Courage, Anyone?

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I am blogging about a great book called, The Gifts of Imperfection.  Letting Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. Brown writes about a concept called, Wholehearted Living people living and loving with their whole hearts.  I see a link to 889 Yoga’s vison of inspiring happy, healthy lives.  The idea of living authentically has been referred to in some of 889 Yoga’s more recent blogs and I am certain that many people are trying to find a way to live a life that it congruent with who they really are.

Many of us are cautious when it comes to reading “self-help” books.   If any of what I just wrote resonates, please pick up this book.   Brown is funny, real, insightful and smart.   I appreciate Brown’s writing not only because she is a thoughtful researcher who studies shame but because she is “the real deal”.  As she shares her research findings, she weaves in real life responses to her findings, which contribute to her spiritual breakdown/awakening, leading her to take stock of her life.  What the reader gets from the book are strategies (Brown calls them guideposts) to help discover love, belonging and worthiness and therefore lead a more full life. Brown identifies courage, compassion and connection as facilitators of whole hearted living.  These three C’s are values that are currently and have always been important to me.

Admirably, Brown takes a risk and chooses to be transparent about her own life.  She shares her flaws and vulnerabilities with humour and guess what, she becomes more appealing! My own flawed thinking can go something like this, “If I really let people know who I am or what I think and feel, will they like me”?  But what is the greater risk?  Letting go of what people think OR letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?   Instead of getting it right and aiming for perfection, can I let go and be who I really am?  Hmmm…this takes courage and kindness.  To feel vulnerable is to be intensely alive.  By the way, if you are interested in this kind of exploration, Christie Mann, our talented leadership coach at 889 Yoga can guide you through this kind of a process – I’ve tried it!

The book is full of “yoga thinking”.   How do we connect with ourselves?  How do we know ourselves?  How do we love ourselves?  If I am to be transparent, this is my current journey.  I undertake this work for so many reasons but two of the main motivators are: (1) I can be a better parent to my daughters when I embrace myself.   I can encourage my daughters to be all that they are when they experience me loving myself (2) I will be a better teacher if I teach from my heart and offer up all that I am. I believe that authenticity paves the way for more meaningful connections with students and connection enhances learning.

 “Owning our story and LOVING ourselves through that process is the BRAVEST things we will ever do”.

Check out this TEDx talk for further inspiration.  You can learn more about Brown by visiting her site,  or by visiting her blog