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Brave + Kind Co: Building Community and Stepping in to Yourself

Posted by Brian Coonan on
Brave + Kind Co: Building Community and Stepping in to Yourself

This is the biggest move of our lives.

Not because of the immense capital investment and cutting ties to the financial lifelines of our steady, reliable jobs (gulp). Not because we’ve moved our lives to a new state without the support of friends and family that we have leaned on, physically and emotionally, for our whole lives (gasp). Not even because we’re starting a new business that relies on people being together during a pandemic! (nervous giggle), but because we’re finally stepping in to ourselves.

To get a little philosophical for a sec; human beings have always searched for meaning in life. Taking an anthropological look-back at quests to define purpose and subsequently imagine a higher power, nearly every early civilization created the idea of an intangible alternate existence. Nirvana, Jannah, Svarga Ioka, Heaven, Valhalla! The list goes on. While we generally identify these enlightened paradises as destinations where entry is achieved through “good” external behavior, nearly every culture identifies the need for finding their “God” inside oneself. Deities rise and fall in name and number throughout history, but the constant is the person seeking them out, and the road runs inward. We have all been shaped by external forces in our lives. The time and space we were born into and the societal expectations we experience create who we are…or who we think we should be. But it’s the ability to look inward, to create our own expectations and pursue our own definition of enlightenment and purpose that teach us who we really are.

My sister Erin is the inspiration for the name and spirit of this company, and her blog post about her struggle with spirituality gives magnified insight into expectation and reality. She talks about changing definitions, and never turning away from a fundamental belief in yourself. She had terminal cancer, and that’s what she chose. That’s bravery. And, that’s what fuels our motivation to look inwards, create our own expectations, and blaze a new trail in life. Stepping in to yourself means realizing your power through self-reflection and self-inspection and understanding that you can chase a goal all over the world, but if you haven’t found it inside first, you’re likely to come up short.

Easier said than done, right?

Trust, it’s not like we’ve mastered this concept. In my own experience, stepping into myself involved taking a hard look at lifestyle habits and really tightening my circle of friends. Understanding what I did to improve myself versus what I was doing to please/impress/satisfy others was a tough checklist to run down. When the list is done, the action steps to make change come next and each one is a checklist of its own (get ready for checklists). But once you create the space to self-inspect, the ball is rolling. I think about a question Erin asked me to ask myself, “ Is my purpose in line with what I believe to be important and true?”

We’re not motivational speakers. We found what we want to do in life, and it took work, personally and professionally. We’re done conforming to expectations and have created our own, and we would love to spread that message and support to anyone who needs it. There are forces out there pulling in every direction, but only one that can draw you inward. Stepping in to yourself might just be the first step toward your own personal heaven.

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