Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Gifts of Imperfection - Brene Brown

So I have signed up for a six-week e-course (Click Here to learn more) with Oprah's Lifeclass and Brene Brown which involves exploring her book: The Gifts of Imperfection.  I am thrilled!!!  Two of my heroes in one swoop!

Dr Brene Brown in an internationally renowned speaker and researcher that has spend the last 10 years studying connection. In this 5 minute video she says: "Perfection is this idea or belief that if we look perfect, live perfect, do it perfectly, that we can avoid or minimize feelings of shame and blame.  We are cognitively, emotionally, physically and spiritually hard-wired to experience love and belonging.  And when we don't, we break.", she says.  She shares her insights into "Being Enough" in her book The Gifts of Imperfection.  "One of the things we do in our lives to come back from not being enough, is by pleasing, perfecting and performing.  We go through our lives being who we think we are supposed to be, doing and saying what we think people want to hear, putting on whatever face or mask we think we need for that moment, and that leaves us is exhausted.  When we are pleasing, perfecting and performing, we end up saying "yes" a lot when we mean "no".  And we also say "no" when we mean "Heck YES, I want to do that!  I REALLY want to do that!"  But we don't have those boundaries when we don't feel like we are worthy enough."  She advises us to wait for a moment when we are asked to do something, and then choose discomfort over resentment.   How do we do things without resentment?  It takes boundaries.  In the end, if we want to be authentic, it takes courage to be imperfect, set boundaries and be vulnerable.  Because the idea of "I am enough" starts with "Enough!"  Before Brene did the Wholehearted research, she and her husband had a Wish list or a Want List but afterwards, they sat down to devise a list of all the things and activities that were joyful to them. What she realised is that a Want List dictated to them that they needed to work more and make more money and the Joy List meant less work and more time.  Here's the part where we all struggle, she says: Worthiness does not have prerequisites. We need to find a way to engage with the world from a place of worthiness.  We need to find a way to say " I am enough!"  This is who I am. Because she literally believes that our lives depend on it.

"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It is about cultivating the courage, connection and compassion and to wake up in the morning and think: "No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough."  Its going to bed at night and thinking: "Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes I am afraid but that doesn't mean that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging."

The Journey
Wholehearted living is not a one-time choice.  It is a process.  In fact, I believe it is the journey of a lifetime.  My goal is to bring awareness and clarity to the constellation of choices that lead to Wholeheartedness and to share with you the people that have dedicated their lives to living and loving with their whole hearts.  Before embarking on any journey including this one, it is important to talk about what we need to bring along.  What does it take to live and love from a place of worthiness? How do we embrace imperfection?   How do we cultivate the things we need and let go of the things that are holding us back?  The answers to all of these questions is courage, compassion and connection.  

The Tools we need to work our way through our journey
If you're thinking : Great! I just need to be a superhero to fight imperfection, I understand.  Courage, compassion and connection seem like big lofty ideals.  But in reality, they are daily practices, that when exercised enough, become these incredible gifts in our lives.  And the good news is that vulnerabilities are what forces us to call upon these amazing tools. Because we are human and so beautifully imperfect, we get to use our tools on a daily basis.  In this way, courage, compassion and connection become the gifts. The Gifts of Imperfection. 

And here is the bottom line:

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