Three years ago I filed into a ballroom at the Opryland Hotel alongside hundreds of women and a few men. We were there for Blissdom—my first ever blog conference—and while the weekend had kicked off with a cocktail party the night before, the morning keynote promised to set the tone for the next two days.
I had never heard of Brené Brown before. Her groundbreaking TEDtalk had taken place several months prior but I don’t think TEDtalks were on my radar yet. I sat at a table with new friends, unaware my life was about to change.
Brown didn’t talk long before I began brushing away tears. I wasn’t the only one. Sniffles filled the ballroom and Kleenex made the rounds. We needed to believe in our worthiness, to not let our fears drive us. We needed to learn what vulnerability truly is: courage and authenticity. And yes, we even needed to think about our “bury a body” friends.
I used some of Brown’s teaching that very weekend. What could be a better way to attend a blog conference than by facing our insecurities? What could be a better way to meet new people than by being aware of shame and vulnerability?
Flipping through my notes from that morning, I have another vantage point three years later. Brown’s teaching connects us. It lets us know we’re not alone.
There’s a reason people say Brené’s name with such fervor. Her research on shame, perfection, and vulnerability changes lives. It leads to healing and freedom. It is a gift, if we are willing to receive it.
This month we’re reading Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Brown’s writing might not be for everyone but the concepts she writes about absolutely are.
You will recognize yourself on the pages and in the examples she shares. You’ll recognize your loved ones and even your foes. As you read, I pray you’ll be open to examining your habits, your character traits, your strengths, your weaknesses. We cannot begin to change until we look at ourselves in the mirror and face what we see.
This is not an easy process but Wholehearted Living is worth it. Let’s press in together. Let’s encourage each other to shake off the lies that bind us and our relationships.
Let’s dare greatly.
Come back Wednesday April 16 for a reflection post led by Cara Meredith, which will offer a practical or hands-on way to respond to the book’s ideas and themes. The discussion post, led by Sarah Caldwell, will be up Wednesday April 23. Join the Facebook group to share quotes and discuss the book throughout the month. On Twitter, the official Red Couch Book Club hashtag is #redcouchbc.
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are– Brené Brown
- I Thought It was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I am Enough”– Brené Brown
- The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage audiobook– Brené Brown
- The Power of Vulnerability TEDtalk– Brené Brown
- Listening to Shame TEDtalk– Brené Brown
- Oprah Super Soul Sunday Parts 1 and 2 (entire episodes no longer available but clips are worth watching)
- Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life– Glennon Melton Doyle
- What Would You Do If You Had No Fear? Living In Your Dreams While Quakin’ In Your Boots– Diane Conway
- Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream– Whitney Johnson
- Stitches: A Handbook On Meaning, Hope & Repair– Anne Lamott
Will you be reading Daring Greatly with us?
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Image credit: Ryan Hyde