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A Deeper Kind of Brave

“Over time I have come to believe that brave does not mean what we think it does.
It does not mean ‘being afraid and doing it anyway.’
Nope.
Brave means listening to the still small voice inside and DOING AS IT SAYS.
Regardless of what the rest of the world is saying.
Brave people block out all the yelling voices and
listen to the deepest voice inside the quietest, stillest place in their heart….
Brave is VERY SPECIFIC and EXTREMELY personal.
It can’t be judged by people on the outside.
Just can’t.
Sometimes brave means letting everyone else think you’re a coward.
Sometimes brave is letting everyone else down but yourself.
Brave people only answer to ONE voice and that is the voice that arises within.
Brave people are just people who trust themselves more than they trust the crowd.”
Glennon Melton

Sometimes you need to hide away from the world for a bit and care for yourself, body and soul, until strength and courage return. The past week has been such a time for me. Time for turning off my computer, shutting down my phone, and doing the things that ground me and make me feel safe and secure.

Time for learning a deeper kind of brave.

The weather seemed to think cocooning was a good idea too. The skies filled with dark clouds as wind howled through the trees with a spine-tingling roar, sending furniture, leaves, and branches hurtling across the yard.

My soul needed storms and wildness, so I settled into a chair on the back veranda to watch, wrapping a flannel shirt around me to ward off the chill. Soon the wind was joined by pelting rain, thunder so loud it shook the house, and streaks of lightning that flashed and danced wildly.

I breathed it all in, the swirl and dash, boom and shudder, crack and swish. When the wind sent the rain sheeting in under the veranda, pelting my face and drenching my bare feet, I scurried indoors, brewed a big cup of Earl Grey Tea and settled down on our bed to watch the storm through the window.

For a while I read, reminding myself of the healing work of mindfulness and self-care, the nourishing company of kindred spirits, then smiled as I realized that what my soul needed most right then was to sit…just sit…and

breathe

watch

listen

be.

So I closed my lovely book, held my tea between cold hands, and gave myself the gift of rest.

My dear friend Sam shared with me the passage I quoted at the beginning of this post. It meant so much to me, especially these words: “Brave people only answer to ONE voice and that is the voice that arises within.”

Cultivating a relationship of trust with myself has been difficult for me. For decades I’d believed lies that wonky religious leaders drummed into me, lies that said I was “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” or that there was “nothing good in me, no nothing, nothing at all.” Reciting such things over and over to yourself each day tends to have a crippling effect on your spirit. I became my own enemy. I was afraid of myself, wary of anything I felt or thought that went against what others deemed acceptable. So I drowned myself out with busyness and constant activity, muffled my voice under layers of soul-crushing religious teachings that I parroted in an attempt to be thought “good enough”, and made myself invisible by disassociating and moving like an automaton through life. Silence and stillness became my enemies, for they were the moments when I tentatively tried to speak.

I’m so thankful to not be in that place of shame and self-loathing anymore. It turns out I’m not evil and wicked with nothing good in me. None of us are. We’re just human with the usual mix of good and not-so-good inside us. When we neglect ourselves, the bad bits come to the fore; when we nourish ourselves, the good grows stronger and we’re a light in the world.

I treasure silence and stillness now. They are my invaluable companions in helping me calm down and work through the scary, sad, hurtful, and bewildering things of this world with a settled heart.

I’m learning to live more mindfully, to be fully present in my day to day activities rather than disconnecting and disassociating, coping methods I had to have when I lived in such inner turmoil, that are no longer necessary or helpful.

Sometimes I forget how vital quietness, mindfulness, and self-care are. I get caught up in projects and deadlines and revert to my old habits of frantic busyness. But now that I’m responsible for me – a deliciously scary thing – I’m learning to stop, breathe, observe, and get back on track.

This week was my return to those good things after falling off the wagon again. Thankfully I no longer berate myself when I take a tumble, well, not too much. A simple, “Oh bugger!” will usually suffice, perhaps an apology or two to those who’ve suffered from my frantic bout of mind-numbing busyness (I’m looking at you, Bear), and then I start fresh.

breathe

watch

listen

be.

What do you do to get back to a place of peace? xo




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Bethany M - Krista, I love this post so much. I, too, often forget how important stillness is. I had a similar moment the other day. Here in stormy, autumnal Oregon, we’re blasted by random intervals of wind and rain. I sat out on my porch swing, bundled in my favorite coat, and just listened. I listened to the wind rustling leaves and as the soft rain became more insistent on having my full attention. I breathed in the air, that delicious crisp, earthiness. It was marvelous.

Breanne @ This Vintage Moment - Breathe. Watch. Listen. Be.

So good. Thanks for sharing. XO

Katie Mac - So so sooooo important to find the time and space to be still. <3

Krista - I love the sounds of your “marvelous moment”, @disqus_OGKNFfkww7:disqus 🙂 You are such a kindred spirit. 🙂

Krista - You are welcome, lovely @breannemosher:disqus XO (I wish you were closer too. :-))

Krista - It sure is, Katie XO It makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

Kate Bailward - I love reading your posts, Krista – they always bring me into a peaceful, mindful place, whether it be with your beautiful photos, your lovely words, or a combination of both. xx

Jackie Smith - As always a lovely reminder and somehow always perfectly timed for me. I sometimes think that my favorite part of travel is that I give myself permission not to always think ‘do’ but simply allow myself to ‘be’. . .

the fisherlady - your black and white photos set your mood so well… Our Autumn cool rains have set in through the evenings and the days bring glorious sun filtering through the gold of Autumn. Building a home for our daughter and her kiddies in this glory is just pure finery~ In the evenings on my last check outside, doing my last milking and sending out good nights to my wonderful beastlies all settled warm, I head in for my last cuppa hot milk and fill the tub and go over all I am gratefulnesses of the day.
For me as a child and through to old age, God has always shown me how He loves me~ has never made me feel shame… that comes from others still lost in their way. I pray for them that they might know the peace that passes all understanding. Taking that last walk out under the sky at night before I settle, talking with the the Giver of Life, this is what settles my heart with peace.
love your sharings Krista… there on the other side of our earth, with so many the same goings on in a day… so glad Bear is there to share it with you.
If I wear a wool sweater even a thin one it keeps my hands warmer … the cuppa also helps and nestling down under the covers fixes it all. Blessings dear one. You are beautiful

Hotly Spiced - I’m so sorry you’ve had such damaging and untrue words spoken into your life by those who had influence over you. How wonderful that you are free of those voices now. I loved your words in this post and your images – all very stirring. I hope you feel refreshed after your week away from the computer xx

Liz Posmyk - At times when I need quiet time, I remember the phrase from Desiderata… go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there is in silence.

Anna Johnston - What a lovely post sweet Krista. I say it often, but I really am grateful that you are in my world, I love that you share your journey, the fabulous and the not so fabulous. You remind me that its okay to stumble and fall, that its okay to take time out and get you right, and that its okay to be human. Breath. Watch. Listen. Be. Says it all. If I need to get back to a place of peace, I doona dive with some TV series, Gilmore Girls, Sex in the City, Packed to the Rafters, switch the ol brain off and let life be. That and sleep. 🙂 Happy weekend darling friend. Hugs and love. I think you are wonderful, and love that I get to see you ‘virtually speaking’ every week. xox

Cathy - A truly beautiful post Krista. So important to take time out to care for ourselves. To find peace I go for a walk, listen to music or read a book 🙂

My Kitchen Stories - Oh Krista you are just so beautiful. You always make me think differently. I have no idea how to be still or nourish my soul. i am in a constant state of chasiing my tale and trying to find time to even just go to sleep. How very bad is that?

Nancy - I’m so happy you found some stillness and peace in your week. We are all so busy and ‘switched on’ constantly it’s important to turn off and turn away. Your photos as always take my breathe away x

Lindy Taylor - Lovely post Krista, you are growing stronger in MBS everyday. x

Gourmet Getaways - Great post, Krista. I won’t disrupt your serene respite. Do what you think will do you good :).

Gourmet Getaways

Joanne (eats well with others) - I’m so glad to hear you’re rising above all those horrible things and entering a place of peace! You deserve it.

Margaret | DestinationHere&Now - I find it so hard to reconcile that you’ve had such a stormy past Krista. You are so full of joy here. Loved these images and the thought of you safe with your Earl Grey snuggled up in bed. I’ve pretty much taken a 3 month sabbatical from the net. Twas very healthy. xx

mlleparadis - that last picture says it all! !!! good for you, all best in all that you continue to do. it’s not easy after what you’ve been through. and thanks for reminding us too…that we have similar jobs to do for ourselves. xoxo!

http://mlleparadis.blogspot.com

Tandy Sinclair - It is amazing how the weather matched your need to shut off and just be! Sometimes a moment is all we need, and other times it is longer.

Gorgeous Goslings and a Parmesan Souffle » Rambling Tart - […] does not matter how crazy of a day you’re having, a few minutes with these waddling fluff balls of adorableness will set the […]

Krista - That means so much to me, @Katja_dlam:disqus xo I’m so glad it’s a good place for you to return to. 🙂

Krista - Yes, travel does that for me as well, @disqus_WseMqaTPwi:disqus It’s like a big, lovely permission slip. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad that God has always been such a loving, beautiful, kind relationship for you, Susan. XOXO Your daily activities sound so lovely, such a mindful, peaceful way to live. XO

Krista - Thank you so much, Charlie. XO My heart is comforted and restored after that break, and I’m ready to press on with hope and joy again. 🙂

Krista - That is beautiful, @liz_posmyk:disqus I need to print that out. 🙂

Krista - “doona dive” I love that phrase, @disqus_o9c9vkchcC:disqus Your words mean so much to me and brought happy tears today. XO Thank you, lovely.

Krista - I have missed going for my walks, @wanderingsheila:disqus , and I’m so glad you reminded me of them today. 🙂

Krista - I think it is so very human, dear @taniamykitchenstoriescomau:disqus XO We’re such lovely messes sometimes, aren’t we? 🙂 Wishing us both quieter hearts, time to breathe, and creativity in nourishing our dear ol’ selves.

Krista - Thank you for your lovely support, @GourmetGetaway:disqus XO

Krista - Thank you so much, dear @lindytaylor:disqus How I miss you! XO

Krista - “switched on constantly” yes – that’s it, isn’t it, @disqus_xRgkTDNCQJ:disqus Sometimes I think our culture has put us into perpetual fight or flight mode so we don’t miss anything. I’m learning it’s OK to miss out, to step away, to make my world small for a while. xo

Krista - Thanks so much, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus That means a great deal to me. xo

Krista - I have missed you during your sabbatical, @disqus_2yjJojmJOE:disqus , but I’m SO glad you took it and took care of yourself so well. 🙂 I am very glad you’re back. 🙂 xo

Krista - Thank you so much, dear paradis XO You never fail to cheer and encourage me. 🙂

Krista - Yes, you’re right, @tandysinclair:disqus It’s so good to figure out what we need and then make it happen. 🙂

Margaret | DestinationHere&Now - Well that’s lovely to hear because I’ve been seriously debating whether to continue or not … x

Jeanne Horak - Stillness and just BEING are vastly underrated activities in today’s non-stop world… Love that quote about bravery!

Gitte - Exactly my favorite kind of day, they are rare though.

Making the Dark Places Brighter » Rambling Tart - […] I wander through our orchards, smiling at tiny fruits that have somehow survived in spite of drought, searing heat, torrential rains, and the ravages of wind storms and hungry creatures. They seem so brave and plucky. […]

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