A friend told me I was brave this weekend. True, we were at a piano bar celebrating her birthday, and she was trying to convince me to walk up to the stage and make a request for her, so I think she may have had ulterior motives, but her statement still gave me pause. I see myself as a lot of things, but I don’t think brave would ever be a word I’d have used to describe myself before.
When someone speaks of bravery, I immediately think of warriors, heroes in both the classical and the modern sense, men and women who save others and perform selfless acts of courage. By that definition, I’m certainly not brave. When I scoffed at my friend and told her that, she retorted, “You’re the one who quit a full-time job to pursue your writing!”
It made me pause. She’s right, but was that brave? Maybe I need to change the way I think about bravery. Even if my actions aren’t on a grand, heroic scale, perhaps it was brave to make the changes I needed to live an authentic life.
I’d like to think that bravery can be grand or small, and that little acts of self preservation are as brave as selfless acts of sacrifice. One thing I do know; it takes bravery to face tough choices, and a whole lot of self-reflection. Like many people, the New Year brings a time of change and choices to my life, and I hope that I will face these possibilities with a quiet, brave heart.
At this time of New Year change, I offer this spell to you in the hopes that it may help you face any choices with bravery and clarity.
[Excerpted from my upcoming book, GODDESS SPELLS FOR BUSY GIRLS.]
SPELL FOR TOUGH CHOICES
Sometimes, you’ll find yourself struggling to make a decision. Use this spell to clear your mind and move forward.
YOU WILL NEED
A bowl of cold water
1. Before you begin, say, “Persephone, you stand by your choices. Help me to do the same.”
2. Slice the top off the pomegranate. You’ll probably want to use a cutting board. Score the pomegranate five times (like a star) and set it into the bowl of cold water, open side down.
3. Think about the choice that you are facing. What are the options on the table? Which option frightens you? Which option entices you? Are the options pretty much equal?
4. After about five minutes, begin peeling the pomegranate. Drop the seeds into a bowl or small colander, and keep thinking about your choice as you work.
5. Eat one seed. Say, “A choice must be made.”
6. Divide the rest of the seeds into piles based on the number of things you are choosing between. Do this one seed at a time (sort of like picking the petals off a daisy). For each seed, think about a positive thing that relates to that choice. You can even say these things out loud.
7. Start building the piles equally (one for choice A, one for choice B, and so on), but as you work, your gut will take over. One pile will grow larger than the others, and this will tell you your choice.
8. Leave the remaining seeds outside as an offering.
9. Eat the seeds from the chosen pile one at a time, savoring the good things about this choice.
Reprinted with permission from Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. Goddess Spells for Busy Girls by Jen McConnel will be available wherever books and ebooks are sold beginning February 1, 2014 or from the publisher at 1-800-423-7087 or www.redwheelweiser.com.
Remember, you still have a week left to enter the pre-order contest!
How will you be brave today?