on war councils
At Blissdom a couple of weeks ago, Brené, who was the opening keynote speaker, talked about "friends who would move a body." The reason behind her phrasing is hers to tell; but basically, this friend is the type of person you trust implicitly, whose heart you never doubt, and who you know will be there for you, no questions asked, no judgment levelled.
I've always called these types of friends my "war council."
During Brené's talk, she challenged the audience to take a small piece of paper and write down the names of the people who would be on our war councils. I did, and came up with a list of a few names. I've kept this paper on me since that day, and have been thinking about the names on it with great regularity since the conference.
I've been thinking that these are people whose opinions are really the most important. It's not that I would necessarily do everything these people say, but when I'm at a point of indecision, these are the ones to whom I'd go for advice, and whose words I would consider seriously before making a plan.
I've been thinking that these are the people for whom I need to go the extra mile -- at a minimum. Because even if they don't know that they're on my list, I owe them a lot.
I've been thinking that these are people with whom I really need to make sure I check in often. These are people who mean the most to me. They should know this.
It's been really lovely having this list, for glancing at a moment's notice, to reassure myself that no matter what, I'm not alone. For this reason, I strongly encourage you to make one for yourself -- right now, just grab a scrap of paper and do it -- and then, stick it in your wallet. You may find that you only have one name. Or maybe you'll have 5 or 6, or as many as 8 or so. But in any event, it's probably not going to be a huge number -- and that's okay. Remember, these are the elite. Your Top Gun.
These people are your light.
Image: Photographed with my Nikon D300 and my ancient 50mm manual lens.