Brave as a buffalo

We have been hearing this phrase quite often in our house as of late. My little girl has been obsessed with this saying and uses it for everything.

“I'm going to be brave like a buffalo while you brush my hair."

"I'm going to be brave like a buffalo when we go to the car wash."  

It's humorous, cute, and honestly pretty helpful in sticky situations:

 “Oh! You don't want to eat your broccoli? I’ll bet brave buffalo's eat it."

Manipulative? maybe. Ingenious? of course. Hey, you work with what you’ve got.

Why the recent buffalo obsession? All thanks to a story told to me (which I then passed down to my daughter) a few weeks ago by my sweet friend Jen. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been able to work with Bloom, an online community dedicated to helping women gain confidence, hope, and resilience through professional therapeutic support, educational resources, and an empathetic community.

They are a wonderful company, specializing in working with women who have experienced trauma from betrayal in marriage. A few weeks ago I was invited to do the Hozho project at their Bloom Strong retreat for women.

To say it was amazing is an enormous understatement. Through this opportunity, I connected with Jen, the coordinator of the retreat and all around amazing lady. Here, she shared the story of the buffalo.

Jen said that during a storm the cow will fill with fear and try to run away from the storm. But as she runs, the storm will follow, causing the cow to be in the storm for an indefinite amount of time. But the brave and wise buffalo will face the oncoming storm. In fact, at times the buffalo will even walk towards the storm. Though he seems crazy, facing and approaching the storm allows the storm to pass over him all the sooner.

I love this imagery and comparison to life. I feel that in my life there were times I have done both, ran from the storm, and stood and faced it. However, the harder the trial, the more I wanted to run away from it. And all I felt was stuck. I want to be brave and face. I told my three year old daughter this story and now she begs me to tell her that story over and over again.

And she got it. The other day she looked and me and said, "When we go to a car wash, I will be brave." Car washes scare the crud out of her - I don't blame her, they used to scare me too. It’s inspiring to watch her become consumed with fear as a new task heads her direction: going to the doctor, starting swim lessons, having to approach a front door decorated for Halloween. For my three-year-old, her fears are real and terrifying. But then I watch her face as she consciously chooses to reject running from the fear, and instead face it….just like a buffalo. I know I can learn from this in so many ways.

So I challenge you to BE BRAVE and move forward towards whatever storm might be heading your way, you might just be surprised at your strength.