In the name of freedom, today feels a fitting day to re-introduce myself. My name is Brittany but the artist in my heart and the voice I've found, is BriJoRae’.
I’ve loved the earth as long as I can remember and tend to think it may have something to do with being born in Colorado… a place that has ALWAYS called to me, sung to me... the wide open valleys at the base of enormous mountains... the hills and rivers that sing songs as they move so quickly and precisely, with a peaceful rhythm all their own. I’m constantly drawn back to this land, to capture it's beauty with both my spirit and my camera… it is home.
And so is Kansas, right next door... the place I was raised. Where I went to school, learned my favorite sport, started a business and have connected with the hearts and minds of soooo many people... one of which being my best friend.
My beautifully resilient husband has taught me so much. He's implanted his strength, passion for service and willingness to extend beyond himself, within me. He is the reason I've had the courage to spend the last eight months traveling to places I've never been, all on my own. And it's during this isolated journey, that I was able to come face to face with myself and the God I serve. I discovered who I truly am and what I'm meant for in this life, and not just due to the light in me... but also the dark.
In Kansas, I am a servant. I work as hard as I can to help others see themselves in the loving light that God sees them in. I try to pull at their hearts and minds, to help them learn to be led by their spirit, which is inherently guided by the spirit of Truth... our God. So many of us are completely unaware that the gifts we have come from some place greater and if we can fight to fully lean into them, we can pave a pathway to the freedom we so crave in life. But it can be quite difficult to lean into your gifts when life sets so many road blocks in your way.
Over the last few years, of trying to help others discover their own freedom, I pushed too hard, too fast, piling too much responsibility on my own shoulders. I got out of touch with the truth of why I'd begun my journey in the first place. So on December 1st, 2020, I set out toward the west coast on an adventure to rediscover myself and my true passions. At that time, the noise inside my mind had gotten so loud, I didn't even know what I was looking for, but I knew I had to distance myself from all distraction, silence the external voices I'd begun listening to and find my way back to my beginning.
I made several stops along the way (stories for another day) but once I reached the ocean... the farthest I could possibly get from the noise of the world I'd known, I spent hours in absolute silence, hearing nothing but the waves of the Pacific ocean and the howl of the wind.
And then one day, I missed home, my people... so I turned back... not yet aware, of what I know now.
One of the most profound gifts I was given during this journey, was the practice of silencing the mind so you can better choose what to fill it with.
When I left, I hadn't known that for years, my mind has been a place of chaos, fear and anxiety. I wasn't only working to help others but to help myself feel like a better person, which meant I was tackling darkness in others without the ability to fight my own... and I was left wide open for attack while lacking the focus to slay my own demons.
As I mentioned in one of my first YouTube videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvBe7B6fN14) , I'd come from a place of self-resentment for mistakes made early on in life... and not until I'd stepped out of everyday life, was I able to realize the countless bad habits I'd stacked up, all in the name of masking the faults I so deeply identified with. The main one being- if I made a mistake, I had to distance myself from it because if I admitted fault, it meant I was a a bad person. I couldn't allow others to know just how bad a person I really was. Seems a little harsh right? Well... the first mistake of gravity was at age nine, and it was bad enough that I hid it until my late twenties, so by age thirty-two, I'd basically spent twenty-three years in habitual self-hatred... so bad habits came with it, and they were ignored for so long, I didn't fully know they existed... until today. Yep... that's a mess...
Upon returning home, I could sense the mess was waiting for me. And though I feared the anxiety of facing it, God had also taught me patience. Patience with self, patience with others... just the overall ability to slow down and breathe... in my silence. In my peace. So instead of thinking I had to fix it all at once, I understood the only way to be successful was to maintain the peace I'd been given. One breath, one step at a time... the practice of patience and self-love.
And THIS is the truth. THIS is how He taught me what REAL PEACE is. Most of us would think running off to get away from the chaos of everyday life, would be the greatest way to achieve peace but if that were the case, you'd never live a LIFE of peace... you'd constantly feel the need to escape rather that be able to carry tranquility with you.
So here I am... back on Kansas soil... working to correct my wrongs and planting new seeds of light, hope and love... in the name of the God I serve rather than fear. Yes, I still have some bad habits to face each day, but they're so clear to me now, that I can identify the issue quickly and easily and make a better choice. I don't run, because I'm no longer afraid. Sometimes still a little uncomfortable, but definitely not afraid... and so I breathe... remember my power, and then commit to a stronger path... a better way, without confusion and strife... pain and resentment. Just breathe... again... and again... until it becomes second nature... again.
Because the spirit of fear has left me, I can rejoice! I can choose to be free! And so I AM FREE! I no longer fear judgment or practice trying to be more than I am for others or even for myself... I choose to just be. I just AM. And THIS is my power, my strength and my ability to give freely. This is what saved my soul... and is making me freer everyday. I am not the broken down, weary young woman I once was. When I am tired, I rest. And I rise a warrior for peace, truth, justice... and most importantly, for the power of love...
So if you need a dose of TRUE freedom, look to the skies... the oceans and the mountain tops. And if you need some encouragement along your journey, I'm here... to share with you how He got me there. I know it can be a rough but we can climb together... and we will reach our destination.