braveryBravery flourishes in summertime. What’s on your bravery bucket list for the next couple of months? Now that the planet is thawing from the global pandemic, I know there are some sizzlin’ adventures just waiting to break out in you.

Are you packing now for that long-awaited RV trip? What about hiking that strenuous trail? Or maybe putting on your walking shoes and tackling the block. Or what about braving city driving and shop downtown? Is your bike calling? Or is that your mother-in-law calling wondering when you’ll fix her patio? (It may take extra bravery to fit in those dreaded handyman projects this summer.)

Brave On!

Just the other day during our pet therapy visit to a local military base, I watched a young airman hand a permissions form to a major. The airman politely asked if his superior would sign the document to allow the airman to go white water rafting this weekend. The major joked if that form did not include a warning of possible DEATH, he would not sign. He wanted those in his command to get out there and experience true bravery on the mountain river waters not just behind a cyber security computer screen.

As the airman smiled and walked away, I added my two cents about rafting safety. “Hey, be sure you sit at the back of the raft.” He immediately shot back, “Oh, heck, no. The front is the best part!”

Brave on, Dude. Towanda and all the other go get ‘em phrases every uttered! Bravery doesn’t mean you’re brash and rash. It means you calculate the risks and then tell fear to hold your beer (or lemonade or whatever beverage you prefer).

Practice Being Brave

As British adventurer Bear Gryils advises, “Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.” Or, what about this inspiration from Russian Empress Catherine the Great? “I beg you take courage; the brave soul can mend even disaster.” And we can’t forget this nugget from actress Mary Tyler Moore, “Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”

So we have to practice being brave. Does that include squirming into a swimsuit and letting our pasty skin reflect vividly? Or trying kombucha and acting like we like it?

One of my most poignant memories of early-learned bravery was saying “yes” to my brothers “offering” me the role of test passenger in one of their many mini fabricated cars. Bravery knows no bounds when you’ve got two older brothers who give you the double dog dare.

Bravery Builds

As much as bravery builds its initial courage in our younger years, I think we’ve all got some bravery just waiting to bust out in our lives—this week. Yep. Maybe it’s getting on stage during open mic at the comedy club. Or perhaps it’s letting your teen drive you to work or putting work on hold and taking that vacation.

For you, bravery may even mean making amends with someone or looking for a new job. Before we know it, summer will soon be coming around the home stretch, so now is the time to put some checkmarks on your bravery bucket list.

What brave summer memories top your list? Which ones will you add before autumn swoops in?

Here, hold my peach sun tea. I need drive to the store and buy some kombucha. Or wait, maybe I’ll to dig out a swimsuit from the bottom drawer and go sit on the back deck.

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