Three Ways To Be Courageous in 2016

By | February 29, 2016

Ten years ago, I wrote and performed a ballsy, brave, one man show:Knucklebones.

My brave instructor, Gretchen Cryer, had given me permission to write about the scary dark places we all possess.

Talking about male rape, addiction, abandonment, betrayal, teen homosexual longing for love, hurt and redemption, there was no way to unflinchingly explore and create insightful, gutsy analysis without speaking in a multitude of voices and tenses.

As I approach the new year and hurdle towards my fifties, I find myself asking :what happened to that emotionally brave theater soldier?

It is time to stop asking permission and struggling to explain and move into taking charge by tapping into those reservoirs of courage, power, initiative and creativity.

I will create a great year by taking on the following three tasks. Creating as if I don’t give a shit and have nothing to lose; welcoming opportunities to be honest and confrontational when it is needed and finally, understanding that there might be a better way of doing things that I have yet to discover.

I want to encourage people to be brave in 2016 and beyond. My act of bravery for the year-publishing my anthology, Ain’t I A Man and a collection of Sci Fi Short stories.

While creating sci fi may sound like a blast to create, it may require more than one confrontation.

My students often feel that confrontation is a bad thing.

They feel that actively seeking out and highlighting differences is negative and to be avoided. When I point out that an honest discussion (seen as confrontation) can and often does lead to growth and a severe creative outburst, they seem confused.

We are often taught to avoid honest and passionate discourse and dissent for fear that we will upset someone and eliminate a friendship.

Being bold in 2016 means I must develop a spirit that will allow me to be an outsider, a person who goes against the grain and doesn’t die a slow death as a result.

Being honest with myself also means confronting my fears surrounding being misunderstood or put “into a box” to make others comfortable. When I allow others to define me, I become angry and feel the need to disengage and cease creating from a position of boldness and self definition.

A healthy confrontation will mean nothing if my ego and love of being right undermines the process of change that could occur.

Most of us want change if and when we have instituted it.

In order to have a big bold life, it is imperative that we welcome change and don’t freak out when it appears.

Finding people we can trust who also are committed to “doing it differently” is required if change is to be welcomed and not shunned. It usually means widening your social circle and seeking out folks who are also yearning for something bolder.

People who want big, bold lives are not afraid to think and look at things via a very different lens.

Most people will never get it.

It is not our job to cajole, teach and manipulate those around us who are content with the way things are and have no use for change and the fear it engenders.

Look to folks who are already on the path to developing change and ushering in a new way of thinking and behaving.

It is never to late to take on change and improvement.

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