Do you remember a time when you took a daring step?
We all have had those knee-shaking moments.
When was the last time you thought about it?
Daring our Edge is a theme of the Taos Women Writing to Unfold Retreat. Each woman recalls a time she was courageous. She then shares it with the group. After they all speak, we gather in the center of the circle. Our bare feet nearly touching. Candles lit. Silently, we take in their stories.
Each story inspired me. Similar themes appeared. There was both inner and outer resistance. Yet the woman stepped forward. She listened to something bigger than fear.
Here is a sample of what they shared…
• Spoke her truth in a company meeting, when it ran counter to “corporate speak.”
• Pledged to support her adult daughter who faced a huge medical challenge.
• Traveled to foreign countries, drove on backroads, didn’t know the language. Had many adventures and misadventures.
What is your daring edge? It is the place between longing and possibility. It is a choice point. Do you choose familiarity or curiosity? That is the question you will find there. Longing inspires you to be curious about what is possible.  It draws you toward your essence. Make no mistake, to be who you are at your core is a daring act. 
Have you ever had a chipped tooth? Now this may seem like an odd question. But it can help us understand how the brain operates. Remember how your tongue could not stop exploring that tooth? This is also true of our brain. It evolved to pinpoint problems. So, our thoughts frequently become fixated on what went wrong or may go wrong.
How do we begin to break the brain’s fascination with the broken?
Becky, one of the women in the retreat, discovered something that I have also found helpful. If you want more of something in your life, remember a time when you experienced it. Becky has begun a bravery inventory. She is keeping a list of her knee-knocking moments.
What an excellent practice. It intervenes on our brain’s problem orientation. A focus that often disregards bravery breakthroughs.
Create your own inventory of acts of courage. Keep track of the ways that you have been brave, big and small, current and past. Notice when you do something that scares you. Add it to your inventory. As Winnie the Pooh said, “You are braver than you believe.”
Courage can be defined differently. Sometimes it takes courage just to walk out your front door and meet the world.
Here are some other examples…
• Spoke up to defend another.
• Shared my opinion and knew my friend would not agree.
• Took a class I thought was over my head.
• Ate alone at a nice restaurant. (I still remember the first time I did this)
Spending five days in a retreat, basically with strangers, is an act of bravery. The women from the retreat have put on their shoes, boarded planes, and flown home. They return to places all over the US and even Mexico. It is hard to predict what we will remember after our time together. For me, it will be their stories of how they met their daring edge. I left tired but inspired.
Is there a place in your life where you want to be more courageous?
Remember a time when you were brave.
Then take the next step. 
                                                                         Photo Credit: Cynthia Dvorak