Brave is my one little word for 2012. Sometimes I’ll be sharing my thoughts on it and how it is shaping me, with you all here.

Brave Openness

I have a little figurine that my mum gave me a few years ago, one of the willow tree ones that are so popular now. She’s one of their angel series, and her name is courage.

Her arms are open wide wide wide and her head is thrown back, face turned upward.

I love that this is how the artist chose to capture the spirit of courage. This is no defensive battle stance, fists raised in aggression, or arms folded in defiance. There is an openness in this position. A letting go. A freedom.

I’ve stood in this position a few times before. Often it has been at the top of a mountain, a hill, a cliff. Something about the wide open skies, the space before and around me requires me to spread my arms wide and throw back my head in celebration and awe to take it all in.

This is also the position you see bungee jumpers take sometimes as they launch themselves from bridges and cliffs. Now, I can’t see myself ever doing that, but I love that idea of stepping out, leaping out and feeling the thrill of falling head first into life, with its mix of joy and fear.

Maybe this is what it is to be brave, then: this openness to life, even when it is so big and overwhelming it awes us to silence; this stepping out, even if it means un unknown freefall into something or someplace new.

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