Welcome to Lovely*Brave!

Hi all you Lovely*Brave women! My name is Elizabeth and I'll be guiding you through this e-course over the next four weeks! As we'll be (virtually) spending quite a bit of time together, I thought I'd tell you a bit about myself. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and I'm convinced it was one of the best things that could've happened to me. It instilled within me an abnormal sense of adventure, intensified by parents who never told me, "you could never do that." I went to college and graduated with a degree in Art, with a focus in printmaking. I started blogging during my junior year of college and have been blogging ever since. After graduation, I moved home for a year and then embarked on a cross country RV trip from Alaska to the coast of Georgia, and all the way back to Washington state. I currently live in Tacoma, WA with my husband, Daniel in a tiny house! Okay, that was pretty brief, but I think I hit a few of the major points! On to the e-course...

I believe that there are three areas of our lives, especially as women, that can contribute to living a whole life. These three areas are Adventure, Beauty, and Love. Those three things pretty much encompass everything we seek in life.

Adventure consists of chasing after your goals, whether they're career goals, physical goals, emotional goals, etc. Chasing after your goals involves tapping into your passions and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I believe we'll never reach our full potential as human beings as long as we live ensnared by fear. We must confront our fears in order to grow, and as uncomfortable it may be at first, once we step into growth, we incorporate new skills and enjoyments into our lives which we wouldn't have had we stayed in our cozy, safe comfort zones.

Beauty is about embracing ourselves wholly, not just our exterior appearance. Beauty is about the person you choose to be, and this beauty expresses itself in many ways. Obviously appearance is one way that beauty can be expressed, but it can also be expressed in kindness, service, confidence, etc. I believe that beauty is an essential part of life. Beauty comforts (why do we bring flowers to those in the hospital or to those grieving?), beauty inspires (think about all those gorgeous inspiration pictures in your pinterest boards or on your walls), beauty invites others in, and beauty is everywhere in nature including in us! And I believe beauty is most found in our vulnerability, when we let down our guard and allow others to experience our true selves.

Love isn't just about men or finding a husband/wife/companion, certainly not! It is so much more. Love is the will to extend one's self to nurture your own or another human being's growth towards becoming their full, whole self. Sounds a lot different from what we see on TV and in movies, where love is purely selfish and focused on immediate pleasure, eh? We must actively revamp our views of what love entails in order to grow ourselves, and in order to be able to enter into relationship with other people in a healthy and nurturing way.

In this E-Course we will spend one month on a journey towards expanding ourselves towards the women we want to be. It will be extremely introspective and meditative, as well as have activities relating to each of the 3 growth areas where you'll put the things we're moving through into practice in a practical way. It may be hard at times to deal with the things you'll need to confront to experience growth. They're called "growing pains" for a reason, it's not easy! You'll be taking risks, confronting past pain, and moving towards healing. It'll take courage and a commitment to see the process through.

A lot of people dedicate their lives to avoiding any sort of inconvenience, hurt, pain or confrontation. Unfortunately, this results in their being unable to grow whatsoever. They build a wall of protection around themselves, effectively protecting themselves from the pain and confrontations that the world might seek to inflict upon them (intentionally or not), but at the same time, no one can grow when they are trapped inside a wall they've built themselves. Growth can only happen through making mistakes and learning from them, interacting with other people, doing things outside of our comfort zones and taking risks, all of which can certainly be painful at times.

What most people don't realize, however, is that the pain of growth, is never as bad as the isolation and stagnation of being inside that wall. We see the world outside as what is trying to hurt us, not the wall we've built ourselves, but unfortunately the wall will not only keep bad things from getting in, but also nourishing experiences-- ultimately starving you out and keeping you weak. And when you're weak, you feel even less capable of ever confronting anything outside of the wall you've built. It's a self perpetuating cycle, but it's not impossible to break free, and we're here to take steps towards that this month!