Mahalo Awesome Peeps,

Music has this magical way of connecting us, soothing us, getting our spirits up, and bringing us down. There are so many lyrics, melodies, stanzas, chords, and instrumentals that seem to describe us! For me there have been so many times that the words of a song feel personal to what is going on in my life. We feel connections to those making the music and connections to people who enjoy and love the same music as us😊 It is a most amazing sight to be at a concert and see everyone around you singing together to the same songs with joy and happiness.

Sara Bareilles sings a song called “Brave”. It is a song about allowing yourself to use your voice, speak up in your life to express your thoughts, feelings, desires. Too often we don’t speak up, we don’t “say what we need to say”. What holds us back? Perhaps fear, vulnerability, concerns about how others will react and respond. Or is it that our confidence is shaky so we worry that an idea might be shot down or answer might be “wrong” so we stay silent.

Yet what if every single one of us began working super duper hard on improving our ability to express ourselves authentically, with courage, in a kind and compassionate manner. This could be in our relationships. workplace, or interactions in passing. I have worked incredibly hard to be more forthright and expressive in every area in life. It was SCARY when I began to do so. Yep it scared the pants right off of me. As I became more comfortable with myself, more confident in speaking up and speaking out, I felt such peace and freedom. When I was not speaking up in all areas of my life it had little to do with everyone else and mostly to do with me. By having courageous conversations I was able to conquer my fears and put them behind me. I was unhappier with myself by not speaking up whether it was an idea, comment, or courageous conversation than I was when I spoke up. It was a HUGE relief to have my feelings and thoughts outside of me!

So let me share some of my pearls of wisdom, food for thought, to help you conquer this. Words and how you say them have huge power and significance. In situations where you are angry, upset, feeling rage and want to talk to someone cool down first. Take a day or two or three. Rarely are do these conversations need to occur right away. Get to a calm place, think about what upset you and how you want to talk to the other person. Write down or talk it through with a trusted person. Avoid placing blame by telling someone you did this to me or putting someone down. That is not conversation that is scolding and shaming. Use examples to describe what occurred and talk about how you felt. Use those good old fashioned I statements. In courageous conversations one of the best things you can do is write out what you want to say and take the time to think it through.

If it’s an idea you want to share or present do the same thing. Taking the time and effort to work through what you want to say and how you want to say it can calm your emotions, increase your confident, and help you feel more equipped and prepared to speak up. And if it’s a spur of the moment “I have a great idea” thought say it. As the Nike logo states “Just do it”.

Sometimes in emotionally charged situations I bring a sticky notes (which I love) of my talking points. It helps keep my thoughts organized which helps keeps my keep my feelings more calm. Also here are two BIG, SUPER IMPORTANT points. First, remember when you are having a courageous conversation you have emotionally been preparing to have this conversation. The other person might not have a clue that something happened to upset you. You are prepared, the other person is surprised. The other person could get defensive and reactionary. The second point is crazy hard and crazy valuable. Try, try, try your best to understand where the other person is coming from. Aaarrggghhh this can be challenging, difficult, and frustrating. Yet when you come from a compassionate, caring perspective that payoffs are tremendous.

I practice every day that if I do not ask the question I will not know the answer. This does not mean the answer stops my from my quest. The answer helps to guide my next steps.

Last but not least it is so valuable and important for you to speak up. For you to share your thoughts, feelings, ideas in this world. Your you is the only you in this world. Your you has the only ideas and thoughts and ways of saying things in this world. As difficult and challenging as it might be for you to speak up the world needs your you to share and express in your thoughts, ideas, and feelings⭐️

Take care of yourselves beautiful, impressive peeps😊 This world is so lucky to have you in it🎉 Great your brave on! Say what to need to say. The world needs it and so do you❤️

Sara Bareillis -“Brave”

“You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave
Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is”