I’ve never considered myself to be a particularly brave person.
Risk taking was certainly not particularly high up on my bucket list.
So here I was, on a chilly June evening, sitting in Napa Valley, having dinner with an amazing group of women.
We had started out as strangers at the beginning of a six month Mastermind program, and had now become friends, Soul Sisters.
At this weekend retreat, we’d laughed, shed tears of joy and sadness, and shared parts of ourselves that perhaps no-one knew existed.
In fact we had opened up to the deepest parts of ourselves that WE had never realized existed.
That evening, I felt raw, opened inside out, yet exhilarated and strangely at peace with what was happening. I felt truly alive!
I sat back, took in a deep breath of gratitude, and reflected on the journey that had led me here, and into the lives of these women.
Here we were - mothers, wives, businesswomen.
The mother whose firstborn had tragically died of a preventable illness.
The sister whose baby brother had been killed shortly after his College graduation.
The interior designer who had far more potential than she realized.
The fitness and lifestyle coaches, bestselling authors and event planners – all successful in their fields.
We were all women - businesswomen and mothers, on the verge of redesigning our businesses and our lives.
And, there I was, this Family Physician from St. Lucia, standing out like a sore thumb.
I was not American, a Medical Doctor, and older than the others.
I had survived mothering two teenage boys and my last child was already midway through high school.
So many differences, yet so many similarities.
Upon reflection, I realized that, in actual fact, I had to have been Brave!
What a revelation; that I had had to execute several acts of bravery to bring me to this point.
Act 1 - when I acknowledged to myself that I was no longer satisfied with providing healthcare to my patients under the current system.
This traditional system was not working; not for my patients and not for me.
I could no longer practice medicine as an Art; it seemed to be pure Science.
I wanted to put the heart and soul back into Medicine. I needed to….
I realized that if I wanted to be the change that I wanted to be in my part of the World, I would need to take a leap of faith, of bravery, and do something different.
Acknowledging this took immense courage on my part and even more courage to voice it.
Act 2 - sees me, on a New Years Eve , making the spontaneous decision to enroll in an Integrative Health Coaching Course.
As I pressed send on my laptop, it hit me! What had I done?
How was I going to fit this in, on top of everything else I was doing - Family Physician, Wife, Mother, Businesswoman, Daughter and Friend. Was this bravery? Or madness?
Whichever you may feel, I can tell you, it was one of my best acts. I was introduced to a new World, a world of treating patients as a whole, versus simply disease management, a world of providing true and complete Wellness. Of seeing patients as a Whole and optimizing their wellness by integrating health of body, mind and spirit.
This felt right. I was starting to put the Soul back into the practice of Medicine.
Act 3 - leads me to into the World of Online Business with a new view on Marketing and Branding, of a new kind of Leadership. Of using my intuition, of speaking my truth, and finding my voice.
My brave new World of learning how to design websites, and landing pages, how to use social media , of newsletters and blogging .
So here I was, this Family Physician of 23 years, immersed in this new world, which forced me to think differently, to look at life from a new vantage point.
Act 4 - takes me totally out of my comfort zone and finds me in Napa Valley with this group of women.
Me - the Doctor from the Caribbean sitting around a table with a diverse group of women.
We all had our unique story and life paths which had led us here, but we were all dedicated to bringing a deeper connection into our lives, our families, our businesses, our selves.
We had forged a deep connection amongst us.
We had all embraced our acts of bravery, as we opened up to each other, shared our stories, supported each other as we cried, as we had breakthroughs and AHA moments … and so much more.
They’d taught me to love what I do, to love who I was and to embrace the new ME I was becoming.
As I sat back and looked around at these amazing women, my heart swelled with gratitude that my one small act of bravery, one small decision to live my truth had led me to this moment.
I felt peaceful, content, and smiled as I wondered what Act 5 would bring...
I knew I could do whatever I wanted . I could be BRAVE.
I had to; for it is the Brave ones that will indeed be the change we wish to see in this World.