Skip to main content

The Gifts of Imperfection - Wholehearted Living

I am making notes.  Normally I don't do this. I am a firm believer in sharing your love of reading so after I read a book, I pass it along--  to my son, a friend, a colleague--to see their eyes light up when you ask them--how they like the book --- to have them ask what is the next title in the series---to have them want to discuss the characters.  It is probably why I wanted to become a teacher, and later a librarian---to inspire and impassion others.  It pours gas in my tank to keep me going and inspires me to continue to reach higher and do better in any public service. Passion breeds passion.

This book is different thought. I am writing in the margins-- in pencil--and bending the cover back as I prop it open to remind myself what I read in Brene Brown's Introduction.  (Bibliophiles everywhere are writing their hands and tsk, tsk-ing me for abuse of a book).
 
In the introduction, Brown tries to further define the concept of Wholehearted Living, which I appreciate.  So often, authors use a buzz word or two to capture the essence of an complex process that takes the rest of the book to define and often I get lost in the search for the meaning.  Which makes me start to think the whole thing was a piece of fluff to begin with.  I end up feeling worse for spending the money on a book I was too stupid to understand.  And I am not stupid.  So then I think maybe it is not me who is stupid?

Brene Brown digs into to Wholehearted Living in the introduction --so no messing around here. She
understands that there is work to be done to get there.  It is a process, not a onetime choice--"the journey of a lifetime".  The tools you will need are clearly laid out---Courage, Compassion and Connection.  While it might sound like she is asking you to be Superman to get this done, she assures the reader that these are things we can practice every day because in our beautifully imperfect, human lives---the practicing of Courage, Compassion and Connection (for simplicity, I'll call them the 3Cs) are our gifts of imperfection.

I like when I know where I am going:
  • She will explain what she has learned about the 3Cs and how they are tools for cultivating worthiness.
  • She will define love, belonging, worthiness and authenticity and help find ways to break through barriers that hold us back from fully experiencing them
  • She shares the time when she lost her "Dig Deep" button--the one you push when you have nothing left but must carry on...and how she replaced it with the Wholehearted model where you are:
Deliberate in thoughts and behaviors through prayer, meditation , or simply setting their intentions
Inspired to make new and different choices
Going.  Taking action.
 
The key to the success of this approach is my willingness to be honest with myself about what gets in the way of putting the 3C's into practice in my daily life.  If I can't do that then there will be no change. 
 
She promises to get into the "how" of the matter.  How to make change.  How to hang out your dirty laundry and let it go.  And these are things I have started to do and just need more practice, 
 
The last quote in this section I just can't paraphrase as I think it sums where I am at and what I have just started to face--in only one or two aspects of my personal and professional life.
 

"Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.  Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but no nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy---the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.  Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will be discover the infinite power of our light."
 
Never mind Superman--sounds more like Batman to me.  Not the easy road my any means --but one step at a time right? 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Shame is A Full-Contact Emotion (Brené Brown)

It is a cool outside this morning and I have on my fluffy red robe as I sit outside and watch the birds flit back and forth from the fence to the feeder----arrogantly tossing aside imperfect sunflower seeds to get to the good ones.

The discarded seeds, some empty, some full, punctuate my deck, waiting for the squirrels, who will later claim this easy buffet.
I am still reading Brené and The Gifts of Imperfection.

Feels a bit like learning a new language ---I see the words---I hear the words---but the meaning is so diffuse...I need to read and reread and sometimes, even read out loud to make the words stick

It is hard work.

And while the smooth cover of her book lies balanced on my palm, seemingly weightless, many of the concepts have a density that knocks me flat on my ass ---like a large medicine ball.
CATCH THIS ONE!Oooooooof!I am down.

Eyes wide, trying to catch my breath, wrestling with the weight of hefty concepts like shame, authenticity, wholeheartedness, courage, compassion, connect…

Taking a Lesson from Work

Maybe it's because I am on this spiritual journey, or maybe it is because I have time to read blogs and cruise the web, but 2014 seems a bit obnoxious so far.  
Really IN YOUR FACE. Ok so it is not quite like this, but...... ....picture in your mind a saloon type town in the old west. 

Got it? 

Ok so now add a slick looking guy standing up on a wooden crate, surrounded by a crowd of people.  Beside the crate is a table, and on it are dozens bottles.
He clears his throat, throws out his arms, and announces:

It's a new year folks! New year.....new YOU! How would you like to tackle your SPENDING/DRINKING/SELFSABOTAGING/PROCRASTINATING/UNDEREDUCATED/OVERACHIEVING/UNORGANIZED/OVERWEIGHT/GREYINGHAIR/DULL SMILE/SMOKING/BOUNDRYSETTING/DEPRESSED/ANXIOUS/EATINGDISORDER/OBSESSING/INTERNET-DEVICE ADDICTION problems....
RIGHT NOW!!!
AND IF NOT, WHY NOT? OMG you think!!! (well OMG probably wasn't around then but...)  

OMG I think I heard a few things in there that I need to fix!!!!  Actually, I KNO…

Getting to Know My Neighbor in Type B

As a self identified "Type A" behavior "enthusiast", getting to know my neighbor in "Type B" might help me get a handle on why I too often feel like I am banging my head against a wall at work.   
But before I get too far, after all, there are a bazillion "self assessment" tests out there from, "What potato chip flavor are you?" to "Which Prince outfit are you?"
In the 1950's, two cardiologists, Friedman and Rosenman used Type A and Type B as a way to describe behavioral responses associated with how male patients with heard conditions responded to stress in their waiting room.   
They observed that some of the men actually wore down the edges of the seats from sitting poised on the edges of the seat and jumping up frequently, (labelled Type A) while others were able to relax in their seats and the wear on the chairs was focused more evenly (labelled Type B).  
They went on to investigate further, testing and proving at that …