Saturday, January 26, 2013

Daring Greatly

If you want to strengthen your marriage, parenting, friendships, relationships with co-worker etc...this is a good read. I am fascinated with the dynamics of relationships and love to people watch.  Maybe it is my communication studies background and teaching years that have me spellbound on human interaction, whatever the reason, this book spoke to me.

Brene Brown's interviews, research and candidness about her own life experience are relatable.  Her perspective on vulnerability and what we are seeking as human beings (connection) is on point.  At this stage of my life, I found her writings on "perfectionism" and "women and the shame web" illuminating.  We (women) are so hard on ourselves.  Maybe you can identify or struggle with this like I do:
  • Be prefect, but don't make a fuss about it and don't time away from anything, like your family or your work or your partner, to achieve your perfection.  If you are really good perfection should be easy.
  • Don't make people feel uncomfortable, but be honest.
  • Dial the sexuality way up (after the kids are down, the dog is walked, and the house is clean) but dial it way down at the PTO meeting.  And geez whatever you do, don't confuse the two-you know how we talk about those PTO sexpots.
  • Don't get too emotional, but don't be too detached either.  Too emotional and your hysterical. Too detached and you're a cold hearted bitch.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Ring any bells?

Brown's writing about men had lightbulbs going off inside my head.  She is right on target when she discusses women wanting our men strong, signs of vulnerability are perceived as weak.

I devoured Brown's chapter on "Wholehearted Parenting," couldn't get enough.  I fell in love with her "Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto." I have printed it out and have it posted in my kitchen.  It serves as a reminder to me to be MINDFUL of what I say and do with my precious littles and others.

The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto
Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions--the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.

I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.

Told ya, she is good, isn't she?
So would I recommend this book?  Hmm....while Daring Greatly may not be on everyone's bookshelf, I wish it were. To the women on this parenting journey with me, it is an easy read, make time for it.

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