Be Bwave

My kids have finally driven me crazy. It wasn’t the baby thing or the teenage thing. They’ll be 23 and 21 this summer.

It was them becoming shockingly, mouth-droppingly inspiring human beings that did me in.

My daughter is in China for 5 weeks of adventure.  Because she can, she says. She’s taking a break from a master’s degree. The most important thing in doing this degree, she tells me, is making sure that it remains her own adventure every single day. She refuses to do any part of it because of  anyone else’s expectations or hopes.

Her self-assuredness takes my breath away.

My son has always wanted to be an actor. Two years ago, he quit one theatre program 5 months in, knowing it was absolutely wrong for him. It was a tough time.

What he did know was that he loved living in Toronto and loved acting. So he got his own apartment, waited tables, and acted anywhere he could.

Something like a year later, he cleared his thousandth table and thought, I don’t want to be a waiter for the rest of my life.

He applied to the best theatre school in Canada, auditioned along with 400 others for 12 spots, and got in. We screamed for minutes on the phone when he heard the news.

I am happier than a whirling dervish for them both.


They make me horribly aware that there are places in my life where I have not aimed high enough. Where I have not taken huge chances to pursue the things I want most. I don’t know that I’ve ever SAID all the things I want most, even to myself, for god’s sake, for fear of failing while looking like an idiot.

I could tear my skin off, this makes me so crazy.


I’ve decided to change some big things. By being more honest about what I want to do and what I no longer want to do.  I am going to make this my own adventure.

And I’m scared.   I thought it was our job to inspire them, not the other way  ’round.

My daughter’s last words before leaving for China were, be bwave, mum. Be bwave.

Tell me. If you were any bwaver, would your life change in any way?

I’d love to hear.

Thanks for the conversation,


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6 Responses to Be Bwave

  1. karen Waller says:

    I think you are brave Kristin. You are brave because you give your children the freedom to be who they are. Whilst I am always afraid something bad will happen to mine and I feel I hamper them. I believe you have inspired them to be who they are and not afraid to take chances. I give mine the freedom to be who they want to be, but hold on to them through my own fears.

    Well done

  2. My understanding, and this is only my understanding; our children are in our lives, born of us, given to us … to teach us a lesson! I think it may be more than one! Lessons. As I listen to my 13 year old, celebrating his birthday with a collection of beautiful young friends … I’m on the periphery … learning. And it feels more than good. With that perspective, and acceptance … I have truly learned so much. And not all of it has been easy … but when I am open, I get it.

  3. Allison says:

    Oh man, your insights and your blog are inspiring me so much. I’m an actor and an ever-seeking yogi, on the cusp of graduating from college in less than a year. After deciding to leave my BFA Acting program in exchange for learning more about this world and myself, I’ve realized that, in order to truly be present and alive, my work needs to be a creative balance between theatre and yoga. And, in discovering that I can’t hold this energy in my soul any longer, I’m bravely considering applying for MFA-style acting programs. Even though I feel I’ve been out of the intense training loop for a while (despite being involved in my university’s theatre program), I feel like I’m totally and absolutely ready to be the artist that I need to be. It’s both terrifying and completely magnifying, but it’s something I feel I have to do, as an actor and as a human being.

    Your words, your inspirations, all kindle bravery and hope in me. So, thank you, thank you.

  4. summer mayne says:

    Hi Kristin! You are honest! I crave honesty in other humans. Thank you. I just stumbled upon your site and I really love all that I’ve read. I am in the midst of being brave. I tell my story below 🙂

    Mid Air

    Changing careers is scary. There I said it. I’m terrified of the unknown. All my fear really boils down to my inability to predict the future.

    When I let go of something, I want to know that I can grab onto something else and not fall into the hard knocks of life. The problem is, I can’t grab onto anything, until I let go of what I’m gripping. There is that moment in time, like a trapeze artist, that you are just in mid air hanging out. The moment that you literally let go and allow the laws of the universe, God, gravity and inertia to connect you forward. It is in that brief moment that your instincts kick in, when you no longer have control, when it is as it must be.

    Before that leap, before we even climb the ladder to the platform, the panic rises up from the pit of our stomach, it twists and turns round our desires and chokes our spirit. At night it hangs over our beds and wakes us in the morning. The faces on our children wear this fear and our homes reflect it. It can be monstrous. It can be sad and ugly. In all it’s forms it is a perfectly normal part of growing up and growing great. But some people get stuck. I don’t want to get stuck.

    On my left shoulder sits a “mini me” telling me story after story of why I am likely to miss the trapeze all together consequently falling into a life of shame, where people shake their heads in horror of what they fear most themselves, failure. Little voices from cruel childhood wounds. Little lies that are burned into neurological pathways in our brains and play on continuous loop. A soundtrack we all live by. A soundtrack we can learn to recognize and turn off.

    There are so many of us walking through the hours of our life in survival mode, wondering what it would be like to be truly happy. What it would be like to care enough to do something, anything other than what we allow day after comfortably miserable day. One long static stream of wishing we would win a lottery of some sort, a lottery that would somehow excuse us from taking responsibility for our own happiness.

    Sitting in the fear of failure is a far worse jail than actual failure. No one wants to be the one who misses the trapeze, but we all miss at some point, in some fashion. If we sit at the bottom of the ladder staring up at the platform watching everyone else have the courage to jump, we’ll be so tortured we’ll envy them even when they fall. That is why so many of us check out, go into denial and self mutilate (i.e., binging on food, drinking, numbing ourselves with TV, over exercising, under exercising, yelling at people, isolating, sleeping too little, sleeping too much, etc). How do you spend the vast majority of your time? Are you doing work that feeds your purpose in some way? Can you connect your work with your heart? Is there any sense of pride and excitement for living? If you can’t honestly find a way to connect to your purpose (and everybody has one) then you must reevaluate how you are spending the precious time you have on this planet.

    Recently, whenever I’ve been at work, I’ve been ravenously hungry. I eat and I can’t get enough. When I’m not at work, I’m not hungry. I am very comfortable where I work. I make enough money. I’m good at it. The job I do is important and meaningful to me, but change is ready and I don’t have to become fat and miserable before I decide to pay attention. I’m about to hang in mid-air so to speak. I’m about to jump off, and every time a “mini me” screams, “you will fall on your face and then become homeless!” in my ear I say to myself, “I can be as afraid of life as I want, but I’m still going to live it fully and move forward, I’m still going to do what my heart is telling me to do.”

    I said the same thing when I broke up with what’s his name. I said, “Your heart can hurt and break and dry out but that does not mean that he is the right man for you or that your decision to leave a broken relationship is wrong. It just means that you’re in pain, and if you love yourself enough you will step out of that pain, learn to put a higher value on yourself and walk straight into the arms of a better life.”

    I have a better life.

    Life is quirky. No guarantees. Luck is on our side sometimes, and sometimes is seems to be missing, but there is something greater than luck at work. Something we cannot fathom, or even begin to understand. I believe that if I connect my actions with my spirit and my heart, then somehow life will take care of the turn signals. I don’t have to know how, or why or where, I just have to stay true to my purpose (we all have one).

    It is the moment in mid air that is the most exciting. In that moment we see who we really are, not who we were, or who we are going to be, but a snapshot of a soul. The part of you that never changes, that doesn’t have a title, that isn’t an age, that is neither courageous nor fearful; the part of you that is born with you and dies with you; the real you. But if I’m always hiding behind my fear, looking longingly at some ladder I’d like to climb, or numbing myself from perpetual disappointment, then I never get to fly….just after I let go of one bar (one boy, one job, one way of life, fill in the blank) and right before I grab on to the next (the unknown).

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  6. Elly says:

    Here’s my problem. In my experience fear of failure isn’t worse than actual failure. Actual failure sucks, big time. Repeated experiences of actual failure have seriously inhibiting effects (“learned helplessness” sums it up). So when I hear parables along the lines of ‘Come to the edge, jump! And he jumped, and lo, a cloud rose to meet him’, I’m rivetted by the loud SPLAT!! sound I invariably hear.

    For me, this is where courage takes centre stage. If you’ve experienced major failures, and experienced how much they hurt, it takes courage to take almost any action, let alone significant changes. Then it takes courage to sustain those changes in the face of whatever challenges may arise.

    So I guess the choices are live in fear, live in pain; or live with courage. That certainly helps motivate me.

    Kristin, I’ve read your blogs and I recognise that for you, you might see this in terms of fear vs Love. Love is very powerful. I guess I’m thinking it takes courage to reach Love.

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