Freedom Lies in Being Bold
I remember the first time I saw the movie Almost Famous (forever one of my favorite movies). I was captivated, and while there were many parts of the movie that go down in my history of best movie quotes, one that comes to mind as I share this message is when the mother tells Russell,
“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”
Three weeks ago, I left Indiana for Africa. I remember the day I pressed Submit on Travelocity and my dream suddenly became a commitment. When there is no going back, all we can do is go forward. Africa was nothing I anticipated. The journey has been life-changing and it seems at every turn, while there was some discomfort along the way, it all felt unexpectedly comfortable like I was in the right place at the right time. This post is not about my trip or the lessons I’ve learned along the way (I will be sharing that in the near future) but rather, it is to share a message of something I discovered while being on this trip.
On this trip, I reconnected to my self. I felt what it felt like to do something for me. To make this trip and spend time living a dream I have wanted to live for a very long time. Seeing other cultures, meeting new people and feeling me be me…it opened me up. And this opening opened me up further, to consider what was in my life that I was holding on to, what was in my life that I needed to let go of, that would open me up to more of the things that make me happy. I kept imagining a backpack on my shoulders that I could carry and how it was too large a load for my stride forward. I knew there was something I had to let go of, something that I’ve known for a while now but hadn’t found the boldness to do so yet.
We all have things that we know aren’t in line with where we are going. We know because we feel it. Sometimes, we can feel it like we are stuck in a huge sandstorm and there’s no getting away and other times we can feel it like a soft breeze against our face. It can be too much to bear or it can be so subtle, we may not even take notice of it. And in between, is the space where the breeze gets greater and the sandstorm gets thicker. It slowly speaks to you in the only way it knows how, it’s language being signals through your body, mind, and heart. It has a voice and we can listen or silence it.
For the longest time, I had been hearing a voice about something that I knew was no longer feeling right for me. Something I lost a connection with. It was something that I had spent years putting my energy and love into, watering and feeding and giving my light to. I wanted to create a place where people could go and feel positive energy from like-minded people and to feel they have a place to share triumphs, their lessons and the way they move fiercely forward. This was a private facebook group. Over the years of holding space in this forum, I experienced many things that both made me feel this was right and also that made me question if it was right. I was torn. The challenging part of having this space was that people began using it for purposes other than the original intent. It began being utilized as a place where people would voice their hardships, request prayers and on another hand, chose to replicate my brand products and services. I knew it wasn’t right for me. It might have been right and great for them, but it had nothing to do with Fierce Forward and the message and for a long time, I let it really hurt me that people would get close only to take something when the premise of what I was offering was a gift of service.
Since this was connected to my business, my vision and where I put my heart, I went back and forth for a year. And even bigger than this that weighed on me, were the women who I knew were there for the right reasons (I call you the FF heroes). I knew if I let it go, that I would be taking something away from them that has helped them in their fierce forward movement. You see, many connected for the right reasons, believed in Fierce Forward and lived it!
And furthermore, I wondered, would I have to start all over and would it be the end of something I’ve worked so hard to grow? Would people even continue Fiercing Forward if I let go of this group? Does Fierce Forward even matter to the group as a whole? I truly did not know as I could not see the forest through the trees. And even more, did I fail? So many things weighed on me, so many possible outcomes that could put me on the ground and I stood in lack of possibility for a long time. But still, this voice persisted as the same experience replicated itself time and time again. And time and time again, I would sit on the couch with Mark and tear up, not knowing what to do. Because this really mattered to me. My purpose, my passion and doing the right thing…matters to me.
Here is the thing though, I really knew exactly what I needed to do, I just didn’t know how to find the courage to do it. I was thinking about the risk, about how it would affect everything for the worse. And that’s one of the strongest lessons I’ve learned through this experience, is that when you weigh the risk to reward scale of following your heart, to always know that the outcome of your happiness will always outweigh the possible risk.
And this week, I said goodbye to a venue I have put the past three years of my energy into. The group will dissolve and I will move forward, putting my energy and love and truth into new directions. And what’s funny is that after I spoke my truth, I wished I would have done it sooner. From the worst-case scenario of people not understanding and striking against me and FF, I knew that the ones that truly know my heart, will honor and respect me and those are the Fierce Forward heroes, and I’ll see them rise and show themselves through this. So in the end, I sit here in a cafe inspired, happy and honestly, feeling passionate again. You know, like I can be me again for me, the people I love and the world. I’m excited about the future, about the present and feeling freedom all because I had the courage to be bold. When you have something that you know you must do because it’s not making you happy or doesn’t bring value to your life or doesn’t serve you any longer…you feel it and you know it. And when you can fierce forward with all your courage you have bundled up waiting for you in that heart of yours, it is in these moments, in these actions, these choices that we get the honor to say hello face to face with our fierce.
I am me again. I even have a new backpack and have new lessons and experience and an even greater sense of purpose that I will never let be compromised again. So being bold in this one big (to me) and small (to a reader perhaps) way, I found freedom in this move forward. And I wanted to share because it’s something that has taken me a long time to get here and I know many people face.
Life is now. This is your life and your happiness must be not only first and foremost but the centerfold of your life. If you’re not happy, how can you be happy for the world or for people in your life? So whether it’s letting something go, or freeing yourself from a relationship that no longer serves you, or doing the thing you fear, or speaking your truth, or starting that blog you’ve always wanted to do, or letting go of a self-imposed belief that doesn’t serve your greatness or putting yourself out there wholeheartedly…Freedom lies in being bold. And trust that the forces that have your back and are there to support you when you take a bold, fierce step forward for you.
“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”
Free yourself from your constraints, from thinking of the worst-case scenario and kick down the walls of self-imposed fear and do what is true for you in your heart. And this my friends, is Fiercing Forward.