All Kinds Of Brave

BeBraveMy son has a book simply titled, The Quiet Book. It is a super sweet book about all the different ways we are quiet- “Last one to get picked up from school quiet”, “Pretending you’re invisible quiet”, “Do iguanas bite? quiet”- helping children see that being quiet can be more than just a parental demand. I would like to see another book made in this same fashion, titled, “The Brave Book.”

Just like being quiet, there are many ways to be brave. These come to mind for me:

-Firefighter running into a burning building brave

-Lifeguard jumping in the deep end brave

-Starting a new business brave

-Being a whistleblower brave

-Getting a mammogram brave

These forms of bravery help us give definition to the word brave. To me bravery means doing something you know will benefit you or someone you care about in the long run despite known or perceived risks. Bravery is risky business.

But what if we were to expand our idea of bravery beyond the obvious forms? These are a few examples I have witnessed of huge bravery:

-Helping your aging parent use the toilet brave

-Getting an elective c-section despite wanting to pursue a natural birth brave

-Taking antidepressants during pregnancy brave

-Letting an injury heal before getting back into running brave

-Telling your partner about your PTSD trigger brave

Over the last few days my personal definition of bravery has been growing by leaps and bounds. The last two items on the above list our my own forms of bravery. I started contemplating bravery after the following thought came to me: “Being the survivor of childhood abuse does not make me a better person. Being the survivor of childhood abuse does change what “brave” means for me”. (To clarify- I understand on a deep, deep level how surviving trauma can make us more empathic, caring individuals and bring a certain sense of meaning to a person’s life, but as a survivor this also irks me because it sounds like a justification.)

Yoga is where I learned to be brave. Yoga is where I continue widening my definition of bravery. I am inspired by the bravery I see in my students everyday. My students are “Yoga Brave” when they:

-Come to class despite having injured themselves in another sport

-Try a pose that was difficult in the past

-Trust their spouse to put the baby to bed so they can have an hour to themselves

-Go to yoga even though their friends might tease them for being “crunchy”

-Use a block, strap or blanket to come into a pose safely

-Allow themselves to relax deeply in savasana

My goal in teaching yoga is to create a safe space for each student to explore what being brave means. Through yoga I have learned how to listen to my body and respond to my own internal cues. Cues that have over time helped me learn what a trigger feels like. Cues that have over time helped me build the confidence to say “I don’t know why that feels bad, but it does, and I need you to stop.” My husband is learning how to be brave enough to listen and put his own ideas aside so that we can re-establish safe space.  

 

Be (your own kind of) Brave.

 

For more information on PTSD try these helpful links:

http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/traumaptsdblog/2015/12/06/ptsd-recovery-how-to-cope-with-triggers/

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml#part_145373

http://healmyptsd.com/2014/02/ptsd-caregiver-tips.html

 

Schedule Week of 5/23-5/29

The Stork’s Nest

Mama’s Flow and Restore/Postpartum Yoga Tuesday 7pm

Prenatal Yoga Friday 10am-11am

Indigo Wellness Center

Beginning Yoga Sunday 11am-12pm

Prenatal Yoga Sunday 1:00pm-2:30pm