What does it mean to live a loud and proud life?

My 13-year old daughter was recently called “loud and proud” by her best friend in a letter of gratitude for their friendship. My teenager showed me the letter, and as I read it – tears dribbled from my eyes realizing that in the search for spiritual teachers and guides, my daughter has been and always will be my most inspirational teacher.

You see, she was born to exude personality. Born as a miracle, to me – whose body wasn’t supposed to be able to get pregnant after high dose chemotherapy to treat my Hodgkin’s Disease – she has always, since the day we first saw her on the ultrasound at 5 weeks, lived with determination instead of expectation.

“The best time of my life is NOW.” –Deepak Chopra

I may not have known it at the time, but she showed me how to celebrate life. To find flight in the fight. How to create space to bloom.

My daughter recently stood in front of our synagogue community to lead the congregation as a Bat Mitzvah. As is customary, we wrote a parent prayer for that morning, focused on nuggets of advice to live a loud and proud life. But it occurs to me that maybe she isn’t really the one that needed the reminder to cultivate a deep sense of self and a zeal for life.

Maybe I needed the reminders. Maybe you do too.

10 ways to live loud and proud


  1. Sing out loud, regardless of who might hear you. May the songs of your heart be there to remind you that life is meant to be lived in the moment. 
  2. Stay curious. Ask questions. Explore whatever makes you smile. Learn. Seek to understand and be open to new possibilities and perspectives. 
  3. Stand up for what you believe. Remain honest, to yourself and others. 
  4. Make room for the unexpected. Give yourself permission to slow down, to breathe, to take in what is around you instead of only being focused on a goal or outcome. Be wowed in the moment by the big and small things. 
  5. Know your superpower and use it for good. Wherever your path takes you, whatever choices you make, stay true to your core and let it guide you. 
  6. Play. Make time for healing play, belly-laughing play and soul-filling play. Play by yourself and with others. 
  7. Celebrate the big and small moments. For yourself, but also for those around you. Continue to lift others up and tell people how proud you are of them. 
  8. Always, always remember where you come from. The people. The places. The traditions. Honor the stories. Even the hard ones. Share them, not as moments that define you – but as opportunities for learning and reflection. 
  9. Say thank you. For the big things and the little things. Notice what is going right around you. Use your words and actions to heal instead of hurt. 
  10. Give and strive to help others. Give of your heart, of your kindness, of your energy, of your love. Advocate for others, for freedom and equality. Use your voice for good to speak out against injustice, offer understanding, and extend compassion even when things get hard and it might be easier to stay quiet. You know instinctively when someone needs a hug, a song, or a laugh. May giving always come naturally and easy to you.

 

Each of us is born to celebrate life. To be present in the moment. To be whole and to feel freedom.

It occurs to me that as much as I hope my daughter continues to live loud and proud, I want the same thing for myself. For all of us.

I recently heard someone say “something can grow anywhere if it has what it needs.” May we all find that soul-filling, heart-nourishing fulfillment in our daily life.

 

I want to create the life I crave!

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