Monday, November 4, 2013

Daring Greatly

So, the book I mentioned a couple of posts ago is called Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. by Dr. Brene Brown.

I don't know how to say how much this book means to me. I feel changed for the better. It's amazing and I'd wish for everyone to read it. I love it almost too much. I've talked about it with everyone I know. Okay, here's the weird and honest truth... When I love something this much I'm stunned and amazed when other people don't. I don't have this same reaction to things I like or even really like. It's just when I really love something... like Sopapilla Cheesecake Squares or Valentine's Day gifts for my kids or pot roast carrots or Jane Austen.

So, I really love this book. I started reading this book after watching her TED Talk. Have you been to OMG! It's a website with the tagline of "Ideas Worth Sharing". It's the most amazing site and I recommend it highly. Anyway, Brene Brown has two TED Talks and both are really, really good. Once I'd watched the first one, I was hooked. I checked out books from the library, found her website, and the obsession was in full swing.

First let me say, it's non-fiction. As if you can't tell by the title, but someone I talked to was surprised it's non fiction. I enjoy non fiction, but even if you don't, please think about reading her books.

The other thing I will say is that she gives definition to ideas I've been talking about on this blog - - shame and guilt and a whole host of others. Her definitions, built from years of research, helped me to be able to express what I've been feeling and trying somewhat unsuccessfully to verbalize. She also introduced me to her concept of Whole Hearted Living, which, of course, I want! Whole Heartedness is a term I hadn't really thought about before reading this book, but is a way of living and being that I've been striving for. It's a concept that I didn't have a name for, which is part of the reason this book means so much to me, I know. I've been looking for a way to unravel my emotions and understand why I react the way I do, sometimes. There is great power in giving things a name.

Brene Brown is funny and upfront in a way that I totally love. Interspersed in the book are personal stories from the research participants and the author that illustrate the concepts presented. They are helpful, funny, sometimes raw, touching and REAL. The book is also filled with statistics and research data, and that takes some attention for those of us who don't love data. But, my oh my, is it worth it! She has explored just what it means to be and live whole-heartedly with the help of thousands of research participants and the book tells the story. Every chapter is mind blowing and she fills the pages with little gems like:“Vulnerability pushed, I pushed back. I lost the fight, but probably won my life back.” and "Courage is telling our story, not being immune to criticism." and "You're imperfect and wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging."

At the risk of scaring people off with my enthusiasm, all I'm really going to say about the book is this: It's good, really good. I found hope and healing and understanding reading it. I think there is value for everyone, but I firmly believe that we all find the wisdom we need when we are ready and not a moment sooner.

So, if you read the book and don't like it, no biggie. If you read it and like it, let's talk!

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