it every single day. We have a big old oak coffee table that we’re working on for between the sofas, but that will come in due time. Here’s a shot of the almost-finished room from the same angle as our sad sad saaaaad ‘Before’ picture….

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…and here’s how it looks from the doorway of my office. We LOVE IT!!!!!

Brave Girls Club - Clubhouse Renovation

So to recap….

livingroom-before&after

In Part 3, we’ll take you upstairs to Melody’s art studio and office….  as for me,  I’m headed to the kitchen to scrub the paint off my hands. It’s been a g0000000ood week! :)

Love,
Kathy

<< Back to Part 1 >>

Come and paint with me……you are invited! (even if you are just learning!)

Hi Friends!!

I am excited to announce that I have been invited to do a collaborative course with 5 other artists, where we will teach your our favorite techniques inspired by our favorite master artists. I am SOOOOO EXCITED about this because I love the work of Gustav Klimt and I can’t wait to show you my interpretation of his work and teach you to come up with your own interpretation too.

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You will also learn from 5 other incredible artists!!! AND….get this…the course has an early bird price of only $49 (after that it will be $82) This is an amazing offer and I really hope you will come do this with me…

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Go here to sign up before the early bird price is done….(technology is so awesome that the way I get paid for doing this class is by you signing up under this link, that is attached to my name….so it would be awesome if you could sign up this way! thank you!!!)…this is such a great value for the amazing content of this course……




 

But here’s more about the class!!!

This 6 week course begins May 5, 2015 with lifetime access.

Early registration price is $49.99 and the price will go to $82 on April 6th.

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Here is a glimpse of what you can expect each week:

*The guest artists will study under the “master” of their choice.  This will include a brief history of the artist.

*Start to finish video of the artist practicing a painting of the chosen master

*Videos sharing what they learned through practicing the techniques and style of another artist

*A start to finish video of the artist creating their own art using techniques they have learned but creating in their own style

*Each week will end with the artist sharing the artists that have encouraged and inspired them over the years.

*Each week will have book and video references

*Weekly live online “chats” with the artist

*All content has lifetime access

*All videos are pre-recorded so you can watch at your convenience

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Are you getting excited? This is a great time to learn how to paint, to learn some art history and to have some wonderful fun….this is also a great way to teach your children art history! I have used previous editions of this course in my homeschooling for art history….it is perfect! I hope you will come join us! You can’t go wrong for only $49….plus…lifetime access!!

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I hope to see you there!!!

Here are some great testimonials from others who have taken this course….

Praise for the Masters series…

“In all my years as an artist, I have never had a course that stretched and grew me so much. Not only has my art taken off in so many exciting ways, but I was blessed with friendship and support I never expected. Thanks for all that you do. I am so looking forward to part two!”

-Renee

***

“The Studying the Masters class inspired me to look deeper into my own art process. The format where I was able to find out more about the artist’s process and their techniques captured my attention. The presenting artists were quality women whose own art process gave me confidence to keep going. I look forward to the next class.”

-Linda

***

“This course is one of the best I have taken in that it introduced me to several different modern day artists. In watching how they studied under some masters, I became a student of, not one, but TWO artists each week, some of whom I feel a real resonance with!! I feel as though I am finding more of my artistic voice as a result of this class, and that is pretty exciting!! Thanks so much Jeanne for helping me take another step closer to my dream! ”

-Silvia

***
“The best class ever no matter your talent level…seeing the instructors paint right along in  “their” style of painting trying to get close to what a Master created was so enlightening since each had awesome talent but different ways to get the final results that they wanted! We were in their studio with there favorite supplies, magic!”

-Tari

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Ok…please please please come do this with us! It is going to be amazing!!!

Here’s the link again to sign up at early bird pricing!




See you there! I can’t wait to paint with you!

xo

melody

 

 

The Thing About Love….a beautiful free ecourse by Melody Ross

Brave Girls Club - The thing about love class logo

A free ecourse by Melody Ross & Brave Girls Club

“If you could give the world ONE message, what would that message be??” We asked Melody that question, and her answer might surprise you…it started a profound conversation about the power of love. And that’s where YOU come in…because the result of that conversation is a 100% free gift to you and to every Brave Girl in the world…those we have the pleasure of knowing, those who have been curious about Brave Girls Club, and those we haven’t met yet who know nothing about Brave Girls Club. Brave Girls Club is happy to give YOU this gift… “The Thing About LOVE”…. a FREE Online Course by Melody Ross that might just change a lot of things for you, and in the best possible way….and you can finish in an evening.

You don’t need a login, you don’t need a credit card, you don’t need a lot of time…and you can get started RIGHT NOW. Enjoy!

with love,
your friends at the Brave Girls Club

1. Introduction by Brock Ross

Brave Girls Club - Melody and her son, Brock

 2. Welcome Video

Brave Girls Club - The Thing About LOVE - Project 1 video

 3. Let’s Explore LOVE….

Brave Girls Club - Marq & Melody Ross

 4. Project #1 Video
‘I Choose Love’ Canvas

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 5. Project #1 Instructions
‘I Choose Love’ Canvas

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 6. Project #2 Video...
‘How I Love Best’ Journal

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 7. Project #2 Instructions & Prompts
‘How I Love Best’ Journal

Brave Girls Club - How I Love Best journal

 8. Closing Thoughts

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 9. About the Author

melody ross - photo by brett chisholm

New Clubhouse Renovations: Part 1…Kathy’s office (….and can you really PAINT upholstery??)

We have moved into a new Clubhouse! To catch you up, we have two Brave Girl ‘homes’…one is the Ranch/Art Barn where Melody lives with her family….that’s where we do Brave Girl Camp. Then there’s our day-to-day office which we call the Clubhouse. We have just moved The Clubhouse from a dreary office building to a beautiful old craftsman bungalow in the historic district of the little town where we live. It is FULL of character and home-i-ness (it even has a fireplace) and we LOVE IT!!!!! Here’s the street view:

Brave Girls Club - Clubhouse

The poor old dear has been neglected inside, though, and she needs some dolling up. We are big DIY-ers with tons of fun ideas, and we start to get grumpy if it’s been too long since we’ve had paint on our hands.

This post will show you two of our first projects. First… my office (this is Kathy writing this post, btw). Here’s the before photo….kinda bleh but lots of potential.

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The good: nice big windows wrapped in oak and a built-in buffet with leaded glass doors and mirrors…just gorgeous. The bad…well, everything else. First we moved in some old office furniture Melody had in storage, then added an awesome vintage sofa we found on Craig’s list. stage1Okay….that’s getting a little better. Oh I forgot to tell you another ‘good’….beautiful oak double doors lead from the living room into this room. I love the doors! The furniture helped, but not nearly enough. It needed COLOR….so I painted the back wall a gorgeous shade of teal blue. This color makes my heart skip a beat… ta da!!!!stage3

Then Kallie and Jeff brought me a chandelier that they aren’t using any more….down came the ceiling fan, up went THIS BEAUTY….

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Before and after….

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What do you think??!?! I LOVE IT!!!! The biggest changes came from one painted feature wall (investment: 1 quart of paint and a Saturday morning) and the pretty chandelier. I love this office!  I still need to figure out what to do with the wall behind my desk, though…

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If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them! PS…this lamp was brown wood. I spray painted it with silver and added a new fabric shade. It’s my new $8 lamp!

Now onto the next project. I had been reading and watching youtube videos late at night about painting upholstery. Have you heard of that?!? The idea reminded me of those crazy designers on Trading Spaces…remember that show? What ever happened to those people? Anyway….this project is going to give you some glimpses into our living room redo, but I wanted to show you the crazy striped ottoman we found on Craig’s List. I decided to paint it metallic silver. The guys here thought I was nuts, for sure. For the record, Melody always believed… :)

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That’s a little jar of metallic paint from Hobby Lobby and a regular 4″ paint brush. Now all the youtube videos show using chalk paint and different kinds of spray paints made just for upholstery…special paints that keep the fabric soft and supple (and they are awesome! Melody painted a chair for her office using white chalk paint…more about that in a future post).

This was an ottoman for putting our feet up on, so if it ended up a little crunchy, that was okay with me. I just wanted to see how it might turn out…

You can see that the original upholstery is striped…and some of the stripes are velour. I was hoping the striped texture would show through after it was painted. I started by dumping a puddle of paint right onto the ottoman, brushing it around and working it into the fabric. It soaked right in and covered pretty well. I recruited some help to make it go faster….

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Lynette and Madi joined in…I love them because they believe in my crazy ideas. :)

After one good coat, it looked like this…pretty good, but the green and pink and purple stripes still showed through, so I knew it needed at least one more coat. I went home and let it dry overnight….

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The next morning the ottoman was completely dry, but the velour with the paint on it felt pretty rough. I think if you walked by too close it could have taken the skin off your leg. :)  So I took a sanding block and sanded the whole thing down… it easily smoothed everything out. Then I painted on a second coat….it went on much faster, and happily it covered the old color completely!  I ended up using almost 4 jars of paint. At $7.99 each, that’s about $32 in paint (no discounts or coupons…you could do better).

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Here is the finished ottoman! I have to tell you, it is absolutely STUNNING. It looks so sophisticated and expensive….

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It definitely isn’t something you’d want to take a nap on (it’s still pretty rough feeling) but it’s great for feet and notebooks and such. So I am VERY excited to announce to the world that….

Brave Girls Club - painted upholstery - metallic silver painted ottoman

Jump on over to see Part 2….”The Living Room“…a risky paint color, a stunning faux brick wall, and another chandelier…!

love,

kathy

WINNERS POSTED: #ShareYourHeart Campaign and a ‘Choose Happy’ GIVEAWAY!

(This giveaway is now closed.)

UPDATED: CHOOSE HAPPY WINNERS POSTED

Congratulations to these three winners who will receive a brand new copy of Choose Happy when it is released this Spring!

1. Cassy L.

2. Janean Baird

3. Heidi H.

If you are a winner, please send an email to support@bravegirlsclub.com with the subject line “Choose Happy Giveaway Winner” and be sure to include your shipping address in your email. We will send you your copy when the book is released in April!!!

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Valentines Day is coming right up and we are so happy to be a part of the Paper Hearts #ShareYourHeart blog tour! We would love for you to join us in celebrating the release of our friend Courtney Walsh‘s wonderful new book, Paper Hearts. First of all, just look at this gorgeous cover!!!

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You can click here to purchase Paper Hearts on Amazon.

At Brave Girls Club, we are ALL about love… loving others, loving ourselves, spreading love all over the place in any way possible. For us, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romance, but rather simply about love. And that’s why we totally love the #ShareYourHeart campaign that Courtney Walsh is putting on. Check out the details on her blog. She challenged some of her friends to create their own paper hearts to share on their blogs so that we can get our readers to join too! (Plus she’s doing a huge giveaway for you along with the campaign.) Won’t you be a part of this goodness with us?

What exactly is a “paper heart”?

In the book, paper hearts were a tradition between a married couple. Throughout the year, they would record the things they loved about each other and then on Valentine’s Day, they hung them up in their home. Abigail (the heroine) discovers these hearts and accidentally sets off a town-wide frenzy in which people are stopping to record positive, uplifting, encouraging things about the people they love. Here is the absolutely charming book trailer:

Didn’t that make your heart swell?

Our paper heart is not meant for just one person; it is for all humans… for all the world. It’s a Valentine Truth Card from us to you:

paper heart truth card What do you need to do to join in the loving fun AND be entered into Courtney’s huge giveaway?

1. Share the Paper Hearts book trailer with as many people as you can! Here is the link so that you can share it easily on your Facebook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NZX5KDnNUE

2. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway HERE

3. Create your own “paper heart” and share it on social media with the hashtag #shareyourheart. For bonus points, share your paper heart with Courtney on her Facebook Page. (This can be ANYTHING that suits you. It doesn’t need to be fancy shmancy… a heart cut from a piece of copy paper with a pencil note works. Or, if you’re feeling artsy, it can be a painting, a sketch, a bookmark, a card, etc.)

This is a blog tour that is going until February 14th, so the winners will be chosen and posted on Courtney’s blog on February 14th. Can’t wait to see your paper hearts and watch the world explode with love for EVERYONE this Valentine’s time of year!

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One of the things included in Courtney’s big prize is a copy of Melody’s new book, Choose Happy.

But… we are also giving away THREE copies right here on our blog! Keep reading on to see how to enter.

We are SO thrilled to be publishing our first book with Andrews McMeel Publishing and we can’t wait to see Choose Happy in some of the bigger stores! The release date is set for the beginning of April, however it is already available for pre-order on Amazon, Barne’s & Noble, and Indie Bound. This book is seriously GORGEOUS. It is hard bound with the most vibrant colors, gold foil, embossing, and Melody’s beautiful art throughout. It will take your breath away.

Here is a snippet of what Choose Happy is all about:

Every day and every minute, we make a choice. And in this beautiful, uplifting book of real talk and real truth, Brave Girls Club founder Melody Ross makes a compelling case to make the choice for happiness. 

 In Choose Happy, Melody speaks soul-to-soul, with the profound and joyful message to make choices with our bravest, strongest selves. Choose Happy is a gift for yourself and for anyone you love who is facing transition and change, struggling through the thick of it, or looking ahead with dreams and hopes.

If you’d like to enter the giveaway for a copy of Choose Happy, all you need to do is:

1. Comment below with five things that make you happy!

2. For extra entries, share the Choose Happy cover image on Instagram with a caption of five things that make you happy and the hashtag #choosehappygiveaway and tag us @bravegirlsclub (Click here to get the cover image or just take it from above.)

3. For even more extra entries, share the the Choose Happy cover image on your Facebook page. (Click here to get the cover image or just take it from above.) Include five things that make you happy and the hashtag #choosehappygiveaway. Also, please tag our Brave Girls Club Facebook Page in your post!

And then we will draw three winners on Monday, February 16th. It’s that easy… get to commenting and sharing, friends!

xoxo

What will it take?

Dear Becoming Girl,

Hello gorgeous friend. You know…a year from now, things will be a lot different than they are today. There are so many things that will be different, things that we just can’t ever guess would be different..then the same old things will be different that always are…another year older, new stuff is in style, new stuff is all the rage….

But some things just might be the same…things that COULD be different if we would make it so. A year from now, we can be doing the same things we are doing today….meaning we will be in the same places we are now (even when our hearts want the day to come when we are finally healthier, when we are finally working toward our dreams, when we are finally focusing on the things that matter most).

For some reason, we crazy humans sometimes think that things will change just because we want them to change….then a year goes by…and nothing has changed. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

What if we just think for a moment how we want things to be a year from now, then work backwards? What will it take to get things to where we want them to be in a year? What needs to happen TODAY? What needs to be changed? What needs to be started? What do we need to quit doing? What do we need to start believing?


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Today is a great day to live in the moment by thinking about what we need to do to get to where we want to be….because nothing will change if we keep doing the same things over and over again.

You can do this, amazing girl! You can! And, it is time!

You are so very loved.
xoxo

Everything You Wanted to Know about Brave Girl Camp

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Perhaps you have seen us talking about Brave Girl Camp on Facebook every once in a while. Perhaps you haven’t even heard a single little bit about Brave Girl Camp. Perhaps you kind of know what it is but you have lots of questions about it. Maybe you even know ALL ABOUT Brave Girl Camp but you are on the fence about coming! Or maybe you have already been to Brave Girl Camp and are thinking about coming again (it has certainly changed over the years!). Whichever of those situations describes you, hopefully this post will clarify some things and help you decide if Brave Girl Camp is for you.

what is brave girl camp

In a nutshell, Brave Girl Camp is a magical, amazing, all-inclusive 4 day art + life retreat, with perfectly planned days of meaningful fun and connection, designed to help you move forward joyfully into the rest of your life.

But it is so, so, so much more than just that. Brave Girl Camp is…

A place of beauty and pampering.

A place filled with lovely things that women appreciate so much but that they often forget to do for themselves, like pretty dishes and colorful flowers.

A place to learn the beautiful truth about ourselves.

A place to rest and feel safe, where you can hear your own thoughts and soul-whisperings.

A place to gather with other women to share our stories and CONNECT with each other.

A place to form true life-long friendships

A place of lots of laughter and remembering what it’s like to have girl friends.

A place to experience what the woman’s soul craves.

A place where every moment is magical from the moment you arrive at The Ranch until late in the evening.

A place where you can stop and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

A place where women of all ages and backgrounds come together and learn from each other by dropping their labels.

A place to make art that burns into your heart the things you will learn, so that you never ever forget.

A place of discussions, projects, and ideas that help women make it through their own adversities.

A place where delicious, nourishing, lovingly made food is served on gorgeously set tables.

A place where women learn how to live the most beautiful life possible, no matter their history or challenges.

A place where good women find each other.   

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when and where

Brave Girl Camp is held in the little town of Star, Idaho on a beautiful piece of secluded property nestled right along the Boise River. We call it Brave River Ranch.

These are the dates for the 2015 and 2016 camps:

2015 Camps
March 17-21, 2015 – 2 NEW SPOTS available!! (due to 2 campers moving to a different date)
May 5-9, 2015 SOLD OUT: waiting list only
June 9-13, 2015 – SELLOUT RISK HIGH
September 15-19, 2015 – SELLOUT RISK HIGH
October 13-17, 2015 – SELLOUT RISK HIGH

2016 Camps
March 15-19, 2016
May 3-7, 2016
June 7-11, 2016
September 13-17, 2016
October 4-8, 2016

REGISTER SMALL

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sleep

Brave Girl Camp guests stay at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Eagle, Idaho. The hotel also sits right on the Boise River just a few miles down the road. We pick you up in the morning with our awesome vintage school bus!

Your tuition includes a room in the hotel with two queen beds, so we do assign you a roommate who will likely become a very close life-long friend! Some women prefer to have a private room for the duration of Brave Girl Camp and we can absolutely make sure that happens! It just costs a little bit extra in hotel fees.

typical day

A typical day at Brave Girl Camp starts off with having breakfast at the hotel with your fellow campers. We will then pick you up on our vintage school bus around 9:00am and drive you to Brave River Ranch where the morning begins with a lesson by Melody. We will feed you a wonderful lunch and delicious snacks in the afternoon. You will have time to journal, time to make art in the Art Barn, time to take a walk along the river path, time to talk with other women, and time to do whatever else might be nourishing for your soul. At dinner time we gather at the most beautifully set candle-lit tables and enjoy a fabulous meal together. Followed by a scrumptious dessert, of course. The evenings include more time to work on your art, wonderful shares around the red carpet, live music, laughter, and all sorts of magical experiences. At the end of the night, you will return back to the hotel for a restful night of sleep so you can do it all over again the next day!

artist

No, you most certainly do not have to be an artist to come to Brave Girl Camp! You don’t have to know a single thing about art… just be open to creating and doing the projects with the BGC curriculum. And if you want to learn some art techniques, Melody teaches some basic lessons on the very first day and there is always at least one loving staff member in the Art Barn to help you.

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travel

We do not currently travel to host Brave Girl Camps in other locations. Once we are empty-nesters, hopefully we can start doing that! We are also working on some other big changes that will allow women from all over the world to benefit from the Brave Girl Camp experience and curriculum.

cost

Brave Girl Camp has an all-inclusive tuition of $1799. YES, we have payment plans available! You can see your payment options when you register and you are welcome to email support@bravegirlsclub.com with any questions.

come again

Absolutely! We have many women who come as often as once a year. Your second experience can be even more wonderful than your first!

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allergies

We can definitely feed you if you have food allergies and intolerances. Several women have come to Brave Girl Camp who are allergic to gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, nuts, and a plethora of other foods. Your meals will be just as delicious and you will be totally pampered!

alone or friend

For the optimal experience, we recommend that you come by yourself. It is not against any rules to come with someone! In fact, many women do come with a friend, sister, mom, etc. We really do believe that you will get the most out of Brave Girl Camp if you come without anyone who knows you. Here are some words of encouragement from alumni who are so thankful they came alone:

“It is a game changer and the minute you get off that bus you will not even think you came alone – I so promise you. best.healing.decision.ever!!” -DF
“Most girls come by themselves, and I PROMISE you, it’ll be okay.” -Kathy
“[I’ve] been lots, went many times by myself but never left that way!” -RM
You’ll make soooo many new friends. It’s amazing!! Melody and Kathy and the rest of the brave bunch are the best.” -KW
“I went solo…SO WORTH IT!!! And as [previously] said: you never leave that way!!” -FB
“You will be surrounded by brave girl sisters and your soul will be so blessed!” -KK
“I went alone – best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Brave River Ranch is a very special place, and that Art Barn is simply magical. But the best part of Camp is Kathy & Melody and the Brave Girl team – so much love shared every minute of the day.Give yourself this gift – you deserve it!” -DW
“Going solo is the way to go because I feel your more apt to participate and won’t hold back. And you won’t be solo for more than a minute because you will meet a whole new group of sisters that will be lifetime friends and the second you meet you will click. Promise!!!” -DB
“Totally went by myself – knew no one… Truly blessed beyond measure! I hope you give yourself the gift of BGC!” -CF
“You cant be alone at Brave Girl Camp! I went alone…I met 3 BGCampers on the second leg of my flight and another at the shuttle. I am shy too…just do it anyway!” -GP
Went alone in October. Best decision, ever!! Made some amazing, true, soul sisters!!! In fact, three of us are road- tripping to a weekend retreat in April! Definitely a lifechanger for me!” -TE
“Going solo is the way to go. That way you just bring yourself and no obligations from home including family & friendships. It opens you up to have the full experience just for you.” -HW
“Go by yourself!!! It is honestly a very intense, amazing experience that you really want to do alone. You don’t go and socialize with your friends anyhow, it’s hard to explain… It really is a life changing gift you should totally give yourself! I went 3 years ago and am still seeing changes from it!” -SR

purpose

If the answers to these two questions weren’t already covered by all the previous answers, then hopefully the following testimonials from Brave Girl Camp alumni will help you get an even better idea of the purpose and value/benefit of Brave Girl Camp.

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rachel

My life has been impacted by Camp in many ways not the least of which is meeting some amazing women who have become dear friends!  Camp has a way of putting things in perspective, it gives you a time to rest and reset your priorities.  It’s a blessing. 

My favorite thing about camp is the relationships I’ve built with the women I’ve met.  These are woman from different corners of the world that I doubt I would’ve met if not for Camp. I can’t say enough about the dear friends I’ve met at camp.  I still keep in touch via our Camp facebook page, getting together with locals and many attend my Handmade U retreat.  I love seeing them!

One of the insights I get from Brave Girl Camp is that everyone has the opportunity to take today as Day One.  No matter what has happened in your past you own it, and make decisions beginning today to make your life how you want it to be now!

I would whole heartily recommend BGC, it is a fun time, but more than that there is a lot of love behind it.  The family that opens up their home to these women make it special!  If you are on the fence about going to camp, jump down , put on your Brave girl boots and sign up, NOW!

-Rachel McGough

katie

I have kind of a funny registering story. I was up late on FB one day in summer 2011, and one of my friends had just shared a post about BGC. I had never, ever heard of BGC before, but I went to the BGC FB page and “liked” it. Then I clicked to the BGC website and found the page about camp. It sounded so amazing and magical and like something I needed in my life that I signed up right there on the spot. I didn’t consult my husband (who was sleeping), I just DID IT. Like, 10 minutes after reading about it. Can you believe that??? Well, in the morning of course I had to tell him I had signed up for this camp.. in Idaho.. that I had never heard of before last night.. and it was kind of expensive.. and I would have to fly there.. I wouldn’t know anybody else.. and yes, I of course was sure they were nice people and not some kind of cult (ha!).. I just knew. I wasn’t worried about not knowing anybody. I just knew anybody who would be there would be great. Also, The payment plan made it much more doable for me. My husband was kind of skeptical about all of this, but I just *knew* Brave Girls Club and Camp was going to be amazing. And it was and is!! And as soon as I got home from my first camp, he saw how happy and light I was and what a great time I had and he said, “Why don’t you sign up for another one??” He got it!!

Since attending camp, I have been more artistic, more of a life risk-taker (not hiding so much inside of myself), and I have just felt better about myself overall. At camp you feel so valued and loved, it is an amazing experience. I try to carry that with me and remember that it is okay to be SEEN and that I am worth being seen.

My favorite thing about Brave Girl Camp is that you can just be yourself. You can show up as you— an artist or non artist. Wearing your kind of clothes, hairstyle, whatever. Talking how you talk. Feeling how you feel. All is right and nothing is wrong. You are wholly and completely accepted for who YOU are. There is no reason to hide any part of you, and parts of you that maybe have been hiding can feel free to come out for the first time in a long time. You can just be you and everybody is so happy to know the real you!!

There were so many insights I took home from camp! One insight I took home from my first Brave Girl Camp that pops into my mind immediately is that I am worthy. I am worthy of love, of being seen, of being heard, of taking up space, of anything good that comes my way. It is easy for me to feel insignificant and just being around all the love and having so

june25many people genuinely want to be around me (and also respect my space), really boosted my confidence about myself. One other thing is that it really does not matter whatother people think— that I need to live my own beautiful life in my own beautiful way. Other people have many reasons for doing what they do and whatever they do is usually not about me, and even if it is I can’t worry about it. Worrying about other people just takes away from my own life and brings me down. I am still working on this.. and it is a powerful insight to have.

Meeting new friends at Brave Girl Camp was easy because everybody was very friendly and open. I have stayed in touch with our large groups through our own private FB groups. There are some friends I have stayed in closer touch with on Facebook and sometimes on the phone.  It is nice to have friends outside of my immediate circle of people where I live who know some of my challenges and struggles and who can serve as support for me. I also can serve as support for them, too! We are better together.

I would definitely recommend Brave Girl Camp. It is such a fun, life-changing experience. It can be emotional, but in a good way because you release negative emotions and things that have been holding you back. You also get to be artistic and use the supplies in the Art Barn, which is so fun— and it doesn’t matter how “good” you think you are or aren’t. Everybody can do the projects at Brave Girl Camp and there is no comparing, which I love. You get to hang out with the BGC staff and they are awesome. You get to meet other amazing Brave Girls, sometimes from around the world, which is incredible. You get to be taken care of and not have to worry about anything like meals (btw the camp food is SOOOOO good!) or housekeeping or driving or anything. You just get to focus on you for a little bit, which is wonderful.

If you are on the fence about Brave Girl Camp I would say, “Go! Please go. You will be so happy that you went.” If I would sign up again today, the experiences that I have had at camp would allow me to relax about the cost, the fact that I would be going alone, and any other potential worries that could possibly exist. Instead I would focus on and remember only the joy, strength, and wisdom I have brought home from camp with me. I know it is all worth it. The memories you make and lessons you learn truly will last a lifetime. So don’t wait— go check the available dates right now! :-)

-Katie Vollman

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september

I attended Brave Girl Camp in May of 2012. I had wanted to attend since camp started, but just couldn’t justify the cost. I was part of the first Soul Restoration online class in January of 2011. I met wonderful women in the class, who I became friends with and realized that I was not alone as I walk my path in life. As our friendships blossomed, our group became a bit more closeknit and some of the ladies decided to attend camp in May, 2012. At the time they decided this, I wanted to go, but the cost was holding me back, so I didn’t sign up. I did, however, tell my husband that I wanted to go. While he was supportive, he also had no idea where to find the money. I watched a fellow Brave Girl, Coreena, go to camp, come home and start making choices that left me breathless. I had no idea how she could do what she did!

In March of 2011, I got laid off from a very well paying job that I had been at for over 3 years. My job was eliminated and the work off shored to India. I was heart broken, but I received a nice little severance package, so that was good. The minute my husband heard about the severance package he said “I think you now have the money to go to Brave Girl Camp, and I think you should go.” I remember sitting there just looking at him and thinking I couldn’t spend the money on that. However, I took a leap of faith and signed up! I paid in full, immediately, while I had the money, and my dream started on its way. I believe in manifesting dreams by speaking them out loud. I believe that if you put it out there, the universe will make it happen.

By the time May 2012 rolled around, I was in a new job, and had literally been counting down the days to camp since March 2011. I had a post it on my desk that showed how many days were left till camp. Even now,I vividly remember the morning I left for camp. I woke up at 4:00 am, and I remember the whole morning being surreal. I remember taking a selfie of myself, once I was all ready. I have no idea why. I guess in my mind I thought I might look different after camp, who knows. I remember being on the plane and in my mind, wondering what it was going to be like, and I remember feeling brave. Brave for going, brave for being willing to look at myself this way. I landed in Boise, and texted my sweet friend, Mel McGee, who was anxiously waiting at the gate for me. We flew into each other’s arms in a flurry of crazy hugging and giggling. We had waited since the online class to meet. It had felt like forever.

After having lunch with Mel and her husband, we went to Rembrandt’s, a coffee shop in Eagle. The minute we walked in, two ladies came up and introduced themselves. It was Laurie Jacobsen and Jill Atherton, more ladies we had talked to online but never met. Eventually we worked our way across the street to a local gallery where I remember meeting more of the girls, including Melissa Forberg.

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Eventually, we all went back to the hotel, where we met Brock. Brock got us all situated with our Brave Girl goodie bags, handmade treats all put together with love and careful thought. It was so SO magical. Then we got on the bus and drove to McCall. We were the last camp to go to McCall (it is held in Star now)… McCall was like no place I had ever been. Heck, Idaho was amazing to me. My heart will always belong to Idaho, thanks to Brave Girls. When we arrived at camp, the facilitators, including sweet Melody, were lined up across the street, cheering and waving their arms wildly. It made me cry that anyone could be that happy to meet me.

We got off the bus, and we all got hugged by everyone. It was… incredible. We were loved and taken care of, and spoiled like nothing I’ve ever ever experienced.

Camp passed in a blur. We had red carpet sessions with Melody facilitating that were beyond anything I could ever have imagined. We had a campfire that was amazing. We made art, we laughed, we cried, we walked to the lake and back. Marq, Melody’s husband, quietly took care of things in the background, making sure things ran smoothly and we all had what we needed.

I remember making art, with Melody, and shaking my head and trying to grasp that we were not only in the same room but creating together. I remember looking down at the table tarp and seeing that I was in the exact spot where someone who is a very well known artist had sat and left an autograph. I can’t remember who it was now, but if I told you, you’d nod and know who it was!

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I want to say that my favorite thing about camp was the food, because Kathy and team lovingly prepared meals that were beyond incredible and over the top amazing, but of course, camp was about much much MUCH more than that. I think my favorite part at camp was being on the red carpet, in a sharing session, around the 2ndday, I guess. I remember it being my turn and telling Melody I felt “stuck.” She smiled and told me “You aren’t stuck at all, just keep going.” I didn’t understand at the time, but I trusted her, and she was right. (there was more she said, but that was the crux of it.) Red carpet time at camp is so so precious. You learn about each other, and you learn about yourself. You find out that you aren’t alone. Everyone has struggles, and amazingly, many of our struggles overlap. Even women who think they don’t have struggles have them. We all have our own journeys, and our journeys are all breathtaking and awe inspiring.

When the bus dropped us off after camp, back at the hotel, I had arranged to stay an extra night and fly home on Sunday morning. I am SOO glad I did. This allowed me some time to re-enter reality and quietly absorb what I had learned. I was gentle with myself, and did a lot of writing in my journal.

I got home and I remember thinking that I didn’t feel any different. I felt like me. I don’t know what I expected, but I remember just desperately missing camp and the ladies there. We all kept in touch, in a private group on Facebook, and still do.

Looking back, now, I can see so SO many things that Brave Girl Camp brought to me, and taught me. Just the fact that I’m never alone would have been enough, but there’s so much more. It’s hard to vocalize and quantify, but I am in NO way the person I was before camp. I am continually changing and learning and growing. I’ve left a job that was squelching my soul and now have a job where I am treasured. I have made more art in the past 3 years than I ever made before. I’ve continued to take classes and learned and have actually vocalized to others that I am an artist.

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I have always looked at others, who are very very giving, and wanted to be like them. But I’m just not. And, that’s ok. I give in other ways. I may not be showering people with physical gifts, but I DO shower EVERYONE in my life with inspiration and positive messages, as much and as often as I can. I try to be a beacon of light, a sunflower, when people are going through dark times. I may not have all the tools to do this, but Melody has taught me that I can always love, and then love more. Honestly? It’s all about love.

If you are a woman, of any age, who wants to become the woman you were meant to be, I strongly encourage you to find a way to go to Brave Girl Camp! It IS a life changing experience, like no other. This isn’t an art retreat. This is a soul retreat. This is a sacred healing place, where you will be nurtured and loved and treasured like no other place that I have ever been. What Brave Girl Camp brought to my life can never ever be taken away and will always grow and blossom in me. I see small changes from it all the time, and I smile, because I know what started it all. I will always hold a special place in my heart for Melody Ross and Kathy Wilkins for starting BraveGirls Club and Brave Girl Camp. When women come into my life, on Facebook, or in real life, who are struggling or need support, my first words are “have you heard about Brave Girls Club?” And that usually opens the door. 

-September Radecki

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camille

I went to Brave Girl Camp in June 2013

Money  was for sure an issue before signing up…also the thought of going through all of the emotional stuff I wasn’t sure I had to go through in front of strangers.

I walked away more grateful. I feel like because I was able to share my experiences with others around me and to listen to their stories I was truly blessed. We became a united team cheering each other on.

I felt like I could finally dream again. No one could take my dreams away. I walked away more able to love everyone around me.

Sharing lessons with Melody and Kathy was my favorite part of Brave Girl Camp. I felt like my Truthteller was very close during those lessons.

I learned that it is very important to make and set boundaries. I learned that all women/mankind have the same hurts, the same desires, the same pure love for others. I learned that mothers are the most significant people in our lives.

I would very much recommend Brave Girl Camp because I think each woman needs to feel pure, radiating, unfiltered love.

If you are considering going to camp there is a reason, and you most likely need to feed that need in your soul. Your soul WILL be fed. You will feel so blessed as you come home from camp.

-Camille Sturges

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janet

I went to Brave Girl Camp in June and November 2012 and November 2013

I was scared to death to even sign up for my first BG camp. By the time I had enough courage and decided that YES I would do it…camp was Full! I boldly got on the waiting list and was totally thrilled when I finally got in.

I went to camp with so much Fear in me. Fear of Everything. Fear of Living. Fear of being ME! I was a quiet little mouse watching other people live. I knew I needed to get rid of that Fear…I was tired of holding on to it.

I had no idea that what I needed was Confidence until I got there. Sometime during the week I decided I was leaving my FEAR in Idaho and taking CONFIDENCE back home with me. I slowly began taking off the layers of fear and clothing myself in Confidence. I became a more confident person. I know there is always so much more you can learn and so many ways to grow…but truly, I began
to walk on the path of confidence and I have never looked back!

Camp was just an eye opening experience. I was in awe. I believed myself to be a spectator in life but what I saw was all this interaction and connection. And I wanted that! There is something about sharing the deepest struggles of your soul and knowing you are not alone and that people really do understand. Not only the deepest struggles though… the highest joys too! That has become my most favorite thing of all. I crave the connection of like minded souls. Camp is just a bunch of strangers who come together and become friends for life in no time at all! (someone else at Soul Comfort said that first)

I would highly recommend Brave Girls Camp. The BG staff feeds you gourmet meals and pampers you and draws the beauty out of you. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry and you will realize that it is a big world out there…but you are not alone. You will make friends and get connections and realize how much you need this….and wonder why didn’t you do this sooner!

Just do it. Leave the Fear of the Unknown behind. You will learn so much about yourself in those few short days… but you will come away with precious memories and valued friendships. Just do it.

-Janet Joehlin

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So, what do you think? Does Brave Girl Camp sound like something you and your soul could benefit from? Do you have four days sometime in the next two years that you could dedicate to YOU?

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Here are the dates again for 2015 and 2016. All the dates are scheduled during gorgeous seasons in Idaho!

2015 Camps
March 17-21, 2015 – ALMOST SOLD OUT
May 5-9, 2015 SOLD OUT: waiting list only
June 9-13, 2015 – ALMOST SOLD OUT
September 15-19, 2015 – ALMOST SOLD OUT
October 13-17, 2015 – ALMOST SOLD OUT

2016 Camps
March 15-19, 2016
May 3-7, 2016
June 7-11, 2016
September 13-17, 2016
October 4-8, 2016

register

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We would absolutely love to have you as our guest. We can’t wait to hug you when you get off the Brave Bus and we can’t wait to get to know your beautiful heart! We are so excited to connect with you, walk with you, create art with you, heal with you, sing and dance with you, eat with you, and see the light in your eyes shine bright by the time you go back home.

You can read even more about Brave Girl Camp by clicking here.

Hope to see you at Brave Girl Camp in 2015 or 2016!!! We love you already. xoxo

melodyandkathy

P.S. If you still have some questions, go ahead and ask them in the comments below or send an email to support@bravegirlsclub.com!

No matter how hard the winter is…

Dear Hopeful Girl,

Sometimes winter can last so long, or be so cold and dark and difficult that it seems like it will last forever. This is not just for the actual season of winter….but for the winters of our lives. You know….the times when things were very good and then it seemed as though they died.

Winter is a peculiar time, however….because there is so much going on that can not be seen. There is SO MUCH happening that is restorative and beautiful and lovely and important. So much happens in winter that is such a good example to all of us…and example of how we could live our lives by following the gift that is winter… (just as every season of the year, and every season of life is full of its own gifts) .

It is a time of rest for the plants and the animals…..and maybe just maybe, it is supposed to be a time of rest for us. It is a time when everything is restored and renewed and built back up to get ready for the hard work of spring…the renewal, the rebirth, the new life.

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What if we took it all into our own souls and had a time like this….a time that we give ourselves full permission to have? A time where we are simply restoring, resting, renewing and getting strong for what is to come?

Because no matter how hard the winter is….spring is going to come. No matter how dead the world may look…it is going to come back to life….as green and beautiful as ever. The sun is going to shine and everything is going to grow again….as soon as it is time.

Living in the hope of all of that is a happy place to be, and enjoying the seasons as they come is a happy place to be…..please live in that beautiful hope.

You are so very loved.

xoxo

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