This week I did something a little different. Although she has a lot of incredible books that I could have quoted from, I decided that her TED talk would be the best intro to Brene Brown. This has been viewed over 13 million times for a reason. I will never forget the first time I saw it- I ran out and bought her books and have been a fan ever since. Today I watched it again, tears running down my cheeks and I KNEW it was important to share. There are study groups based just on this TED talk, so I thought I'd bring in a few of those questions for this weeks assignment. Every one of these is an inspiring place to start writing. As Brene Brown says, "Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change."
Dr. Brown's research indicated what separated people who experience a strong sense of love and belonging from those who struggle for it is this: "The people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they're worthy of it." When studying the data collected from these "wholehearted" people, she discovered they had these things in common:
● Courage: (Original definition: telling who you are with your whole heart.) They had the courage to be imperfect.
● Compassion: They were kind to themselves and to others.
● Connection: Their connections were rooted in authenticity (letting go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were).
● Vulnerability: They embraced vulnerability as something that was necessary for connection. (Examples of vulnerability: asking someone for help, initiating sex, being turned down, waiting for the doctor to call back, getting laid off, laying off people)
Consider these qualities: the courage to be imperfect, genuine kindness, authenticity, vulnerability.
In what ways are these evident in you? In what ways are they lacking?
What makes you feel most vulnerable in relationships? (Think about what you tend to avoid.)
Dr. Brown defined the the following strategies we use in our attempt to eliminate or minimize the feeling of vulnerability:
● We NUMB it (e.g., overspending, overeating, overmedicating). The problem is, we cannot selectively numb our emotions. When we numb negative feelings (venerability, grief, shame, fear, disappointment) we numb positive ones, too (joy, gratitude, happiness, love).
● We make things CERTAIN. We don't leave room for ambiguity or uncertainty in our opinions and beliefs.
● We PERFECT. We attempt to remove or replace perceived imperfections in our lives and in our children's lives.
● We PRETEND. We act as though we are not responsible for the way our lives affect others instead of accepting responsibility, especially when we have caused hurt.
Which of these do you tend to use most often?
List some examples of the ways you've used that strategy in order to minimize feelings of personal vulnerability.
Are you aware of ways in which those choices and behaviors have had negative impact on any relationships? If so, how
Lyrical Analysis (see page for lyrics and video link or click here):
I am so happy I finally get to post a song by an artist that I know! Daphne Willis leans into her darkness and plays every heartstring she comes in contact with. She makes being vulnerable look easy, even when we all know it's not. This song is one to help get you up in the morning, to cradle you in your moment of weakness or just to give you that extra push for self forgiveness.
1. What is the first emotion you feel when listening to this song?
2. What part of this song resonates with you and why?
Definition of riff.
1 : an ostinato phrase (as in jazz) typically supporting a solo improvisation also : a piece based on such a phrase.
2 : a rapid energetic often improvised verbal outpouring especially : one that is part of a comic performance.
3 : a succinct usually witty comment.
Writing and Visualization Exercise:
This week in honor of the I AM ENOUGH theme, I want to us to dive into some self reflection and find something about ourselves that we are proud of. These are not tangible things, they are inner victories that have fueled our inner light. It could be a hidden talent you have, a recent obstacle you have overcome that brought out a newfound strength, or even a personal goal that you reached in your self-exploration. Not only do I think we should acknowledge them, but to be truly vulnerable, my challenge for YOU is to expose it.
Let that vulnerable light shine, baby!
HOW you ask? Good question! :)
1. Write a paragraph or more explaining your inner victory and start the second paragraph with "I'm proud" to explain the rest.
2. Call someone close to you and read it to them.
3. Read it at our next Happy Hour.
Does this exercise give you the same "willies" as being naked in a high school locker room?