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I’ll never forget the first moment I remember meeting Vanessa. She was sitting in the front row during our “Bravehearted Cookie GNO”. The entire night was about courage, in the face of fear. Yes, we made cookies, but we did it while we heard Christie Halverson share her story about going from baking cookies out of her kitchen for friends to opening up her first storefront Cookie Rack in Frisco.
Vanessa was so brave that night.
The question to hold for the night is “What is calling you to be brave in your life right now?” We shared a behind-the-scenes clip from The Greatest Showman, we read the Theodore Roosevelt (Man in the Arena) quote, and of course, we quoted Queen B:
“The idea that you’re either brave or afraid is a lie. The truth is that most of us are both brave and afraid at the exact same time.” ~ Brené Brown.
I shared that courage and bravery are really about showing up as your true self – WHILE you’re still afraid, both for yourself and for the ones who are counting on you. Then, as always, I asked the ladies to share a 60-second story with their friends. That night, the story was about a time they felt unqualified, but they did it anyway ~ “Learning While Doing”, whether they had to or whether they made a conscious decision to do it.
It was Vanessa’s first GNO with us, but she offered to share her story of bravery with the whole group.
I cried. In fact, I think everyone in the room cried. Part of her story included showing up to Girls Night Out that night, not knowing a single soul, but knowing it was exactly where she needed to be. Her vulnerability and bravery to do it anyway that night inspired courage in the rest of us.
And that’s exactly how community works.
When you show up to do the hard, scary things, despite your fear, it inspires others to do the same. So you can imagine the day, a couple of months back, when we posted a job opening at HeartStories and I saw Vanessa’s application, my heart leaped. Seriously. This is the place for kind, generous, brave-hearted women like Vanessa. Needless to say, after a quick, but somewhat grueling interview process, she was hired! And she’s brought all of us so much joy, inspiration, and courage ever since.
So today on her birthday, join me in celebrating her.
She’s savage. She’s witty. She’s honest. She’s brilliant. She’s fun. She works her tail off. She’s solid gold.
“We can’t always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance to it.”
We find courage when we know we’re not the only ones. . . and you’re never the only one.
Celebrate Vanessa today by sharing a story about a time you felt unqualified, but you did it anyway.
Happy Birthday, Vanessa.
You are SO loved by our community, our team, and me.
I’m so glad you did it anyway.
to more love,
photo credit: Vanessa Corral Photography