Wednesday, 26 June 2013

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? 

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