When I think of my friend Lotus, I picture her collecting bones on the beaches of Costa Rica and plant-whispering in my garden on Salt Spring.
I think of perfectly timed dinner jokes—zingers that make people drop their forks.
I picture her walking through the forest identifying every plant and tree, and how to use them in a survival situation.
Lotus adorns the path to the yoga studio with elaborate earth-mandalas, making every simple thing she touches come alive to the senses.
And Lotus forms loving bonds with practically everyone she meets.
But she doesn’t consider herself bold.
I bet a lot of us don’t feel bold. I certainly don’t.
People tell me I’m strong, but I don’t always feel that way inside. It can be scary to show up confidently when our smallness has been so rewarded—“good girl, sitting so quietly…good boy, getting all those chores done.”
It’s not easy being human right now. It takes guts to keep doing our thing over and over. Just being alive requires a certain boldness.
Still not sure if you’re bold enough? These five ideas will help:
- Boldness is relative. Boldness looks different for each of us. If you’ve never given a stranger a compliment, told someone how you really feel, or tried radishes in ten years, any of these might be super-bold steps for you.
- Be bold in support of others. A guy’s thumb was gushing blood at my volunteer meeting last week. He was getting first aid when a woman came in and started scolding him for illegal parking. Speaking up in a room of strangers felt bold for me. “But he’s bleeding—did you see all the blood?” She glanced at me and stomped off, but it felt right to say something. Speaking up for others is a special kind of bold.
- Boldness not Bulldozers. Some people live boldly, but do it from a place of entitlement, not taking into account the needs of others. “Living large” has its place—as long as we don’t squeeze others out. If boldness is already your thing, remember to share the stage.
- Boldly You. Instead of copying someone else, find your own boldness. I have a friend who frequently breaks into dance routines in public. I love being a witness, but public dance displays aren’t my shtick. I’m a supportive bystander, mostly doubled over laughing and only occasionally mortified.
- Gentle boldness. When you watch the Joycast video, you’ll meet the bold little flowers growing outside my door. They’re soft and delicate but gutsy enough to catch everyone’s eye. No one tells them to tone it down. You don’t have to be extroverted to be bold. Gentle, quietly creative people are some of the boldest souls I know.
Maybe I am bold. Lotus definitely is.
What about you? What are you doing in your life right now that feels bold? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
So much love,