Day 1 - Tell one person I am beginning this journey to a braver life. So here I am telling you, my reader. Quite possibly my only reader, I'm afraid. So I am telling you, that I am beginning a journey to a braver life. Why not tell one person in person? Well, I don't talk to that many people. So, when I do talk, I tend to talk a lot. About nothing in particular, or everything all at once. And the two people I talk to the most, don't really talk back to me outside the requests for sandwiches and bananas. So if I want to do this journey, and hold myself accountable, I need to write about it...publicly...to my one reader publicly.
Here's the thing, I'm not really a writer. I write in my journal...well doodle in my journal. I write song lyrics and poems...try to at least. I have tried to write a blog in the past. Wrote two, maybe three entries before abandoning the blogging world. What I'm I then? Well, I'm a musician. I'm a mom of twin 7 year-old-boys, which also means I'm a cook, housekeeper, organizer, and peacemaker. I am a tutor for children with special needs. I'm an artist. I am so many things, all at the same time, at different ability levels..or should I say interest levels. So, why not be a writer too? I have stories that need to be shared. Connections that need to be made. Examples of bravery, beauty, awe and wonder that needs to be witnessed to.
Which leads me to today. Today I begin my 100 Days to Brave journey. A journey inspired by the book 100 Days to Brave by, Annie F. Downs. Over the next 100 days, I will discover I am braver than I know, and with that knowledge in my back pocket I can change my world.
For those who do not know Annie F. Downs, allow me to introduce you to her. Annie Downs is a best selling author and nationally known speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. She is flawed but funny, and uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of a real and present God. You can read more about Annie at www.anniefdowns.com and follow her at @anniefdowns.
I listened to Annie F Downs speak when she visited Willow Creek Community Church the same weekend a beloved pastor resigned (an act of bravery in itself...but that's another story for another time). Annie told her story about going through customs in Europe while living abroad. She related her struggle during this stressful event to the story of Daniel and the three brave men who refused to worship anyone other than the one true God. (Read Daniel Chapter 3 for what happened.) As Annie told her story, I felt I could connect struggles I endured in my life similarly to the way Annie related her story to Daniel's. Annie stressed that "brave people don't stop hearing the whispers of fear. They hear the whispers but take action anyway."
Last year, around this time, I began an adventure in leaving my career as an early childhood special education teacher (a career I had loved for the past 15 years), to starting a music business. The goal I had for my music business was to eventually convert the business into a non-profit organization. I had a vision for the music business where I would be providing support to people in need through music. Providing comfort, joy, relief, or escape (even if only for 1 hour) through musical experiences. And through these musical experiences, I could be there for others, just as others were there for me in my darkest times.
Last year, around this time, I didn't know a single person in the Chicago Suburbs outside my family, and a small group of people in my church and community. Now, I know a few more people outside my family. I know a small group of people in my church, a small group of people in my community, and I am getting to know a small group of people I frequently run into at the Open Mics I host. Miraculously, I met the perfect people to help found the Caring Hearts and Voices as a non-profit organization.
Over the next 100 days, I want to live a braver life by connecting to people. I could pretend I knew what that would look like, but I don't. But, I am willing to find out.
I am Maria Jordan, founder of Caring Hearts and Voices. I started this organization to honor my mom, my sons, and my own story. We all have gone through difficult times. Times where we needed support from family, friends, and the people around us. For me, music was often a greater source of comfort during those times. Caring Hearts and Voices is dedicated to providing support to people in need through music. How can our Caring Hearts and Voices be there for you?