I claim to just have a tiny seed waiting to bloom, that lives way far away but I do have different forms of courage, like when I recently boarded an airplane by myself and flew to Portland to meet up with my like minded kindred spirits. And I would like to share a slice of the courage that took place that weekend among us women.
You see Cinnamon, whose place we stayed is a tall, graceful woman who seems to be one of those born with big courage just bursting at the seams. She does what’s best for her and appears mighty comfortable doing it. She respects her body, listens to it closely and gives it exactly what it needs. She nourishes her body and it in return it gives her what she needs. In our Self Portrait class she once posted the most gorgeous, graceful, and courageous picture ever. It was her standing atop a pole on the beach. I thought “how on earth did she climb up there, look at such peace and take her own image?”
We got to see the pole she took that image on and she climbed right up that pole, real quick like and stood straight up like it was a piece of cake. Just look at her! Now I was witness to how quickly she could climb that pole and take her own portrait.
The very next to give it a try was Vanessa, a yoga instructor born with ambition. I can only imagine when she was a girl! no fear this one! Not to mention she was sick all weekend but yet so willing to climb right up there. And not just stand tall but on one leg, leaning forward. Oh goodness, the core she must have!
Next up, our brave Deb who also was sick all weekend long and I only took one photo of brave Deb because I was taking a video of her entire experience minus this one image. I was so blown away by her spirit of willingness. And she had her big beaming smile, and her graceful ballerina arms that went out wide. She then carefully got to one foot and bowed with a namaste and finished by turning herself towards the sea to take in her moment before she got down.
And then it was Ani’s turn. She climbed up there like she was a born climber and although most the weekend she was a quiet presence she was a very strong presence just like in this image, self assured and looked straight up sailor girl if you ask me. She did a few sailor moves up there on the pole and then she turned to the sea and paid her respects as the gals behind her cheered her on “you made it!” “you did it” “right on” fists up in the air and then the words “ready set go” cause they just knew, she wouldn’t need any help down, she would jump with great faith, legs and arms opened wide like a big X as she jumped down at word GO!
Taunia was ready to go next. Only she wanted the help of our two tallest girls to feel self assured and taken care of as she too climbed atop the pole. And once up there she gave us the funnest show, she made all these silly faces and poses and we laughed and laughed and then she finished on a loving note and again turned herself towards the grand ocean and gave us a heart. She had some help down and later shared that she “almost” didn’t do it because she was a little nervous about the whole thing. You Taunia? nervous? I sure needed to hear that. And on our last day, she visited the pole again but this time by herself and on her own, she climbed that pole and took a final SP of her weekend of growth. That was so amazing to see, she shared it later in our group. We even got to see how she climbed that pole alone, she video taped it. It was as site to behold.
Then there was our encourager Tohnia she was the most boisterous about cheering us all on, and she was telling all of us that we should all just at least give it a try, that even though we didn’t think we could, we just might be able to and how would we really know if we didn’t just try? And the word was out, “anyone else want to try?” and Tohnia said “well, I had better try because I was talking the talk and I can’t just talk that talk and not at least try” and if you could just be around Tohnia for a little bit you would know immediately she loves all and you would feel completely accepted and you would also know she is hilarious, so dang funny! So she tried, and she had us laughing so hard! She called it her turtle pose but you know, she tried! She had a hurt foot too just so you know so had that foot not been tweaked I can guarantee she would had pushed it all the way up. check her out!
And that was that. I can tell you had our lovely Cathy been there with us she would have been our BIGGEST cheerleader of all. she makes one feel as if anything in the entire world is possible if you just believe and she will believes enough for the both of you! And had she not just been recovering from hip surgery, she would have for sure been one to show us we should at least give it a try.
And then there were two. Me, the one with courage way far away in her baby pinky toe and her friend Christina who just wasn’t quite ready either. We had these strange insecurities the both of us, it coupled with our weight and looking just plain ridiculous trying. We went on with our night, we had a monumental time and we went to bed that night and woke up the next morning. The morning we were to leave and my friend Christina said to me “we should at least try” then she added, “will you come with me before we drive away from this place and try with me?” and concluded with ” if you don’t’ try with me, that’s okay but I don’t want to leave with any regrets” my reply, “Yes of course I will come. And I might.. I might even try too.”
She went first. I barely had to help her get atop that pole but she made it to her knees and that’s the way courage comes in all different measures. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t on her feet, it mattered that she tried and not only did she try, she took my hand and encouraged me to try too. As I took her image for her, the wind caught her sweater and she looked just like a bird in flight, a strong, courageous bird! It was beautiful. Just beautiful and in that moment, she inspired me by her bravery for me to just at least try too.
And I did. oh my goodness, I was trembling! My legs felt like they were going to just wobble right off. I slowly, ever so slowly tried to be at least straight on my knees but that was even a struggle. I thought if any big of breeze picked up I would be blown right off. But I managed to get myself still for a tiny moment for a couple shots and I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and I thought “no regrets, I at least gave it a college try”
Now I want motorcycle man to sink a pole in our back yard so I practice. And next time I see that pole in the sand it won’t feel so daunting and had I tried when all my friends were there I know I would have made it to my feet because there is power in community and love and encouragement. It has power it does but one first must be brave and have faith and at the very least just try. I know in my heart none of those women would have judged my imperfect body, or my awkward ways. No, they would have held my hand, they would have had me believing it was true but as I said before it doesn’t do a bit of good knowing how many people believe in me, if I don’t believe in myself, I have set myself up for failure. I’m a serious work in progress and I share here because as I have mentioned before I know I’m not alone in this. There are others out there just like me.