no fear.

The world lost a precious spirit this past week.
Having only been with her on a couple of occasions and not having the honor to know her the way in which her friends, family, and most of all her life partner and love of her life/my best friend/a true angel on this earth knew her... I can still say that she was extraordinary! Her presence was one of strength and confidence and humility. She also conveyed a sense of no fear. My feeling is that she took life as it came and she dealt with whatever cards God played her. Even after a diagnosis of inoperable brain cancer, Chaz faced the fight with no complaints!

I gratefully spent this past new years with Chaz and Corts in onezies and a handful of friends. It was a new years unlike any other -surrounded by profound love and honest friendship! This type of support and the community embracing Chaz and now her spirit as she's no doubt found peace IS a gift.

Hearing about Chazzy and this incredible loss, there's a renewed fire within me. I'm reflecting on my own life in years past when I've allowed fear to take over. As a result, I've been careful to get too close, I've been hesitant when it comes to commitment, and in some ways -reluctant to know my true voice. This "no fear" message resonates and it hits deeper -on the core level. Life is about loss; it's about grief, but it's also about wonder and it's about creating possibilities and it's about the will to make this world work.

Chaz is a hero. She serves as an inspiration as do so many who experience suffering whether it be mental/physical or both. True heroes in my mind are able to transform and overcome that suffering and turn it into a beacon of hope for others. A hero in my heart also knows him/herself and brings an authenticity and an unwavering stance of confidence and compassion to all they meet. True heroes show vulnerability and they're not afraid to step out of perfection.

Stepping out of perfection... and allowing ourselves to be in relationship; to be hurt; to find love, then lose it; to find lust and think it's love, then lose it; to know illness and to embrace it; to live life and offer your gifts; to give yourself a chance to find your "self"/then share it with others; to be a hero regardless of circumstances. That's strength!

I'm also busy reflecting on the word recovery and what it means to have wellness. Most times I wish I had it down to a science and I pray for days where I can be engaged and offer myself and those around me all of me versus just pieces. I think about Buddha and the phrase -life is suffering, but in the face of that suffering -there's life and there are choices.

The fact is... when do we have the chance to really experience recovery? If everyone waited for the point of peace; for that time where perspective doesn't shift and energy maintains, then where would we be? Maybe the answer is all shrouded in fear? That's not how Chaz lived her life and it's not how she approached this diagnosis. She will continue to inspire and offer hope to those who suffer and we will find answers. "Think shrink!" was the mantra and "strength in buddies!" the motivation. Sending prayers and thanks to Chaz' family for sharing her with us and lots of light to her loved ones/all of those she's had the chance to impact.

There are 2 driving forces in your life: love and fear.
LOVE is your higher self. It is the place of pure intention and hope. When your higher self drives your life you are on purpose and empowered. Life surges through you; you thrive and society thrives because of it.
Fear is your lower self.
It is the place from where the majority of us exist. When fear drives your life you stagnate. You don't live your true purpose and you become dark and heavy and the world suffers as a result. -Caz Makepeace

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
-MLK Jr.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. -Mark Twain
Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out. -Ben Franklin