Daring in the New Year

I have decided to be daring in the New Year! Want to join me? I'm not talking about adding a cape to my yoga gear and jumping off tall buildings, but I am talking about allowing my courage to consistently meet my vulnerabilities.

Below is my first go at it! This is a video of me leading kirtan in the Main Hall at Kripalu a few weeks ago. It was my first time doing this in front of a large crowd and with both David Newman and Sean Johnson present--not to mention the professionals who graciously agreed to back me up musically: Mira Newman, Beth Ann Schroeder, Narada Wise and Todd Keller! Talk about feeling nervous and vulnerable! I showed-up, though, and what transpired was an authentic, love-felt offering:

This absolutely felt daring for me, but when I think of other acts of daring, I am truly inspired by my best friend, Julia, and her family. They immigrated to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 1991 where, at that time, an Uzbek uprising against the Turks made them worry that, as Jews, they may be the next targeted minority. Her parents left jobs as an emergency room doctor and civil engineer only to have to start over in a new country. I then think about the amazing woman Julia has become as the Director of IT at a large construction company--the only woman at the big boys table and P.S. a kick-ass yogini herself: jyotiyogahealing.com--and I have to "give a shout-out" to the many women from the suffragettes to Gloria Steinem who dared to pave the way for me and Julia as single women to have the ability and power to live on our own and on our own terms.

These are acts of great daring, certainly, but we should also give ourselves credit for those daring feats that are not so grand and obvious. For instance, I moved to New York in my 20's from my small town in TX with just a few thousand dollars in the bank, a couch to sleep on for a few weeks and some phone numbers of friends-of-friends. Even my decision to live values not shared by my family takes courage--especially when in comes to conversation at holiday dinner tables! Most recently, I dared to ask for help. Asking for help from friends and family during my separation and divorce was at times very difficult for me.  With our culture's rugged-individual mentality, it can feel almost shameful to admit that we cannot manage our lives alone at times. I can tell you, however, that my asking for help has fostered deeper relationships with certain friends and family members.

The results of daring are not always what we want or hope for, of course. I am thinking of the times when I offered love to someone only to have it rejected. However, I am reminded of the following quote by Brené Brown in her book, Daring Greatly:

"The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time." 

So, when we do dare, we build our courage to continue to dare and--i would add--our comfort with failing and trying again! I wonder what your acts of daring have been--grand or otherwise? How did they make you feel? I would love to hear about them! Will you join me in being intentionally daring in this new year?