Becoming Brave for Worriers

Would you say you’re brave?

During most of my life, I would have answered a resounding “No”. Being brave was for others who did big splashy things without worry. I was more interested in caution and practicality.

I began thinking about bravery just this week while in a Mindful Walking Workshop. Jen, the instructor, guided the participants to walk very slowly – heal, arch, ball of foot, toes. In my bare feet on the rough stick-strewn cobblestones, hearing Jen croon, “Notice the wonder of your ankles and knees,” I am shocked to experience a sudden jolt of strong emotion that evokes instant overflowing tears.

It happened when Jen said to notice the amazing nature of our feet, ankles, knees and the miracle of walking. Immediately I pictured my little granddaughter as she was learning to walk. She was hesitant but determined and clearly never quite sure whether her steps would work or whether she would end up in a pile on the floor.

How brave it is to walk!

To get up on those tiny feet and trust that your frame will hold you. My heart was filled with delight and gratitude for the experience of walking. And then, like a flash, I see my mother, whose name my granddaughter shares – Lucielle, meaning “light”. The tears flow down my cheeks as I envision my mom who has not walked in well over a decade suffering from a debilitating muscular dystrophy.

This is grief, I suppose. I grieve that my mom has suffered so much, and I also miss my mother’s walk. She had a beautiful, directed, graceful gate. But it’s more than grief. I’m full of awe for the bravery that it takes to move forward and to trust others when you are unable to walk.  I’m proud of my mother’s bravery – and my granddaughter’s, too. The two Lucielle’s, two lights.

I’m here, practicing in a mindful walking workshop as part of training to lead transformative workshops myself. If I’m going to be brave, I’m going to do the best I can. My worry once would have stopped me, but now my worry offers me energy and helps me to be authentic.

Taking steps is an act of bravery.

It’s emotional and rough and sometimes shocking. But it’s so worth it. Don’t let worry hold you back.

Sending you love and calm always,

Ingrid

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