Sometimes being brave means simply showing up. Whether it’s about putting aside differences or confronting the unknown, being accountable often takes guts. Accepting ownership is not always for the weak of heart but it undoubtedly is the courageous thing to do.
In the few short weeks I have been doing my little experiment, I have discovered there are all types of brave acts. It simply depends on the person. For some, it may mean getting out of bed in the morning, being uncertain, perhaps fearful, of what the day holds. For others, it’s standing up and sharing a story, opinions or thoughts. Maybe an act of bravery is trying something for the first time, putting pen to paper or dancing and singing out loud. It could mean saying “I don’t know,” or “I love you,” or even protecting someone that is being picked on. Perhaps it’s about releasing past mistakes, asking for forgiveness and setting new boundaries. But I will reiterate. I think bravery is about showing up.
Which brings me to rattlesnakes.
I don’t like them.
In our neighborhood, there is a large mountain, okay hill, that has signs along the paths warning of rattlesnakes. Apparently plenty of horned lizards, whatever the heck they are, make their home here as well. Just the thought of one running over my Nike’s sends me in a panic attack unlike anything anyone has ever seen. Therefore, I never had any desire whatsoever to climb to the summit of this imposing lump of dirt.
But of course, I did. That’s what this year is all about. This past week, I ventured out, pushing aside my fears, but not before googling “what to do if bitten by rattlesnake,” and making sure I knew of my exact location in case a call to 911 was needed.
Off I went, walking straight uphill for over one mile, huffing and puffing,while spotting lots of snake holes, and doing my best to keep focused on the reward: the peak, the views, and relishing in the glory of accomplishing something that intimidated me.
A short 20 minutes later, I made it. My feelings once I reached the top?
I so wish I could tell you that I experienced a Rocky moment when Sly Stallone reached the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and high fived the entire world. But I was thinking about food since I was so hungry. I also worried about the walk back to the car, as I knew most injuries occur when climbers scaled down a mountain, not up. And there were still those damn rattlesnakes and horned rimmed lizards to consider. While we took a different route back, and I swore I heard the loud purr of a mountain lion, thankfully, all was well once I reached the end of the trail. But truth be told, I wasn’t completely comfortable throughout the walk, I can’t even say I really enjoyed it. But I did it. Will I climb this peak again? Maybe. But I also have so much yet to do.
Also accomplished this week: serious meditation classes, gentle yoga, and reaching out to a long time friend. Also, confronting a client that needed a serious reprimand. More on that later.