With travel coffeel cup in hand, I began the one-hundred and thirty four mile drive to my destination. This wasn’t just any ordinary destination. This slightly cloudy Saturday morning I was headed to Nashville Tennessee for the launch of my Soul Sistahs’ new book Rising Strong. This was Rising Strong Day! So, who is this Soul Sistah I am referring? Brene’ Brown of course! Brene’ is definitely my Soul Sistah (spiritually) because every word she’s written has validated the whispers in my heart and soul. Dr. Brene’ Brown is a well known scholar and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Her twelve year research on topics like shame, vulnerability, courage and worthiness have spawn noted quotes on virtually every communication platform. See if you recognize any of these…
“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
― Brené Brown
“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
― Brené Brown
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
― Brené Brown
This was actually my first time meeting Brene’ in person. When introduced to this sold out crowd she appeared genuinely grateful and humbled to see all of us. We were of course excited to see her. Listening to the applauds and screams from this huge crowd, I couldn’t help noticing that Brene’ looked like someone you’d run into regularly at your corner store. She was casually dressed and her voice was friendly and sincere. The audience was engaged and very attentive as they listened to every word she spoke. Some, like myself were talking notes. The couple sitting next to me told me that they had decided to come to this event to hear and see Brene’ all the way from Kalamazoo Michigan. They remarked that both had learned so much from her many books and felt it was time to meet her in person. To be honest with you…their words echoed my thoughts as well.
When I was growing up, I often pondered many of the things Brene’s years of research have validated for me. Shame, being one of them is often offered up to children as punishment, but sometimes, believe it or not…it is used to teach a lesson. However well meaning the user intended it to be…it always fell short. Shame felt like condemnation of my very own spirit. It wasn’t encouraging. In fact, looking back now I can see how damaging it truly was. Teachers, parents, clergy, friends…everyone uses shame carelessly without consideration for the damage it causes. Most won’t even call it shame, but when your words devastate confidence and fracture a person’s self esteem for something they may have done or said, they are left injured…that’s the by product of shame.
Imagine now, someone being curious enough to research shame, worthiness, vulnerability and courage and break down all the bits and pieces….that’s Brene’ Brown. I had a delightful opportunity to chat briefly with her. She welcomed me into her presence comfortably making me feel like we were two old friends greeting each other. I found Brene’ to be warm, funny and absolutely authentic. If you have ever listened to her TED talk or watched her chatting with Oprah then you have seen her daring greatly to be authentic. When I shared that I felt like we were “Soul Sistahs” she smiled that big Brene’ Brown smile and replied, “That’s probably true!” She practices what she talks about but made sure to reintegrate that it is a practiced process. It is so refreshing to meet a woman who walks the walk and talks the talk.
The event was completely sold out and yet it felt as intimate as if we were invited to Brene’s home for a party. She talked to each and every person attending. She even made sure each person got a photograph with her. Here’s mine…
I already had a picture in my mind about Brene’ Brown. I have read every book she has written. All her books are the kind of books you enjoy so much they become mainstays in your library. Through her research and generosity of words, I have learned so much about myself. I use her books in my practice to help my clients who come to me for help in getting their lives unstuck. My opinion today of Brene’ Brown is confirmed. She is someone you really want to know…not just because she’s a very smart Sistah, but because she is a highly motivating and decent human being.
I can’t wait to finish her latest book, Rising Strong. You can get your copy at the link below. Trust me when I say…you will not be disappointed. Brene’ Brown has given us another book to use on our journey to living our best lives. Grab your book…get started. You’ll be so glad you did.