Fly a plane? Jump out of one? Stay firmly planted on the ground but speak your truth? Go to that place? Do that thing? Share your gifts? Share your love?
My first flight was when I was 3 months old. I’ve taken 12,000 airplane rides since landing a parachute instead of the plane. This is Ken landing in his very first flight in a small-engine aircraft with my Dad who’s been flying airplanes for over 50 years. Ken is being brave taking this ride, sure, but even more so putting his truly mind-boggling art into the world and doing it now as his main gig. My Dad is being brave putting one foot in front of the other each day after the unexpected passing of his life partner and my beautiful stepmom, Liz, last year. Sharing joyful moments in these flights and connecting over coffee and cold ones on the back deck.
Being brave looks different for each of us.
What feels brave to me now is not flying in or jumping out of an airplane. It’s bringing my person that much more into my life. It’s allowing myself to be that much more seen and known, even in the spaces I trust the most.
Being truly brave is inextricably linked with being vulnerable.
We can’t have one without the other. One thing I know for sure though is that being truly brave always delivers the best in life. Whether it requires us to act, or to soften. Whether we’re picking dirt out of our teeth after falling on our metaphorical face, or whether we’re experiencing the rich complexity of life, love and being human.
“Be brave” sounds so cliché. But it’s a cliché for a reason. It is this gateway.